Hello, poets of Beijing. The Bookworm Literary Festival — one of the largest bilingual cultural events in China — has renewed our community poetry event for this year’s program, which means it’s time to get writing, reading, and workshopping. Last year’s event, Poetry Night in Beijing, attracted a standing-room only crowd, and we can only hope to again get that kind of support. Consider this an open call. If you’re interested, read on.
We’re on the festival’s opening weekend, specifically Sunday, March 15 at 2 pm. As it wouldn’t make sense to call an afternoon shindig Poetry Night, our new title is simply Poetry Beijing. More elegant, isn’t it? Tickets (60 RMB) go on sale this Saturday at the Bookworm.
Our full lineup is yet to be determined, but we’re very fortunate to already have commitments from Zohab Zee Zhan, the current reigning, defending, undisputed Australian Slam Poetry champion, and Maxine Beneba Clarke, a spoken word performer who has graced stages across Australia. Both of them have solo poetry events later in the festival (do check out this excellent slate of events*), and we’re honored to have their presence.
If you’re interested in participating — in possibly reading in the spotlight (though slots are extremely limited) — please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, better yet, meet myself and my co-host, Liz Richards, in person…
There’s an open mic event called Word of Mouth, hosted by Liz, this coming Tuesday, March 3, 8 pm at the Bookworm. Word of Mouth is a platform to encourage both beginner and experienced poets to share their work, and for listeners to create their own. All forms of poetry are welcome. Much like Poetry Beijing, the event’s aim is to buoy poets in our community and inspire one another through the oft-frustrating but ultimately rewarding process of creation.
Those interested in performing/reading at Word of Mouth should sign up by emailing email@example.com. Slots are first-come, first-served. We hope to see you there!
*Disclosure: I’m a BLF 2015 coordinator. We’re very much still looking for volunteers, so sign up now for the chance to attend events for free, etc.