2021 Virtual Events Archived

SLOW SPARKS, an interactive collaboration hosted by Red Rover Series, will involve any writers who wish to participate.  Our goals are to foster innovative forms, aesthetic solidarities, and a multifarious performance with this year’s New Orleans Poetry Festival virtual community so all have the opportunity to improvise in live space and time together.  During this event, every audience member is a potential performer.  Writers are invited to bring sparks of poems into the space with their spoken words.  These slow sparks are activated by performers and keep going until the time is up.  Feature writers include: Stefania Gomez, Marcy Rae Henry, Doug Kearney,  blake nemec, Dao Nguyen, plus the registered participants below!  Red Rover Series has hosted similar large-scale readings for AWP, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the MLA conference, the &NOW Festival, and past New Orleans Poetry Festivals.



April 30, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



Ekphrastic poetry has a long and rich history. While the meaning of ekphrasis has changed over time, ekphrastic poetry now generally refers to poems that evoke and / or respond to a work of visual art. John Hollander has said, ‘Works of art are silent; poetry speaks its mind’.  Much more than just description, ekphrastic writing speaks of works of visual art with new inflections and, often, unexpected emphases. Notional ekphrasis is a term that usually refers to poems that evoke a work, or works, of art imagined by the poet rather than referencing an actual artwork. Such poems are doubly creative. They imagine and ‘create’ in words, one or more works of visual art and also, and simultaneously, imagine and create a poem.

In this workshop, three poets who have written, edited and published extensively in ekphrasis will lead participants in writing ekphrastic and notionally ekphrastic poems, prose poems and/or flash fiction. They will also provide opportunities for possible publication of these pieces.

There are lots of well-known examples of ekphrastic poetry, including Rainer Maria Rilke’s ‘Archaic Torso of Apollo’, Anne Sexton’s ‘The Starry Night’, Marianne Moore’s ‘No Swan so Fine’, John Ashbery’s ‘Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror’ and W H Auden’s ‘Musée des Beaux Arts, re-imagined by William Carlos Williams as ‘Landscape with the Fall of Icarus’. And perhaps the most famous English-language examples of such notionally ekphrastic works are Keats’ ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ and Browning’s ‘My Last Duchess'.

Workshop participants are encouraged, but not required, to bring along any images they would like to work with. Otherwise, all workshop supplies will be provided by the facilitators, including a range of artworks and packets with examples of ekphrastic and notionally ekphrastic work from a variety of poets and artists working in the field and a list for opportunities to publish ekphrastic writing.


April 29, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



From single panel cartoons, to ongoing series, to graphic novels, comics and comic books have been employing a hybrid approach to both poetics and rhetoric. As poets and lyrical/experimental prose writers, we will be discussing how poetry has entered into the comic book world by writers such as Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman but also how these frames work in ways that can be adapted to the stanza. These small bits of information work with narration, dialogue, soliloquy, and action. As writers, we also employ all these literary tools and as such, we have investigated the economy of words as seen in comics to help build worlds, create conversations, work through personas, and explore ekphrastics. We will discuss some mainstream books as well as manga and some indie/avant-garde approaches to the genre. In today's age, we are constantly scrolling through visuals such as memes, that utilize very few words to attempt say a lot. This has been the way of comic book writer for over 80 years now. As readers of comics, we too have seen this brevity as way to tap into more than just wit but also the personal, the political, and the fantastic. For some of us, comic books/manga were our first inspirations for understanding archetypes and symbolism and thus helped us in creating speculative poetry and agenre/crossgenre works. With Kenning JP Garcia, Rone Shavers, Wendy Chin-Tanner, Avren Keating, and Aristilde Kirby.


April 28, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



This performance locates a Latinx poetics historicized in the symbolic permanence of a borderlands mythos. The figural qualities of the "codex" in the Latinx imaginary will be interrogated by Steven Alvarez, author of The Codex Mojaodicus (Fence, 2017), Anthony Cody, author of Borderland Apocrypha (Omnidawn, 2020), and Jose-Luis Moctezuma, author of Place-Discipline (Omnidawn, 2018), all of whom will speak to the significance of being Latinx poets during the current political moment of "the wall." As the forces of globalization and climate change push more people into states of displacement and mobility, these poets investigate the concept of the borderlands as a source of regeneration, redemption, transformation, and resistance for our migrant times. Alvarez, Cody, and Moctezuma will read from their respective books and from new and upcoming work, and their readings will be followed by a brief panel discussion of their work


April 27, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



The Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans is one of the nation’s leading venues for the presentation of creative works emphasizing the contributions of people of African descent. Cultural arts production is the lifeblood of Ashé, which celebrates the people, places, and philosophies of the African Diaspora. This reading presents Poets of Ashé performing their work. Poets include: Frederick "Wood" DelahoussayeMwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa, Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes (our CEO), Sha'Condria "Icon" Sibley, and Empress Galathe.


April 26, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



Pandemic. Climate Change. Insurrection. Racism. Sexism. Political movements. Social. Cultural. Despair? Hope? The current landscape in the United States, as well as much of the rest of the world, suggests that for many people these are times of exile and return, expatriation and repatriation in terms not only of the physical self, but the intellectual, emotional and aesthetic. And they represent a call for what poetry has always been able to do: incite action, reflection, investigation, protest, clamor, silence, shock, love, purpose, beauty. In this roundtable, we will think about how the nature of the problematic and essentially corrupt and redemptive forces of the world have led to this moment in the world. We will focus on the ways this affects how we think about the writing and reading of poetry, the way it affects the poetics and politics of aesthetics, and what are the roles, if any, poetry might play in generating critiques and solutions. 



April 25, 4:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(5:00 pm EDT, 3:00 pm MDT, 2:00 pm PDT)



This reading and discussion will focus on four recent books of poetry in translation:

Giancarlo Huapaya's Sub Verse Workshop Translated by Ilana Dann Luna
Antonio Ángel Agudelo's Sky Chess Translated by Claudia Routon
Eduardo Chirinos' A Brief History of Music & Fourteen Forms of Melancholy Translated by G. J. Racz
Olivier Cadiot's A Mage in Summer Translated by Anna Fitzgerald, Introduction by Cole Swensen

We will hear readings from each in both original and translation, followed by a discussion among the translators and authors on the difficulties of translating experimental poetry.



April 25, 2:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(3:00 pm EDT, 1:00 pm MDT, 12:00 pm PDT)



This video is a representation of poets who have been involved in the global, community-oriented One Hundred Thousand Poets for Change-- social justice in poetry-- movement.

Events take place across the globe, often with coordinated dates and with social justice themes for the event; for example, gun violence was a theme and so has been the climate crisis.

April 25, 12:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(1:00 pm EDT, 11:00 am MDT, 10:00 am PDT)



Cerebros Presents: An International Sound Poetry Performance & Dance Party
The Pan Dada Hit Parade will be a livestream event in two parts: First will be a 60 minute sound poetry performance by 8-10 international sound poets from Canada, The United States, Uruguay, Brazil, and others TBA. This will devolve into a live streamed dance party from a rooftop in the French Quarter of New Orleans, complete with DJs spinning vinyl records for a 2 hour virtual event with visual projections in front of a live audience. Guaranteed to be a surreal time for all who attend.  (With apologies to those who attempted to attend the event live on Zoom, where we had technical difficulties. The youtube tape, below, provides a better experience.)


April 24, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



LIT BALM is a most-weekly interactive livestream reading series taking place at 4pm Central most Saturdays. During the month of April, they are co-ordinating all shows with the New Orleans Poetry Festival. Four poets will read on magic and poetry: Dorianne Laux, Andrew Joron, Bruce Bond, Hank Lazer, and Ruth Lepson. Marc Vincenz will MC. Marc Vincenz, Cassandra Atherton, and Jonathan Penton host Lit Balm shows.


April 24, 4:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(5:00 pm EDT, 3:00 pm MDT, 2:00 pm PDT)



As Nightboat Books celebrates its 15th anniversary, this reading presents just a few of the books published in 2020 and 2021 that engage nuanced and inventive approaches to crucial contemporary issues. Each of these books implicitly expands the range of approaches to such issues and suggests pertinent and previously unexplored connections among them. The modes of engagement embraced by these works and their writers offer a gamut of tones and perspectives, all united by their dedication to writing as a tool of intervention and a vehicle of commitment to social, cultural, political and/or environmental change. Q&As after each reading will give listeners a chance to launch a dialogue around the issues raised and the ways that poetry can uniquely address them. 



April 24, 2:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(3:00 pm EDT, 1:00 pm MDT, 12:00 pm PDT)



A panel of individuals who will present “creatively critical” (or alternatively, “critically creative”) responses to the tenuous—and not-so tenuous—distinctions that currently determine how we come to define poetry and poetics as distinct from the many varied forms of experimental prose; forms such as the lyric essay, the listicle, aphoristic work, the Iberian crônica, or the fiction works of Renee Gladman, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and David Markson, for example. Panelists include John Beer, Laura Goldstein, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Rone Shavers, and Bronwen Tate. 


April 23, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



A reading by contemporary Louisiana writers speaking in direct dialogue with historic texts—speaking the words of the dead and/or responding directly to past voices.


April 22, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



We believe that play interrogates world-building while being a key component of queer bonding and collaboration. Think of all the games that shaped our upbringings: board games, outdoor games, imagination games. And what are poems if not individual worlds that we construct? In this workshop, we will engage with these worlds through group forms of play. We will do a series of activities testing out our poems in unusual scenarios while supporting each other to share in ways that will bring laughter, joy, pain, and anger to the surface. We will explore how engaging in play collectively is also an essential aspect of companionship and friendship. We will be vulnerable with one another, with glimpses into each other's imaginations, then generate new work collaboratively using the models of play from the activities. This is open to all but will center on LGBTQ individuals. 


April 22, 3:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(4:00 pm EDT, 2:00 pm MDT, 1:00 pm PDT)



This roundtable will think through the dimension, direction and historiography of the site in poetry, and how it manifests through mapping, scoring, and representation. We are interested in how sites are articulated as language in traces on the page—as sentences, lines, points, fragments—that erase as they take up space, creating new sites of negation, of vacuum, violence, reconciliation, conjunction. In our discussion, we will examine how a point as a marker on a map scores the memory of an image, thereby transforming a specific location. We will examine how place and history directs a route on the page and can hold the memory of intense violence. In reading critical and creative work, we will investigate space and indeterminacy, and what writing can do to collapse time and space into a site and reexamine what the space of a text can be.

April 21, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



In 1790, the French soldier Xavier de Maistre was placed on house arrest, an experience that resulted in his classic anti-travel memoir Voyage Around My Bedroom. In 2020, poets around the world found themselves in similar situations, as quarantine protocols and involuntary lockdowns became the norm. Poetry is not just a record of travel, but a form of it; to reimagine this tradition in the pandemic age, presenters will read their own works on travel alongside the cherished works of others. Our hope is that travel poems (however interpreted) will reaffirm the power of poetry to help us transcend present circumstance, to inspire us to undertake similar generative voyages where possible, and ultimately lend us strength to endure whatever the future of the pandemic may hold.

April 20, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



This roundtable features poets, translators, translatees, scholars, and all possible combinations of the above, who are currently translating poetic works from the French and/or being translated into French by our poet-translator colleagues. We will discuss the joys and challenges we face, including making translational choices at the level of the word, phrase, and sentence, finding publication venues, writing introductions that contextualize French and Francophone texts for English-speaking readers, and reaching broader audiences for poetic translation. We will aim for our remarks to open a larger conversation about the significance of new poetic developments outside of or adjacent to English for those of us writing and writing about/on/with poetry in English.

April 20, 3:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(4:00 pm EDT, 2:00 pm MDT, 1:00 pm PDT)



The Poetry Buffet is a monthly reading series curated by Gina Ferrara which, prior to the Covid pandemic, was held the first Saturday of every month at the historic Latter Library in New Orleans. Since its inception in 2007 the series has featured poets of local legend and national and international renown. The series now runs at the same time online

This event features readers from the series with a special tribute to Lee Meitzen Grue, our godmother of the New Orleans poetry scene, who passed away just as NOPF began this year, and will be sorely missed.

April 18, 5:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(6:00 pm EDT, 4:00 pm MDT, 3:00 pm PDT)



Lavender Ink / Diálogos presents a reading by recently published authors, including Erin Lierl (A Child of Many Waters), Shira Dentz (the sun a blazing zero), Vincent Farnsworth (Absence Like Sun), and Rosemary Daniell (The Murderous Sky).

Also in this session, a tribute Anny Ballardini, a lovely friend of the press, who has recently passed, with readings from her work by friends.

April 18, 3:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(4:00 pm EDT, 2:00 pm MDT, 1:00 pm PDT)



Wherever Jewish folks have gone there has been a wealth of humor, poetry, storytelling, theory, and philosophy that has sprouted up there. In addition, Jewish people have been on the frontlines of rebellions and revolutions around the world. Jews have been targets of persecution and have also been allies.

In this panel we will discuss certain Jewish contributions and contributors to poetry over the years and around the globe. We will also discuss our own approaches as Jewish writers. We'll discuss a legacy of long poems by writers such as Allen Ginsberg, music(ality) and non-musicality as heard in the talk poetry of David Antin, pop culture such as Shia LaBeouf's freestyles, the mundane, and the emotional poetics of Proust's prose. This panel will be an exploration of a literary legacy and in doing so, we'll also be looking at how those styles were used to address certain sentiments. We will be talking about how we work with the personal as well as political from various viewpoints within the larger identity of Jewishness. As such, we'll be discussing a pushback against both antisemitism and Zionism. As well, we will be touching on how other folks such as Plath have used Jewish experience and imagery in their work. And, how Jews such as Emma Lazarus have contributed to what it means to be an American.

We are women and nonbinary folks of Ashkenazi and Sephardic descent. We are Latinx, Black and of European descent. The authors and works we will be discussing attempt to cover a diverse range of what it means to be Jewish.

April 17, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



LIT BALM is a most-weekly interactive livestream reading series taking place at 4pm Central most Saturdays. During the month of April, they are co-ordinating all shows with the New Orleans Poetry Festival.

Four Dominican poets will read: Rhina Espaillat, Jose Enrique Delmonte, Soledad Alvarez, and Juan Matos. Rhina Espaillat will read her own poetry, and the other poets will read Rhina's poetry as well as their own. Jose Enrique Delmonte will read in Spanish, with translations provided by Susan Dickey.

Marc Vincenz, Cassandra Atherton, and Jonathan Penton host Lit Balm shows.

April 17, 4:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(5:00 pm EDT, 3:00 pm MDT, 2:00 pm PDT)



POG & Friends celebrates Tucson's 20+-years-and-going-strong poetry collective, which sponsors 6-8 readings a year, typically pairing visiting poets with local poets and artists. Our NOPF featured poets--who have read for POG or will in the near future--include:
Norman Fischer
Joseph Lease
Saba Razvi
Charles Alexander (POG board member)
Tenney Nathanson (POG board member)

April 16, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



In the spirit of Federico Garcia Lorca—gifted musician, legendary poet/playwright and ebullient performer—poets Partridge Boswell and Peter Money, along with guitarist Nat Williams, fuse poetry and music in a passionate and surprising mash-up. Los Lorcas blurs boundaries between spoken word and song, weaving poetry with Andalusian ballads, blues, rock, folk, reggae, hip hop, Americana and jazz in pursuit of the cante jondo (deep song) Lorca so ardently championed. Exploring common roots and synergies of poetry and music, Los Lorcas celebrate the poetry of song lyrics and music of lyrical poetry in soulful original compositions and arrangements of poems by Lorca, Yeats, Marley, Dylan, Dickinson, Cohen, Merwin and Millay, among others. Troubadouring widely in the US and abroad (Ireland and Slovenia), Los Lorcas have performed in diverse venues [Poetry Center San Jose, Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Burlington Book Festival, Tucson Book Festival, Bookstock Literary Festival (w/ Robert Pinsky’s PoemJazz), Chandler Music Hall, Vermont College of Fine Arts, KGB Reading Series, Bowery Poetry Club, Nuyorican Poetry Café and Caffe Lena],attesting to the broad appeal of their innovative vision of how poetry and music might exist together in a world less preoccupied with taxonomy and boundaries. Los Lorcas in unity is a marvel that would silence any creative individual to awe, inspiring the quietest observer to reach for each word as if they were Federico Lorca himself, meditating on song and poetry mid-stage, arms outstretched.”—Bianca Viñas, PoemCity 2018




April 15, 9:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(10:00 pm EDT, 8:00 pm MDT, 7:00 pm PDT)



This panel will feature new work by Saturnalia Books authors Kayleb Rae Candrilli (2019 Whiting Award winner), Timothy Liu, Kristi Maxwell, and Alexis Ivy. Winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, Candrilli’s second full-length, All the Gay Saints, is a collection of trans joy and resilience. Focused on love, partnership, and cultivating the landscape of one’s own body, All the Gay Saints, seeks happiness in a world saturated with transphobia, and marred by climate change. At the height of his powers, Liu's twelfth book of poems, Let It Ride, integrates life's struggles at midlife by way of disintegration. What's left behind are lyrical traces, poetry a gambol, love a gamble, you're either all in or all out. These poems argue for a life that is more than amusement—rather, a mythic venture waiting to be embodied, embarked upon. Ecopoetic at its core, Maxwell's My My is concerned about the world (“that abundant stray”) and scrutinizes the messiness of humans’ relationships to each other and to the nonhuman—how acts of seeing can lift up or erase. My My operates under the sign of “or,” testing out alternatives and revisions in the hopes of landing on a truth that can be lived with. Taking the Homeless Census, Ivy's second poetry collection and Editor's Choice selection for the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, begins with her award-winning crown of sonnets concerning her work with the homeless community. This 15-sonnet sequence captures the vulnerable moments of shared humanity. The remaining poems are a heartfelt response to the crown, splintering the poet's relationship with her lifework while questioning the definition of home. 

April 15, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



James Sherry moderates a discussion about poetry and climate change. While global warming is caused by industry emissions, corporate processes will not change without cultural change. Kit Robinson, Brenda Iijima, Saba Razvi, Elizabeth Gross, Evelyn Reilly & Charles Alexander will discuss how poetry contributes language change that helps arrest climate change. New Orleans' location, its damage from Katrina and other storms and its future risks make the NOPF an ideal venue to discuss how poetry might influence the different ways of looking at nature, the language of policy, social structure and racial and income inequality. 

April 13, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



Megan Burns hosts this year's Trembling Pillow press reading, featuring recent and forthcoming poets Jenny Sadre-Orafai, Anne Champion, Marty Cain, and Dominique Salas.

April 12, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



In her October 24, 2019 essay, “Fascinated to Presume: In Defense of Fiction,” in The New York Review of Books, Zadie Smith offers less a “defense” of imagining and inhabiting the lives of others, characters and people unlike her in every possible sense (gender, sexual orientation, race, class, ethnicity, nationality, etc.) than a description of her own practices and prejudices (she criticizes the culture of “likeness,” that one can only write about, inhabit the bodies of, people who are “like” us in terms of sexual orientation, gender, race, class, etc.). At the same times, because fiction is, as she writes, “indefensible,” she acknowledges that her understanding of fiction may well be passé. With all this in mind, to what extent, if any, does Smith’s analysis pertain to recent debates over “likeness,” over “staying in your lane,” vis-à-vis poetry? To what extent is a popular phrase like “cultural appropriation” both a tool of analysis and, as Smith suggests, a form of containment that orients and predetermines conclusions?

This panel proposes to address these questions through a number of modalities. For example, as concrete examples of how American “minorities” have deconstructed the one-way stream of white appropriations of the other’s culture, Alan Golding and Tom Marshall examine the consequences of the other’s body/language in their respective proposals. Golding analyzes the way that Chinese American poet Timothy Yu, himself at the center of recent controversy around cultural appropriation, takes on the White Male trope of appropriation in his 2017 book of poetry, 100 Chinese Silences. Yu reverses and parodies not only the status of the “Chinese poetry” of Ezra Pound but also more recent white male attempts to write the other (Billy Collins, Tony Hoagland). Tom Marshall takes the question of cultural appropriation to one of its more “logical” and “absurd” ends: Sun Ra’s “positive” appropriation of outer space culture. Marshall argues that Sun Ra deploys negation throughout his performance poetry to reverse and critique received concepts of history, culture and even “life,” opening up a space as “outer space” whereby black Americans are able to retrieve lost or suppressed cultural legacies. Marshall demonstrates how Sun Ra’s “canny” legacy continues today in the Arkestra of Marshall Allen, suggesting that the work of historical “recovery” is just as crucial today as it was in the mid-20th century.

Zooming out from the specific to the general, Jeanne Heuving’s revision of Olson’s “projectivist poetics” and Gabriel Gudding’s interrogation of “translation as appropriation” dovetail at what both writers regard as the status or positionality of the body. Heuving’s proposal stresses that the movement of projectivist poetics begins with a body in a certain position/location and “ends” with a writing through, an engagement with, other bodies, and thus other modalities of the other’s language (dialect, lexicon, accent, etc.), as manifest in and through writing.  Gabriel Gudding, a multilanguage translator, suggests that while all language acts, including writing, are forms of appropriation, speech and writing are connected to “mutually vulnerable bodies” even as some bodies, he notes, are more vulnerable than others. Both Heuving and Gudding insist that the question of cultural appropriation demands a vigilant ethos insofar as the appropriation of the other’s language is, forthwith, a (partial) appropriation of another’s body.

April 11, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



Diálogos celebrates the launch of two new major North African Francophone works in English translation:

Agadir, by Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine and translated by Pierre Joris and Jake Syersak, is loosely based on the earthquake which devastated the Moroccan city of the same name in 1960, and Khaïr-Eddine’s experience as a civil servant assigned to investigate the aftermath of the cataclysm. An unnamed narrator sent to the city “in order to sort out a particularly precarious situation” tells the story of a veritably razed Moroccan epicenter and a citizenry begging for reconstruction. In a surreal, polyphonic narration that explodes into various tesserae of fiction, autobiography, reportage, poetry, and theatre, the narrator quickly discovers that in exhuming the city’s physical remnants he cannot help but exhume the complex social, political, cultural, and historical dynamics that make up postcolonial Moroccan society.

Discovery of the New World collects, for the first time in English, Algerian francophone writer Nabile Farès’ ambitious trilogy of novellas reflecting on the effects of French colonialism in North Africa. These heavily experimental works, set in the time just before and after the Algerian war with France, probe issues of identity—race, gender, nationality—in the wake of European colonialism. “The first thing that hits me every time I open or reopen one of Nabile Farès’ books,” writes Pierre Joris in the Preface, “is the immediacy of the intense struggle—simultaneously, the glorious success—of a text that stays at white heat by bending/bedding itself between what some would call the “genres” of poetry & prose.” 

We will also be joined by world-renowned poet and scholar of North African letters Habib Tengour who will read from his own work with translation by Pierre Joris, as well as contributing to the discussion.

This panel features English and some bi-lingual readings from the works with discussions among the translators and scholars of the vibrant field of contemporary North African writing.

April 11, 3:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(4:00 pm EDT, 2:00 pm MDT, 1:00 pm PDT)



LIT BALM is a most-weekly interactive livestream reading series taking place at 4pm Central most Saturdays. During the month of April, they are co-ordinating all shows with the New Orleans Poetry Festival. Four poets with connections to Singapore will read: Rachel Blau DiPlessis, Marylyn Tan, George Szirtes, and Ranjit Hoskote. The reading will be MC'd by Singaporian poet Alvin Pang. Marc Vincenz, Cassandra Atherton, and Jonathan Penton host Lit Balm shows.

April 10, 4:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(5:00 pm EDT, 3:00 pm MDT, 2:00 pm PDT)



Translation, code-switching, machine learning, vulgarities: four poets read and discuss diverse works in multiple voices. As voices split, assemble, dissipate, and congeal, we interrogate the singular authorial voice. How do multiple voices emerge from various poetic forms, live performance, and interactions with other media? Who are we in the moment we are today in the space we need to inhabit in order to keep surviving?

April 9, 5:30 pm Central Daylight Time
(6:30 pm EDT, 4:30 pm MDT, 3:30 pm PDT)



Poets and editors of factory hollow press, The Hollins Criticjubilat, Mississippi Review and New World Writing focus on how who they are and their experiences have defined who and what they publish and why. Women editors----from Toni Morrison to Joyce Carol Oates to  Harriet Monroe to Rebecca Wolff to Anne Waldman to Eileen Myles---have historically created trends and controversy. VIDA has shown that editorial bias can be counted on to continue; their yearly count, plain and simple, can't be denied.  Race, gender, place, age, style----what you can do to identify if a journal is right for you. Editors will tell stories about how they effect and have been affected. Samples of just a few important writers they've published will be shared. Your concerns will be the focus.  Bring with you some of your experiences; our conversation will speak to these.

April 9, 3:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(4:00 pm EDT, 2:00 pm MDT, 1:00 pm PDT)



The Bayou Gentilly Writers Circle (Nordette Adams, Randy Bates, Barry Fitzpatrick, Juyanne James, Laura Mattingly, and Andrea Panzeca) will read their poetry and lyrical prose. This group of writers meets at Addie’s place (one of our dogs who allows the interruption) by the Fairgrounds on Thursday nights to share and get feedback on their work and enjoy each others' company. Come join us for a group reading of new and selected works.

April 8, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



Abstract: A critical and practical exploration of the prose poem form. Zack Anderson will analyze the form’s possibilities for representing the intersection of violence and landscape. Paul Cunningham will consider the form’s inclination toward surrealistic dream logic and the avenues that such logic creates for ecologically-minded poetry. Hannah V. Warren will discuss the prose poem as a feminist site of hybridity, transformation, and counternarrative. 

Landscape: In this panel, I want to consider the conjunction of violence and landscape as it manifests in the prose poem. How does this form operate as a mechanism for both containment and spillover? What can the prose poem show us about how violence is embedded or concealed in the landscape? How do landscape and violence exceed the representational powers of poetry? What happens when form exceeds itself? How does the prose poem stage the failure of containment? How can we read prose poems through Georges Bataille’s concept of “nonproductive expenditure?” I intend to approach these questions through poems by Raúl Zurita, Alejandra Pizarnik, and Rauan Klassnik, as well as through discussion of my own work.  

Dream Machines: At the beginning of her career, Swedish surrealist poet Aase Berg wrote prose poems exclusively. She writes, “The prose poem doesn’t need a meaning, a message; it speaks a dream language, a language that wants to slip through language and use it, that wants to make the words into body in a total concretion.” Similarly, earlier works of prose poetry is what gave me permission to focus on the poem as a site or mass—a “total concretion”. Whether I’m focusing on a queer body and its orifices or a tree and its oozing sap, I too see the prose poem as landscape. I’m specifically interested in something Berg calls “ur-landscape,” a landscape owned by no one; usurped by no humanism. From an ecological point of view, I’m less concerned with assigning a narrative to the non-human and more interested in the contradiction of attempting to inhabit the being of the non-human in a way that doesn’t feel anthropocentric. This is where a surreal, Rimbaudian language of the unconscious might prove to be useful. 

Transformation: Shivani Mehta writes, “Centuries ago men grew sons and waited while the women sailed in search of nameless catastrophe.” Shaped as prose but lining the tongue as lyric, prose poetry crosses borders. On a surface level, prose poems explore and break boundaries between the two genres. More importantly for this presentation, prose poetry often seeks to rewrite traditional narratives, acting as alternate historical documents. Looking at work from Ely Shipley, Shivani Mehta, and Alice Notley, I argue that prose poetry provides a space for marginalized voices to reclaim and reinvent the histories that systematically excluded them. Alongside my analysis of these authors’ collections, I will provide context from my own prose poetry, showing how my work attempts to resist the dominant, cisheteropatriarchal narrative that plagues female bodies. 

April 8, 5:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(6:00 pm EDT, 4:00 pm MDT, 3:00 pm PDT)



A performance and conversation at the intersection of poetry and musical improvisation.  Musician/composer Holland Hopson and Poet Hank Lazer have been performing and recording their collaborations for a few years.  The NOPF session arises from their current recording sessions of pages/poems from Lazer’s forthcoming book field recordings  of mind   in morning  (BlazeVOX, 2021)– with Hopson playing banjo and fretless banjo.  Included in the performance will be a page or two from Lazer’s shape-writing book Slowly Becoming Awake.  Via screen share, we will share images of the work being performed.  Time will be included for Q&A. 

April 7, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



Since the very first NOPF, Dillard University's English Club has been presenting original poetry and spoken word by Dillard University students. Join them as they wow us yet again.

April 6, 6:30 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:30 pm EDT, 5:30 pm MDT, 4:30 pm PDT)



Tilted House is a budding New Orleans book press that strives to cultivate a creative and communal unit from and for the city. While the door is wide open for New Orleans’ minds, it remains open for the rest of the world's. We publish fresh and pickled writers alike, bridging the void between professors and street poets, MFAers and outliers, locals and the world. This reading focuses on a few of our local contributors, Nikki Mayeux, Rodrigo Toscano, A Scribe Called Quess?, and Kelsey Wartelle. Hosted by Tilted House's editor, Cameron Lovejoy.

April 5, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



The first two decades of the twenty-first century have shown as wide a variety of approaches in manuscript creation as they’ve shown methods of genre exploration, mixtures of inherited literary traditions, and combinations of subject matter. In the richness of those wide-ranging answers to the question of how to order a manuscript well, this panel will focus on practical questions writers can ask of their own work before submitting their manuscripts as well as the manners in which writers across genres have constructed manuscripts in recent years. Participants will discuss contemporary trends such as “project” books versus collections of individual pieces, the prompts they’ve given themselves and their authors to help develop their revisions, and their experiences as editors of books, chapbooks, anthologies, and more in ordering manuscripts.


April 4, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



Megan Burns and NOPF volunteers again host NOPF's famous open mic, this time on Zoom, from Noon to 4 PM (CDT) on Saturday April 3. Here's how it went:


April 3, 12:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(1:00 pm EDT, 11:00 am MDT, 10:00 am PDT)



In The New Poetics of Climate Change, Matthew Griffiths asks, “Must poetry of climate change belong in the tradition of the pastoral or the elegy? […] What alternative models or approaches might there be?” This panel will illuminate some of those alternative models and approaches. Oliver Baez Bendorf will share work that uses formal strategies, such as ekphrasis, to queer climate change. Nodding to strategies of elimination bound up with responses to climate change, Kristi Maxwell uses the lipogram, writing that excludes one or more letters, to explore what happens when what is endangered is instead absent—gone. Annie Finch will share work that weaves metrical patterns into a form of echolocation, a Morse Code of heartbeat and breathing that stretches beyond body and page, spiraling out in urgent kinship towards the endangered rhythms of the world. Kristen Miller, translator of Pekuakamishkueu poet Marie-Andrée Gill’s SPAWN, will read translations that engage ecological decline in context of imperialism and the encroachment of development, logging, overfishing, and pollution into the natural landscape of the Mashteuiatsh reserve. Bronwen Tate will share work centered on metonymy and contiguity, formal strategies Tate began thinking about in relation to climate change after a move from San Francisco to rural Vermont. She will be reading poems that ask how we might open our gaze to trace connections between what we come into immediate contact with—like floods, foods, or fuel—and the origins and destinations of these things within a larger network.

April 2, 12:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(1:00 pm EDT, 11:00 am MDT, 10:00 am PDT)



On April 1, NOPF21 kicks off with readings from a new anthology from UNO Press, I Am New OrleansThe event will be streamed live (with some virtual participants) from one of NOPF's favorite venues from the "old days," Café Istanbul, in the heart of downtown New Orleans. The reading will feature editor Kalamu Ya Salaam along with a gathering of poets from the anthology, what he calls "...a gathering of saints. Contemporary writers with an ear to the ground, digging on the sense and sound of what all is going down." Featuring appearances and readings by Kalamu Ya Salaam, Michael "Quess" Moore, Chuck Perkins, Skye Jackson and many more.



April 1, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)