Free Verse 2018 

When: Oct. 1-31
Price: Prices vary
freeversefestival.com
click to enlarge marcus_amaker.jpg

Provided

Prices vary

Now in its second year, Free Verse festival proudly wears its first-poetry-festival-in-Charleston designation on its sleeve. Created by another city first — Charleston’s own poet laureate, Marcus Amaker, Free Verse boasts a month of public art, words on windows, bike tags (poems on bikes, duh), and school workshops. Most of the events, though, from ‘Stanzas and synthesizers’ to ‘Physical Poetry: SC’s evening of dance,’ take place during one week, from Oct. 17-24.

The events are designed not only with poetry in mind, but with accessiblity at the forefront; the most expensive event is $10, one will set you back $8, and the rest are entirely free. Enjoy performances from Amaker (who moonlights as an electronic musician), student poets, the creator of the O’Miami Poetry Festival, P. Scott Cunningham, local and regional dancers, and more.

When City Paper interviewed Amaker about the inaugural fest last year, he told us what he really wanted to see from the festival: “I want poetry in people’s faces. A festival needs to go beyond this idea of going to stuff at night. I wanted there to be an interactive element.” And with poetry slated to adorn storefront windows, bike tags, and street flyers, we think Amaker’s grand plan may just be working.

— Connelly Hardaway

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