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Austin International Poetry Festival

Austin Events and Festivals

Austin International Poetry Festival
April 15-18, 2010
Multiple Austin Venues
Admission - Free

AIPF began in 1994 as the coordinated brainchild of four exremely talented local Austin poets - Herman Nelson, Thom Woodruff (aka Thom Moon 10, aka Thom the World Poet), Sue Littleton, and John Berry.

It has since grown into the largest non-juried poetry festival in the United States. What that means is that in addition to a handful of notable national and international poets that the festival features each year, any poet from anywhere can also secure a reading slot by following the registration process.

Or, as Walt Whitman would say:
Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse.

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The readings take place over four days each year in April (National Poetry Month) across numerous venues, including coffee shops, bookstores, and college campuses.

In conjunction with the readings, AIPF also publishes a select anthology (di-verse-city) each year from among those submitted by registered festival poets. Additionally, awards are also given for the top 3 poems from each year's anthology along with a couple of runner-up honorable mentions.

[note: check the AIPF website for registration and anthology submission deadlines - they differ.]

di-verse-city 2004 AIPF Honorable Mention

I used to participate regularly in the Austin International Poetry Festival (before all my creative energies were diverted to building websites) so the festivalholds a special place in this semi-retired poet's heart.

In fact, back in 2004, one of my poems was awarded an honorable mention runner up status (equivalent, as I recall, to 4th or 5th place).

I'm reprinting it here with permission of the author (me).

[There are definite advantages to having your own website.]


For every dream of degradation,
for every night spent wandering
the secret attics and rotting crawl spaces
of vast Victorian churches,
like a wing-bent sparrow surrounded
by theological obliteration,
familiar, yet unable to fly that maze,
for every midnight memory
accreting the black, granite cancer
centered at your center,
for every message of inadequacy
scrawled across your vandalized dreams,
there are and will be others.
These wounds that do no heal
are only part of who you are.

So dream those dreams of hidden plenty
where crowds of you pour through the festive streets
to follow zigzagged guides a-spin
in random, outlawed, sacred paths.
Slide naked through endless water parks,
laughing, splashing, tangled legs outstretched
and lips that taste of willing strangers.
Drink the elixirs offered, then dance in blur,
past wending drifts of incense smoke,
down quiet cobbled alleyways,
through unassuming back door shadows,
until you find yourself alone inside
a darkened stairwell going down.
Spiral bravely on, corkscrew within,
the doors you'll find below are all unlocked.

- Brad Castro, Austin Texas

Austin Texas Monthly Calendar of Events

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