The Sarah Lawrence College Poetry Festival April, 20-22 2012

The SLC Poetry Festival is the largest free poetry festival in New York State. Organized entirely by students, the festival has become a vital event for the New York literary community, drawing attendees from the College, New York City, and surrounding area.

Each featured guest reads for 25 minutes with two student openers (one undergraduate and one graduate), and may be paired with another feature poet. This year we hosted a book fair featuring a number of small presses from around the area, panel discussions, as well as a number of receptions and other social events.


Caroline BergvallMonica de la TorreCraig DworkinFarrah FieldNikky FinneyVievee FrancisSuzanne GardinierRachel Eliza GriffithsLi-Young LeeBen LernerBernadette MayerRachel McKibbensKevin PilkingtonMathias SvalinaJohn Whitworth and Joshua Marie Wilkinson

((to learn more about the Featured Poets click here))

All photos © Margarida Malarkey, 2012

Day 1: Friday April, 20th

The events of the evening included the Public School Initiative Poetry Contest Winners, high school students whose poetry was selected to be read during the festival. Readings by undergraduate Rebecca Shepard, graduate Joshua Lazarus and Suzanne Gardinier. Suzanne read a tribute to Adrienne Rich. Readings by undergraduate Hannah Sabet, graduate Bettina Harriman, Monica de la Torre and Bernadette Mayer.

PSI High School Initiative Contest Reading:


Reading: Rebecca Shepherd, Joshua Lazarus and Suzanne Gardinier


Reading: Hannah Sabet, Bettina Harriman, Monica de la Torre and Bernadette Mayer


videos of Bernadette Mayer’s reading

Day 2: Saturday April, 21st

The events of the Saturday afternoon and evening included the book fair, coordinated by Michelle Campagna, a first-year graduate student and volunteer of the festival. Here’s a list of some of the presses//shops in attendance: Ugly Duckling Press, Toadlily Press, Barrow Street, Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop, Slapering Hol, Octopus Books, Four Way Books, Roof Books, Deadly Chaps Press, Black Lawrence Press and Kin. Afternoon readings began with undergraduate Vani Ramaraj, graduate Micaela Mascialino and features Farrah Field and Kevin Pilkington. A panel moderated by Jamie Agnello  followed. The panel included: Caroline Bergvall, John Whitworth, Craig Dworkin, and Joshua Marie Wilkinson. Caroline & Craig didn’t really see eye-to-eye. The last reading of the afternoon began with openers Annie Robertson (undergraduate) and Sophia Starmack (graduate), Vievee Francis and Joshua Marie Wilkinson. The evening began with the Rapid Fire, a series of five poets who each read one poem in quick succession, followed with readings by Pearl Quick (undergraduate), Arhm Choi (graduate), and Rachel McKibbens. The last readings of the night were Jordan Sjol (undergraduate), Nikay Paredes (graduate) and features, Caroline Bergvall and John Whitworth.

Book Fair:


Reading: Vani Ramaraj, Micaela Mascialino, Farrah Field and Kevin Pilkington.


videos of Farrah Field’s reading

video of Kevin Pilkington’s reading

Panel: Caroline Bergvall, John Whitworth, Craig Dworkin, and Joshua Marie Wilkinson. Moderator: Jamie Agnello 


Reading: Annie Robertson, Sophia Starmack, Vievee Francis and Joshua Marie Wilkinson.


audio of Vievee Francis and Joshua Marie Wilkinson

Reading: SLC Spoken Word Collective, Pearl Quick, Arhm Choi and Rachel McKibbens.


video of Pearl Quick

video of Rachel McKibbens

Reading: Jordan Sjol, Nikay Parede, Caroline Bergvall and John Whitworth


video of John Whitworth reading a couple poems: 1, 2

videos of Caroline Bergvall’s readings

Day 3: Sunday April, 22nd

The afternoon began with a Conversation with Bernadette Mayer in Slonim House, in which festival guests and students had the opportunity to get to question Bernadette Mayer and listen to her read a few more poems. After “Brunch w/ B.” guests remained in Slonim where undergraduate Raven Matthews and graduate student G Taylor Davis read with features Ben Lerner and Mathias Svalina.

“Brunch with Bernadette”



Reading: Raven Matthews, G Taylor Davis, Ben Lerner and Mathias Svalina


videos of Ben Lerner’s reading

Reading: Joseph Quintela, Sarah Levine and Craig Dworkin


Videos of Craig Dworkin’s reading

Audio of Craig Dworkin and Sarah Levine’s reading


Reading: Maria Snellings, Mya Green and Nikky Finney 


video of Mya Green’s reading

video of Nikky Finney’s reading

Reading: Rachel Wilson, Janelle Vega, Rachel Eliza Griffiths and Li-Young Lee 


video of Janelle Vega’s reading

videos of Rachel Eliza Griffiths’ reading

videos of Li-Young Lee’s reading

Following these readings, the party returned to Slonim House where LUMINA celebrated the release of VOL XI. Featuring readings by: JESSICA CUELLO, MARIELLE PRINCE, RICK MOODY, LIZ TASHIRO, KENNETH CALHOUN, ANNE-E. WOOD, CHLOE CALDWELL, MICHAEL KLEIN and work by yours truly.

for information on next year’s festival click the link below

More Photos:

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  1. Abe Mokunui said:

    Interested in audio or video of Joshua Lazarus presenting or his works. Appreciate a response.

  2. there is currently no video from the poetry festival of Joshua’s reading. I do have audio (I just need to find it and I need to upgrade my soundcloud subscription…) He’s reading again at this year’s festival.

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