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Blackbird Poetry Festival

For the Blackbird Poetry Festival, we partner with Howard Community College (HCC) to bring poetry to the students and the residents of Howard County. “Blackbird” refers to Wallace Steven’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.” This program began in 2009 and has brought many notable and exciting poets, including Taylor Mali & Chris August, Billy Collins, and Terence Hayes & Tara Betts.  Each year, the festival features poetry workshops, a free event open to the public called Sunbird, and an evening ticketed event called Nightbird.

Poetries of Belonging
HoCoPoLitSo’s Fifteenth Annual Blackbird Poetry Festival

Thursday, April 27th, 2023

Noah Arhm Choi headlines the Blackbird Poetry Festival to be held on April 27, 2023, at Howard Community College (HCC). The festival is a day devoted to verse, with a student workshop, readings, and HCC Poetry Ambassadors. The afternoon Sunbird Reading features Choi, Regie Cabico, local authors, and Howard Community College faculty and students. This free daytime event starts at 2:30 p.m. in the Rouse Community Foundation Building room 400 (RCF 400). The Nightbird program, in the Horowitz Center’s Monteabaro Hall, begins at 7:30 p.m. The evening features an introduction by Regie Cabico, a reading by Noah Arhm Choi, a reception and book signing. Nightbird tickets, $20 (HCC students free), can be purchased online here: https://ci.ovationtix.com/32275/production/1156148. If you need help with your order, the Horowitz Center Box Office (443.518.1500) has limited phone hours to answer your questions. Additional information can be found at https://hocopolitso.org/blackbird-poetry-festival/.

Noah Arhm Choi is the author of Cut to Bloom (Write Bloody Publishing) the winner of the 2019 Write Bloody Prize. They received a MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and their work appears in Barrow Street, Blackbird, The Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, Split this Rock and others. Noah was shortlisted for the Poetry International Prize and received the 2021 Ellen Conroy Kennedy Poetry Prize, alongside fellowships from Kundiman, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing.  They work as the Director of the Progressive Teaching Institute and Associate Director of DEI at a school in New York City. Jeanann Verlee, the author of Prey, noted “Cut to Bloom is neither delicate nor tidy. This immense work both elucidates and complicates ethnic, generational, and gender violence, examining women who fight for their humanity against those who seek to silence―indeed, erase―them.”

Regie Cabico is a spoken word pioneer having won The Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam and later taking top prizes in three National Poetry Slams. Television credits include 2 seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, NPR’s Snap Judgement and MTV’s Free Your Mind.  He is the lead teaching artist for Poetry Out Loud and has recorded several videos for the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation. 

BBPF Combo image 2023
Noah Arhm Choi (photo by Savannah Lauren) and Regie Cabico 
(photo by Brando Gould)

Festival Events 

Poetry Police 10am-11:30am

To celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 27th, Poetry Police will roam the halls and outdoor spaces distributing rewards and (poetry) citations to encourage reading and sharing of poetry.

Morning Songs Workshop 11:00am-12:15p

Sunbird Reading 2:30 p.m. -4 :00 p.m.

Nightbird Reading 7:30 p.m.

  1. April 2009 — Patricia Van Amburg, Steve Mandes
  2. April 2010 — A Tribute to Lucille Clifton with Kendra Kopelke
  3. April 28, 2011 — Lyubomir Nikolov, Sue Ellen Thompson, Gayle Danley and Martín
  4. April 26, 2012 — Michael Cirelli, Kim Addonizio, and Mother Ruckus
  5. April 23, 2013 — Rives, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Kendra Kopelke and Rocket Sled
  6. April 24, 2014 — Billy Collins
  7. April 23, 2015 — Taylor Mali, Chris August, and Steve Mandes
  8. April 28, 2016 — Marie Howe
  9. April 27, 2017 — Tyehimba Jess
  10. April 26, 2018 — Marylin Chin
  11. Pandemic Hiatus
  12. April 25, 2019 — Beth Ann Fennelly
  13. April 29, 2021 — Ilya Kaminksi
  14. April 28, 2022 — Molly McCully Brown
  15. April 27, 2023 — Noah Arhm Choi

1 Comment

  1. Stephen Meskin says:

    I heard that there will be public poetry reading Thursday morning. Where&When?

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