Carrboro’s 2017 Poetry Festival to Expand

Carrboro 2017 Poetry Festival to Expand


The Town of Carrboro, North Carolina will be bursting with poetry from Wednesday October 18th to the 21st, 2017.

The West End Poetry Festival, now in its 12th year, is expanding to 4 days. Wednesday will be an open poet’s reception hosted by the Speakeasy at Tyler’s, leading into Thursday’s new Curated Open Mic at 2nd Wind, which will feature a live band, mahaloJazz,  playing alongside readers.  The next two days follow in previous years’ traditions, with a featured poets reading at Flyleaf Books on Friday and a full day of workshops, panels and readings on Saturday at the Carrboro Century Center.

All parts of the festival are free and open to the public.

Over 50 poets will participate, organized around this year’s theme of “resistance.” The West End Poetry Festival is honored to include nationally significant writers such as:

Jaki Shelton Green, first Piedmont Laureate and member of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

Tyree Daye, winner of the 2017 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize for River Hymns.

Paul Richmond, publisher and Beat Poet Laureate for the state of Massachusetts,

And many more published and unpublished poets. 

Wednesday night’s Poet Reception and reading will also feature a showing of Truth Underground, a highly-respected local film that examines the lives of three spoken word poets, produced by Warner and Company. Poets and filmmakers will be present for discussion.

On Thursday night, over 30 invited poets will perform, and mahaloJazz will offer counterpoint during the showcase section. Late night will include an open mic circle of poets, one poem at a time.

Friday night at Flyleaf Books, which is often standing-room only, will begin with a wine and cheese reception. Featured poets include Fred Joiner, Mariam Zafar, Jennifer Whitaker, and Bradley R. Strahan.

Saturday is a day-long event, beginning with a reading by Jaki Shelton Green at noon and ending with a reading by Tyree Daye that begins around 7 p.m. In between are workshops and panels, including a panel on the Poetry of Resistance and readings by young immigrants. The Poetry of Resistance panel will be filled by Cantrice Janelle Penn, Tema Okun, Mike James, Marquis Love, and Evelyn Dove-Coleman.

Pizza from Amante will be delivered along with wine and beer in the afternoon. Last event of the day: readings by Carrboro Poet Laureate Gary Phillips and rising star Tyree Daye, with time for questions and conversation.

For further information, please email or contact Gary Phillips at