CUNY Chapbook Festival Adds New Events, Draws Book Lovers


The Center for Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY held its chapbook festival this last week, and Coldfront popped in on Thursday’s events to take some snaps and get a general feel. Two nights before, the festival teamed up with sponsors Center for the Book Arts and The Poetry Project for panels and workshops and the night before, fellows from The Poetry Project, Cave Canem and Poet’s House read along with The Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship recipients and guests.

Sampson Starkweather, one of the event organizers in his fourth year with the festival, said he was pleased that the festival connected with the sponsors for some of the extended events.

“The new changes have worked well — all the sponsors bring something new to the table and it’s fun working with them to see what kind of programming they can offer and what we can do together.”

Starkweather said he was especially excited that the festival had spread to other venues, mentioning specifically the ongoing exhibit at Poet’s House, The Mimeo Revolution: From New American Poetry to New Sentence, which runs until Saturday, April 12.

“It’s good because that’s in a different part of the city, and we feel great about reaching another audience and creating interest,” he said.

Starkweather organized the event along with co-organizers Kendra Sullivan, Aoibheann Sweeney, and Shea’la Finch.

The festival also included much more –Public Access Poetry screenings, as well as more panels and exhibitions. The book fair was well attended and all events will be archived on the Chapbook Festival site. Other sponsors of the event included Academy of American Poets, Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, CUNY MFA Affiliation Group, CUNY Office of Academic Affairs, and Poets & Writers.