Special Events

Open Mouth has collaborated with many different organizations over the years to create special events that are scheduled alongside our regular programming. If you are interested in collaborating on an event, please email us at [email protected]. We’ll list upcoming events here whenever we have something scheduled.

April 022022
SoNA Beyond – Transcending WordsThe Symphony of Northwest Arkansas and the Fayetteville Public Library are teaming up with the Open Mouth Reading Series to celebrate Poetry Month. The SoNA Singers will perform nine poems, and three poets; Noelia Cerna, Gerry Sloan, and Robin Bruce–commissioned by Open Mouth–will premiere new work. More information here: https://www.faylib.org/event/6357415
6:30pm – 7:30pmFayetteville Public Library

For more about past special events, read below:

The Harvest Workshop and Reading was a program that took place September 6-7, 2019 in collaboration with Apple Seeds, Inc., a teaching farm based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The workshop was led by poets Ross Gay and Gwendolyn Ann Hill and served students from a local high school as well as a group of community members, who were led in garden-based volunteer activities followed by a generative poetry writing session.

The program also included a public reading, which served as a book launch for Geffrey Davis’s second book, Night Angler. Readers were Geffrey Davis, Ross Gay, Gwendolyn Ann Hill, and John Yau.

​This program was supported by The Arkansas Arts Council, as well as  the University of Arkansas Program in Creative Writing and Translation, and The School of Art at the University of Arkansas, along with private donors and Open Mouth’s supporters on Patreon. Nightbird Books, ArtVentures, Apple Seeds, Inc., ALLPS School of Innovation, and the Fayetteville Public Library provided collaborative support and space.

Writers for Migrant Justice was a program that took place September 4, 2019 in collaboration with Matthew Henriksen and TASC–The Station, as part of a national series of protest readings that happened on or around September 4 all over the nation, organized by poets Javier Zamora, Jan-Henry Gray, Anni Liu, and Christopher Soto.

This program invited those from and invested in migrant communities to speak out against unjust immigration policies, and served as a fundraiser for a nonprofit working on this issue. Readers included Geffrey Davis, Kendra Pascual, Noelia Cerna, Matthew Henriksen, Hiba Tahir, Julia Paganelli Marín, Kenny Arredondo, Clint Schnekloth plus an open mic.

The Frank Stanford Literary Festival in collaboration with Typo Magazine took place September 21-23, 2018 in various locations around Fayetteville, gathering poets from across the country to participate in readings, conversations, and festivities in honor of the poet Frank Stanford’s creative work and of the artistic community he championed.

The festival intersected with the reemergence of Stanford’s work in print, new possibilities for scholarship, and his enduring relevance as an innovative and influential artist, even as it recognized the complicated nature of Stanford’s legacy. It also celebrated the work of fellow Arkansas-born poet and Lost Roads co-founder, the late C.D. Wright, the continuing work of Lost Roads Publishers, and the array of poets influenced by Stanford and Wright who continue to work, as Stanford charged, to “reclaim the landscape of American poetry.”

The festival included tribute readings, readings by active poets, panels and conversations, film screenings, special guests, and a marathon reading of Stanford and Wright’s work.

The Conversation reading and workshop took place March 13–14, 2017, featuring a reading and workshop with Conversation literary fellows Nabila Lovelace, Aziza Barnes, Jeremy Michael Clark, and A. H. Jerriod Avant. The Conversation sought to investigate: what would a Black Mecca look like? Can it exist in the United States? After generations following the Great Migration, can a Black Mecca truly exist in the North? In the South? What does it mean to set up an autonomous space on the page as a Black writer? The Conversation investigated these questions through a dynamic evening of poetry readings and talks, as if from a front porch, for their ease and imagination shared between kin.

It was supported by the University of Arkansas’ Office of Diversity, Multicultural Center, Honors College, Creative Writing Program, and Graduate Students in English Congress, as well as The Nines and Nightbird Books.