Participating artists include Hannah L. Drake, John Beechem, William Sovern, Anya Lee, Arte Chambers, Sonja de Vries, Aletha Fields, Makalani Bandele, Bryon LaNeal Armstrong and Ian Uriel Girdley.
Two years ago, founder Selena McCracken held the first festival at the Tim Faulkner Gallery. At the time, she was working on her undergraduate degree from Indiana University Southeast and created the event as an English Club project. From living and working close to Louisville, she knew there was a strong poetry scene in the city.
“I had the urge to merge the poetry scenes of New Albany and Louisville,” McCracken told Insider.
Due to issues with the venue, last year’s festival was cancelled, and in that time, McCracken moved to Bloomington for graduate school at IU. She said she didn’t plan on having another festival once she moved.
However, this past year, McCracken was contacted about the event and decided to plan it from Bloomington. She said the distance has created more difficulty than the inaugural year — putting up flyers and getting the word out has been tricky.
Still, McCracken is enthusiastic about Thursday’s fest and said she anticipates more attendance than the first one. She said the event has built a community of poets in the area who want to see it continue.
This year, McCracken said she wanted the event to be held at the library to celebrate and support the partnerships, events and community with the downtown branch. As an aspiring librarian herself, McCracken said the new venue was the right fit.
The Kentuckiana Poetry Festival will be held from 5:45 to 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 2, in the Centennial Room of the library’s Main Branch, 301 York St. Admission is free.