SESSION I: Billy Collins and Ricky deLaurentiis
This session set a great foundation of what to expect at the poetry festival. It was exciting to see the sheer number of people attending this festival with me; the sheer number of people who had a love for creative writing as much as me. It gave me a sense of unity. Ricky deLaurentiis’ poetry was very slam-esque, which was great for me, as I love slam poetry. He was unafraid to use vulgar words, which made his poetry all the more raw and honest.
Additionally, Billy Collins was everything I could have expected. He was funny, gave great advice, and read all of his poems flawlessly. His Landyard poem was wonderful and funny and touching, and I loved every second of it.
SESSION II: From Homer to Hip Hop
This was my least favorite session. However, I loved parts of the session. The backstories. The wonderfully weird rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. I also got to take a selfie with one of the poets, which was truly honoring!
SESSION III: Warrior Poets
This was amazing. I loved it so much. Although I have no family members who were/are enlisted in the army, this session made something deep within me resonate. Their honesty while sharing their struggles was truly a heartwarming and humbling experience. Their passionate speaking told us that we had a voice, and we should never lose it. Stay woke.’
SESSION IV: Open Reading
Actually terrifying. I have stage fright, so doing this took more courage than ever. However, once I was done, I was so happy that I had. Sharing and listening to other people’s poems was the highlight of the trip!