The 15th Annual
Kent County Poetry Festival
April 5-7, 2024

Featured Poet
Naomi Shihab Nye, “the Wandering Poet” and Poetry Foundation’s
“Young People’s Poet” 2019-2021

Friday, April 5
Two Student programs at KCHS and WAC

Saturday, April 6
10 am – 12 Young People’s Poetry with KIDSPOT at KCA
7 pm Main Event, Readings by Naomi Shihab Nye and interview with NPR’s Maureen Corrigan



Sunday, April 7
OPEN MIC poetry at Ortiz Studios, 2-4 pm

Featured poet Naomi Shihab Nye
2024 Poetry Festival Headliner Naomi Shihab Nye
2024 Poetry Fest poster
Click to enlarge

We welcome back Literary Critic Maureen Corrigan who will interview Patricia Spears Jones for the main event.

HOST:  James Allen Hall (he/they) is the author of two books of poetry: Romantic Comedy (Four Way Books, 2023), winner of the Levis Prize selected by Diane Seuss, and Now You’re the Enemy (U of Arkansas Press, 2008), which won awards from the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the Texas Institute of Letters. They are also the author of a book of personal lyric essays, I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well (Cleveland State University Press, 2017). They have received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. 

Jeff Coomer is a Washington College graduate who retired to Chestertown after a career as the senior technology executive for a Fortune 500 company.  He is currently Vice Chair of the Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning, and has taught courses in that program on poetry, Buddhism, Stoicism, and (very soon) tree identification.  Several poems from his two poetry collections, A Potentially Quite Remarkable Thursday and A Buzzard in the Proper State of Deadness, were featured on a popular National Public Radio program.

Erin Murphy is the author or editor of thirteen books, most recently Human Resources (forthcoming from Salmon Poetry); Taxonomies (2022); and the chapbook Fields of Ache: Centos (2022), available for free PDF download from Ghost City Press. She is Professor of English and creative writing at Penn State Altoona and serves as Poetry Editor of The Summerset Review. In April 2022 she was named Poet Laureate of Blair County, Pennsylvania, where she is an inductee in the Blair County Arts Hall of Fame. Website: 

Lindsay Lusby’s debut poetry collection Catechesis: a postpastoral (2019) won the 2018 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize from The University of Utah Press. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Blackbird Whitetail Redhand (Porkbelly Press, 2018) and Imago (dancing girl press, 2014), and the winner of the 2015 Fairy Tale Review Poetry Contest. Her poems have appeared most recently in Copper Nickel, Puerto del Sol, New South, Gulf Coast, and The Cincinnati Review. She is a Senior Poetry Reader for Cherry Tree and she edits poems at Tell Tell Poetry. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @lindsaylusby.

Amanda Newell is the author of I Will Pass Even to Acheron, one of the winners of Rattle’s 2021 chapbook prize. Her first full-length collection, Postmortem Say, is forthcoming from Červená Barva Press in 2023. Her poetry has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Cimarron Review, Gargoyle, SWWIM, Scoundrel Time, and elsewhere. A graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program, she has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and The Frost Place and a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is Associate Editor for Special Features and Social Media for Plume.