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Join us at Poetry Palooza!

April 6-8, 2023  |  Des Moines, IA

What is Poetry Palooza?

Inspired by an educational and entertainment event of nearly 20 years ago, this creative experience – Poetry Palooza! – has been a long time in the making.  Now, the time is right.

Poetry& is working in partnership with Humanities Iowa, Mainframe Studios, Franklin Jr. High Event Center, and the Iowa Poetry Association to make Poetry Palooza! a dynamic, interactive, and integrated performing arts experience.

This three-day festival will celebrate Midwestern Poets Laureate, cultivate students and emerging talent, and demonstrate the positive power of poetry.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Iowa Poetry Association Poetry Slam Finals

featuring Akwi Nji

Welcoming remarks by Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad

7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Franklin Jr. High Event Center Auditorium 

Attendance open to public

Competition open to winners from qualifiers

Friday, April 7, 2023

Finding the Words: An “Obscure Sorrows” Interactive Poetry Workshop

with Iowa Poet Laureat Deb Marquart

10:00 a.m. to Noon

Franklin Jr. High School Cafeteria

Invited urban and rural students

Interactive Poetry Events

with South Dakota Poet Laureate Christine Stewart-Nunez and Mainframe Artist Julia Franklin

4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Mainframe Studios

Open to public

Guest Poets Performance

with Midwest Poets Laureate Deb Marquart, Christine Stewart-Nunez, Matt Mason, and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg plus Akwi Nji and Caleb Rainey

7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Mainframe Studios Big Room

Open to public

Metro area in-school workshops

with Midwest Poets Laureate Christine Stewart-Nunez, Matt Mason, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Akwi Nji

Morning and afternoon

Des Moines Area Schools

Open to respective school's students

Jazz Poetry Cafe and Poetry Readings

as part of Mainframe Studios' First Friday Event

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Mainframe Studios

Open to public

Open Mic Night

Hosted by Kelsey Bigelow

9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Mainframe Studios

Open to public

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Poetry Workshops

Led by Guest Poets

8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Mainframe Studios

Open to public

Poetry Workshops

Led by Guest Poets

10:30 a.m. to Noon

Mainframe Studios Galleries, Big Room, Small Room

Open to public

Networking Coffee

10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Mainframe Studios

Open to public

Panel Lunch: Deepening the Poetry Community

Led by Deb Marquart with Matt Mason, Caleb Rainey, Ana McCracken (Ames Writer's Collective), and Dawn Terpstra (Iowa Poetry Association)

Noon to 1:00 p.m.

Mainframe Studios Big Room

Open to public

Poetry Palooza
Apr 06, 7:00 PM CDT – Apr 08, 1:30 PM CDT
Mainframe Studios,
900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines, IA 50309, USA
Palooza Guest Poets_FB Graphic.png

Meet the poets

Get to know our poets laureate and guest poets!

Getting Around

Save the addresses of our venues, find parking, and reserve a hotel room.

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