Kalamazoo, Mich. Kalamazoo Poetry Festival announces its second two-day festival will take place April 15-16, 2016, featuring nationally acclaimed poets Natalie Diaz and Jamaal May. The weekend will offer readings, craft talks, and workshops led by some of the region’s most celebrated writers.

“We are fortunate to find among us a thriving community of writers who contribute to our area’s rich cultural fabric,” said Kalamazoo Poetry Festival board chair Stacy Nowicki. “The festival celebrates this talent and the creative energy that inspires us to read, perform, and write poetry.“

The April event coincides with National Poetry Month. The 2016 festival offers more workshops and multiple opportunities to attend them in response to surveys from attendees at the inaugural Kalamazoo Poetry Festival in 2014.

Leading the workshops are Jennifer Clark, Margaret DeRitter, Jane Huffman, Elizabeth Kerlikowske, Gail Martin, Kathleen McGookey, Fable The Poet (Marcel Price), Preacher (Cornelius Shaw), and McKenzie Lynn Tozan. A craft talk with Natalie Diaz and Jamaal May will be moderated by Diane Seuss, author of the 2015 poetry collection “Four-Legged Girl.”

Friday night will feature a reading by the festival workshop leaders, followed by an open mic reading, and Saturday evening the festival will culminate with readings by Natalie Diaz and Jamaal May, all free and open to the public.

“It has been exciting to see how the community has responded to our first two events—our first festival in 2014 and the Celebration of Community Poets in 2015,” said Nowicki. “We wanted to provide a showcase for the many talented local poets that we knew were working and writing in this area. The quality of the work presented and the acceptance by the community has been everything we hoped for.”

About the Kalamazoo Poetry Festival

The Kalamazoo Poetry Festival Steering Committee was formed in November 2012 to initiate a new way to celebrate the area’s many poets. In 2014 it became a nonprofit arts organization. The Festival is possible thanks to the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, its primary funder. Additional support comes from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural  Affairs, many individuals and other corporate and organizational supporters