Call for Submissions – The United States of Performance Poetry


The mighty Cristin O’Keefe Aptowitz and Indiefeed have a rather cool project in the cooker. Here’s her note from the subs page:

Call for Submissions – The United States of Performance Poetry

In the last several decades, oral poetry / performed poetry has exploded in the American culture. Poets of all ages, races, orientations and backgrounds are now taking to the stage, sharing their own stories in their own voices with an attentive audience of their own communities.

In my years touring the country, I’ve grown to love the diversity of poetry I have seen, the uniqueness that each community brings to how poetry is presented and how poetry is received.

Poetry (and poetry audiences) in Boston sound so wonderfully different from those I found in Austin, which were different from those I found in Chicago or New York City or Seattle, which were in turn were different from those I saw in Kalamazoo or Fargo or Albany.

Regionalism in poetry (and its audiences) became a passion of mine, and when I was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, it was clear to me that the project I wanted to fund was a celebration of this regionalism via a ongoing podcast series on the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Podcast. (Listen to me speaking about this project on Art Works, the NEA podcast, by clicking here).

The titles of this series — “The United States of Performance Poetry” —  pays grateful tribute to the 90s PBS television series “The United States of Poetry,” produced by Josh Blum and Bob Holman, which served as a huge inspiration for this project and its host. USoP is currently available on DVD, and is highly recommended!


The mission of this series is to tell the story of today’s America through the voices of its poets.

We are looking for good quality audio recordings of poetry about the part of America you call home. 

(guidelines beneath the cut)

All poems submitted must be performed by its author, and an ideal recording would also be performed in front of your local audience. We want to celebrate the communities that have risen up to support regional poetry as much as we want to celebrate the poets, and so any regional hoots, hollers, shout-outs or audience reactions in your recordings are not only allowed, but encouraged.

Poems can be funny or serious, critical or celebratory, long or short. As long it is fantastic representaton of what poetry in your slice of America sounds like, we are game!

Please note this project is also aligned with the Performance Poetry Preservation Project (P4), and so special outreach has been made to the Poetry Slam community, but we are open to all types of poetry and all types of poets. If you haven’t heard a poem on this series that sounds like the poetry you do, that should serve is all the more reason for why you should submit!

This project wants to cast a wide net: we want poems about small towns just as much as we want poems about big cities! We are open to multiple poems from poets speaking about the same city / region. However, please note that the goal of the project is to broadcast poetry from all fifty states. So if you don’t see your state represented, again please consider submitting!

Please submit only one poem at a time, in mp3, mp4 or m4a format.  IndieFeed only accepts recordings that are of broadcast quality; meaning that you must be able to hear the poets voice clearly.  Live recordings with audience sounds are great, but they should not overwhelm or drown out the poets voice.  Consult IndieFeed’s full Submission Guidelines for more information.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write me directly at (“United States of Performance Poetry” as the subject), and please feel free to spread the word.

I am so honored and excited to be the host and producer of this NEA-funded project which hopes to be an enduring showcasing for the diversity and beauty of American poetry.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to listening!


Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz


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