The Hocking Hills Festival of Poetry

Grassroots Funding

When I was inspired in 2001 to sponsor a poetry festival in Hocking County, many people (and sometimes myself) thought this was a crazy idea that was doomed to failure.

Last April (National Poetry Month) the festivalís poetry readings drew capacity crowds at the Izaak Walton League Lodge. This event has grown to be a popular and much anticipated celebration of the arts.

Some people complain that small towns are nice places in which to live, but lack sufficient cultural opportunities. This poetry festival proves that extremely talented poets and musicians not only will come here, but will actively engage with community members between scheduled events. The poets have also reached out to the population of the Southeast Correctional Institution in Lancaster, conducting readings and workshops for the inmates.

For the past few years we have sought funding in a new way. Rather than counting on a few large grant contributions, it has been more practical to rely on those in the community who have attended the festival events and who wish to have such cultural programs available. By shifting to a grassroots method of financing the festival, community members can be directly involved in seeing that we can continue bringing talented artists to our hills.

What I am encouraging is for individuals to make a tax deductible contribution of $25 annually. For less than the cost of two people attending a movie and buying popcorn, we can enjoy two nights of great music and poetry. If a small core of people can make this commitment and each of them encourage two or three others to do the same, enough funding can be generated to insure that the poetry festival continues.

I am hoping that you too think this new outreach makes sense, and that you will help keep music and poetry working their magic in Hocking County.


26488 Starr Rt.
Logan, OH 43138