We are reaching the end of the first full day of online registration for the Poetry by the Sea conference, which will be held next May 26th-29th, at the Mercy Center in Madison, Connecticut, and I’m happy to report that ten people have successfully registered online, four have applied for scholarships, and one generous person has used the online form to sponsor us. More importantly, public response to the conference idea, location and website have all been tremendously positive. In this blog post I want to highlight four things that are important and special about this new event.
1. The Location and Facilities Are Truly Superb!
I’ve tried to give people an idea of the beauty of the place with the photos I have posted on Facebook but really, I can’t do it justice. The view from almost every window is exquisite: sea, beach, garden vistas. There couldn’t be a more perfect place to be inspired to write poetry. Furthermore, the spaces for meetings and panel events are lovingly maintained. Forget drafty or sweltering classrooms forever! Instead, maybe your workshop will meet in the main living room area of the Seascape House, the Solarium, or the Library, all with comfy chairs and the same great views.
2. Mercy Center Treats You Like Family
The Center is thrilled that our conference has chosen their facility and can’t do enough to show their appreciation. Want Gluten-free or Vegetarian meal options? Simply let them know. Need a room set up with projection or a special sound system? Ditto. Want the book store to stock books by faculty AND attendees, and to open late in the evenings? Just sort out a schedule ahead of time. Worried you might need extra evening parking, even though the lot they have is large enough? The school next door can act as overflow. They want us to be happy there. Oh, and complimentary tea, coffee, water and cookies are available in all meeting rooms, all day, no extra charge…
3. It’s Truly a Global and Diverse Conference
There’s a UN Panel–no, I don’t mean me or Dick Davis representing the UK, Micheal O’ Siadhail representing Ireland, and someone from Canada. I mean a panel of people representing the UN talking about literary arts on an international scale. There’s also a Latino/Latina poetry panel chaired by Edrik Lopez, a Margaret Walker centenary chaired by Cherise Pollard, and a panel on Italian Translation chaired by Moira Egan and Damiano Abeni. But listen, there are still some spots for panels available, so if you have an idea, whether it be for something global and diverse or for something more conventional, please don’t hesitate to pitch it to Director & Founder Kim Bridgford, which brings me to…
4. Poetry by the Sea aims for Inclusiveness & Courtesy
There need be no mystery or cliquishness in how a conference is run. Poetry by the Sea is YOUR conference, and we want you to feel you are a part of everything that happens. The Board of Directors are there to work tirelessly in your interest. The conference hopes to break even, but not at anyone’s expense. You know Kim. You all know me. I’m your Facebook friend, and you probably even have my cell phone number. Text me or call me with problems or questions. It is indeed time for something new.