Bard and Broadside Poetry Festival comes to ACLD

Contact: Brad McClenny

Gainesville Fla. -- The Bard & Broadside North Central Poetry Festival invites the community to come together for four days of art and poetry events. The theme of the festival is, Unity in the Community through Text and Image. 

The festival runs April 13-16 at several locations around Gainesville. The Alachua County Library District, Headquarters Library will host two of the events, the North Central Florida Poet Laureate Commencement event on April 15, 3 p.m.-  5 p.m. and the Poetry Workshop with special guest poet John Murillo on April 16, 1 p.m.- 5 p.m.

Calendar of Events

-Thursday, April 13, 6 p.m.- 9 p.m., Open Mic at Harn Museum Nights. North Central Florida poets come out to share their spoken word at UF’s Harn Museum of Art, 3259 Hull Road, Gainesville. Co-Hosted by DOPEnmic, the Civic Media Center’s Thursday Night Poetry Jam, and UF’s Living Poets Society. Free and open to the public.

-Friday, April 14, 7 p.m.- 9 p.m., Poetry Workshop with local guest poet Alejandro Aguirre. Join Alejandro Aguirre in “The Poetics of Resistance in Gainesville and the States,” exploring the place of poetry in response to a history of segregation. Aguirre will lead workshop attendees in a collaborative poetry composition experience at the Matheson History Museum, 513 E. University Ave., Gainesville. Free and open to the public.

-Saturday, April 15, 3 p.m.- 5 p.m., North Central Florida Youth Poet Laureate Commencement. Come support our youth poets as the community inaugurates North Central Florida’s first Youth Poet Laureate, at the Alachua County Library District’s Headquarters Library, 401 E. University Ave., Gainesville. This event will include poetry readings by the Youth Poet Laureate finalists. Free and open to the public

-Saturday, April 15, 6 p.m., "Shakespeare In The Park," a theatrical performance of The Tempest by the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre, in partnership with the City of Gainesville. Performed at the Historic Thomas Center, 302 NE 6th Avenue, Gainesville. Free and open to the public.

-Sunday, April 16, 1 p.m.- 3 p.m., Poetry Workshop with special guest poet John Murillo. Join award-winning poet John Murillo for a free poetry workshop at the Alachua County Library District’s Headquarters Library, 401 E. University Ave., Gainesville. Participants should bring a few passages from their favorite writers. The theme: Gimme the Loot!: How to Steal Like a Poet. “Good poets borrow, great poets steal.” —T. S. Eliot. Followed by a book signing by Murillo from 4 p.m.- 5 p.m. Free and open to the public.

The North Central Florida Poetry Festival is organized by ARTSPEAKSgnv Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It was established in 2012 by the Alachua County Poet Laureate, E. Stanley Richardson. The organization's primary mission is to support literacy in youth and adults through the art of poetry, spoken word, storytelling, and creative writing. ARTSPEAKS promotes healthy communities by utilizing all forms of creativity and artistic expression through collaboration with educational and public health organizations.

Event sponsors are:

●    The Harn Museum of Art
●    The Alachua County Library District
●    UF’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
●    UF’s African American Studies Program
●    Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Gainesville
●    The Sunrise Rotary Club of Gainesville
●    CAMPUS USA Credit Union
●    UF Health Cancer Center
●    The Matheson History Museum
●    Visit Gainesville Alachua County, FL
●    The Acrosstown Repertory Theatre
●    The City of Gainesville
●    Florida Division of Arts & Culture
●    Writers Alliance of Gainesville

For more information about the Bard & Broadside: North Central Florida Poetry Festival, follow them on social media at: Facebook: Instagram:

For more information about the festival please contact E. Stanley Richardson at or for information about the events at the Alachua County Library District, please contact Brad McClenny at

By Brad on April 10, 2023