Fourth annual Divedapper Poetry Carnival will be Sept. 14

Photo courtesy of Divedapper Poetry Carnival Facebook page.


 On Sept. 14, Butler University’s Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program is hosting its fourth annual Divedapper Poetry Carnival from 1 to 8 p.m. at South Campus. This free event will feature fair food, games and poetry workshops for both adults and children.

Poet Kaveh Akbar, founder of Divedapper and Butler MFA graduate, said the idea of Divedapper Poetry Carnival is to celebrate the joy of poetry.

“We wanted to have a day that was just about celebrating poetry, a day that was spent in exuberant gratefulness for the existence of poetry,” Akbat said.

There will be poetry readings in Shelton Auditorium from published poets Eduardo C. Corral, Franny Choi and Hanif Abdurraqib.

Eduardo C. Corral won the Yale Younger Poets Prize for his debut collection, “Slow Lightning” in 2012. Franny Choi has won several awards for her collections “Soft Science” and “Floating, Brilliant, Gone. She also wrote a chapbook called “Death By Sex Machine. Hanif Abdurraqib wrote collections “The Crown Ain’t Worth Much” and “A Fortune for Your Disaster.”  

“We wanted to have a day that was just about celebrating poetry, a day that was spent in exuberant gratefulness for the existence of poetry,” Akbat said. 

Akbar anticipates attendees enjoying their experience and furthering their appreciation for poetry.

“I hope they take away a few pounds of carnival food in their bellies,” Akbar said.  “I hope they take away a draft or two of something that they’ve written. I hope they take away a line from a poem that they heard that is just ringing in their heads and resonating.”

Dan Barden, a professor of English at Butler, said he deals with all of the logistics of the event while Akbar invites the poets. Barden said some of the money comes from the Efroymson family fund and his job is to knock on doors and fundraise.

In the past, Divedapper has been held at the Efroymson Center for Creative Writing. Last year, poets Nicole Sealey, Ross Gay and Tarfia Faizullah headlined. 

Barden said he wanted Divedapper to be called a carnival and have everything be free because he wanted students to see the fun of poetry. 

“For us, contemporary American poetry is just as exciting and wonderful as a great TV show,” Barden said. “We think that sometimes in the way that we talk about poetry that is not as clear to people, so we wanted to have a day that was just emphasizing that aspect of poetry, the fun.”

The Butler MFA in creative writing supports the event. Students in this program will be volunteering and helping out with the event.

Erin Martin, a sophomore elementary education major, said she wants to go to Divedapper Poetry Carnival because she thinks it will help with her creative writing class.

“I think that’ll definitely improve [my] writing by going to those workshops and listening to those writers,” Martin said. “I hope to learn about how other authors’ process their writing.”  

Different activities will be held throughout the day at Divedapper Poetry Carnival. Butler’s website has a complete schedule of the day. 


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