Click here for the AIPF press release announcing Allyson Whipple as an Austin Feature Poet.
Allyson Whipple is the director of the Austin Feminist Poetry Festival and vice president of Austin Poetry Society. Her chapbook, We’re Smaller Than We Think We Are, is available through Finishing Line Press. She is the co-creator of Choice: Texas (http://www.playchoicetexas.com) and co-editor of the 2016 Texas Poetry Calendar. Allyson teaches business and technical communication at Austin Community College, and studies Kung Fu in her spare time.
How does AIPF enrich Austin? If everything is bigger in Texas, then Austin needs a big poetry festival! And we have that with AIPF. Something that sprawls, that bring in poets from all over the world. AIPF brings that every year.
Why should someone enter and attend? That is like asking, "Why should someone eat breakfast tacos?," as though there is a reason not to do so. Breakfast tacos are amazing even if you don't live in Texas. You never know how your life will be changed by a yummy taco or by a brilliant poetry reading.
How can being a part of AIPF enrich someone's life? Nothing restores me like getting to spend an entire weekend surrounded by poets and poetry. Just being in that atmosphere, with that level of creative energy, can really lift you up.
Explain the value of being published in the annual anthology. You get to share bookspace with poets who are your friends and/or poets you love and admire. There's nothing better than that.
How is poetry relevant to today's world? Poetry, like most art forms, requires focus, commitment, and a meditative awareness in regard to the subject matter. Through its focus, poetry can help us understand ourselves, or develop a greater consciousness of the larger world.
What can attendees at the 2015 Festival expect to "experience?" More creative energy than you ever thought possible.
Why should someone attend the 2015 AIPF if they are not a poet? Because we're secretly a cult trying to recruit fresh poets into the fold so the Great Poet Leader can rebuild after the PoetPocalypse! ...Shoot, did I just give away our strategy? (Poets are funny. If you are not a poet, come for the comedy. Also, Austin has tacos. As though you needed another reason.)
What other "experiences" in Austin should a Festival attendee seek out? Breakfast tacos. Especially from Torchy's.
Anything Additional We Should Know? AIPF falls during my birthday this year! I'm excited to be celebrating with a weekend full of poetry.