Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is the difference between submission (of poems to the anthology panel of readers) and registration (for the annual Festival)? Poets exploring our website have three choices: 1) register to submit 1-3 poems for possible publication (not planning to attend the Festival), 2) register for the Festival (not planning to submit poems for the anthology), or 3) register to attend the Festival and submit poems for those going hog wild. The fees structure is described elsewhere on this site.  

2. I would like to submit a poem to the di-vêrsé-city anthology competition. Do I have to register? Everyone is required to register. There are three choices available during the registration process:  Poetry Submission Only, Festival Attendance Only, or Poetry Submission and Festival Attendance. 

3.  Does the Festival really publish an anthology? Of course it does; in fact, it publishes two anthologies annually – one for adults, one for youths. Both are named di-vêrsé-city (pronounced like diversity). Adult and youth versions of the anthology are released at the annual Festival. Each poet with a published poem, adult or youth, receives a free copy of the anthology. Additional anthologies are for sale at the Festival registration desk and on-line during the registration process.

4. If my poem is published in the adult or youth di-vêrsé-city anthology, do I really receive a free copy? Absolutely; however, if a poet does not attend the Festival, a print copy will be mailed to the U S. address listed on the Submission Form within 60 days of the Festival’s closing. If the address on the Submission Form is not within the U.S., an electronic copy will be sent unless the poet pays for shipping and handling.

5.  How old must I be to register for the anthology competition or attend the festival? There are two anthology competitions, an adult and a youth. You must be 18 years or older and not in High School or a comparable program to register for the adult anthology competition and attend the Festival (submission and festival attendance are completed during the registration process). The registration for the youth anthology competition and Youth Program are open to students between Kindergarten and 12th grade. There is no fee for students to register for the youth anthology competition or attend the Youth Program activities. Parents must read the Submission Guidelines and digitally sign the Publication Release online, and must also approve of registration to the Youth Program. 

6. How do I submit poems for the anthology? Once you have completed the registration process you can submit poems for the anthology competition. There are two submission forms highlighted on the Home Page - one for adults, one for youths. Both are managed through SUBMITTABLE. Poets do not have to attend the festival to submit poems, but adults that submit poems to the adult anthology competition must pay the submission fee on the SUBMITTABLE site. Up to three poems, limited by line length and language, may be included with each submission.

7.  How are poems selected for the anthology? The editor selects a panel of 3-5 readers to review and score each entry.  Poems are not identified by author, making the reading and potential judging neutral; officials of the festival others associated with the Festival persons are prohibited from submitting to the general pool (there is often a special section for these hard-working volunteers). A single poem from among those submitted by each poet, meeting the minimal criteria and  receiving the highest weighted score, is advanced to the annual poetry contest.

8.  Are prizes awarded for the anthology competition? Yes. Poems accepted for publication and entered into competition are submitted to a judge, who selects the top winners and honorable mentions. The judge changes annually. Cash prizes are awarded to the top entries.

9.  What is the Christine Sergeyevna contest? This is the contest in which entries from the annual adult anthology are entered. The contest honors the memory of Wendy Christina Podwalny, a previous director of AIPF, through use of her pen name. There are no extra fees to enter this contest (submission fee is sufficient).

10. What is the Akers Award for Youth Poetry? This award honors outstanding achievements by poets in elementary, middle and high school.  Each year poems are blindly scored by readers and a prestigious Judge is chosen to name the winners of the competition. This award is in honor of founding editor of the di-vêrsé-city Youth Anthology, Deborah A. Akers. 

11.  How will I know if one of my poems is selected for the anthology? Poets are notified of selections a few weeks before the Festival, and the names of those with selected poems are published on the website. Scores are not shared with poets whether or not they have a selection.

12.  Can I read my poetry at the Festival? Yes, if you register. Each adult registered poet attending the Festival may select two reading times and corresponding venues on-line several weeks before the Festival, or may sign up for open slots at the registration table. In addition, there are open mics and informal reading opportunities throughout the Festival. Each youth registered poet may read poetry during the Youth Program activities held during the Festival.

13.  What does ‘non-juried’ mean? A festival that is non-juried is one at which poets do not have to be invited to read. AIPF has international, national, state and local poets who are specifically invited, but the fact that every registrant gets to read makes the overall festival non-juried.

14.  What goes on at the festival besides poetry reading? The festival is a complete celebration of written and spoken poetry. There are readings by invited and other registered poets at venues throughout the city, workshops presented by invited poets, special readings, all-nighters, slams, poetry with music performances, youth activities, informal gatherings of poets at houses and public facilities, and so much more.

15.  What is API? Austin Poets International, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that sponsors, among other things, the Austin International Poetry Festival (often referred to as simply the Festival or AIPF) in April of each year.

16.  Who runs AIPF? AIPF is run under the auspices of API. The API Board names a Festival Director annually and fills the ranks of several committees to ensure that the Festival is a success. Members and non-members may serve on committees, but only members may chair a committee.

17.  Why should I join API? Membership in API empowers you to be involved with the Festival and enables you to be elected to an API office. You also have access to the member’s only on-line newsletter, and may be selected for a quarterly member’s profile on the website.
18.  Who may join API? Anyone in the world. Poets are encouraged to join, especially those who attend the Festival, but members do not have to be poets. If you are interested in hearing poetry or supporting the written or spoken word of poets, you would make a good member.

19.  Where is the Festival held?  Each year the API Board selects various venues throughout Austin for scheduled readings, open mics and special events.  The venues are scattered throughout the city.  There are usually 10-12 venues each year.

20.  How can I volunteer to be part of the Festival? A Volunteer tab appears on the menu bar above under the Donate tab and leads to a page to register for a Volunteer orientation. Alternately, you can simply approach any member of the API Board or AIPF staff and ask about opportunities.

21.  Where can I stay while I attend the Festival? The Festival maintains a list of suggested hotels/motels nearest the action. Occasionally, there is a specified host hotel which features special rates, and there are a few spots in the homes of local members.

22.  Does the Festival offer souvenirs? Each year the Festival designs and prints T-shirts that can be purchased by registered poets or their guests. T-shirt orders are placed at the time of registration, or on an as-available status at the Festival. There is other SWAG as well, including decals, postcards, the anthology, and more.

23. Does someone have to be registered to read or perform at the Festival’s open mics?  Only registered festival attendees (registration category: Festival Attendance Only or Festival Attendance and Poetry Submission) may read/perform at the Festival’s scheduled readings, though anyone in the community may attend. Anyone in the community may read at open mics.

24. If I register, how many poems can I read?  There are three categories to choose from during the registration process. If you choose to register for the Festival under the category Festival Attendance Only or Festival Attendance and Poetry Submission, each festival attendee is guaranteed two scheduled readings, usually about 10 minutes each.  If a registered festival attendee also has a poem in the anthology (adult or youth), he or she gets an extra reading for that poem at the Anthology Launch.  In addition, a registered festival attendee is free to read as often as time allows at any of the open mics throughout the Festival. Youths that choose to register for the Youth Activities may read poems during the scheduled Youth Program activities.

25. I am not attending the Festival or submitting poems to the anthology competition but would like to purchase an anthology and/or t-shirt. How do I place an order? You can place an order if you go to the "Festival" tab located on the menu bar above and click on the "Festival Merchandise" tab. Also, if you have completed your Festival Registration, checked out and would like to add some merchandise to your cart, Login as a "Returning Registrant" and complete your merchandise purchase here.  

26.  Is there a printed program for the Festival? A program is printed and available to all registered festival attendees at the reception desk during the Festival. The program contains a schedule of readings and other events, descriptions and locations of workshops, names and locations of venues, highlights about featured poets, biographies of registered poets attending the festival, other useful information, and advertisements from AIPF supporters.