Wonder City Wordfest

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Wonder City Wordfest is an annual celebration of poetry and community that began in 2014 as the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry’s ROMPfest. The day includes a variety of ways for people of all ages to stretch their creativity and be inspired by the beauty, joy and value of words, poetry, and community. 

Wonder City Wordfest 2023: Photos by Marea Breedlove

In 2023, our festival celebrated a variety of ways that poetry impacts the mind, body and soul and how Oklahoma is a unique place for the experience of poetry. Our special guest was Zhenya Yevtushenko, the son of late famed Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, who taught at the University of Tulsa and lived in Oklahoma for many years. Yevtushenko’s family loaned some of his items to the museum, and a small exhibit with them was dedicated, and Zhenya talked about his father and read some poetry, including one poem with ROMP Director Shaun Perkins, who read in English, while Zhenya read in Russian.

A video of this poem can be seen HERE.kiteflyhigh

Another special guest was Paul Flaherty, a master in taekwondo who teaches ROMP’s Martial Arts and Haiku Class. Master Paul lead a group in a demonstration of the stretching and breathing exercise called Pa Tuan Tsin and a demonstration of self-defense techniques and the Chon Ji form. A haiku contest with prizes accompanied the demonstration.

Mark Hinson provided free wonderful food. Mark runs a food truck for non-profit organizations in the area, and he is a treasure who makes awesome meals! We decorated blank white kites and flew them in the field across the street and had a surprise visitor from the Tulsa Wind Riders kite club who flew a huge rainbow trilobite. Our local Cherokee treasures Louisa Soap and her daughter Bea sold their handmade Cherokee jewelry.

We gave out awards and heard all of the poem winners in the Oklahoma Poem Contest, and a wonderful time was had by all!

Next year’s festival will be April 13, 2024. 

History of Festival:

Wordfest_2019_7452The festival was held at the former ROMP site from 2014-2016. From 2017-2019, the festival was held at Wonder City Coffee in downtown Locust Grove and was renamed Wonder City Wordfest. 

IN 2022, the festival featured live music, a free food truck, poetry awards and more. It was a  fun day of poetry, music, fellowship, dancing and boogieing, making wordplay together and much more!

The 2020 WCW was cancelled due to the pandemic, and in 2021, instead of a traditional festival, we had a Poetry Treasure Hunt in Locust Grove. We had many participants and had a lot of fun.

Below you will find photos and information about our past festivals.

Wonder City Wordfest 2019, Photos by Byron Totty
More WCW 2019 Photos
WCW 2018 Photos
WCW 2017
ROMPfest 2016
ROMPfest 2015 
ROMPfest 2014 Photos

For more information, contact Shaun Perkins, 918-479-7667.  ROMPoetry@gmail.com.