Poetry Train 2023 leaves from Boston

a five days coast to coast poetry festival

In 2021, Dutch artist Erik van Loon gave America a five day coast to coast poetry festival to celebrate his 50th birthday. Each year he honours a deceased poet. This year he selected Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932, Boston, MA – February 11, 1963, London, UK). Because of that, the Poetry Train 2023 will depart from Boston, Massachusetts.

3rd L.A. Poetry Beach Festival
L.A. Poetry Beach Festival is a five day festival from September 20th till 24th and it consists of the following three poetry events:

(DAY 1-3) 2nd Poetry Train
September 19-22

This five day poetry festival starts this year in Boston, MA. Poets from Massachussets, Rhode Island and Connecticut can hop on the Poetry Train at Boston – South Station this September 19th, 7.55 pm. The Poetry Train will stop in 9 different cities between Boston and New York. After a stopover of almost 7 hours at Penn Station, NY the poets will leave Manhattan around 6.45 am (sunrise) and after 76 hours the Poetry Train will arrive in poetry paradise, Los Angeles. The Poetry Train will stop in 64 cities / towns in 19 different states between the two largest cities of the US. The Poetry Train connects poets in big urban cities on the East and West coast with poets in small rural towns in between and gives poets a cheap, fun and unforgettable opportunity to meet, talk, learn and work with other poets while traveling from NY to LA!

Programme and Menu (see programme as pdf below)
This year we want to raise extra attention to the amazing events and gastronomy on ao the Poetry Train. At www.lapoetrybeach.com/programme you will find our 10 page programme with a fusion of no fewer then 13 different local menu’s, 33 poetry readings, 5 lectures, 2 workshops, 2 museum visits and 1 very exclusive meeting.

(DAY 4) 2nd Los Angeles Poetry Downtown
September 23

The 2nd Annual Los Angeles Poetry Downtown (LAPD) will start on Saturday, September 23, just a few hours after the Poetry Train arrives at Union Station, Los Angeles. LAPD will be kicked off with the ‘We Need More Poetry’ talkshow and after the talkshow local (LA) poets will read together with poets from the Poetry Train their work in various bookstores, libraries, museums and cafes in greater Los Angeles. In 2023 they organized poetry readings at Union Station, Skid Row Museum and Archives and Chevalier’s Books. This year, they will have 9 different poetry readings to introduce poets from all over America to poetry enthusiasts in Los Angeles and to get them ready for the main and final event, LA Poetry Beach.

(Day 5) 3rd LA Poetry Beach
September 24

The 3rd edition of LA Poetry Beach will be held in front of the Venice Beach Poet’s Monument in Los Angeles, on Sunday September 24 from 11.11 am till 6.45 pm (sunset)! The 5th day will start with a
commemoration of deceased poets at 11.11 am and after that there will be book presentations, signings and readings with the 12 best poets of LA Poetry Beach 2023. This five day poetry festival will end with a meet, eat, drink and dance beach party till sunset.

Theme: I Never Could Talk To You
Deadline: September 10

Theme of LA Poetry Beach this year is Sylvia Plath’s ‘I Never Could Talk To You’ and poets from all over the world can submit a poem. We picked this line from Sylvia Plath to give suicidal people inspiration to write about their problems, their depressions, their struggle. Since Sylvia Plath died by suicide in 1963 (60 years ago) it turned her into a crudely tragic symbol. From Virginia Woolf, Anne Sexton to Sarah Kane, everything she did, everything she created during her life became part of a death-drive narrative. With this theme we also hope to support people who lost a loved one and give them some relief and solace.

Fight Illiteracy
Bringing amateur and professional poets from of all over America once a year together and to bring them into contact with a diverse audience helps communities to promote literacy. Erik chose poetry above prose as a simple Haiku that can improve the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Poetry helps also to improve vocabulary, sentence formation, syntax, fluency and creativity.

Make America Green Again
Last year we got poems from 17 different states. In the map below you find the states from where we got poems. In 2023 we want to get poems from Missouri, Ohio, Delaware, Colorado (all states along the route of the Poetry Train) and from the coastal states Oregon, Washington, Florida, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Texas and Maine. In 2024, US Elections we want to receive poems from all over America to Make America Green Again.

Anthology and Zine
We will publish this year one Anthology and one Zine. First and most important the annual LA Poetry Beach Festival Anthology with max 52 selected poets and a handprinted and stapled Zine (magazine) with (art)works drawn, painted, glued, photographed, written. Or typed at an old vintage Underwood typewriter. Digital (art)works are not allowed. The Poetry Train Zine will be published, briefly after the trip and distributed in 100 prints and it will not be reprinted.

Three Times Charm
In 2021, one poet, in 2022, five poets and in 2023 Erik hopes to welcome 22 poets (One poet, each state) at the Poetry Train. Like the first two years we will travel with Amtrak again. 22 paying poets is too small to lease a train. In 2025, Erik van Loon, wants to find enough Poets and Sponsors to lease his own train with not only coaches for all poets, but also a restaurant, sleeper, disco, bar, and library cars where poets can meet each other.

A crowdfunding was recently created for the LA Poetry Beach Festival. Go to https://www.lapoetrybeach.com/crowdfunding for more info.

Erik van Loon


More info:

LA Poetry Beach Festival
Erik van Loon

EU +31 6 E VAN LOON (+31 6 3 826 5666)

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