The Ilyse Kusnetz Writing Festival
Once a year Valencia’s Winter Park campus holds the Writing Festival, a day of workshops and readings by writers from around central Florida. Past festivals have featured the likes of Richard Blanco, acclaimed presidential inaugural poet, Shawn Welcome, founder of the longest running open mic in Orlando and City Poet Laureate, and author Brian Turner, husband of the festival’s beloved founder and poet Ilyse Kusnetz.
When Ilyse passed, she left us her beautiful poetry (I suggest her posthumous collection “Angel Bones”) and this event as ways for us to reflect on how our words might enrich our communities. Each year features a curated open mic with special guests. Past workshops have focused on publishing resources, how to get involved in writing communities, and where to find inspiration for your own work. 2018’s festival also featured the talents of musical guest “The Interplanetary Acoustic Team”. There’s a little fun for everyone!