We (Too) Are Philly Festival

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed

From Langston Hughes’ “I, Too



The Festival


We (Too) Are Philly is a summer poetry festival organized by the 2018-2019 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia, Raquel Salas Rivera, and poets Ashley Davis, Kirwyn Sutherland, and Raena Shirali. It is inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem “I, Too” and features a line-up of poets of color who have a strong commitment to fighting white supremacy and collaborating with local communities to create shared creative spaces.

Poets will come from all over, but each featured poet will be from Philadelphia. We believe that highlighting local authors will serve to raise and respect the histories of those who have built this city.

Each reading will also feature at least one poet that works in more than one language. This is a sanctuary city; this festival is a sanctuary space. ICE and fascism have no right to terrorize our loved ones; our authors’ works maintain that truth.

We aspire to have not just poets of color performing, but also POC audiences. Historically, there has been a racial power dynamic in which white audiences consume black and brown art. This is not that kind of festival.

Get ready for some kinda beauty,

Raquel Salas Rivera
Ashley Davis
Kirwyn Sutherland
Raena Shirali



We (Too) Are Philly: Whose Parks? Our Parks! featured on Poets.org as #PoetryNearYou Pick of the Week

Read more at The Philadelphia Citizen.

Read more at Broad Street Review.

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Listen to A Summer POC Poetry Festival Sampler of festival poets at Verse.