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“100 Thousand Poets for Change” Update

More about the September 24 event, from Scott Owens’ ‘Musings‘ blog:

NORTH CAROLINA STATE-WIDE ACTIONS!

In North Carolina we’re using the Subtitle, Writers for Education. Our state just cut 13,000 teacher positions because the . . . legislature didn’t want to extend a 3/4 of 1 percent sales tax. The UNC School of the Arts barely escaped closure due to the mandated 15% cut to the university system. The NC Arts Council has had to reduce programming and staff. To show our support for the arts in general, and writing in particular, we are offering a series of workshops and readings throughout the state.

RALEIGH- Renowned poet Betty Adcock (Slantwise, LSU Press) will be sitting on the sidewalk outside Quail Ridge Books from 11 – 1 offering free feedback on any poems people wish to bring by. She will be joined by Richard Krawiec (She Hands me the Razor, Press 53) and Tim McBride (The Manageable Cold, Triquarterly Books). Richard Krawiec will be teaching a free workshop – Where are you? Where are you going? – to the Raleigh Divorced Women’s Support Group, led by Caroline Huerta. Dorianne Laux (The Book of Men, W.W. Morrow) is going to involve her students in emailing poems to NC politicians who voted to cut spending for the arts.

In GREENSBORO- poet and fiction writer Valerie Nieman, who publishes with Press 53, will teach a workshop for children. It takes place from 1-4 at the Witherspoon Art Gallery, and is called Peeking Behind the Mask -Each day we go about our routine lives, but inside we are superheroes or explorers, pirates or rock stars, hiding our secret identities behind a mask of an unassuming face and daily clothes. With the backdrop of Witherspoon’s current exhibition, “Persona: A Body in Parts,” we’ll explore our own secret identities and “peek behind the mask” of famous folks (real or fictional) to imagine their thoughts and lives. One way to enter this secret world is to write a persona poem – persona meaning mask – in which we give a voice to that alternate identity. Join poet and novelist Valerie Nieman in the Witherspoon lobby for a drop-in poetry experience for all ages. In addition, use a variety of materials to create your own magnificent mask to wear. At 3:00 pm we’ll celebrate with live improvisational jazz and a spoken word sharing.

Also, Press 53, in WINSTON-SALEM, is going to ‘stock’ the tables at Wolfie’s on 4th Street with poems. So all the customers will have an assortment of poems to pursue as they down their Wolfie’s frozen custard and Krankie’s coffee

COLUMBIA- Here’s a bit of an unmapped activity. Gail Peck, a Charlotte poet, is driving to the beach on the 24th and plans to stop at one of her favorite restaurants, Tuscan Bio in Columbia, NC, along the way and see if she can read a poem to the kitchen staff. Then, at the beach, she’s going to read a poem to the marshland.

In CARRBORO- Maura High, a member of the Black Sox poetry group, will be gathering other guerilla poets, taking to the streets, stores, and cafes to give away poetry books, and also leave poems, homemade and dada, on unattended chairs throughout the city.

Beth Browne lives in rural CLAYTON, surrounded by farmland. She writes, “I’m thinking I’ll do something radical like put The Red Wheelbarrow on yard signs and post them along my road like the old shaving cream ads.”

CULLOWEHEE- In keeping with the North Carolina ‘theme’ of getting as much poetry out into the community as possible, former NC Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer (Southern Fictions, Jacar Press, Coming to Rest, Black Shawl, Catching Light – all from LSU Press) will be be passing out poems to the hundreds of attendees at the Mt. Heritage day at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

NC Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer, who publishes with LSU (and whose limited edition handmade book of sonnets (complete with a Confederate battle flag pulped into the cover paper), Southern Fictions, Jacar Press released, is going to organize an event in SYLVA.

Michael Beadle will be strolling Main St., WAYNESVILLE reading poems!

In the TRIANGLE AREA of North Carolina, Alice Osborn (Unfinished Projects) will be leading a flash mob that intends to visit as many coffee shops in the area as they can hit.

CHARLOTTE- Barbara Conrad has organized an open poetry reading and music at Atherton Farmers Market Saturday 9:30-11:30. Thanks Larry Sorkin. Tanja Bechtler, Richard Taylor and all poets!

In CHAPEL HILL- Paul Jones (ibiblio.org) is going to organize a program to tweet 100,000 poems (hopefully) on Sept. 24. Everyone can join in on that.

Grey Brown (What it Takes), and Stephanie Levin (Smoke of Her Body, Jacar Press) will be at Flyleaf Books from 11 – 1, sitting on the sidewalk to offer free feedback to all poets, children or adults, who wish to bring a poem by.

From Appalachian State University in BOONE- Joseph Bathanti (Land of Amnesia, Press 53) and Kathryn Kirkpatrick (Unaccountable Weather, Press 53 – out in Sept.) are co-organizing a program we’d like to encourage everyone to participate in. On Sept. 24 we will be encouraging all NC poets and poetry lovers to email poems to NC’s elected representatives. We are going to try to flood the email boxes with poetry. This is an activity everyone can participate in locally, and it only takes a few minutes. No haranguing, no pontificating, just email a poem. Or two or ten. Putting poetry into the inboxes of politicians, hopefully in such numbers they can’t ignore it.

DURHAM event is at The Regulator, Ninth Street, Durham. Get feedback on your poems, and have a poem written for you.
On Saturday Sept 24 from 11 – 1. Al Maginnes(Ghost Alphabet, White Pines Press) and Florence Nash (Crossing Water, Fish Music) will be available to offer feedback on their poems for all aspiring poets and poetry lovers – children or adults. Chris Vitiello (Irresponsibility, Ahsahta Press) will be dressed as the Poetry Fox, sitting at a card table with his typewriter to make custom poems on the spot for anyone.

ALSO, Fleur de Lisa, the award-winning (Best Original Song, Harmony Sweeps, D.C. 2009) women’s vocal group who write all original music using poetry as lyrics, will be doing a mini-flash mob on Sept. 24 as part of the 100,000 Poets for Change event. They will be showing up at various locations in the DURHAM area, including shelters for people and animal.http://www.facebook.com/l/jAQA5ZS5-AQAWEuqYZeKC-ixRGhMcq3O_eu5K-qp527C_1Q/www.haikusongs.com

In HICKORY- poet Scott Owens will have a dozen or more poets “reading in the round” at Minetta Lane Center for Arts and Peace in downtown Hickory from 2:00 to 4:00. Participants include Bill Griffin, Tim Peeler, Rand Brandes, Tony Ricciardelli, Bud Caywood, and many more. Anyone who is interested should contact Scott at asowens1@yahoo.com or 828-234-4266.

Steve Roberts (Another Word for Home), Addy McCulllough, and others will take to the streets of WILMINGTON and write poems on the sidewalks in chalk.

Hillsborough Health Center, HILLSBOROUGH, on Sept. 24 at 3pm, Debra Kaufman (The Next Moment, Jacar Press) will lead a free workshop on Write to Health.

ASHEVILLE- Laura Hope-Gill
of the Wordfest Festival will hold an event, details TBA.
www.ashevillewordfest.org.

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  1. White Cross School › So How Did YOU Spend Your Saturday? on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 7:59 am

    [...] of these events ran under the subtitle, “Writers for Education.” Writers (and readers) around the state organized to show their support for the arts through workhops and readings and by sending poems to [...]

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