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This Saturday: 100 Thousand Poets for Change

By Claire Korzen

On Saturday, September 29, we invite you to join us for “100 Thousand Poets for Change,” a worldwide initiative to help foster artistic communities both locally and globally. Although the organization encourages change along the guidelines of peace and sustainability, they invite all participants to develop their own ideas of change and transformation. Local groups may participate through any conceivable type of event: “a concert or a jam session, candlelight vigil or a circus, a march or a dance, poetry reading in a café or on the subway,” to name just a few.

During last year’s 100 TPC, 95 countries hosted 700 events. There are currently 800 events planned in 115 countries for 2012. Here are six that will celebrate North Carolina’s literary community on September 29:

Catawba County: Working Title Farm, 4694 S. Depot St., Claremont, 2:00-4:00 pm
The illustrious selection of presenters at the planned poetry reading includes Poet Laureate nominees Anthony S. Abbot and Scott Owens, award-winning Gastonia poet David Poston, Dead Mule Poetry Editor Helen Losse, and Caldwell Community College Professor Nancy Posey. At least a dozen others will also read, including students from CVCC and Lenoir-Rhyne. A special edition of Wild Goose Poetry Review will publish selected poems from 100 TPC events across NC.

Cherokee County: Grove Enterprises, 7540 Highway 64-W, Brasstown, 2:00-4:00 pm
FutureCycle Press and Writers Circle have scheduled an open mic reading, and invite you to come listen and/or read your own original poetry or prose. If you wish to read, bring prose pieces or poems no longer than three minutes each; depending on the turnout, there may be time for more than one reading per author. Readers are not required to speak about social issues, although they are encouraged to do so. Participation, in whatever way you feel comfortable, is the most important part. Authors may also bring their books to sell. FutureCycle Press is pleased to announce that its new anthology, American Society: What Poets See, will be available for sale at the reading, along with copies of the Netwest anthology, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge. RSVP to rsking@futurecycle.org.

Forsyth County: Barnhill’s Books, 811 Burke St., Winston-Salem, 2:00-8:00 pm
Winston-Salem will host a two-pronged event for 100 TPC: first, an ongoing reading/event at Barnhill’s during the afternoon and the early evening, and second, a “super-secret poetry flash mob” in downtown Winston-Salem, where participants will be performing Allen Ginsberg’s “Footnote to Howl.” Everyone is invited to both events.

Guilford County: Greensboro Central Public Library, 219 N. Church St., Greensboro, 11:30 am
For the second year, members of the New Garden Friends Poetry Group and Writers’ Group of Triad will guide writers of all levels in writing and reviewing poems to promote social, environmental, and political change. A public reading will begin about 11:30 am. This program, co-sponsored by the New Garden Friends Poetry Group, Writers’ Group of Triad, and the Friends of the Greensboro Public Library, is part of the United Arts Council’s 17 Days Arts & Culture Festival taking place from September 21 to October 7. Questions? Contact Beth Sheffield (beth.sheffield@greensboro-nc.gov) or call 336-373-3617.

New Hanover County: Old Books on Front St, 249 N. Front St., Wilmington, all day
All-day chalk poetry! On the sidewalks, on the doors, on parts of the floor—come write your own poem or one that inspires you. At 11:30 am, local poets will read their poems; if you would like to read, send an e-mail to OldBooksonFrontSt@gmail.com. They would love to include you and your voice.

Wake County: Quail Ridge Books & Music, 3522 Wade Ave., Raleigh, 7:00 pm
Quail Ridge will host a reading featuring Joe Millar, Betty Adcock, David Rigsbee, and selected readings from the anthology …and love…, along with a performance by classical guitar virtuoso Ed Stephenson. There will be free wine, and all proceeds from Jacar Press books will go towards buying books for children living in poverty. An open mic event will take place in the Ridgewood parking lot immediately after the Quail Ridge reading (by 9:00 pm, in the same plaza). Authors will have the opportunity to sell their books both at Quail Ridge and the open mic. If you are interested in reading at the open mic, please contact Jodi Barnes at jodi.barnes@facebook.com or Richard Krawiec at richard.krawiec@facebook.com. Living Poetry will also be at Quail Ridge at 4:00 pm, offering Poetry on Demand!

Along with these events, the 100 TPC website world map shows almost twenty other locations around North Carolina with planned celebrations. Check out the event nearest you, or create your own. As the TPC organizers say, “It can be just you (the organizer) and your pet, on a street corner, with a sign.”

To find out more, visit www.bigbridge.org/100thousandpoetsforchange.

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