Celebration of Community Poets 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

This event is FREE and open to the public!

Representatives from various community groups will read their works. Jamie Rix from the Arcadia Institute will interpret for the hearing impaired. The groups represented are:

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts currently features Second Sight/ Insight II, an exhibition which offers a glimpse of works rarely seen from the KIA collection paired with a poem by a local poet responding to the art. Readers: Bill Lucking, Lynn Pattison, Deborah Gang, and Kit Almy

New Issues Poetry & Prose was established in 1996 by poet Herbert Scott. Each year, New Issues Press publishes six to eight new works of contemporary poetry through the New Issues first book series and Green Rose series, as well as the winner of the AWP Award Series in the Novel. Reader: Gail Martin is the author of “Begin Empty-Handed,” winner of the 2013 Perugia Press Poetry Prize. Her first book, “The Hourglass Heart” (New Issues Press, 2003). Gail works as a psychotherapist in private practice in Kalamazoo, MI where she lives with her husband, George, and her dog, Piper.

Combat Veterans Writing Group meets regularly at the Portage District Library to write and share brief narratives about their military service during wartime. Readers: Bob Short

Peace Pizzazz is a project to foster kindness and compassion in the lives of local elementary school students that culminates in an arts fair in Bronson Park in May each year. Readers: Omar Thaj and Hassan Ahmed, two boys from the Islamic Center of Kalamazoo, will perform a rap for peace.

The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the collaborative arts of fine printing, papermaking, bookbinding, and creative writing. Reader: Jeff Abshear will read, in English and Italian, a poem from Canti di un luogo abbandonato/Songs of an Abandoned Place by Azzurra d’Agostino, a book he translated from Italian and printed in Venice this summer on handmade paper created at the KBAC and shipped to Italy.

Kalamazoo Valley Community College offers course work in literature and creative writing and sponsors the annual Ned Foskey Poetry Prize competition for student poets. Reader: Winner of the Ned Foskey Poetry competition, Federic Germay.

Friends of Poetry is a nonprofit Kalamazoo group dedicated to the enjoyment of the reading and writing of poetry. Readers: High School Winners from one of our poetry contests: Artifactory: Connor Mendell, Nathan Wallace, and Jason Hansen.

Kalamazoo College offers a popular major in English with a Writing Emphasis, through which students specialize in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry and staff the literary magazine, The Cauldron. Readers: Jasmine An is a senior double major in English/Writing and Anthropology/Sociology. She has interned in New York City with the Poetry Project and at an independent queer bookstore, and she offers poetry workshops through the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative. Justin Danzy is a junior majoring in English/Writing. He has just returned from a writing    internship with the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New York Arts program.

Kalamazoo Civic Theatre is the third largest community theatre in the country and has served as one of the cultural cornerstones of our community for 86 years. Readers: Rachael King, Marcus Bechek, Kirsten Neely, and Gary Willoughby will perform “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll as an ensemble.

The Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center is a non profit organization with a 27 year long history of serving the LGBTQ and allied community in the greater Kalamazoo area. We strive to create a just, inclusive and supportive environment in Southwest Michigan for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions. Reader: Caitlin Finan.

Marianne Houston –“The Roving Poet” Marianne’s 2011 book of poetry, On the Street, has encouraged her to lead conversations about poor, homeless and marginalized people – and to find others who quietly share that they too write poetry. She describes herself and them as the “quiet poets.”Readers: Josephine Amadu, Mary Doud, and Mollie Peterson.

Black Arts & Cultural Center is an Arts & Culture nonprofit organization that seeks to develop potential and creativity in Blacks in the Kalamazoo area, advance the awareness of Black artistic ability, preserve Black cultural heritage and enhance interactions among diverse groups in the community.Readers: Darius Gardner “D   Bomb.”

FIRE Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative is an organization that encourages and responds to people’s desires for authentic expression and believes that social and cultural awareness generates and sustains social justice. Readers: Denise Miller and Raesheana Roberts.

Education for the Arts (EFA) enhances arts education opportunities and programs for every Kalamazoo County school offering classes in the disciplines of theater, musical theater, music, dance, visual arts, multimedia arts and film/video arts. Reader: Josh Hagemann

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Date(s) - Thursday, April 16, 2015
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts