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Literary- NEA Big Read Panel, Identity in Performance

Monday, October 2
Literary- NEA Big Read Panel, Identity in Performance
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: City Gallery
Address: 34 Prioleau Street
Admission: Free

The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs is one of seventy-five nonprofit organizations receiving a grant to host an NEA Big Read project between September 2017 and June 2018. Working in partnership with the Avery Research Center and the Charleston County Public Library, the Office of Cultural Affairs presents the NEA Big Read of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric in September and October of this year. As a part of those events, this panel of local and regional performers will engage in a timely discussion about identity, especially as it applies to casting, creative decision making, and audience expectations.

MOJA & Free Verse Poetry Reading – Horace Mungin and Carlos Johnson and the Speak Freely Foundation

Tuesday, October 3 at 6:00pm
Venue: City Gallery
Address: 34 Prioleau Street
Admission: Free

Horace Mungin was born in Hollywood, South Carolina in 1941 and his family moved to New York City in 1946. In 1989 Mungin moved to Ridgeville, SC. Mungin started writing poetry in the mid-sixties during the genesis of the Black Arts Movement. Duringthis period, he published two anti-drug volumes of poetry, “Dope Hustler’s Jazz, 1968” and “Now See Here, Homes, 1969.” Some of his early writings appeared in The New York Times, literary magazines, and poetry anthologies. In the early seventies, Mungin helped found Black Forum Magazine, a widely acclaimed national publication for writers and was its first editor. In the late seventies, Mungin wrote a column for a Charleston, SC weekly newspaper that employed satire to explore a variety of political and social issues. The column was later syndicated to ten other weekly newspapers and had a six year run (’78 – ‘84). In 1991 a collection of those columns was published under the title Sleepy Willie Talks about Life. Recent published books include A Different Point of View, 2013, Truth & and Absurdities, 2014, and …Or Does It Explode, 2016.

Carlos Johnson, a native of Summerville, South Carolina, currently resides in Goose Creek, South Carolina.  Johnson has founded organizations such as The Poetry Show and the Speak Freely Foundation (SFF).   SFF, a non-profit organization, supports local youth in the arts.  Its mission is to support, educate, and enlighten youth through the arts to better their lives as well as society. The SFF, in collaboration with the City of North Charleston, offers The S.L.@.M. (Speaking Life @mong Many) Poetry Program and the North Charleston Boxing Club at the Armory Park Center. Youth from the Speak Freely Foundation program will present with Johnson.

Literary Corner with Kwame Alexander

Tuesday, October 3 at 7:30pm
Venue: City Gallery
Address: 34 Prioleau Street
Admission: Free

The literary corner event is an annual tradition that gives the audience unique insight into the creative process through intimate discussions with celebrated authors. Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author of 24 books, including Solo and The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Paterson Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages. His latest collaboration is Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets with Marjory Wentworth and Chris Colderly.  This reading is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Heritage and Community- Columbia Marionette Theatre Presents The World of Anansi the Spider

Wednesday, October 4 at 9:30am
Venue: Charleston County Public Library
Address: 68 Calhoun Street
Admission: Free
Produced by: Charleston County Public Library

The Columbia Marionette Theatre presents The World of Anansi the Spider promises to entertain the youngest MOJA fans while educating them about world culture. The 30-minute show features marionettes, hand puppets, and rod puppets to tell several folk tales narrated by the storyteller, Anansi, a classic character featured in African tales which eventually descended to other cultures such as Jamaican and Gullah.

MOJA & Free Verse Poetry Reading- Tammaka Staley

Wednesday, October 4, 6:00pm
Venue: City Gallery
Address: 34 Prioleau Street
Admission: Free

Tammaka Staley is a performance poet, activist, and teaching artist. A resident of Columbia, South Carolina, she has been writing and performing poetry for 10 years. Tammaka actively works in the community with poetry and youth organizations like OneWord Columbia, the University of South Carolina Upward Bound Program, and Girls Rock Columbia. She was also a sponsor for the SC Community Uplift Foundation Science Rocks benefit concert in 2015. She won the title “Queen of the South” at the 2015 Queen of the South Poetry Slam in April 2015. She has also performed as a featured artist at the Kennedy Center in the 2016 American College Dance Festival in Washington, DC. Tammaka strives to empower black communities and uses poetry as a tool to give people everywhere something to believe in.

Literary- Reading with Author Julius Hollis

Wednesday, October 4
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: Buxton Books
Address: 2A Cumberland Street (Corner of Concord and Cumberland)
Admission: Free

Step into the warm and inviting atmosphere of Buxton Books for a reading from In the Arena author, Julius Hollis. Julius Hollis is the founder of The Alliance for Digital Equality and currently serves as the Chairman of the Atlanta, Georgia-based 501(c)4 non-profit corporation. A native of Atlanta, Mr. Hollis background includes an extensive career as a banker, entrepreneur and financial advisor to a diverse array of multinational clients. In collaboration with Deborah Matthis, he wrote In the Arena, about his late brother, Michael Hollis. He shares the story of Michael’s journey to entrepreneurial heights, with a glimpse into the rare mindset that allows a person of limited means to reach the skies professionally despite the fact that many people and practices blocked his view he believed that he could get there.

Free Verse Presents Poetic Jazz Society

Wednesday, October 4, 7:30pm
Venue: Historic Dock Street Theatre
Address: 135 Church Street
Admission: $11

PURCHASE TICKETS

Join Grammy-nominated drummer and producer Quentin E. Baxter and Charleston Poet Laureate Marcus Amaker for a night of poetry and jazz. Joining Amaker on stage will be local and regional poets who were a part of the Poetic Jazz Society, a group of writers and musicians who were hot in the Charleston scene in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Featured poets: Sunn, Jonathan Brown and more to be announced soon. Hosted by Harold Singletary.

Children’s Programs at the Library: Gran’daddy Junebug presents Great Stories for Young Folks

Thursday, October 5 at 9:30am
Venue: Charleston County Public Library, Auditorium
Address: 68 Calhoun Street
Admission: Free
Produced by: Charleston County Public Library

Continuing his family tradition of preserving culture, “Gran’daddy Junebug” teaches personal responsibility, finding the right path, being true to self, always striving for excellence and respect for self and others through the African oral tradition of “call and response.” This highly energetic program utilizes a tremendous amount of audience participation (as he shares his wisdom) which has children learning life lessons as they experience the time of their young lives. This 60-minute performance is designed for ages 5 and up.

Children’s Programs at the Library: Gran’daddy Junebug presents W’en Dey ‘Listed Colored Soldiers

Thursday, October 5 at 12:00pm
Venue: Charleston County Public Library, Auditorium
Address: 68 Calhoun Street
Admission: Free
Produced by: Charleston County Public Library

Feel the climate of America and check the pulse of the unsung heroes of the Civil War from “Whistlin’ Sam”, “Lias”, “Whisperin’ Bill”, “William Carney” and others whose recollections and stories of unflinching courage were never told. From the works of great writers and scholars as Paul Laurence Dunbar and Dr. Rex Ellis, this heart wrenching portrayal depicts how the “Colored Soldiers” sacrificed their lives in various battles to “save the union” and “to mek’ our people free”. This 60-minute performance is designed for teens and adults.

MOJA & Free Verse Poetry Reading – Jeffrey Guillaume

Thursday, October 5 at 6:00pm
Venue: City Gallery
Address: 34 Prioleau Street
Admission: Free
Jeffrey Guillaume (aka Mr. Emotional The Poet) is a native of Newark, New Jersey, and currently resides in Columbia, South Carolina. Guillaume discovered his love for the performing arts at Benedict College, where he received a Bachelor of Science in public health. Since his graduation, Guillaume has quickly become one of South Carolina’s most celebrated poets, winning poetry slams and performing all over the nation. With the love he has for young people, poetry is his unique way of giving back and connecting with youth by showing them alternative methods of self-expression. In 2013, Guillaume discovered a literacy program entitled, Write Yourself Free.

4th Grade Readout

A MOJA tradition, this outreach program invites 4th grade students from pre-selected Charleston County Schools to participate in a special in-school reading program in which students receive a free copy of the featured book. This year’s selection is Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander, Marjory Wentworth, and Chris Colderly.

Free Verse Poetry- Poet’s Laureate Show

Friday, October 6, 6:00pm
Venue: City Gallery
Address: 34 Prioleau Street
Admission: Free

Featuring Marjory Wentworth (poet laureate of South Carolina), Ed Madden (poet laureate of Columbia, SC), Sleepy Eyez Carter (poet laureate of Augusta, GA) and Marcus Amaker (poet laureate of Charleston, SC).

MARJORY WENTWORTH’s poems have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize five times. Her books of poetry include Noticing Eden, Despite Gravity, and The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle and New and Selected Poems. She is the co-writer with Juan Mendez of Taking a Stand, The Evolution of Human Rights, co-editor with Kwame Dawes of Seeking, Poetry and Prose inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green, and the author of the prizewinning children’s story Shackles. Her most recent collaborations include We Are Charleston, Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel, with Herb Frazier and Dr. Bernard Powers and Out of Wonder, Poems Celebrating Poets with Kwame Alexander and Chris Colderly (2017). Marjory Wentworth is on the faculty at The Art Institute of Charleston. She is the co-founder and former president of the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts. She serves on the Editorial Board of the University of South Carolina’s Palmetto Poetry Series, and she is the poetry editor for Charleston Currents. Her work is included in the South Carolina Poetry Archives at Furman University, and she is the Poet Laureate of South Carolina.

In January 2015, DR. ED MADDEN was appointed as Columbia’s inaugural poet laureate. Dr. Madden will serve for four years.
Ed Madden is author of four books of poetry–Signals, which won the 2007 SC Poetry Book Prize; Prodigal: Variations; Nest; and Ark, forthcoming in 2016. His chapbook My Father’s Housewas selected for the Seven Kitchens Press Editor’s Series. His poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2007, The Book of Irish American Poetry, and in journals such as Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, Poetry Ireland Review, Los Angeles Review, and online at The Good Men Project.

University of South Carolina graduate Marcus Amaker is Charleston, South Carolina’s first Poet Laureate. His poetry has been featured on TEDx, PBS Newshour, A&E, the Huffington Post and Alaska Airlines magazine, along with several journals and poetry collections. He is the former entertainment editor of Charleston, SC’s daily newspaper, The Post and Courier, where he worked for eight years. His latest book, Mantra, is also an app for iPhone and Android devices. He’s a well-known graphic/web designer and videographer, producing award-winning work for many nonprofits and organizations. He’s also the lead graphic designer for the national music magazine, No Depression. This year, he was named one of Charleston’s 50 Most Influential people by Charleston Business Magazine. As a musician, Marcus has released more than twenty albums of music since 1986. Free Verse, Charleston, SC’s first poetry festival, is Marcus’ brainchild.

Augusta, Ga’s poet laureate. Sleepy Eyez Carter, born ANTHONY CARTER, is an American Spoken Word Artist from Augusta, Georgia. A lover of the art form of words Sleepy has been presenting in spoken word since 2010, however being no stranger to music he has been presenting in the art of rap since the 6th grade. Blending social-political perspective with deep rooted spiritual teachings Sleepy challenges his listeners to think and take notice to the world around them

Free Verse Poetry Reading with Kimberly Simms

Saturday, October 7 at 7:30pm
Venue: The Eclectic Cafe & Vinyl
Address: 132 Spring Street
Admission: Free

Ron Rash, award-winning author of Serena, says about Kimberly Simms: “she writes with eloquence and empathy about an important part of Southern history – too often neglected.”

Kimberly’s literary voice is rooted in the Southern tradition of storytelling, informed by her British and Southern lineage. She is an award-winning poet who entertains and educates with poetry that is both poignant and inspiring.

In her debut book of poems, Lindy Lee: Songs on Mill Hill, Kimberly chronicles the lives of textile workers in the Piedmont region with historical accuracy and imaginative insight. These are poems of sorrow, joy, and redemption that linger in the heart.

She was the 2016 Carl Sandburg National Historic Site Writer-In Residence (Flat Rock, NC); she is a member of the SC Humanities Council’s Speaker’s Bureau and a pioneer in the world of poetry slams.

A graduate of Furman University (BA) and Clemson University (MA), her work has appeared in over 30 literary journals including the Asheville Poetry Review and the Broad River Review. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and her work is included in the South Carolina Poetry Archives at Furman University.

She is the proud founder of Wits End Poetry, a non-profit now celebrating 15 years of creating South Carolina poetry events and educational outreach.

When not writing, you’ll find Kimberly hiking and raising her chickens.