Celebrate National Poetry
There is a musician playing in the background. Sweet Tea restaurant provides delicious soul food menu options, Hanah Jon Taylor, proprietor.
drops in, and a fine time is had by all. All poets are invited to come for the open mic. (microphone)
On Saturday, April 22, a major youth initiative of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), called the Afro-
Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. (ACT-SO) takes place at Edgewood College. ACT-SO provides an opportunity for
youth of African descent to demonstrate their talent in academic, artistic and scientific prowess and expertise in several categories. The
poetry students will compete in a judged reading. I am one of the community judges and these students can always use an appreciative
audience. It is a free event that is opened up to the public, so come and cheer for students who are brave enough and talented enough to
compete with others. The event starts at 9 a.m. in Predolin Hall at Edgewood College.
Also on Saturday, April 22, at the Goodman South Madison Library, Hidden Voices: African American Writers in Wisconsin with be presented at 2
p.m. before it travels to 12 additional libraries in 2017 and 2018. Join three African American writers from Madison; Poet Fabu, Catrina
Sparkman and Sherry Lucille, as they discuss their poetry, prose and drama in relation to the work of three African American literary giants who
also lived and worked in Wisconsin. The literary giants are Sarah Webster Fabio, Jean Toomer and Lorraine Hansberry. This event, open to all, is
sponsored by Beyond the Page, the Madison Public Library and the Department of Afro-American Studies at UW Madison.
The poetry scene in Madison, in many ways, reflects and promotes majority culture and custom, yet there are opportunities for writers to throw
their unique, cultural words into Wisconsin. A poet changes the status quo. Here are three opportunities, all with the request to celebrate the
people of Wisconsin. Welcome to National Poetry Month in Madison, Wisconsin and I hope to see you at one, if not all, of these community events.
April is a month with several celebrations, and the one closest to my heart is National
Poetry Month. It is not just because I am a practicing poet, it is also because I enjoy
reading and hearing poetry and in April I get to increase my poetic pleasure! National
Poetry Month is a recent celebration, begun in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. It
was inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’
s History Month (March). April was selected as the month that would garner the most
support in honoring poets and their words. There are several poetry events that I am
happy to be a part of and invite your participation as well. A reader might be thinking that
with everything that is going on in the world, and America too, why bother with poetry.
Poetry is the medium that best expresses all that is going on globally, nationally, locally
and personally too.
Every Sunday, 3-5 pm, at Café CODA, 113 W. Dayton, for the low price of $5, you can come
to Sunday Speaking; Poetry for the soul, hosted by Rob DZ and myself. The first hour, we
recite poetry with an invited guest poet and the second hour is a sign up for an open mic.