Spend an evening with poets, spoken word artists

Published: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 6:28 p.m.

Local and regional poets and spoken word artists will share their works at "ArtSpeaks: A Celebration of Poetry, A Festival of Poets," the first in a series of quarterly poetry events with live music in the mix.



What: “ArtSpeaks: A Celebration of Poetry, A Festival of Poets” poetry event.

When: 6 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Thomas Center, 302 NE 6th St.

Information: Call 352-792-2846.

And the community is invited.

Hosted by E. Stanley Richardson, a local artist and poet, the celebration will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Thomas Center at 302 NE 6th St. The event is co-sponsored by the city of Gainesville Parks Recreation and Cultural Affairs and also RichWorks, founded by local artist Carol Velasques Richardson to provide support for poets and spoken word artists and to bring awareness to this literary art form.

Featured Sunday will be jazz pianist Lincoln Antonio of Gainesville. Light refreshments also will be served.

"We recognized that there is a need to provide the same support for poets and spoken word artists we provide for performing artists," said Velasques Richardson, chairperson of the Gainesville/Alachua County Cultural Affairs Board.

"Poets have something to say that is worth hearing," she said. "They enrich our community."

Richardson said the goal of the event is to bring awareness, to involve young people, and to give local poets a platform to share their work.

"We need our poets," said Richardson, who will also share his poetry. "They're our storytellers."

Featured poets and spoken word artists will include Terrance King, David Maas, Ambrose Cavender, Turbado Marabou, Terri Bailey, Herb Dupree and Vernon L. Griffin, all of Gainesville, as well as Carol Thomas of the city of Alachua, L.B. Hughes of Archer, Miss Wright of St. Petersburg and Valerie Esker of Crystal River.

Richardson said there are pockets of poets and spoken word artists sharing their work at places like the Civic Media Center, the library, in private homes and local venues like Sweet Mel's Bar and Grill on University Avenue.

"This (event) is a way to get local poets and spoken word artists together under one roof," said Richardson, who earlier this year received a grant from the New York-based Creative Capital Foundation to participate in a three-day intensive professional development workshop offered in partnership with the University of Florida and the Creative Capital Foundation.

Richardson, who was selected in the literary artist category, is one of 22 artists out of a pool of 200 to be awarded the grant.

Velasques Richardson encourages the community to come out and support literary artists.

"I think it's important to show support for our literary artists." Velasques said.

Richardson hopes participants enjoy the evening and come away "with an appreciation for poetry, touched by the language and inspired in some way."

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