Poets to gather at ARTSPEAKS


ARTSPEAKS is being hosted by city of Alachua resident Stanley Richardson, who also is a poet.

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Published: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.

Local and regional poets will gather under one roof to share their works at ARTSPEAKS: A Celebration of Poetry, Anniversary Celebration.

Facts

ARTSSPEAKS

* What: ARTSPEAKS: A Celebration of Poetry, Anniversary Celebration

* When: 6 p.m. Aug. 17

* Where: Thomas Center, 302 NE 6th Ave.

* Information: Call 352-792-2846.

And the community is invited.

ARTSPEAKS will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Thomas Center at 302 NE 6th Ave. It is free.

Hosted by city of Alachua resident Stanley Richardson, also a poet, the event also will feature jazz by local pianist Lincoln Antonio. Featured poets will include Terrance King, David Maas, Herbert Dupree, Wendy Thornton, Logan Stallings, Jimmy Fishhawk, Elizabeth Renner, Bob McPeek, Kol-e, Judy Etzler, Charles Ely and John Hoffman, all of Gainesville, as well as Carol Thomas, Rick Skinner, Jacque Moorer of the city of Alachua and G.M. Palmer of Jacksonville. Books and CDs of works from the featured poets also will be available to purchase.

ARTSPEAKS is co-sponsored by the city of Gainesville Parks Recreation and Cultural Affairs and RichWorks LLC, founded by Richardson and his wife, Carol Velasques Richardson, to provide support for poets to bring awareness to the literary art form. Velasques Richardson is a member and past chairperson of the Gainesville/Alachua County Cultural Affairs Board.

Dupree, who is often inspired by current and historical events, calls poetry "the most precise expression."

At ARTSPEAKS, Dupree plans to share "Detroit," a poem he wrote about the downfall of Detroit, which filed for bankruptcy in 2013.

He has published two poetry books, including "Burlap Leaves," published in 2003, about growing up in Chicago, and "Pastel Mirrors," published in 2013, which looks at events in the U.S. and other countries. He writes about race relations, love, hate and nature.

He also writes about African-American sculpture and its impact on modern European art.

"ARTSPEAKS is a tremendous effort to diversify the arts and culture in Gainesville," Dupree said. "I think it's successful."

King is inspired by life, so he writes about events in his life and how God impacts his life.

Now, I write about what God has done in my life and no so much about me," King said. "I write about what I know: My ups and downs, joy and pain."

King said ARTSPEAKS provides an opportunity to meet other poets and encourages him to continue writing.

"I enjoy the event, the gathering of a bunch of people that write from the soul," King said. "It has enriched my life in that it encourages me to keep writing."

"ARTSPEAKS has become a place I can go home and get the love there," King continued.

Richardson said there are pockets of poets and spoken word artists who share their work at various places in town, such as the Civic Media Center, the longest running venue for poetry in Gainesville. He said ARTSPEAKS aims to bring poets together for an evening of poetry under one roof.

"The purpose is to highlight and celebrate our area poets and get all the different genres together for an evening of enjoyment," Richardson said. "My thing is to expose people to poetry."

Richardson, 52, is the recipient of the 2013 Literacy Award, given by the Alachua County Library District and the Alachua County Literacy Award. He started writing poetry in his teens and was in the 10th-grade when he wrote his first poem, which he dedicated to his girlfriend. "It was the epitome of romantic rap," Richardson said. "It went very well."

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