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National Poetry Month Virtual Events Set for April 14 & 15; Register Now.

April is National Poetry Month, and registration is now open for two virtual events for 2023 National Poetry Month sponsored by the Brown Chair in English Literacy‘s signature program, a center called Community Literacies Collaboratory.

From 6-7:30 p.m. CST Friday, April 14, and from 10-11:30 a.m. CST Saturday, April 15, the CLC will present “Composing Kinship: Poetics and Community,” which consists of two events: a roundtable and a poetry writing workshop. Both events will be held via Zoom and are free and open to the public. Separate registration is required for each event. All programs of the Brown Chair and CLC center access, and for these events, ASL interpreters, access copies and auto captioning will be provided.

Rooted in the interplay between poetry and community, the CLC, with the support of the Brown Chair, facilitates research, programming, educational and policy initiatives that support literacy learning and practices in Arkansas and nationally. Led by Eric Darnell Pritchard — the CLC’s founding director, the Brown Chair in English Literacy and associate professor of English — the CLC sees poetry as a crucial praxis in advancing its vision in leveraging literacies toward community accountability, imaginative social transformation and love.

“Composing Kinship” brings poets together in conversation to expand considerations of poetry and poetry’s work on and off the page, examining how we turn to poetry to define, create, transform and historicize community. The events are part of the CLC’s Literacy Exchange program, which, as Pritchard states, “provides lectures, workshops and trainings led by stakeholders from across the community literacies spectrum who will provide an introductory or enrichment opportunity for other literacy workers and community members to gain insight into a dimension of literacy work through the presenter’s expertise.”

The Friday evening roundtable speakers are four cherished poets — Meg Day, Sequioa Maner, Nathan Alexander Moore and Jake Skeets. Each speaker will read from original work that most engages with the theme of poetics and community. After the reading will be a cross-discussion moderated by poet and scholar Tara Betts, followed by an audience question and answer session. Information on each of our speakers and registration for the roundtable is available here.

The Saturday morning generative writing workshop welcomes participants at all levels of exposure to poetry and is designed to be accessible to community members with limited to wide range of knowledge about poetry and poetics. The workshop provides resources for continued engagement with poetry after it has ended. 

The workshop facilitator, George Abraham, explains that the event will “center conversations on poetic lineage — with whom are we writing, into which conversations are we entering — specifically through the lens of form. This workshop will approach this question of poetic lineage by examining inter-textual conversations happening across poems … and examining ways in which poets create conversations through and across poetic forms.” The workshop will begin with writing warm-ups on poems and other works which inspire them. There are a limited number of spaces for the workshop, so registration as soon as possible is recommended. More information about Abraham, the workshop and registration can be found here.

You can follow the Brown Chair and CLC’s work on social media via Twitter (@cl_collab), Instagram (@cl_collaboratory) and Facebook (@uarkbrownchair).

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