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JMRL Teen Poetry Contest

From the good folks at JMRL: Do you love to write poetry?  The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library will hold its annual teen poetry contest from October 1 to October 27.   Contest forms and guidelines are  available at each branch library and online at  www.jmrl.org/teens.  Teens ages 12 to  18 can submit only one poem they have written.

Three winners will be chosen,  prizes will be awarded,  and the winners will be  eligible for entry in the annual teen poetry contest sponsored  by the Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) library journal.

Children’s author Cathy May will be one of several judges.  Submission deadline is October 27.  Winners will be notified by mid-November.


Red Sammy offers music, poetry at Durty Nelly’s July 28

Got an email from Adam Trice the other day. Adam is the man behind Red Sammy:

Red Sammy is Baltimore singer/songwriter, Adam Trice. The band name is a reference to Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” (1955). Trice describes the music as “graveyard country,” a style that embraces the beauty in imperfection. Life, work, hard work, disappointment, love and loss are all themes entwined in his songs.

Music and arrangements are provided by Red Sammy’s ensemble, The Electric-Wire Blackbirds: John “Chesapeake” Decker (resonator guitar), Greg Humphreys (bass, electric guitar, mandolin), and Tony Calato (drums).

Seems that Red Sammy is coming to Charlottesville, “incorporating poetry from my book, In Places with Bad Lighting, into our musical performance.”

Give him a listen at redsammy.com, and if you like what you hear, here are the deets:

Saturday, July 28th (Durty Nelly’s, 2200 Jefferson Park Avenue, Charlottesville, VA)

9:00 p.m. – Midnight

*Original edgy rock music all night with poems incorporated throughout the show.

Unleash Your Inner Poet with Mariflo Stephens November 12

Check out this upcoming seminar at WriterHouse:

Seminar: Unleash Your Inner Poet

Instructor: Mariflo Stephens

Cost: $55 WriterHouse Members | $60 Non-Members

Saturday, November 12, 2011 | 9:00am-1pm

A short poetry class for non-poets—the curiosity seeker, the timid versifier. If you’ve ever wanted to try writing poetry but don’t want to jump in the deep end, this seminar is for you.

Mariflo Stephens has read from her writing on Oprah and the Oxygen network. Her work is in Contemporary American Women Writers, The Barbie Chronicles, The Washington Post, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. The Virginia Commission for the Arts has awarded her two grants for fiction.

Support The Haven, Wednesday May 23

On Lament and Hope

On Wednesday, May 25 from 7-8:30 PM at The Haven, New City Arts presents an interdisciplinary evening of art that gives language to the process of grieving in our world and the ‘other’ whether it be hope, love, or something else, that precedes (or follow) our grief.

Participating artists include PennyWell, Sam Voekel, Evan Hansen, Rachel Adams, Bernard Hankins, Lisa Ryan, Daniel Moore, Elizabeth Stehl, and more! Featured work will include musical performances, an installation in The Sanctuary, spoken word and poetry readings.

$5 will get you in and benefit The Haven. The evening’s plenary is hosted by PennyWell, a local band led by NCAI board representative, Brendan Jamieson. The Haven is located at 112 West Market Street. Inquiries? Contact Maureen at artsdirector [at] newcityarts.org.

April 14 is Poem in Your Pocket Day

Jefferson-Madison-Regional Library will be bringing Poem in Your Pocket Day to the  Library region by providing our community with some poems for their pockets on April 14.   These poems will be printed on small slips of paper,  rolled into poem scrolls, then distributed free of charge  at all  JMRL libraries.

Volunteers throughout Charlottesville and Albemarle assembled  the poem scrolls and will be assisting with the distribution of these poems around the community.  A poem is such a wonderful gift: it can open a dialogue between strangers, warm an acquaintance, deepen understanding between friends, or just give us a reason to pause and reflect on our own.

Earth Day poetry reading April 21 at C’ville Coffee

STREETLIGHT POETRY SERIES PRESENTS EARTH DAY READING Thursday, April 21, 8 p.m. at C’ville Coffee, 1301 Harris Street, Charlottesville.

Streetlight Poetry Series invites you to celebrate Earth Day through words and voices of six local poets, each a woman with a close relationship to nature and our environment:  Anne Bromley, Polly Larazon, Judy Longley, Cara Marinuci, Jaime Reaser and Lisa Ryan.

Stephen Cushman at New Dominion Wednesday, March 2

New Dominion Bookshop:

Stephen Cushman will read from his new collection of poetry


Wednesday, March 2 at 5:30 PM

Stephen Cushman’s Riffraff embodies the spirit of its title, a Middle English word for “every particle” or “things of small value.” In this striking collection, scraps of the overlooked, and distasteful—a prostitute passed in the street, the speaker’s own forgotten dreams, toothless dogs rolling in deer offal—become occasions to meditate on the rich experiences from which we too often turn away.

The poems reflect on the possibilities of language, the natural world, politics, history, eros, aging, family, and spiritual devotion. Without pretension, Cushman values “adepts who can dwell in the kiosk of a kiss.” Skillfully, he transmutes his own curiosity and surprise into moments of shared instruction. “Keep low,” he whispers. “Stay put. / Learn from the leaves.”

Riffraff culls what we have discarded, saves from abandonment the notions we have taken for granted, and, indeed, venerates every particle.

Stephen Cushman is the author of the poetry collections Cussing Lesson and Blue Pajamas and the nonfiction book Bloody Promenade: Reflections on a Civil War Battle. He is Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at the University of Virginia.