I remember the first time I heard eboniramm, the local jazz & blues poet-performer, at a literary event. That voice, that presence, that easy movement between gospel and blues, between song and poem, between joy and pain. Stunning. She's on the line up of remarkable poets and performers scheduled for Bookin' It On Main: A Celebration of Black Writers, set for this Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in and around the Columbia Museum of Art. Also on the line up is the launch of Home Is Where, a collection of poetry by African American writers edited by Kwame Dawes. This is an unprecedented collection of writing by a real range of poets, including winners of the National Book Award and Ansfield-Wolf Award and participants in the Cave Canem workshops. Beautiful work, politically important, and, you can get a copy on Saturday at the festival (and get lots of the participating writers to sign it as well).
Here's Sharon Strange, one of the writers scheduled for Saturday, reading her poem "Unforgettable" on NPR.
Eighteen of the country's finest poets — all of them featured in the new anthology —will be reading Saturday. They'll be joined by comic book artists, musicians, the Richland Northeast GAP Choir, and local storyteller Darion McCloud (whose acting and directing work many of us have seen with Trustus Theatre and the critically acclaimed NiA Company, our local multi-ethnic theatre company).
There will be readings, writing workshops, book signings, music. There's also a BYOB - Bring Your Own Book (not beer!) for younger children, during which children who bring a book can have it read aloud.
Here's the schedule of readings, all in the Columbia Museum of Art:
10 a.m. Porchia Moore Joyce Rose-Harris Michele Reese Howard L. Craft Glenis Redmond
11:45 a.m. celeste doaks eboniramm Lenard D. Moore Linda Beatrice Brown
1:30 p.m. Candace Wiley Nichole Gause Stephanie Suell Monique Davis
3 p.m. Sharan Strange Tanure Ojaide Earl Braggs Monifa Jackson KING Shakur
A ground-breaking anthology and a day full of performances and readings. This promises to be an amazing event!