Poets Network & Exchange gathered with community for an afternoon of storytelling, poetry, words of healing and celebration. Our purpose was to share our concerns while celebrating community, culture, resiliency, life, love, power, joy, unity and determination in a safe, welcoming, supportive and healing space. Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. and the LC Information and Resource Center wanted to provide a space for celebrating life. The late Poet Lucille Clifton says,
won’t you celebrate with me
My shared statement of purpose. We’re here because we understand the importance of community and that we must continue to breathe life into a new and healing restorative narrative. We understand we must continue to work to change the old paradigm that seeks to destroy us as a community.While we mourn our dead we must continue our work for justice. This requires remaining focused and alert. Understanding our lives and those of future generations depend on our clarity. Clarity which sends us forth on a constructive path steadfast in our purpose.
Congratulations to Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. Feature Radhiyah Ayobami and Special Guest Edward Currelley, for a phenomenal afternoon of storytelling, poetry, words of healing and celebration! Your words captivated an appreciative audience. Radhiyah Ayobami opened with a riveting tribute to her late father. Her words are soil grown, reminding us of rich down home southern and northern traditions. We know her grandmothers, mothers, family members, and friends. We laugh and cry because these are our family, friends and neighbors. Saturday, July 11, 2015 at the Countee Cullen Branch, New York Public Library under the spell of her words we became a congregation, and the church said, Amen!
Edward Currelley spoke eloquently of South Carolina’s murdered nine Bible study members. His words were haunting and ripped through us as he mentioned each name of the murdered. He writes with clarity, honesty and understanding. His relationship poems are solid and strong. He surprised poet JP Howard, who was in attendance by reading one of her poems. Both Radhiyah Ayobami and Edward Currelley wrapped their words in such adjectives as joy, power, memory, celebration, and ancestors among many others. Both gave their audience much food for thought. We left enriched and empowered!
Thank you, to our conversations with our ancestors workshop participants Edward Currelley, Gary Johnston, Nichelle Johnson, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Alice Myerson and Janel Oyaande, for creating and sharing incredible work! Thank you, to our friends and supporters and welcome to our new Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. friends and supporters.Thank you, Nichelle Johnson for cohosting and facilitating our open mic. To learn more about Poets Network & Exchange visit us at
This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
©Lorraine Currelley 2015. All Rights Reserved.