When Poets Speak: Conjuring Magic

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What happens When Poets Speak? On Saturday November 14, 2015 Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. presented When Poets Speak, our last program for our 2015 season. Featured were poets EJ Antonio, Tyehimba Jess, Jacqueline Johnson and Patricia Spears Jones. We were treated to a wonderful afternoon of words and music. Summoning a call and response between audience and poets. Poetry church was in session. Some attendees sat silently in awe, while others shouted their approval. Each poet inviting ancestors into this poetic sacred space. This magic was conjured at the legendary Countee Cullen Branch, of the New York Public Library. A historical site where ancestor wordsmiths gathered. A premiere venue for artists of all genres during the Harlem Renaissance.

Tyehimba “Blues Man” Jess’s harmonica riffs and words left no emotion still. He invited in every blues man and woman that ever lived and now lives. He played life, carving from heart, his harmonica a living vessel. Tyehimba Jess is a
brilliant poet and musicologist. He welcomes audiences into each experience. He reminds me of home, down south geechee land. E.J. Antonio, Jacqueline Johnson and Patricia Spears Jones spung word quilts, adding to the magic.

In attendance, friend and supporter of Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. the legendary bassist Mr. Henry Grimes and his wife Margaret.

Thanks EJ Antonio, Tyehimba Jess, Jacqueline Johnson and Patricia Spears Jones. Thank you, Gary Johnston, co-publisher of Blind Beggar Press for donating and facilitating our first Literary Raffle. Thank you, to my co-host poet and author Edward Currelley, Thank you, Cro Dadi who travelled from Orlando, Florida to exhibit his work. This was our first art exhibit. Thank you to our sponsors, Poets & Writers, Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. and Blind Beggar Press. Last but never least thanks beyond measure to our attendees and supporters of Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. We are because of you.

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.

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©Lorraine Currelley 2015. All Rights Reserved.


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