Men’s Narratives: Arts Activism, Creativity & Social Responsibility Part I

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Men’s Narratives: Arts Activism, Creativity & Social Responsibility Part I got off to a great start with Nkosi Nkululeko. Nkosi is an amazing young poet, musician and visual artist. He started out as an actor, member of a swim team and played competitive chest. He studied jazz, classical music and piano. He was exposed to a community of poets, writers, and musicians at a very young age. He grew up in Harlem, New York born to artist parents, his mother a singer and his father a musician and poet.

Nkosi Nkululeko, is the 2016 NYC Youth Poet Laureate, is a Callaloo Fellow and The Watering Hole Fellow and has received nominations for the American Voices Award, Independent Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize. Nkosi was a member of the 2014 Urban Word NYC Slam Team and 2015 Urbana-NYC Slam Team. His work is currently published or forthcoming in No Token, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Rose Red Review, Hobart and elsewhere.

James Baldwin states, “Writers are here to disturb the peace.” Nkosi believes artists are not only here to disturb the peace but also to act as makers of peace. His poems are socially conscious and metaphorically rich. While, writing about issues centered on social justice, he also explores and writes about nature. He writes and speaks in his own voice, determined not to join a sea of the same voices. Early influences and mentors include Kim Moran Weston,  J.E. Franklin and Luis Reyes Rivera. He says, writing takes time and thought. Performing is difficult, the memorizing. Two years ago after joining  Urban Word NYC and becoming a member of the Slam Team he owned   the mantle poet. Nkosi Nkululeko resides in Harlem, New York where he listens to jazz. You can reach him at: musicmannkosi@gmail.com

Thanks to Jean Harripersaud, Michael Alvarez and the Bronx Library Center  Thanks Jean Harripersaud for sharing the importance of reading and for directing us to supporting books and exhibits throughout the evening. Thanks to everyone in attendance. Special shout out to Smoke author poet Mercy Tullis Bukhari for coming through. This program was sponsored by  Poets Network & Exchange, Inc.and Lorraine Currelley.

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Join us for Men’s Narratives Part II July 13, 2016 with Bonafide Rojas and Part III August 17 with Charlie Vazquez, Bronx Library Center 310 East Kingsbridge Road, Bronx NY. Series admission is free.

Copyright 2016 Lorraine Currelley. All Rights Reserved.

Poets Network & Exchange Stoop Narratives

Stoop Narratives was a wonderful success, thanks to the support of family, friends and community. Special thanks to our featured readers Phillip J. Ammonds, Edward Currelley, Baba Ngoma Hill, Marilyn Thomas King, Elizabeth Lara, and Gia Shakur. Thanks to Blind Beggar Press sponsor of our Literary Raffle and to Gary Johnston, Meredith Trede, and Harriet White readers for our open reading segment. Thanks to the Countee Cullen Branch, NYPL for an ongoing legacy of supporting social,  cultural and educational enrichment programming.

Copyright 2016 Lorraine Currelley. All Rights Reserved.

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Lorraine Currelley Curates Mom Egg VOX January 2016 Issue

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Honored to curate  the Mom Egg Review VOX Gallery January 2016 Issue. Featured Poets and Writers E.J. Antonio, Jill Austen, Fay Chiang, Edward Currelley, Lorraine Currelley, Jacqueline Johnson, Nella Larsen, Carmel Mawle, Christopha Moreland, Kate Rushin, Alicia Anabel Santos , Margie Shaheed and Julia Stein.. Thanks to Marjorie A. Tesser, Founder & Editor in Chief, Mom Egg Review and featured contributors. Please visit and share widely.

http://www.themomegg.com/themomegg/VOX_MOM/Entries/2015/12/30_VOX_MOM__Guest_Curator_Lorraine_Currelley.html

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.

Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. Welcomes Mom Egg Review Issue 13

The Countee Cullen Branch, NYPl was the place to be Saturday October 10, 2015. The contributors to Mom Egg Review Issue 13 featured. The reading co-hosted by Mom Egg Review founder Marjorie Tesser and Lorraine Currelley, founder and executive director Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. Thank you, Marjorie Tesser for co-hosting. Thank you, featured Mom Egg Review Issue 13 contributors Fay Chiang, Marion Cohen, Edward Currelley, Lorraine Currelley, Heather Haldeman, Lori Lamothe, Kristin Campbell Mathis, Margie Shaheed and Marjorie Tesser for an incredible reading and lovely afternoon.Your words were powerful, inspiring and joyous. Thanks to everyone for your conversations and laughter. Thanks everyone who attended and purchased books.
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Mom Egg Review Issue 13 Contributors.                                   Mom Egg Review Issue 13 Contributing Members.

(photo credit Lorraine Currelley, group photo Jill Austen.)

 ©Lorraine Currelley 2015. All Rights Reserved.

El Grito de Lares, The Cry of Lares

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Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. presented “El Grito de Lares, The Cry of Lares on Saturday 26, 2015. We honored the fight for Puerto Rican Independence. We gathered to celebrate with words and music the fight against colonial oppression and liberation. Special thanks to our featured poets and writers Americo Casiano, Sandra Maria Esteves, Gloria Fontanez and Charlie Vazquez for sharing your powerful words. Read Carlito Rovira’s article “The Birth of Puerto Rico’s Fight for Independence – El Grito De Lares.” The article  provides an extensive history  of Puerto Rico’s fight for independence.

https://carlitoboricua.wordpress.com/2016/09/17/the-birth-of-puerto-ricos-fight-for-independence-el-grito-de-lares/

Thanks to Edward Currelley, for his impeccable moderating. Thanks  to Omo Aya Gene Golden (percussionist) for leading the way. Thanks to everyone in attendance who came out in support. Jaime “The Maestro” Emeric photographed and filmed the event.

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.

Author Lisa Hailey Weldon and Lola Featured at Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. Scholar Lecture Series

Moderator Edward D. Currelley, author Lisa Hailey Weldon and Lorraine Currelley, Exec. Dir. Poets Network & Exchange, Inc.
Moderator Edward D. Currelley, Author Lisa Hailey Weldon and Lorraine Currelley, Exec. Dir. Poets Network & Exchange, Inc.
Author Lisa Hailey Weldon reads from HandiCAPABLE
Author Lisa Hailey Weldon reads from HandiCAPABLE

On Saturday August 22, 2015 I spent a wonderful afternoon with the phenomenal author Lisa Hailey Weldon, creator of  HandiCAPABLE! Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. Scholar Series was honored to present Lisa Hailey Weldon. Thank you, Lisa Hailey Weldon for your reading and sharing HandiCAPABLE’s main character Lola. It was great getting to know more about the compassionate and inspiring Lola through the eyes of her creator. HandiCAPABLE is a very important work in not only children’s literature but literature period! You are opening the doors for more diverse children’s literature. All children are valued, welcomed and have a place at the table. Thank you, for sharing insights about, book publishing, working with an illustrator and editor. Thank you, Lisa Hailey Weldon, well done and looking forward to hearing more from the amazing Lola.

Moderator Edward D. Currelley interviews Author Lisa Hailey Weldon
Moderator Edward D. Currelley interviews Author Lisa Hailey Weldon

It’s always a joy to attend an event where you’re truly welcomed. An event where audience members and special guests have an opportunity to share in conversation, in a very meaningful way. Author Edward Currelley shared, “We must recognize and understand the importance of sharing space as a community when we come together. We must never take these moments for granted.” His words were met with affirmation.

A special thanks to our guest moderator poet and author Edward Currelley, for an inspiring, interesting and thought provoking interview  with author Lisa Hailey Weldon. Thank you, for allowing us to become a part of the conversation in such a unique and joyful way. Thank you, audience members for your continued support. It was wonderful meeting everyone who stopped by to meet our guest author.

Author Lisa Hailey Weldon's sister featured in HandiCAPABLE
Author Lisa Hailey Weldon’s sister featured in HandiCAPABLE

©Lorraine Currelley 2015. All Rights Reserved.