"Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast possession of definition." - Eli Khamarov, The Shadow Zone

Saturday, November 3, 2018

C.I.P.H.E.R. Tuesdays: Three Years Strong!!

CIPHER Tuesdays, Three Years Strong                    10/26/18
                                                By Sean C. Bowers
            Create, Inspire, Purge, Hangout, Express, Rejuvenate: CIPHER Tuesday’s at the Train Station each and every Tuesday is for the poetic lifer who needs to visit a hotbed of creativity for an uplifting, for a part of the movement experience at the grass-growing-roots-ground-level.       
            Hosted by Q5, Quentin Jennings-Sherman, this fine dining seafood spot is mostly known for great food, Friday night jazz and the maxed-out Sunday Buffet on the weekends. Tuesday’s at 8 P.M. the doors open and the show runs from 9-11P.M. with a $5 cover that is well worth the drive and expense.
            Fortified by the “Fortresses” house band, led by Zachary Hines II, they float cosmic rotational inspirational splashy, jazzy, hippy, hoppy, gospel-style heavenly sounds that make listeners’ heads bob with the dread’s rhythms proudly pushing, rising, being and accomplishing - as their theme song with Q5,  proactively proclaims.
            After three years, the poetry “Open Mic” has grown, survived and thrived. Fifteen years ago, the “Fuzz Band” had the longest-running “Open Mic” in the 757 and was dubbed “Fuzzy Wednesdays.” CIPHER’S is similar, yet with a newer, younger, fresh version of open minds being fed by people thinking, not just drinking. It is a safe creative space dolled out in 5 minute bites you can sink your teeth and mind into. Every Tuesday people are moved to perform, sing, participate, rhyme, rap, and rhythmically represent.
            The Train Station restaurant is located next to Victory Park in downtown Newport News and is Black-owned and operated these past eighteen years by Robin Rattley. A beautiful poetic waterside environment with white table-cloths, as positive change is produced on the spot, is a rarity in today’s local climate. You can go for the dining experience that uplifts the soul wherever you may be coming from, to where we need to go and want to be. 757-247-7512 is the phone number for reservations.
Sean C. Bowers is a progressive youth development coach, author and poet, who has written for the nation’s third oldest black newspaper, The New Journal and Guide of Norfolk, VA for the last nineteen years. His book of over 120 NJ&G articles detailing the issues is available at V1ZUAL1ZE@aol.com and he does do large scale solutions based presentations.

Impacting Lives: An Article on Nathan Richardson

Nathan Richardson Poetic and Historical Lives Impactor 2018  

                                                                     By Sean C. Bowers
            For the past twenty years this native born son of Suffolk, Virginia has been on the front lines, a marching freedom-rider-fighter in his own way. His poetry reaches and inspires all within ear-shot to become very aware their own poetic possibilities. Nathan’s poetry taps into that wellspring within each of us that makes us more human-helping us recognize our earthly plain’s pains and our shared daily battles we work to overcome. His poems premises bring to life an antidote to the apocalyptic apathy of cynicism gripping our culture.

            As the founder of Spiritual Concepts Publishing (or SCPublishing.com, as it can be found on the internet) Nathan brings forth his river’s flow of creativity at his core. As a spoken word performer, he memorizes his works, flawlessly freeing his inner child’s stanzas at breakneck speed from his mind into his listeners’ thought processes, synapses, and hearts for the deepest penetration and contemplation. His subjects matter, like Black Lives, to Civil and Human Rights in a high-wired, net-less, awe-inspiring heartfelt skydiving approach beyond Alice’s Wonderland. Nathan gracefully takes his audiences into topics where they cannot go, and he is an accomplished guide.

            Some poets are products of their pre-packaged portfolios personified for profitability. Nathan comes to his reputation the old fashioned way. He works for it. He gives back to his community. Nathan is producing poetic prophets of the next generations as a long-term Hampton Roads Youth Poets team coach through the “Teens With a Purpose” program. Multiple teams have been sent to the Spoken Word National Championships dubbed, “Brave New Voices.” Those teams have consistently placed in the top ten and reflect Nathan’s ability to help our local teenage talent dig deeper, and to write and speak clearer. They learn from a master how to create, edit, practice, and memorize their word-play. Their team practice sessions show “General Richardson” challenging his “officers of the future” leadership and activism in their soul’s heart. He poses prose’s eternal and ethereal questions to them as to their poetic clarity, diction, enunciation, message, theme, and impact. “Coach” Nathan helps young poets zero in on the best they have to offer, using the old lost art forms of listening and relationship building. Participants come in as “rookies” who may have never before written or performed poetry. They leave as well rounded poetic deputies who are confident, eloquent, and in pursuit of justice and equality. Team members carry forth the light of liberty, championed by a poetry coach who “walks the walk” and poetically “talks the talk.”

            For most, that would be a full plate, but for Nathan it is just the start of a larger calling. He sponsors and attends a multitude of open mic’s and his book self-publishing seminars. He also hosts several of the areas longest running open mics in Suffolk, Petersburg, Chesapeake, making use of Virginia’s Public library network and the coffee house circuit.

            Poetry oozes from Nathan, in simple conversational logical Suffolkian, “down home”-made ways. He speaks directly to his audience’s hearts and minds never speaking down to them. His reach has grown from local to national. Nathan takes the listeners on a magic-carpet-ride-of-the-mind to the precipices of his poetic points.

            A few years ago Nathan decided to become more of an educator. He did so by choosing to re-enact Black Mount Rushmore’s most prolific Black Newspaperman, the Black Press founder, Frederick Douglass. Nathan’s Douglass- memorized speeches capture the truth of the 1800’s anti-slavery activist’s and how to tie it all together into modern-day progressive reality, spirituality, Common Sense-ability. By taking audience questions at the end of each program in the Douglass persona, Nathan accurately translates his perceptive acumen of the progress made, with a watchful eye on the vast distances yet to be covered to begin to reach equality’s “Promised Lands.”

            Richardson’s poetry has been published in multiple books and handbooks. It has appeared in the “Washington Post” and across the internet, through a host of video posts, e-mails, poems, and performances- an avalanche of positive-vibed One Love good will messages. Here is the excerpt from Nathan’s poem that was published in Washington Post article by Jonathan Capehart.

“Just listen to yourself and we will wait no more
No need for another Malcolm or Martin
when you stand ready at the door of greatness
Seeds sewn by Sojourner have now sprouted in her likeness as truth
New answers to old questions now lie in the hands of youth
Man or woman in the mirror now serves as your proof
that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for”

            When future historians look back, they will acknowledge the 757’s area code’s greatest poets, and Nathan Richardson will have carved out his own Likeness of Being, and a place alongside his character Frederick Douglass. From his first line through the last, Nathan’s poems, throughout all time’s tenses, will never be past.

            His Impacting Lives Award from the New Journal and Guide, November 3, 2018 honor’s him as a respectful student of history. He not only makes poetic history, but he breathes life into history, making it part of his story. As his fellow knight in the mythical “757 Poetic Roundtable,” in search of Camelot’s better angels, we salute you Nathan Richardson as the leader of our poetic pack. Job well done, but not finished, Sir. The entire nation awaits your story as you bring us all home. Know that …As you go forth, no weapon formed against you, shall prosper…

Sean C. Bowers is a progressive youth development coach, author and poet, who has written for the nation’s third oldest black newspaper, The New Journal and Guide of Norfolk, VA for the last nineteen years. His book of over 120 NJ&G articles detailing the issues is available at V1ZUAL1ZE@aol.com and he does do large scale solutions based presentations.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Great Weekend Poetry Options!!



Words Are Our Action
Subject (Poem Involving Guns)
The Muse Writer’s Center
2200 Colonial Ave, Ste 3
Norfolk VA
4:00 – 8:00



Poetry in the Park
(Weather Permitting)
River Street Park
300 River St
Hampton VA
4:00 – 7:00
Host:  Q5