Call to all written or spoken word poetry lovers, performers and supporters in the 757.
The New Journal & Guide, the nation's third oldest black newspaper, Norfolk's first black owned business is debuting the MUSE, a quarterly section Art based forum.
The below article describes the effort in more detail. It describes how and where the 757 word lovers can be involved, participate and support the local spoken word community. Submissions are being accepted for the next issues due out in May, then August, then Dec. 2015.
Copies of the MUSE will debut in this week's NJ&G and are available to be distributed to all the Poetry venues and supporters across the 757.
This Publication represents a fundamental change in the local poetry landscape. All hosting spit spots, owners, restaurants, museums, venues, open mic's, hosts, artists, authors are invited to consider placing a small ad in the MUSE to not only reach your target market and audience, but to be a part of owning the power of the words through your active support, so the MUSE can expand and become even more a - bi- monthly and eventually even a monthly offering championing the power we all have in not only our words, but our deeds. $$$ speaks volumes!
Interested parties should contact Sean C. at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or call 333-3029
Disclaimer: I do not work for or make anything from the NJ&G and have written for the Guide for the past 16 years.
Question: Are you in it for the Poetry, or are you in it for the Money?
Answers: to be determined by how our local poetry scene supports this New Publication
The Guide's masthead and why I write for the Guide.
...Publishing since 1900 so that no good cause shall lack a champion, and evil shall not thrived unopposed.
State of the 757 Poetry Nation
By Sean C. Bowers
Over the years the New Journal & Guide published several articles about the local spoken word poetry scene. Since those publications, interest and participation in Spoken Word and area poetry readings has grown. Several significant milestones have also occurred regarding our spoken word community.
These represent the opening of hearts, minds, souls and doors to the art form’s public acceptance and embrace. Now it is our time to step on these river bed rocks to bridge poetry’s unparalleled vast past with our destiny to the sacred word’s future relevance for all generations to come, one line, one rhyme and one listener at a time.
The original map of the area published by the NJ&G has been digitally upgraded. Go to Good Word Blog Spot, an on-line calendar showing interested parties all the 757 area code’s poetry happenings giving day, address, contact info, and host- all at the click of a button. The motto is still the same: “call before you go” to confirm. This service sure makes keeping track of the spoken word’s robust growth a snap.
There was been the 2008 formation of the Teens With A Purpose, a non-profit organization which uses poetry a tool of expression to help area youth more safely navigate adolescence. Hampton Roads’ Youth Poets have sent several spoken word poetry teams to an annual national competition known as “Brave New Voices.” They are coached by two local poet standouts, Nathan Richardson of Suffolk and “Godchild” of Norfolk. This year a Virginia Youth Poet Laureate program and position has been established by the TWP. The chosen poet will represent the commonwealth far and long past the Old Dominion.
Cox Communications’ Channel 11 has seen fit to dedicate a half-hour on Friday night at 10:00 P.M., to showcasing area youth poets as a testament to the next generation of up-and-coming poets.
Old Dominion University has sponsored a literary festival for 38 years. Now Norfolk State University is in the third year of hosting its own on-campus poetry event -the Carrol - (named after NSU beloved poet and Professor Bill Carrol). The Poetry Society of Virginia’s Southeastern Region’s Vice President, Jack Callan hosts a quarterly Chrysler Museum Poetry performance series, bi-monthly Five Points Market readings as part of some seventy poetry presentations annually.
Ten years ago, few regular nights Open Mic’s existed, they would pop up and disappear, almost as fast as they had appeared. Today we have a robust number of venues of all shapes, sizes, styles that have with stood the test of time to become known enduring poetry word factories for the mind. The longest running Open Mic of the 757, “Fuzzy Wednesdays,” hosted by the “Fuzz Band” has changed locations a several times, but continues to be a pioneer of free expression. Bookstores, museums and restaurants have opened their doors and minds to the spoken word concept, becoming “Spit” Shining Spots where more than their product gleams and reaches the masses.
It is in these more poetry-friendly progressive times that the New Journal & Guide has decided to print a quarterly 757 Writing and Spoken Word section dubbed “MUSE” in the paper highlighting several art forms including the honoring of the words and some of our verbal torchbearers.
Each quarterly issue will to feature a local teen youth poet, an established local poet, and a historical tribute to famous poet of significance all written by local writers. The Guide invites poets to submit poems and or short articles for possible publication, space-permitting. Additionally, a monthly snapshot of the local poetry calendar will connect you to what’s on mental tap in the 757 area. As the Guide’s resident poetry Voiceboxhero, I shall attempt to cover the scene that all shall find their own Voiceboxheroes for themselves in these most historic pages. The Guide is on the poets’ side and is the only place where the word, is truly seen and heard.
Sean C. Bowers is a local progressive youth development coach, author and poet, who has written for the New Journal and Guide for sixteen years. The e-mail contact for poetry related information for Poet, Sean C., is VOICEBOXHEROS@aol.com