Spring keeps peeking out like a shy child behind her mother’s skirt. Yet, she ducks back again, leaving us with March snow storms, freezing rain and gray days. As I impatiently await the blossoms and bunnies that come with National Poetry Month, I’m already giving birth to a years’ worth of poetic adventures.
Early this year I teamed up with the Cultural Diversity Center at Central Penn College to begin the American Griot Project, my oral history as choreopoem idea. The plan is to interview women about their experiences during the Civil Rights Movement and post those interviews on the college’s multicultural online newsletter. Who knew how challenging it would be to connect with these phenomenal women?! Between the emails that no longer work, the phones without voicemail and sadly, illnesses and even… Well, many of those interviews have yet to be realized. However we continue to press on. This Spring I retreat to Auvillar, FR to write and workshop poems inspired by those interviews, as well as those inspired by the tastes and sights of Deep France.
This is my second trip to Auvillar to study with the amazing poet, Marilyn Kallet, Director of Creative Writing at UT- Knoxville. Poets should have at least one getaway a year to connect with their art and hone their craft. I’m thankful for a supportive husband, because I know my kids will be in good hands while I’m away. In the meantime, we are all practicing French – even the almost 1 year-old!
Lastly, I am teaching more poetry workshops and open to creative writing residencies at local schools. I love developing opportunities for other artists as well. In fact, I am on two arts organization boards: Barak, Inc and Nathaniel Gadsden’s Writer’s Wordshop. I will be hosting a poetry workshop at Jumpstreet on Wed, April 15th at 6:30 PM. For more information on what I have coming up, visit the Readings and Workshops page. I hope to see you out and about this Spring!