Public Poetry - Featured Poets

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Public Poetry Summer Series 2018

July 7, August 4, September 1, 2018 | 2 PM
Stimley-Blue Ridge Neighborhood Library
Meet our featured poets!

Saturday, July 7, 2018 | 2 PM
Location: Stimley-Blue Ridge Neighborhood Library

DF Brown
The war that never ends / stops in 10,000 places; / slash and burn the soul-- / another pacification program / turns into a bombing campaign, / great chunks get moved around / over smaller things and death comes / in a blast that tears you apart, / shock waves spread your pieces.

From: Bone Song for Tim Newton, R.I.P.

Marie Brown
It seems as if Ruby lived on the good side of bad luck until along came Chuck / Chuck talked a lot, stutters a bit, scratches his head and his left eye occasionally twitches / I know what you are thinking ladies / He is not your G.Q. profile.

From: Ruby Do

Ayokunle Falomo
So, when we watch the bullet leave the officer’s gun// like a bouquet thrown or a garter tossed, do you not/ see how terrified I am, single man still learning love // with this one
breath that is mine that I am next?”


Vanessa Zimmer-Powell
She chews open cardinal, / raw. / Something about / blood and freedom. / Song bird./ She won’t stop / until it is well tasted, / until the white Victorian collar / is red / and she can sit like a boy in a tree.”

From: Girl Eating a Bird - after viewing Rene Magritte’s painting

Saturday, August 4, 2018 | 2 PM
Location: Stimley-Blue Ridge Neighborhood Library

Savanah Burns
I haven’t spoken to you in years, / But sometimes I eat stale Cheetos and think about you. / —about how you recently texted me out of the
blue, / To tell me you can’t handle your fractured marriage, / That you wanted to talk more, but, you know, life.”

From: Collage in the Trailer Window

Raie Crawford
We haven’t forgot about Travon, / the blues sung from muddy waters in Flint /How your silence rushed in quicker than the water when New /Orleans and / Baton Rouge were drowning / The Charleston church that went from hallelujah to hollow / Just a reminder....Eric Garner said he couldn’t breathe 11 times

From: Just a reminder

Sean Johnson
Last night you told me you loved me. It landed too gently. In times past, those three words would have ripped through me like a tornado through a mobile home. Instead they settled like dust on a set of Encyclopedia Britannica, without meaning.

From: Rearview Mirror

Elena Gonzales Melinger
…They were strappy, and low, and black, and Louis Vuitton. / I touched them, no sooner did I touch them, did I love them, / No sooner did I love them, did I remember the gulf between / / People like me, and people that could wear Louis Vuitton

From: Poem for an Ordinary Thing

Saturday, September 1, 2018 | 2 PM
Location: Stimley-Blue Ridge Neighborhood Library

Chenelle John 
Honey undertones complete the gradient, highlighting / mocha clay. / / Ancient voices ascend from Atlantic to Caribbean, / shattering glasses of lust that scrutinize obsidian bodies. / Boundaries set: audience and performer – /skin absorbs light, sweat beads hit the stage. / / Dance.”

From: Beautiful Skin - after Beautiful Skin by Oasha Patterson

Jiyoon Lee 
Hello, America, my relations to you vis-a-vis / my visa wasn’t savvy enough /to hang on like / a hanger-on. / O my expiring mode of existence… / O I can only be a hanger-on for so long / and so on / and on / and on / and on / on your land…”

From: Expiring Visa Poem

José Ramón Ruslánchez
Sublimation is not a detour: it’s a destination. It is the name of that moment in which the straight line towards the object of desire bends. I am about to arrive to something but I avoid it, remain roaming its limits.

From: Pozos (Translated by Bruno Ríos)

Tamara Nicholl-Smith
I come before you folded / like a grade school note / passed between pinky-swear friends /a tight bundle /slid along the floor / under the eyes of a teacher, / her back to the class, / her hand, writing equations / in white chalk on a green board, / dust swirling in the air.”

From: Paper Cranes “where I am folded, there I am a lie” – Rilke

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