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Statue of Liberty

In America

Poets Creating Conversation

[Free]

Information for Poets Interested in Participating

[Register for a spot / Space is limited]

We invite poets to join us for a series of events focusing on important themes/issues in our current national discourse. We encourage you to find your own way in. You may choose to participate in one or more of the challenges. Calls to action follow below.


Race in America

Poets Creating Conversation

April 30, 7P

Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street, Pittsfield

The challenge is to use our art to explore and share personal journeys around race and xenophobia - issues that are inexorably wrapped around the history of America and reflected in much of the current discourse. By sharing personal stories, observations, moments of inspiration, and hope, we look to create a broad poetic tapestry with a goal that the resulting “conversation” between creative voices will make us stronger and help us find a way forward. Bear witness, challenge, purge your soul, or celebrate a small victory.

The fine print - no personal attacks (if you need to address an individual or specific institution in your work, anonymize it). Poetry, unaccompanied rap or short story - 4 minutes or less. Collaborations (multi-voice pieces) are welcome (encouraged!).

[Register for a spot / Space is limited]


Incarceration in America

Poets Creating Conversation

May 21, 7P

Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street, Pittsfield

“[P]risons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings. And the practice of disappearing vast numbers of people from poor, immigrant, and racially marginalized communities has literally become big business.” - Angela Davis

With an "occupancy guarantee," the Corrections Corporation of America reported $1.9 billion in revenue and a net of $221 million in 2015. The United States locks up more people per capita than any other nation. Combine incarceration with probation and parole, and there are nearly 7 million persons under correctional supervision. Multiply that by friends and family, add in the effects of living in over policed communities, factor in the disproportionate over-representation of black men in this population and there’s a lot to talk about. So poets, take your pen and let’s get to work.

The fine print - no personal attacks (if you need to address an individual or specific institution in your work, anonymize it). Poetry, unaccompanied rap or short story - 4 minutes or less. Collaborations (multi-voice pieces) are welcome (encouraged!).

[Register for a spot / Space is limited]


Working in America

Poets Creating Conversation

June 25, 7P

Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street, Pittsfield

For this event, the poet’s challenge is to use their art to explore and share personal stories centered around working in America - the challenges, triumphs and realities - from work we love, to work that doesn't love us back.

“Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying." - Studs Terkel

The fine print - no personal attacks (if you need to address an individual or specific institution in your work, anonymize it). Poetry, unaccompanied rap or short story - 4 minutes or less. Collaborations (multi-voice pieces) are welcome (encouraged!).

[Register for a spot / Space is limited]

 

Previous Events -

Education In America

Poets Creating Conversation

February 26, 7P

Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street, Pittsfield

Everybody's got something to say. Public education, home school, k-12, college or the lessons that life has dropped on you. In the classroom, out of the classroom, or in the "real" world. Put it in a poem or a rap. The good, the bad or the ugly. Cautionary tales or inspirational stories. By sharing personal stories, observations, moments of inspiration, and hope, we look to create a broad poetic tapestry with a goal that the resulting “conversation” between creative voices will make us stronger and help us find a way forward. You're the poet and it's your truth. Dive in.

The fine print - no personal attacks (if you need to address an individual or specific institution in your work, anonymize it).Poetry, unaccompanied rap or short story - 4 minutes or less. Collaborations (multi-voice pieces) are welcome (encouraged!).

Gender in America

Poets Creating Conversation

March 26, 7P

Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street, Pittsfield

Slice it and dice it anyway you like. Whether you're talking about identity; equity and parity; privilege or pronouns; harassment or assault; cis, trans or non - we all live in, around or beside gender. By sharing personal stories, observations, moments of inspiration, and hope, we look to create a broad poetic tapestry with a goal that the resulting “conversation” between creative voices will make us stronger and help us find a way forward. You're the poet and it's your truth. Dive in.

The fine print - no personal attacks (if you need to address an individual or specific institution in your work, anonymize it). Poetry, unaccompanied rap or short story - 4 minutes or less. Collaborations (multi-voice pieces) are welcome (encouraged!).