That’s what we at WAM (Warren Artists Market) do and have been doing it since our first gathering in 2012. In February 2013, we sponsored an Art & Poetry reception where we poets wrote poems about the art exhibited by hometown artists and read the poetry while standing next to the artwork. It was great! The art and related-framed poems remained in the library (by request) for 2 months!
The artists were the late Jay Person, Wheeler Smith, and Ronnie Williams. The poets were Thomas Park, Sherman Johnson, and me. And so it began.
We hosted FFP open mic nights at the Warren Food Works, moved a few times when they were closed, and came back again. Their crew was always helpful and encouraging, supplying us with food and great liquid refreshments. Special nights were held, sometimes honoring particular holidays, sometimes featuring live music, sometimes dancers performed. Singers performed a cappela. Other special nights were held sponsoring Book Release Parties & Signings. Sterling Cheston added music selections to our events. Guest readers were featured. Often it was standing room only!
We facilitated a writing group at the Senior Center resulting in Chapbooks published; hosted play readings, and held workshops.
WAM began publishing an annual anthology in 2013 with SITTING WITH A DRUNKEN SORCERESS Poems and Prose to invite you, to incite you, to delight you, followed by Life Preserved: Memories An Anthology and INSPIRATIONS, an anthology on Warren County, and THIS I KNOW an anthology. Presently we are accepting submissions for HOME an anthology.
WAM is a writer’s collective and offers after school creative writing-arts programs. It was founded by writer, teacher Thomas Haywood Park.
We continue to grow and improve, to draw participants from greater distances, letting artists and writers know that our door is open and the mic is on.