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.
Category Archives: First Friday Poetry Night
FIRST FRIDAY OPEN MIC NIGHT! AT 108 S. MAIN ST. WARRENTON NC
Join us in an evening of readings and who knows what or who, may appear to perform! Gabe is preparing some foods especially for us! plus lattes, etc. coffee, teas & cold drinks. Come out to read or just listen! A NEW TRADITION-WE’RE STARTING AT 7 PM! Sterling will present selected music for added ambiance.
It’s here on Friday-our First Friday Poetry, open mic night, 4th Dec. 7:30 to 9:30.
Come in; you can hear Reasons for the Season.
Come in to hear original works read by the poets who wrote them.
Come in to read your own words or the words of someone you enjoy.
Come in; just listen, FoodWorks, 108 S. Main St Warrenton NC
Come in, nibble on local foods and delectable desserts.
Come in, taste the wines and beers of North Carolina.
Come in and share a table with old friends or meet new ones.
Big hugs and bigger thanks to all who came to the WAM 2nd annual anthology Book Release Reception on Friday the 6th. You made it a huge success and made us WAM folks walk on air in delight. Area writers in the anthology and featured readers were Cat Graham, LaVerne Gardner, D. Bernard Alston, Joyce Lindenmuth, Deanie Carter, Maggie Chalifoux, Jenny G. Gray, Swen Gerards, Sandra Butler Tubbs, Jack Peachum, Michael Layne, and of course, Thomas Park, and me. Sherman Johnson read his special poem about an 11 year old girl that touched us all. Chris Hunter sang a perfect ending for a perfect night.
The Warren FoodWorks presented a delectable array of hors’d oeuvres. Sterling Cheston carried us into and maintained our party atmosphere with his perfect music selections. Our sponsors, Dr. & Mrs. Cosmos George and John Earl Alston, are held in sincere honor for helping us bring our community together and in keeping the arts alive in Warren County. Also thanks to Jennifer Harris of the Warren Record for printing the article that called many listeners to join in.
The Warren Artists’ Market (WAM) founder, Thomas Park has announced the completion of Preserved Life: Memories, a 2nd annual anthology. The book features 52 writers, at least 13 from Warren County, including poems from the late, respected, hometown writer Edwina Rooker. Submissions came from as far away as India.
The Book Release reception is scheduled to blend with WAM’s traditional First Friday Poetry Night on November 6, held at Warren FoodWorks, 108 S. Main Street, Warrenton, from 7 until 9 p. m. Local writers have been invited to read from their work. The event is open mic. Others who are not in the anthology are welcome to read also.
The 253 page book will be available for $15 each. Refreshments will be served. There is no admission fee.
The Artists’ Collective hosts First Friday Poetry Nights, book readings/signings for local authors, mural workshops, writing groups, drumming, and after-school tutoring.
The September First Friday continues to exceed my expectations! I thought that the holiday weekend would bring us a small group dedicated to our efforts of bringing poetry and oral expression to Warren County. Instead, the Warren Food Works (WFW) was packed with a diverse crowd from 18 to 80 mingling, enjoying each other while eating, drinking, and soaking up the words cast out into the atmosphere.
A wide range of poetic subjects seeping from the hearts of writers-Warren County writers, and Virginia writers, too, silenced the room with absorption. The always-welcome songs sung so beautifully by Shavon Russell Jones and afterwards, her sister, (forgive me I didn’t get her name.) A big surprise to everyone when volunteer from behind the bar, Cris Hunter ended the evening with the most beautiful rendition of Nature Boy. It brought some tears for the beauty of it. Their voices were like melted chocolate, velvety smooth and mesmerizing to everyone.
Miranda Medlin offered a stirring presentation, taking all into her realm. Devonte, a poet from our last year anthology Sitting with a Drunken Sorceress gave us his words and Travis Bullock continues to bring people in just to hear what he has to tell us.
So many others came to read, to share thoughts, feelings, and to merely listen. It was a very full night; a night to show Thomas Park what his dream has wrought; a night to make him proud for all his efforts.
If you have been awake at all, you must have heard that writing is healing. You don’t have to be a writer, or English teacher, or a good speller, you just have to put your pen/pencil in hand and put it to the paper. No PC or Mac or word processor for this one. Paper & pen. That’s all. No one else is going to read or critique it. You can throw it away when you are finished if you like.
Why write? Because it works. More than the writing, being healing; Conner leads us to do the writing we need. She leads us to emotions even if we don’t know how to get into them, she does. Writing is visual-we see it on the page and what we are writing is pictured in our mind; auditory-we hear what we are saying as we write; and sensory-we feel the pen, the paper, the physical act of writing.
Writing is a mystical experience. Conner takes us into forgiving those who have cut us deeply. You know, the ones that left us scarred for life. The scars may be hidden from the public, but we know they are there. Plus, she shows us why we must forgive, how we benefit by this act as well as the person who hurt you. Conner is extremely honest in her writing, allowing her anguish to fall onto the pages. She holds nothing back. Compassion comes out of that.
If I haven’t convinced you yet, I may do another post on this book. That’s how important I believe it is, to spread the word. It’s my way of helping someone as I have been helped. I uncovered events that I had thought I’d forgotten-thought I’d healed. Surprise! I had just buried them. There is a big difference.
I have had miracles to prove it.
A friend, who missed coming to FFPN at the Warren FoodWorks last week, asked me what I read. Attempting to step into the absent Thomas’ shoes, not an easy task-he is a natural emcee, I read a bit more than usual. As he is always asking everyone “Why do you write?” Reading one of my pieces from Jyoti Wind’s, The Creative Arc, An Anthology on Writing, seemed appropriate. My well-read copy is pictured here. Reading again and since WH Auden is one of many favorite poets, I read:
W H AUDEN QUOTE
“A poet is, before anything else, a person
who is passionately in love with language.”
W.H. Auden (1907-1973)
This quote from one of my favorite poets
sits with truth on my lips, slides down to
my heart and nestles there, as it finds a home.
In love with language, words that tickle me,
making me laugh; sometimes outright giggle
words can impress me with their sincerity
depress me without any reason just because
they are a word that forms an unhappy picture.
Poets take these words and move them around
write one higher on the line to make it jump
or rest quietly to let you sigh, take a deep breath
be happy to see it, special words can be italic
to touch you, you will remember those words
so precious that they imprint on your mind
and stay there
Bards play with accents as in persona poems
where you use the voice of another, allowing
your words to come from their mouth or is it
their words from your pen, after stepping into
their shoes, testing their waters, feeling how
someone else thinks. Is that possible?
Or is it guesswork and misunderstanding.
Playing with words on paper is part of that
love of language; moving them around
forming an outline of a heart or a tree
simply for pure delight. The power of a
printed word is image, to impress another
or catch their eye while playing like a child
hoping to leave a mark on the reader.
Arlene Sandra Bice © 3/2015