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Poet Kwame Dawes back in Columbia this Saturday

Poet and Verner Award recipient Kwame Dawes returns to Columbia for a workshop presented by Allen University on Saturday, Aug. 18. Dawes, a former USC professor now working as Chancellor's Professor of English at the University of Nebraska, will lead a workshop titled "The Art of Spoken and Written Word/Poetry in the Bible." The workshop will be held on Saturday at Bishop Memorial AME Church (2221 Washington St., Columbia) from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Refreshments and a light lunch will be served. The workshop is free and open to the public, but you must register online first. The workshop will explore poetic moments in the Bible and turn them into spaces of inspiration for new poems. Spoken Word poets, page poets, anyone interested in exploring their creative side are welcome. Kwame Dawes will create spaces to explore language and lyric that will result in forms of creative expression that will be “as urgent and vulnerable as true prayer,” says Dawes. Allen’s year-long project titled "Standing in the Need of Prayer" focuses on the use of art in worship and prayer and is partnering with four neighborhood churches: Bishop Memorial AME Church, First Calvary Baptist Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church. Born in Ghana in 1962, Dawes spent most of his childhood in Jamaica. As a poet, he is profoundly influenced by the rhythms and textures of the country, citing in a recent interview his “spiritual, intellectual, and emotional engagement with reggae music.” His book Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius (2007) remains the most authoritative study of the lyrics of Bob Marley. Read his full bio on PoetryFoundation.org. In 2008, the South Carolina Arts Commission presented him with the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts in the individual category. In 2009 he was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors.

Photo courtesy of PoetryFoundation.org.

The Big Read wants you!

Do you enjoy reading? Would you like to present or participate in a community-wide reading program? The Big Read is accepting applications from nonprofits to develop community-wide reading programs between September 2013 and June 2014.  Eligible applicants include such organizations as literary centers, libraries, museums, colleges and universities, art centers, historical societies, arts councils, tribal governments, local governments, humanities councils, literary festivals and arts organizations. Organizations selected to participate receive a grant, educational and promotional materials and online training resources and opportunities. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected. The Big Read is a national program designed to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment. Participating communities read and discuss a single book. Each community event lasts approximately one month and includes a kick-off event, major events devoted specifically to the book (panel discussions, author reading, and the like); events using the book as a point of departure (film screenings, theatrical readings, and so forth); and book discussions in diverse locations and aimed at a wide range of audiences. Individuals can get involved by sharing Big Read information and encouraging their local library, museum or other arts organization to apply. In fact, there are Ten Ways To Get Involved. To review the guidelines and application instructions, visit The Big Read website. The application deadline is Feb. 5, 2013. Think about taking the lead for The Big Read! Note: Allen University in Columbia is South Carolina's only current Big Read participant. Find out about their activities, scheduled for March 2013.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Via: The Big Read