Reading Against Racism partners with The Unspoken Word for poetry reading tonight

The power of words

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FLICKER USER MIKE MCKAY
  • Flicker user Mike McKay
April is National Poetry Month, and to celebrate, two local literary groups are teaming up for a special event about poetry that tackles racism. Tonight at 6:30 p.m. Charleston’s Reading Against Racism book group and the poetry collective The Unspoken Word will host a joint poetry reading at the Charleston County Public Library located at 68 Calhoun St.

The poems for this reading were curated by Charleston’s poet laureate Marcus Amaker and local poet Matthew Foley. You can peruse the list of poems here. The group will read the poems aloud before a group discussion, so don’t worry if you don’t have time to read the poems before hand.

If there is a poem that moves you and addresses racism, the group also welcomes members to bring their own poems to share.

Here's a taste of what to expect at this reading. "Hurricane" by Yona Harvey:

Four tickets left, I let her go—
Firstborn into a hurricane.
I thought she escaped
The floodwaters. No—but her
Head is empty of the drowned
For now—though she took
Her first breath below sea level.
Ahhh awe & aw
Mama, let me go—she speaks
What every smart child knows—
To get grown you unlatch
Your hands from the grown
& up & up & up & up
She turns—latched in the seat
Of a hurricane. You let
Your girl what? You let
Your girl what?
I did so she do I did
so she do so—
Girl, you can ride
A hurricane
& she do
& she do & she do & she do
She do make my river
An ocean. Memorial,
Baptist, Protestant birth—my girl
Walked away from a hurricane.
& she do & she do & she do & she do
She do take my hand a while longer.
The haunts in my pocket
I’ll keep to a hum: Katrina was
a woman I knew. When you were
an infant she rained on you & she
do & she do & she do & she do


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