On Sunday, February 14 from 3 to 5 PM, Calliope: Poetry for Community and the West Falmouth Library will present a special poetry reading to benefit the Falmouth Service Center, whose mission is to “ease stress, reduce hunger, and improve the quality of life for our neighbors in need.” The event will take place at the West Falmouth Library, 575 West Falmouth Highway.
A donation of $20 is suggested, and all donations will go directly to the Falmouth Service Center. There will be no open mic at this Calliope meeting. The Library is collecting non-perishable food items and plastic grocery bags in good condition for the Service Center during the month of February and these may be donated at the event.
Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Legros George and Jennifer Jean—two poets whose work has focused on the vulnerable and the need for a shared humanity—will be the featured readers. Both of the readers are accomplished poets whose work exhibits a strong social consciousness.
Danielle Legros Georges, the current Poet Laureate of Boston, is a professor in the Creative Arts in Learning Division of Lesley University. She also teaches in the Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her poems have been widely anthologized, and recent essays of hers have appeared in Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences and Writing in America (ed. Abayomi Animashaun) and Anywhere But Here: Black Intellectuals in the Atlantic World and Beyond (eds. Kendahl Radcliffe and Jennifer Scott). She is the author of two poetry collections, Maroon and The Dear Remote Nearness of You (forthcoming from Barrow Street Press, spring 2016.) A Haitian-American poet, her poem, “The List Grows” appears in Common Threads, 2016, the poetry discussion project of Mass Poetry.
“Most, if not all, artists are affected by the social, environmental and political events around them,” Legros George says, “and they reflect these events or address what is missing. Poetry, and art more broadly, can allow for empathy, for connection, for seeing individual beauty, and for exploration of a shared humanity.”
Jennifer Jean’s poetry and prose have been published in many literary journals, including Denver Quarterly, Rattle, and Tidal Basin Review. Her debut poetry collection, The Fool, appeared in 2013. She is co-director of Morning Garden Artist Retreats and teaches Free2Write poetry workshops to sex-trafficking survivors. “Poetry is a means to real healing, compassion, and change,” she says. “I believe it is with non-standard, often vulnerable writers that poetry’s true power can be realized.”
“This is the first of several fundraising events we plan to present,” says Alice Kociemba, Calliope’s founding director. “Over its nine years, Calliope has worked to foster a community of poets and bring outstanding poetry to the region. These are still our goals, but now we are expanding our focus to find ways in which, through poetry, we can reach outward to help benefit the entire community.” For more information about this and other upcoming events visit calliopepoetryseries.com or westfalmouthlibrary.org.