Heavy hitters at Summer Speaks

POSTED: 07/20/11 11:41 AM

St. Maarten —The second of three nights of poetry and spoken word is being held at Taloula Mangos this evening, Wednesday, July 20, at 7:30 p.m.  The poetry and spoken word evenings called ‘Summer Speaks’ is organized annually between founder Lysanne Charles and Imbali Center for Creative Movement in efforts to provide local, emerging poets with a platform for expressing their work with appreciative audiences. According to Charles last week’s evening was a success in spite of the heavy rains which were experienced just prior to start time.
“I really wasn’t sure that an audience would turn up for the evening, because of the rains, but Clara always insists that regardless of what the show must go on and so I decided not to cancel it and we were all pleasantly surprised. We had a great turn out, the skies eventually cleared and the evening went off with only minor hitches. I want to thank everyone who came out and supported me and my fellow poets and made the first night one to remember,” Charles said.
Last week’s line-up featured poets Nkosazana Illis, Peter Lake, Jurnice Richardson, Stephen “Stretch” Rodney, Anderson Percival and Charles herself. The audience was also surprised with musical treats from Lena Brown and Morenika Arrindell. Tonight Lucinda “La Rich” Audain, Giovanni “Gino” Olivacce, Natasha Tashira Carty, Lenworth Wilson, Rodney and others will take the mic and the band “GC”, headed by Micheal Wilson, will also be playing an hour of smooth jazz.
“We said that this year we were going to tweak the program a little bit and so every week we are trying to add a little something extra to the event, but the goal stays the same and that is giving poets a place and a space where they can present their work and develop their skills in performing them. The poets are always the focus of the evenings and they really come excited to perform on the mic and showcasing to the island what they’ve been working on,” Charles said.
All the funds raised this year would be going towards establishing the foundation meant to execute both “Summer Speaks” and “Winter’s Words”. This foundation would also be charged with establishing a vehicle for bringing poetry performances to the nine high schools on both sides of the island in the upcoming academic year.
“Before we were really only focused on each event as a single unit and not on really bringing all of our events and goals together, but after discussion with the other poets I realized that I needed to do that in order for these events to grow and also in order to really make poetry and spoken word more dynamic on the island, at least from our end. So after this year’s Summer Speaks is over we will be working on building our foundation,” Charles said.
Charles is encouraging the general public to come out and support both the poets and the mission of the event. Cost of the evenings are $15 per night and tickets are available at Van Dorp, Pete’s Photo, Imbali Center for Creative Movement and from Charles herself at 586-1266.
“Audience members who are interested in reading should walk with their poems, because we really want them to step up at open mic,” Charles said.

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