Readings are free and open to the public. Book signing and reception follow the program, held on the second Friday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in downtown Charleston:
The Charleston Library Society, 164 King Street (just before Queen)
NOVEMBER READING ONLY
SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH HALL
342 Meeting St
Seminars are also held at The Charleston Library Society, unless otherwise stated, and run from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Members $10, College of Charleston students free, all others $15.
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Be sure to check out our state-wide poetry calendar to find events in your area!
- September 2016: Ginger Murchison (opening: Marcus Amaker)
- October 2016: Paul Allen, with Jozie Konczal opening
- November 2016: Traci Brimhall (opening: Raena Shirali) AT SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
- December 2016: Holiday Party, for PSSC members only
- January 2017: Annual Open Mic, Jim Lundy, emcee
- February 2017: John Milkereit (opening: TBA)
- March 2017: Terri McCord (opening: Brian Slusher)
- April 2017: Eugenia Leigh (opening: Celeste McMaster)
- May 2017: Annual Forum with Joseph Bathanti
September 9: Ginger Murchison with Marcus Amaker
Ginger Murchison earned her MFA from Warren Wilson’s program for poets and assisted Thomas Lux to found POETRY at TECH in Atlanta. She is Editor in Chief of the acclaimed Cortland Review. Her new collection of poems, a scrap of linen, a bone, was published January, 2016 by Press 53.
"River" by Ginger Murchison
Marcus Amaker is Charleston, South Carolina's first Poet Laureate, as appointed by Mayor John Tecklenburg. He is also an award-winning graphic and web designer, videographer and musician. His poems have been featured on PBS Newshour and the Huffington Post. His seventh book, MANTRA, is also an app.
read "...and we are the flawless" by Marcus Amaker.
September 10, 10:00 a.m. to noonSeminar with Ginger Murchison, "Grammar: the Way to Intensity in Poems"
We’ll explore ways grammar works to do much of the heavy lifting to build intensity, to sharpen images, write crisper and fresher lines and add energy to our poems. Even poets who think they have forgotten most of what they knew about grammar will delight in watching time march down the page in narratives and stand still in lyrics, in seeing constructions that hammer energy into a poem, supporting what poets have known all along: that a poem is indeed a made thing.
October 14: Paul Allen with Jozie Konczal
Jozie Konczal is a poet and student currently at the College of Charleston. Her work has been featured in Poetry Quarterly, the Concho River Review, and elsewhere. She enjoys reading the work of Jack Gilbert, Maggie Nelson, and Terrance Hayes, and listening to the work of Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott. She hopes to further her education in an MFA program next year.
read "Almost Christmas" by Jozie Konczal
read Paul Allen's "Private Charter""
Poet and songwriter Paul Allen received the SC Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry, the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award (George Mason University), the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize for American Crawl, the Distinguished Research Award from The College of Charleston, and a Pushcart Prize. Ground Forces (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2008), poet Andrew Hudgins says, is about "brokenness and, with richly explored theological implications, everything in the broken world, the fallen world." He retired Professor Emeritus from the College of Charleston, hit the road in a camper for a few years, and now lives in Charleston.
October 15: Seminar with Paul Allen
November 11: Traci Brimhall with Raena Shirali
NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE:
Second Presbyterian Church
342 Meeting St (between Charlotte and John, on Ashland)
Read Traci Brimhall's "What They Found in the Diving Bell"
Traci Brimhall is the author of three collections of poetry: Our Lady of the Ruins (W.W. Norton) and Rookery (Southern Illinois University Press) and the forthcoming Saudade (Copper Canyon). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, and Best American Poetry. She lives in Manhattan, KS.
Poet and educator Raena Shirali is the author of GILT (YesYes Books, 2016). Her work has appeared in Boston Review, Ninth Letter, Tupelo Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, and many more. Her honors include a 2016 Pushcart Prize and the 2014 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize. Learn more at www.raenashirali.com
read "Diwali: New Moon" at Tupelo Quarterly: http://www.tupeloquarterly.com/diwali-new-moon-by-raena-shirali/
November 12, 10:00 a.m. to noonSeminar with Traci Brimhall, "Tuning Your Tension"
Every writer has their strengths, but we often tend to over rely on what we already know we do well. In “Tuning Your Tension” we will focus more on how to create a balance of tension in poems. We will look at poems that model a balance of tension between clarity and difficulty, diction and subject matter, emotion and intellect. We will then use an exercise to generate new work that tries to balance our inherent strengths by employing vocabulary, syntax, and tonal choices we normally shy away from. If you have a natural gift for image and metaphor, what happens when you incorporate philosophy or meditation? If you tend to write simple, declarative sentences, how would your work change if you wrote a poem in a single, long, winding sentence and focused on the musicality of language rather than clarity? Keats said in a letter to Shelley that he should “load every rift of his subject with ore.” In this seminar, we will try and do just that.
December 9: Holiday Party, for PSSC members onlyLocation TBA Be sure to write a limerick or a toast for the competition!
January 13: Annual Open Mic, Jim Lundy, emcee
Native Detroiter Jim Lundy has lived in Charleston since 1988, has served on PSSC’s board since 2006, and is curator and emcee of Monday Night Poetry & Music, Charleston's longest-running open mic. He has two chapbooks of poetry, All I Can Be Is Myself (2006) and Funny in the Way of Trenchant Men (2009), and a CD of original songs, Don't Believe Every Story You're Told (2012).
February 10: John Milkereit
Read "Instruction Guide for My Remains" by John Milkereit
John Milkereit has been published in various literary journals such as Texas Poetry Calendar and San Pedro River Review. He is finishing a low-residency M.F.A. program at the Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, WA. His new collection of poems, A Rotating Equipment Engineer is Never Finished, was published in 2015.
March 10: Terri McCord with Brian SlusherDetails to follow presently.
April 14: Eugenia Leigh with Celeste McMaster
Read Eugenia Leigh's "Psalm 107"
Eugenia Leigh is the author of Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows (Four Way Books), the winner of the 2015 Debut-litzer Prize in Poetry. The recipient of fellowships and awards from Poets & Writers Magazine, Kundiman, The Frost Place, Rattle, and the Asian American Literary Review, Eugenia received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Celeste McMaster is an associate professor at Charleston Southern University. She has published poetry and fiction in Short Story, The Dos Passos Review, Mslexia, New Delta Review, Arkansas Review, and The Whale, and is the winner of the 2016 Saturday Evening Post’s Great American Fiction Contest. She also won CSU's 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award.
Celeste McMaster's "How to See a Burning Bush"
April 15, 10:00 a.m. to noonSeminar with Eugenia Leigh, "Telling the Truth, but Telling It Slant"
May 12: Annual Forum with Joseph Bathanti
Read "Women's Prison" by Joseph Bathanti
Joseph Bathantiis former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Award in Literature. He is the author of nine books of poetry, including The 13th Sunday after Pentecost, released by LSU Press in fall of 2016. His latest novel, The Life of the World to Come, was published by University of South Carolina Press in 2014. Bathanti is Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University.
May 13, 10:00 a.m. to noonSeminar with Joseph Bathanti, "‘Writing the Longer Narrative Poem"
This workshop will focus on writing longer poems that tell stories through utilizing classic conventions of fiction such as dialogue, plot, conflict, characterization, setting/place, etc., while still relying heavily on key elements of poetry such as compressed, often impressionistic, language; rhythm; stylized line and stanza breaks; and attention to sound. We’ll strive to balance the image-charged voltage of poetry with traditionally discursive narrative strategies of fiction and creative nonfiction, focusing on the occasion of the poem, and the dramatic situation that inspired it. Participants will be provided with examples of narrative poems aimed at triggering the narrative impulse.
PSSC has hosted writers groups regularly since the early 1920s. Poetry Society members are invited to attend free of charge for support and critique of their poetry, and experienced poets are invited to moderate. If you want support to start a writers' group in your community, please contact PSSC.
The Poetry Society has asked Susan Laughter Meyers to teach workshops for the Writers' Group 3-4 times a year (instead of holding monthly sessions). Gathering for workshops will give the group an opportunity to discuss a specific poetry craft topic, or sometimes subjects beyond craft—a chance to look at the topic in depth. Each session will include a workshop packet with pertinent quotes, exemplary poems, writing activities, etc.
These workshops will be held 3-5 times a year. The tentative schedule for 2016 is as follows: with the next one tentatively scheduled for January 23rd.
- February 27th
- April 23rd
- October 29
Free for PSSC/CLS members & CofC students; $15 for all others
(PSSC membership, $25 annually; new memberships welcome)
For more information, contact PSSC.