The Poetry Society of South Carolina
Monthly Programs

[Skip to Current Program]

General Information

Readings are free and open to the public. Book signing and reception follow the program, held on the second Friday of the month in downtown Charleston at:

  The Charleston Library Society
  164 King Street (just before Queen)  
  7:00 p.m.

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.

Click here for a printable flyer of our programs.

Click here to visit us on Facebook.
September 12
Richard Garcia and Friends
Richard Garcia is the author of six books of poetry. The Other Odyssey, winner of the American Poetry Journal Book Prize, and his acclaimed book of prose poems, The Chair, from BOA Editions, Ltd., were both published in 2014. He teaches in the Antioch University L.A. MFA program in creative writing, and lives on James Island with his wife, Katherine Williams, and their dog, Max.

Five of the Long Table Poets, Richard's ongoing study group, will open for him:
    Helen Brandenburg
    Ed Gold
    Kit Loney
    Susan Finch Stevens
    Tim Taylor

September 13
Seminar with Richard Garcia, “Darling, you look fabulous”
What is fabulism? Who are its writers, and how does it relate to magical realism, fable, fairy tale and prose poem? And how do we write fabulist prose poems? We will read examples, write a few fabulist pieces that could be considered shorts, flash fictions, stories or prose poems, and look at a call for submission for a work of this type, for which there is no fee and the prize is $20,000. Really.

Suggested reading: my book recently out from BOA, The Chair.

October 10
Jon Pineda with Guest Poet Davis Sawyer
read Jon Pineda’s “First Snowfall”
Jon Pineda is author of The Translator’s Diary (2007 Green Rose Prize), Birthmark (2003 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry), the forthcoming Little Anodynes (Palmetto Poetry Series), and a novel, Apology (2013 Milkweed National Fiction Prize). He teaches creative writing at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, where he lives with his family, and is a member of the core faculty of the Queens University MFA program.

Davis Sawyer is a student at the College of Charleston. His poems have been featured in several student anthologies including National Poetry Quarterly and The American Library of Poetry. In 2013, he self-published Holy Native, a collection of original poetry.
read Davis Sawyer’s “Cabin Pressure

October 11
Seminar with Jon Pineda, “The Element of Surprise” We’ll look at various strategies for both generating and revising our work, especially putting together collections. Participants should bring pen/paper/journal as we’ll be doing an in-class writing exercise.

November 14
Roger Reeves with Gary Jackson
Roger Reeves, Ph.D. (Univ. of Texas) teaches at U. Chicago and has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, and Best New Poets. Among his honors are a 2013 Pushcart Prize, two Bread Loaf Scholarships, and fellowships from Ruth Lilly Endowment, Cave Canem, NEA, and Princeton University. His first collection is King Me (Copper Canyon, 2013).

Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, Gary Jackson is the author of the poetry collection Missing You, Metropolis, which received the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Tin House, Tuesday, and elsewhere. He is an Assistant Professor at the College of Charleston.
read Gary Jackson’s “Magneto Eyes Strange Fruit”

November 15
Seminar with Roger Reeves, “(Troubling) Image, Beyond Description”

In this class, we will examine two poems—“The Dragon” and “Iskandriya” by Brigit Pegeen Kelly—in an attempt to think through image and lyric meditation. Through careful close-reading, we will investigate how Kelly moves beyond description into image via metaphor, aporia, and the prismatic rendering of what is to be seen. We’ll investigate the troubling image, be it historical, personal, social, surreal, or fantastic, and find our way around it. What meditative potential or insight does an image have beyond its physical description?

December 12
Holiday Party, for PSSC members only
This year's party will be at the home of Susan Finch Stevens.
Click here to email us for more information.
Be sure to write a limerick or a toast for the competition!

January 9
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 12, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Special Event: PSSC Presents Colin D. Halloran at the
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

Main Auditorium
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
109 Bee Street
Charleston, SC 29401
This program, focusing on the experience of returning to civilian life after deployment, is free and open to the public.
For more information, visit the VAMC website.

south Arts Logo  n e a Logo  south Arts Logo

February 13
Colin D. Halloran with Worthy Evans
Read three poems by Colin D. Halloran
Colin D. Halloran served with the US Army, deploying as an infantryman to Afghanistan in 2006. After being medically evacuated, he returned to civilian life and earned an MFA from Fairfield University, where he now teaches. His new book of poems, Icarian Flux, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag, which in 2012 published his debut collection, Shortly Thereafter, of poems on war and redeployment.

Worthy Evans wrote Green Revolver (University of South Carolina Press, 2010) and is a self-taught collage artist. When he isn't writing in notebooks, typing up poems, cutting up magazines, making collages, and fathering two brilliant children, he is a communications specialist for a Medicare contractor in Columbia, SC.

February 14, 10:00 a.m. to noon, Charleston Library Society
Seminar with Colin D. Halloran, “Poetry as Mask and Medicine: Redefining the I through Persona.”

We will explore the paradigmatic shift in narrative perspective in war poetry throughout the ages, going from the invocations of the ancients, to a collective voice of national conscience in the World Wars, into a deeper, more confessional "I" starting in Vietnam. Additionally, we will look into the value that a persona can bring to poems of both political and personal trauma, and do a writing exercise.

Colin D. Halloran's residency is funded in part by a grant from SouthArts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

March 13
Meg Kearney with Ellen Hyatt
Meg Kearney’s books include Home By Now, winner of the 2010 PEN New England L.L. Winship Award for Poetry; An Unkindness of Ravens; two Young Adult novels-in-verse, The Secret of Me and it sequel, The Girl in the Mirror; and a picture book, Trouper (Scholastic, 2013) with illustrations by E.B. Lewis. She is Director of the Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Program of Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA.

Ellen E. Hyatt’s poetry and nonfiction have garnered recognition from professional literary, and mainstream sources (including what the PSSC’s refers to as “the big one,” twice). Fellow of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, professor, columnist, and appointee to the Board of Governors of the South Carolina Academy of Authors, she serves organizations promoting literacy and the arts.

March 14, 10:00 a.m. to noon, Charleston Library Society

Seminar with Meg Kearney, “A Crown of Sonnets: Formal Verse that Boggles the Brain” This reading, talk, and Q&A session will focus will be the heroic crown, a narrative sequence created in 15 interlocking sonnets, usually addressed to one person and/or concerned with a single theme, each of the sonnets exploring one aspect of that theme. We will explore the ways that formal verse can tell a story and provide a “safe” structure for developing emotionally difficult subjects.

April 10
Dzvinia Orlowsky with Joe Zealberg
Pushcart Prize recipient, translator, and Founding Editor of Four Way Books, Dzvinia Orlowsky has published five poetry collections with Carnegie Mellon University Press—her most recent, Silvertone (2013). She serves as core poetry faculty at the Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing of Pine Manor College and as Special Lecturer of Poetry at Providence College.

Covalence is Joe Zealberg’s first collection of poems, which have appeared in qarrtsiluni and Poemeleon. Previously the Director of Emergency Psychiatric Services in Charleston, he now works in private practice and at the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC and is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of SC in Charleston. An active member of PSSC, he extends thanks to Richard Garcia and the Long Table Poets.
April 11, 10:00 a.m. to noon
Seminar with Dzvinia Orlowsky, The Illusive Chameleon: Prose Poem or Prose? What differentiates Atwood's prose poem "Making Poison" from flash fiction "Bread"? Why was Berg's Shaving enthusiastically reviewed as short creative non-fiction while Jorie Graham praised him as "master of the prose poem"? We will try to sort out these genres so similar in execution, imagery, and tone, and overview the prose poem from Bertrand to the present. Please bring a poem or short piece of prose to develop into a prose poem.

April 18, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
PSSC CSRA Regional Seminar with
Malaika Favorite and Anthony Kellman

Morris Museum of Art,
One Tenth St., Augusta GA.
Sponsored by the Poetry Society of South Carolina, The Authors Club of Augusta, The Augusta Poetry Group, and the Morris Museum of Art.

A mix of presentation and writing exercises, the seminar will be team-led by Malaika Favorite, award-winning visual artist and poet, and by Anthony Kellman, retiring Professor of Communications at Georgia Regents University. This will be the couple's "farewell appearance" before removing to Barbados, Professor Kellman's island of origin. Refreshments will be served.

Fulbright scholar Malaika Favorite is a visual artist and writer. Mainly in oil, acrylic, and water color, she has carried out experiments with folded canvas and the written word. Her provocative paintings and sculptures emanate as much from her personal history as from the wider world.

Anthony Kellman, a multi-genre writer and musician, was born and raised in Barbados. He is Professor of English & Creative Writing at Georgia Regents University and the originator of the poetic form Tuk Verse. His five poetry books include South Eastern Stages and Limestone, the first published epic poem from Barbados. His awards include a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and Barbados' Prime Minister’s Award.

May 8
Annual Forum with Dan Albergotti

Dan Albergotti is the author of The Boatloads (BOA Editions, 2008) and Millennial Teeth (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), as well as a limited-edition chapbook, The Use of the World (Unicorn Press, 2013). His poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Five Points, The Southern Review, and Pushcart Prize XXXIII. Albergotti is a Professor and Chair of the English Department at Coastal Carolina University.

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, with the next one tentatively scheduled for October 24th.

Free for PSSC/CLS members & CofC students; $15 for all others
(PSSC membership, $25 annually; new memberships welcome)
For more information, contact PSSC.