‘Transform Toledo’ event planned as part of international poetry reading

September 21, 2011 | Arts, UToday
By Angela Riddel

Area poets and writers will host one of more than 450 international poetry events planned for Saturday, Sept. 24.

webpoets-for-change-logoFrom 7 to 10 p.m. in UT’s Center for Performing Arts Studio Theatre, poets and singer-songwriters will be joined by other literary artists from across northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan to read their original works and celebrate diversity.

Admission to the event and parking will be free. This will be the first event in the renovated Studio Theatre, donated by The University of Toledo’s College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Department of Theatre and Film.

“This is about transformation. We are street poets and academics, songwriters and factory workers, weekend scribblers and published authors, all meeting to show that Toledo is transforming past rust and foreclosed houses to a growing culture of art and creativity,” said Toledo Poet Jonie McIntire.

The idea of the international event came from Michael Rothenberg, a widely known poet, songwriter, editor of the online literary magazine Bigbridge.org, and an environmental activist based in northern California. He wanted each community to focus on its own specific concept for change within the overall framework of peace and sustainability, which, he stated, “…is a major concern worldwide and the guiding principle for this global event.”

The events will range from a poetry and peace gathering in strife-torn Jalalabad, Afghanistan, to poets in Nogales, Mexico, and Nogales, Ariz., reading poems to each other across the border fence. There are 13 events in Mexico City, 24 events planned in India and seven in Nigeria. More examples of events can be accessed on the 100 Thousand Poets for Change website.

Immediately following Sept. 24, all documentation on the 100TPC.org website will be preserved by Stanford University in California, which has recognized 100 Thousand Poets for Change as the largest poetry reading in history. Stanford will archive the complete contents of the website as part of its digital archiving program.

For information about the Toledo event, contact McIntire at jonie.mcintire@gmail.com or 419.476.0959. For information about the international event, contact walterblue@bigbridge.org or 305.753.4569.

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