Potluck presents: The Art of Risking Your Neck 12/2/14

The Art of Risking Your Neck - 12/2/14

Potluck Storytelling presents

THE ART OF RISKING YOUR NECK: Baltimore writers read and tell the stories behind their work

Tuesday, December 2, 2014
7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Area 405
405 East Oliver Street, Baltimore 21202
$5 at the door (cash only); attendees warmly encouraged to bring snacks

RSVP on Facebook!

Eudora Welty once wrote, “No art ever came out of not risking your neck. And risk — experiment — is a considerable part of the joy of doing, which is the lone, simple reason all [writers] are willing to work as hard as they do.”

Where do writers get ideas? How do they turn inspiration into words on a page? What keeps them motivated? Bring $5 and a snack and join Potluck Storytelling for an interactive evening of poetry, short plays (volunteer readers needed!), essays, and fiction by five local writers who will read from their written works, tell the stories behind them, and talk about how they risk their necks for their art.

Storytellers:
Rodney Foxworth, essayist, recovering journalist, advocate
Justin Lawson Isett, playwright, bringer of the ruckus
Amanda Rothschild, purveyor of mostly true things
Kristine Sloan, poet
Marceline White, woman of many letters

Hosted by Kevin Griffin Moreno.

Storytelling Workshop at Single Carrot Theatre 11/15/14

silhouette

Single Carrot Theatre Workshop: Storytelling with Kevin Griffin Moreno

Saturday, November 15, 2014
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Single Carrot Theatre
2600 N. Howard St., Baltimore, MD 21218

$50 (20% off for Single Carrot Theatre members)

Storytelling is our species’ most unique and indelible gift. Since the very beginnings of language, humans have used stories to forge relationships with each other and find meaning in the world around them. Join storyteller Kevin Griffin Moreno, host of The Potluck storytelling and arts series, for a lively, interactive workshop designed to help you find your storytelling voice. Share your words with others, and learn how to engage a group while painting a verbal picture.

SCT offers low-cost courses for community members of all experience levels over the age of 16. Enroll now!

[poem] Blessing, for Adote Akwei

Adote Akwei, by Paris Johnson

Blessing
for Adote Akwei

Bless means “to sanctify;” blesser means “wound.”
Their roots are watered in ancient blood.
It is difficult to be sanguine when
The heart pumps so far from home.
But our ancient roots cover oceans and
Course with the blood of the Lamb
Who blesses our hearts, sanctifies our wounds.

– Kevin Griffin Moreno


Adote Akwei immigrated to the United States in 2005 with his wife and five children. A union organizer and human rights activist in his native Togo, Adote is active in his church and in the community at large as a champion of West African emigres in Maryland.

Adote Akwei - photo by Jessica Keyes

Photo by Jessica Keyes

This poem is one of seven 49-word poems written as part of the Autumn Leaves Project, a multi-part, intergenerational art and performance exhibit conceived and curated by Baltimore artist and activist Peter Bruun. Each of the seven poems is dedicated to a member of the Autumn Leaves Chestnut Group, and was performed by students of Muse 360 Arts at the Chestnut Group’s event on October 14, 2014. The event was hosted by Pamela Eisenberg and Kevin Griffin Moreno. Portraits of the Chestnut Group members were painted by artist Paris Johnson.

To learn more about the other groups, writers, and artists associated with the project, visit the Autumn Leaves site.

 

[poem] The Word is Freedom, for Tamra Settles

Tamra Settles by Paris Johnson

The Word is Freedom
for Tamra Settles

When word comes down, you will spring
From bed with your shoes already tied.
You refused to crumble like stale bread
Or dash away your own stinging tears.
Hope struck you and you kept ringing.
Take a step forward. Remember to breathe.
You will astonish yourself with your singing.

– Kevin Griffin Moreno


Tamra Settles is, in her own words: “tantalizing, amazing, morally correct, magnificent, intelligent… a mother, a sister, an aunt, a daughter, a woman… motivated, full of life, spiritual, thoughtful, caring, honest, forgiving, strong, an overcomer, but mostly free.” Tamra spent over two decades in a Maryland state penitentiary before receiving a gubernatorial pardon.

Tamra Settles - Photo by Jessica Keyes

Photo by Jessica Keyes

 

This poem is one of seven 49-word poems written as part of the Autumn Leaves Project, a multi-part, intergenerational art and performance exhibit conceived and curated by Baltimore artist and activist Peter Bruun. Each of the seven poems is dedicated to a member of the Autumn Leaves Chestnut Group, and was performed by students of Muse 360 Arts at the Chestnut Group’s event on October 14, 2014. The event was hosted by Pamela Eisenberg and Kevin Griffin Moreno. Portraits of the Chestnut Group members were painted by artist Paris Johnson.

To learn more about the other groups, writers, and artists associated with the project, visit the Autumn Leaves site.

[poem] Voices, for Marc Steiner

Portrait by Paris Johnson

Voices
for Marc Steiner

Studs, in his wry manner, once observed
“I am celebrated for celebrating the uncelebrated.”
Let us then celebrate the aging prisoner,
penniless actor, slam poet, asylee, wildcat striker,
laid-off steelworker, digger, ranter, veteran, Panther,
Celebrate their strong and restless American voices
and the interlocutor who gives them air.

– Kevin Griffin Moreno

 


 

Marc Steiner has spent 50+ years of his life working on issues of social justice. He began working as a Civil Rights organizer at age 14 and was a Maryland Freedom Rider at age 16. For the past 20 years he has hosted the radio program, The Marc Steiner Show.

 

Marc Steiner - photo by Jessica Keyes

Photo by Jessica Keyes

 

This poem is one of seven 49-word poems written as part of the Autumn Leaves Project, a multi-part, intergenerational art and performance exhibit conceived and curated by Baltimore artist and activist Peter Bruun. Each of the seven poems is dedicated to a member of the Autumn Leaves Chestnut Group, and was performed by students of Muse 360 Arts at the Chestnut Group’s event on October 14, 2014. The event was hosted by Pamela Eisenberg and Kevin Griffin Moreno. Portraits of the Chestnut Group members were painted by artist Paris Johnson.

To learn more about the other groups, writers, and artists associated with the project, visit the Autumn Leaves site.

[poem] Shehecheyanu, for Zina Rosenberg

Portrait by Paris Johnson

Shehecheyanu
for Zina Rosenberg

Come, I will show you such lands
As you have visited only in books.
Not that our travels will be easy:
Storms scatter dreams, lovers’ faces are forgotten,
Widows sell their old letters for sustenance.
Still, amazement calls us to new cities
Where sunset stains white marble to gold.

– Kevin Griffin Moreno


Zinaida Rozenberg was born in Riga, Latvia, just before World War II. “What I remember of my childhood is only hunger and starvation,” she recounts. “In May 1945, we learned my father at age 27 had been shot on the streets of the Ghetto. All my extended family was murdered.”

Throughout her life, Zina nursed dreams of becoming a tour guide to cities she had never visited. Now in her seventies, Zina leads tours of Russian-speaking travelers to Washington, D.C. and other places in the U.S. She is a lifelong lover of poetry, particularly that of Pushkin and other Russian poets of the 19th century.

 

Zina Rosenberg - Photo by Jessica Keyes

Photo by Jessica Keyes

 

This poem is one of seven 49-word poems written as part of the Autumn Leaves Project, a multi-part, intergenerational art and performance exhibit conceived and curated by Baltimore artist and activist Peter Bruun. Each of the seven poems is dedicated to a member of the Autumn Leaves Chestnut Group, and was performed by students of Muse 360 Arts at the Chestnut Group’s event on October 14, 2014. The event was hosted by Pamela Eisenberg and Kevin Griffin Moreno. Portraits of the Chestnut Group members were painted by artist Paris Johnson.

To learn more about the other groups, writers, and artists associated with the project, visit the Autumn Leaves site.

[poem] Afternoon Run, for Mel Holden

Mel Holden, by Paris Johnson

Afternoon Run
for Mel Holden

Yesterday, listening to red leaves crunch underfoot
And recollecting that first time we kissed,
I thought I detected a faint vibration
At the center of things, a cadence
Like breathing or the rhythms of love
That keep our pace on the path,
Regulated and wild as two beating hearts.

– Kevin Griffin Moreno


 

A track star in high school and college, Melton Holden’s university years were interrupted when he was drafted during the Vietnam conflict. Despite no formal training in computer science or business, he had a successful career with IBM managing large government contracts for the IRS, DHS and DoD. He enjoys being quietly amazed by the diversity of people he meets.

Mel Holden - photo by Jessica Keyes

Photo by Jessica Keyes

 

This poem is one of seven 49-word poems written as part of the Autumn Leaves Project, a multi-part, intergenerational art and performance exhibit conceived and curated by Baltimore artist and activist Peter Bruun. Each of the seven poems is dedicated to a member of the Autumn Leaves Chestnut Group, and was performed by students of Muse 360 Arts at the Chestnut Group’s event on October 14, 2014. The event was hosted by Pamela Eisenberg and Kevin Griffin Moreno. Portraits of the Chestnut Group members were painted by artist Paris Johnson.

To learn more about the other groups, writers, and artists associated with the project, visit the Autumn Leaves site.

[poem] Artificer, for Harriet Lynn

Harriet Lynn, by Paris Johnson

Artificer
for Harriet Lynn

Being yourself is simple. It’s as natural
As the wince Ella Shields would make
Backstage, when she unbound her tired breasts.
So hurry up, put on your face
To face the crowd; press the flesh,
Keep them guessing, try to keep moving
And just let gravity do the rest.

– Kevin Griffin Moreno


Harriet Lynn founded Heritage Theatre Artists’ Consortium in 1994 and has served as producer/artistic director since its inception. She has produced and directed numerous museum theatre, oral history performance projects, and living history programs. Since 2005, Harriet has performed her one-woman cabaret based on the life of Ella Shields, a Baltimore-born male impersonator who sang in dance halls across the U.S. and Europe from 1898 until her death in 1952.

Harriet Lynn - photo by Jessica Keyes

Photo by Jessica Keyes

 

This poem is one of seven 49-word poems written as part of the Autumn Leaves Project, a multi-part, intergenerational art and performance exhibit conceived and curated by Baltimore artist and activist Peter Bruun. Each of the seven poems is dedicated to a member of the Autumn Leaves Chestnut Group, and was performed by students of Muse 360 Arts at the Chestnut Group’s event on October 14, 2014. The event was hosted by Pamela Eisenberg and Kevin Griffin Moreno. Portraits of the Chestnut Group members were painted by artist Paris Johnson.

To learn more about the other groups, writers, and artists associated with the project, visit the Autumn Leaves site.

[poem] Pear Garden, for Alvin Eng

Alvin Eng by Paris Johnson

Pear Garden
for Alvin Eng

Falling leaves shower all the pear garden:
Funny pinks, small greens of fierce delightfulness.
Painted faces peer through the bower wall
To hear Fragrant Princess call her scholar.
Hey: while falling lasts, let’s fall free,
Let’s clown together in the flowering breeze
Before we all leave, like the fall.

– Kevin Griffin Moreno

 


Alvin Eng is a native New York playwright, director, performer, and teacher in the Department of Theatre at Goucher College in Baltimore. Among his interests are Chinese opera and the poetry of Gertrude Stein.

 

Alvin Eng at the Autumn Leaves - Chestnut Group event

Photo by Jessica Keyes

 

This poem is one of seven 49-word poems written as part of the Autumn Leaves Project, a multi-part, intergenerational art and performance exhibit conceived and curated by Baltimore artist and activist Peter Bruun. Each of the seven poems is dedicated to a member of the Autumn Leaves Chestnut Group, and was performed by students of Muse 360 Arts at the Chestnut Group’s event on October 14, 2014. The event was hosted by Pamela Eisenberg and Kevin Griffin Moreno. Portraits of the Chestnut Group members were painted by artist Paris Johnson.

To learn more about the other groups, writers, and artists associated with the project, visit the Autumn Leaves site.

[photos] Chestnut Leaves: 10/14/14

  • Photo by Jessica Keyes
  • Photo by Jessica Keyes
  • Photo by Jessica Keyes
  • Photo by Jessica Keyes
  • Photo by Jessica Keyes
  • Photo by Jessica Keyes
  • Photo by Jessica Keyes
  • Photo by Jessica Keyes
  • Photo by Jessica Keyes
  • Photo by Jessica Keyes
  • Photo by Jessica Keyes

Photos from The Autumn Leaves ProjectChestnut Group Event, October 14, 2014, Area 405, Baltimore. [All photographs by Jessica Keyes – click on images to scroll]

Hosts: Pamela Eisenberg, & Kevin Griffin Moreno

Chestnut Leaves: Adote Akwei, Alvin Eng, Melton Holden, Harriet Lynn, Zinaida Rozenberg, Tamra Settles, Marc Steiner

Writer: Kevin Griffin Moreno
Artist: Paris Johnson
Youth Arts Partner: Muse 360 Arts

All photographs by Jessica Keyes