Major Jackson and Vera Escaja-Heiss

Justice and Poetry for All: Jackson and Escaja-Heiss Perform at Inaugural Event

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Thursday June 21, 2018

Sundog Poetry Center (SPC) announced the launch of their annual poetry event Justice and Poetry for All held at Clemmons Family Farm in Charlotte Friday, June 22, 6 to 8 p.m. A celebration of African-American poetry, SPC says the series aspires to raise the voices of those in marginalized populations through poetry, focusing on different groups each year. The event, which is free and open to the public, will include readings from South Burlington residents Major Jackson and Vera Escaja-Heiss, along with Rosa Castellano, Mary Jane Dickerson, Rajnii Eddins, LN, and Judith Yarnall, among others.

“We believe poetry has an uncanny ability to connect our outer lives with our inner selves, to give voice to what is often left unspoken.” said Yarnell, who is a SPC board member. “This will enable audiences at the events we create to inhabit, however briefly, the lives of others.”
Jackson said:

Escaja-Heiss said, “I will be reciting my original poem called “An American Product” which speaks to my personal story on immigration in the US, while addressing the social flaws that our society is fluttered with still today, that you only truly understand once you grow up. It illustrates issues ranging from sexism and racism to the expectations that women are held against every day.”
To broaden the audience of the program, Vermont Access Network will be a collaborator in the project, documenting the event so schools and libraries can share the programming with many more than those in attendance. Justice and Poetry for all is supported by the Vermont Humanities Council.

“Our series is multifaceted,” noted Dickerson, vice president of the poetry center. “It’s not only a literary event, but it’s also historical and geographical. We’re pleased to be partnering with Clemmons Family Farm to bring that level of heritage to the evening.” The Clemmons Family Farm celebrates African-American heritage and fosters the appreciation of the heritage and cultures of all people. Owned by Jack and Lydia Clemmons since 1962, the 148-acre farm continues the family tradition of blending farming with the arts and sciences, creating opportunities to learn and share across religions, cultures, and experiences.

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