Feb. 4, 2004

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Contact: Mary Jane Dunlap, University Relations, (785) 864-8853.

2 local poetry circles bringing Atlanta poet/artist to Lawrence Feb. 22, 23

LAWRENCE -- Atlanta poet, artist and publisher Jessica Care Moore will be in Lawrence for two local poetry circles sponsored by the Langston Hughes National Poetry Project, based at the University of Kansas.

Moore will work with selected Lawrence-area poets and writers at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church, 847 Ohio St., and with young artists in the Van Go studios at 715 New Jersey at 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23. Both events are open to the public without charge.

Reta Cosby, facilitator for the Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church poetry circle, said that poets and writers interested in having their work critiqued by Moore should register with Cosby by Feb. 15.

Moore's work has been described as a blend of funk, hip-hop, south and rock. She is the author of the play "Alpha Phobia"; the poetry collection "The Words Don't Fit in My Mouth," published by Moore Black Press in 1997; and the forthcoming "The Alphabet Verses the Ghetto." She also co-owns MoorEpics: The Poetry Planet, a performance space for music, theatre and poetry in downtown Atlanta. Moore has performed for international audiences in London, Scotland, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and the United States as well as on television for "It's Showtime at the Apollo."

The two poetry circles are among 20 national circle sites sponsored by "Speaking of Rivers: Taking Poetry to the People," the Langston Hughes National Poetry Project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Maryemma Graham, KU professor of English, directs the national project, which extends a public discussion of the legacy of the renowned American poet Langston Hughes that began in 2002 with a celebration in Lawrence of the 100th anniversary of his Feb. 1 birthday.

For more information about the Ninth Street Missionary Baptist poetry circle, please contact Reta Cosby at (785) 842-2204 or retacpyn@sbcglobal.net. For information about the Van Go Mobile Arts circle, contact Maril Hazlett or Heather Hoy at (785) 842-3797.

Van Go is a nonprofit agency that uses the arts as a vehicle to provide social services and job skills to at-risk youth ages 14 to 21.

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