Feed the Dream: The Palmetto Poets' Place

Poets on the Job is the placement of a series of residencies in various work-places and businesses throughout the state of SC. The Poets on the Job project seeks the establishment of a program of Poetry Residences in various public sites (museums, work places, historical sites, universities, businesses, public gardens, etc) throughout the state of South Carolina. The Poets on the Job (POJ) project is based on the philosophy that poets are part of the larger community-their role as artists is to engage with that community and generate work that has some relevance to the community.

While in this program, a poet spends from a week, to two months, or longer "in residence" in a business or workplace, establishing a relationship with the employees of that work place, generating poems based on that residency, facilitating workshops with patrons, employees, families, while working toward becoming part of what is a highly publicized collaboration between the work-place and the artist.

The residency culminates with a gala public event, a public reading by the poet, and depending on the site, an open mic session at which those who were present at the workshop share their work. Residencies most often culminate with the publication of a chapbook of poems written by the poet in residence during his or her residency. The poet is granted a fellowship for the residency funded by the business and the Poetry Initiative.

BENEFITS FOR BUSINESSES

  • Promotes the business as an enterprise that is interested in creativity and innovation.
  • Promotes the business as an enterprise that is committed to the arts and to the support of the arts within the community.
  • Offers training opportunities for the employees of the business that will seek to enhance creativity by helping them to get in touch with their creative instincts through workshops and talks.
  • Offers cost-effective general publicity for the business as a responsible and civilizing force in the larger community. Publicity through the statewide media outlets, national arts outlets, etc..
  • Promotes the business as an enterprise that is committed to holistic methods of dealing with staff development and morale by conducting activities that will benefit the staff and the family of staff.
  • Establishes stronger ties between the business and the university--a premium brand for higher education and intellectual advancement in the community.
  • Promotes the business as a hip, forward-thinking, daring, brand that could become the first choice for clients from the arts community and from patrons of the arts.

FOR THE POET

  • Offers a two week fellowship to write work that connects with the community.
  • Grants a higher public profile to the poet through a well-publicized series of activities.
  • Establishes a prototype for the interaction between the poet and the larger public--especially businesses.
  • Provides fresh stimulus and incentive for the poet to generate new work.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

Businesses interested in participating in the Poets on the Job project should contact the Poetry Initiative to discuss the possibility of a residency and to explore the terms of the residency. This dialogue will ensure that the right partnership is achieved.

Poets Interested in participating in the Poet on the Job Project should send a letter of interest, a portfolio of poems, a brief biography, contact details, and any suggestions about ideal locations for the residency to the Poetry Initiative.

PAST POJ RESIDENCIES HAVE INCLUDED:

Sumter Opera House, Sumter, SC
Poet: Eboniramm

Dr. Benjamin E. Mayes Historical Site, Greenwood, SC
Poet: Vera Gomez

Freedom's Hill Abolitionist Church, Southern Wesleyan University, Central, SC
Poet: Raychelle Heath

Sullivan's Island at Fort Moultrie, Sullivan's Island, SC
Poet: Kurtis Lampkin

Columbia College, Columbia, SC
Poet: Ray McManus

Riverbanks Botanical Gardens, Columbia, SC
Poet: Ed Madden

Sullivan's Island at Fort Moultrie, Sullivan's Island, SC
Poet: Ed Madden

Avery Research Center for African American History & Culture, Charleston, SC
Poet: Porchia Moore

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
Poet: Karen M. Peluso

Avery Research Center for African American History & Culture, Charleston, SC
Poet: Kevin Simmonds

Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant, SC
Poet: Stacy Smallwood

Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC
Poet: Charlene Spearen

Freedom's Hill Abolitionist Church, Southern Wesleyan University, Central, SC
Poet: Charlene Spearen

Trinity Cathedral, Columbia, SC
Poet: Charlene Spearen

Vorhees College, Denmark, SC
Poet: Curtis Sumner

Brookgreen Gardens, Pawleys Island, SC
Poet: Sheila Tombe

St. Peters Catholic Church and School, Columbia SC
Poet: Carrie Young

 
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