The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (WCDH) will showcase the literary talent of Black alumni at a special-edition virtual Poetluck in celebration of Black History Month. It is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18 on Zoom and Facebook Live. This Poetluck will be emceed by guest host, Janis Kearney. Additional readers include Garbo Hearne, Morris McCovey, Rosalyn Story, Sandra Jackson-Opoku, Kristin Hunt and Phumi Morare.
ABOUT THE READERS
Janis F. Kearney is an author, publisher, and writing instructor who was inducted into the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame in 2016. She purchased the historic Arkansas State Press Newspaper from civil rights legend Daisy Gatson Bates in 1988. She served in the Clinton-Gore Campaign in 1992, and in the Clinton Administration as white house media affairs specialist, and as Personal Diarist to President Clinton. In 2003, she and her husband established a small publishing company, Writing our World Publishing. She has published 10 books and is currently working on a Mahalia Jackson biography. In 2014, Janis founded the Celebrate! Maya Project of Arkansas, a nonprofit established in honor of literary icon, Maya Angelou. The Project seeks to increase the awareness of Maya Angelou’s life and legacy in the state of Arkansas and help youth in the Arkansas Delta realize their academic and artistic dreams through scholarships and awards.
Garbo Hearne is the director of Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing/Hearne Fine Art in the historic Dunbar neighborhood of Little Rock. Since 1988, her business has focused on African American culture through art and literature. In 2004, Hearne earned her certificate for Appraisal Studies in Fine and Decorative Arts from New York University. In 2014, she was accepted as a certified member of the Appraisers Association of America with a specialization in African American Fine Art. Hearne is on the board of directors of the Mid-America Arts Alliance, Dunbar Historic Neighborhood Association, and former chair of Arkansans for the Arts. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc., Beta Pi Omega Chapter. Hearne is married to Dr. Archie Hearne III and they have four children. Her hobbies include reading, collecting art, juicing, and traveling. She attends New Millennium Church, in Little Rock.
Morris McCorvey served as an artist-in-residence in schools for the Oklahoma Arts Council for almost nine years; Program Coordinator for the Westside Community Center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, for a decade; and Executive Director of the Westside Community Center for fifteen years. He is a dad, coach, and Papa and has been nominated for Poet-Laureate of Oklahoma. His short story “Tequila” was published in the Winter 2021 edition of eMerge, the literary magazine of WCDH. Morris will be performing a Jazz Poem called “So what,” essentially a spoken solo for jamming with the Miles Davis quintet.
Rosalyn Story is a writer, freelance journalist, and concert violinist with a musical career spanning over 30 years. She is the author of And So I Sing: African-American Divas of Opera and Concert. It contains biographies of 32 African-American female vocalists who have had notable careers in opera and on the concert stage and was the basis for the PBS documentary Aida’s Brothers and Sisters: A History of Black in Opera, which she narrated. More than You Know, Rosalyn’s fiction debut, is a love story which incorporates her love of music and features a main character who is a jazz saxophone player. Her new book, Sing Her Name, is expected out in June 2021. It follows two musically gifted women whose lives overlap across the boundaries of time and continues her tradition of featuring the central role of Black people in American music.
Sandra Jackson-Opoku is the author of novels, The River Where Blood is Born and Hot Johnny (and the Women Who Loved Him). She co-edited the anthology Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks. Her works are widely published and produced. Jackson-Opoku’s awards and honors include a N.E.A. Fiction Fellowship, the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazine’s Fiction Award for Younger Writers, an ALA Black Caucus Award for Fiction, and an Esteemed Literary Artist Award from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Her work, “Blue Mermaid,” an excerpt from a novel-in-progress set in the 18th century on Saint-Louis Island, Senegal, was published in eMerge, the literary magazine of WCDH, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Kristin Hunt is an independent artist from Atlanta, Georgia. Her mediums are poetry and film. She self-published her first chapbook, I’m Much Better on Paper, in 2017, and her poems have been featured in The Write Launch, Reclamation Magazine, and Clover and White literary journal. She released her second chapbook, Write or Die on Dec. 17, 2020. Hunt graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelors in Journalism. Throughout college she worked as a Library Assistant and Production Assistant. These days she works as a video producer/creator. In 2018 she released a short film titled, Don’t Let it Smoke You: The Documentary. Hunt aims to combine her love for poetry and film to inspire others.
Phumi Morare is a South African writer/director who is passionate about redeeming the African and feminine identity through cinema. She’s interested in using the female gaze to tell personal, humanist, and heroic stories. Phumi’s previous short films have played at international film festivals including the Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, and Cyprus International Film Festival 2020. Phumi’s short film, Home, won Best Women Short award at IndieX Film Festival. Phumi completed her MFA in Film Production at Dodge College at Chapman University. She was a writer-in-residence at Dairy Hollow last month where she worked on her feature film screenplay, Of Salt and Sea.
Spectators may join a moderated watch party on Facebook Live at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow page: https://www.facebook.com/