PORTSMOUTH – The Black Heritage of New Hampshire is proud to partner with 3S Artspace to present its annual poetry series titled “The Black Matter Is Life: Poetry for Engagement and Overcoming,” starting Thursday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m. at 3S Art space in Portsmouth.
The Black Matter Is Life event is a three-part program from November to January 2022, hosted by University of New Hampshire professor Reginald Wilburn and Academy professor Phillips Exeter Courtney Marshall in conversation with a then guest poet they discuss and share a selected body of work by African-American poets.
This program is designed to bridge the racial divide by presenting to the public the writings of African-American poets whose work has shed light on a rich, often unexplored cultural heritage. The series will explore the questions “Why is African American poetry important?” And “How does it provide tools to heal the deep racial wounds of our nation?” The conversation centers the poems in the context of the African American literary tradition and its cultural heritage.
The presenters will deconstruct four poems grouped by theme. Poems from the first event, Nov. 18, 7-8: 30 p.m., highlight the theme “In a Sentimental Mood” with poems by William Stanley Braithwaite (Turn Me to My Yellow Leaves), Claude McKay (Spring in New Hampshire), Robert Hayden (These Winter Sundays) and Ntozke Shange (Mood Indigo). Participants can access the poems and a study guide on our website before each event.
A special component of this season’s event will include a reading of an original poem by a local student whose poem was entered in a competition sponsored by the Racial Unity Team. Students were asked to write a poem based on a line from Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem, “The Hill We Go Up”. Treyvon Cannon Bennit, of Park Side Middle School, Manchester, NH, will read his poem, The Light Shines, to open the poetry series on November 18.
Alongside this series of poetry, 3S Artspace will present two exhibitions in its gallery: A Quiet Reach, works by Daniel Minter, and Vision and Visibility, a collective exhibition of works by emerging artists from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). from New England.
Participants who register for the first poetry event on November 18 will be able to preview the artist’s work before the official opening at 3S Artspace on November 19. These are two hybrid events that can be attended in person or virtually.
To find out more about these exciting programs and exhibitions and to register, visit www.blackheritagetrailnh.org or dial 603-570-8469.
For more information on health and safety guidelines while visiting 3S Artspace, visit www.3sarts.org/health-and-safety.