Mother’s Day, Ekphrastic Poetry and Sweet Treats

Casey Zvanut, The Night Queen, Indian Trail Cultural Arts Center, Ekphrastic Poetry Contest

Casey Zvanut
“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” Ekphrastic Poetry Contest Winner

Each month I have the privilege of helping to coordinate and moderate poetry open mic, at the Indian Trail Cultural Arts Center with Susan Didier, Community Development Specialist. On Saturday, May 9, we hosted our Pies, Pastries and Poetry open mic event. Participants were asked to share their personal poems about their favorite dessert made by someone that was maternally connected to them, or a special poem about “mothers,” with our audience.

Casey Zvanut, The Night Queen, Ekphrastic Poetry Contest WinnerThe evening also set the stage for presenting the winner of our first A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Ekphrastic Poetry Contest. Our contest was based on a picture donated by local artist Eugene Smith, entitled The Nightingale. Our winner, an overly excited Casey Zvanut read her winning poem, The Night Queen. She eloquently shared a little bit about herself with us. “I’ve been in love with language since I was a child. I am a product of Memphis, Tennessee, the Arkansas Delta and central Mississippi, so you could say that the poetry of the “Blues” is in my veins. I’ve lived in North Carolina for almost 16 years with my amazing husband and two crazy, wonderful sons, and my love affair with words led me into education for the last 16 years.”

Christian George, the second place winner shared his poem, The Nightingale’s Song and Norman Bartee, third place winner shared his poem, The Nightingale Ekphrastic. Brian Bacik also recited his rendition of his poetic interpretation of The Nightingale picture, with the audience. Among other participants who read their poems commemorating the theme of the open mic event were Dwight Roth and Marilyn Murphy. Audience members who also shared some of their personal poems were Jan Anderson and Stephanie Jones. It was truly another fun and wonderful night of art, poetry and engaging conversations.

Erin Penland, Indian Trail Cultural Arts Center

Erin Penland
Multi-media Artist

Erin Penland, multi-media artist made a few remarks to the audience about her rewarding experience since she began participating in the monthly open mic events, along with a synopsis about her artwork and photography. Erin also shared her artistic collage interpretation of poetic elements that she was working on, during the night’s festivities.

Mothers in the audience were given a marble-petal tea rose and complimentary gift for attending this event, which fell on the day before Mother’s Day. If you’re in the Charlotte, North Carolina area and would like to attend or participate in our future poetry open mic events, we welcome you to join us at this FREE event, on the second Saturday of each month. Contact Susan Didier, at 704-821-2541, for more information. You can also reach Susan at sdidier@admin.indiantrail.org.

Our theme for next month is “Up, Up and Away!” Even if you’re unable to attend our open mic readings, why not have fun and try writing a poem using our poetry prompts. Stay tuned for more details coming soon!

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