The OPWC for 29 days a month writes or reads. One day a month the collectivists gather to speak and listen. Spoken word renditions round out the impact of writing. Live? Of course live is better, but for a century we’ve seen how handy recordings are.
For most of the OPWC’s life (born circa 1994), the monthly programs — both the feature and open-mikers — have been recorded on audiocassette. From time to time, we’ll post a sampling in MP3. Plus the occasional video.
Mohja Kahf, an OPWC regular and one of the Ozarks’ most gifted artists, packs the house every time she features. If spoken wordsmiths took requests, her poem “Fayetteville as in Fate“ (video) from E-Mails from Scheherazad would be shouted every time here. From April 2011 and news of the uprising in Syria, Professor Kahf here reads her “My People Are Rising” (audio only).
Since 2009 the Fayetteville Public Library has collected podcasts of local poets, included OPWC board members Cat Donnelly and Ginny Masullo, and former board member Margot Lavoie. Also, Collective regulars Clayton Scott, Geoff Oelsner, Moshe Newmark and Mendy Knott.
Crow Johnson Evans while a longtime Ozarks fixture for her songwriting, weaving and prose, rarely has joined us. On Oct. 29, 2013, she read for the Collective, joined by more frequent features Donna Stjerna and Kelly Mulholland of Still on the Hill. Friend of OPWC Aubrey Shepherd captured part of their program on video:
Miller Williams was our May 2009 feature. He concluded his reading with the poem “Old Question.” He said it was from his new collection, Time and the Tilting Earth. Click here for a posting with a few details about that evening.
Michael Heffernan, the University of Arkansas creative writing professor, long has been a friend to the Collective, reading for us about every two years. Garrison Keillor has read his poems several times on public radio’s The Writer’s Almanac. Michael’s page lists the poems Keillor has read. The approximate 5-minute podcasts comprise Keillor’s entire program and the daily poem concludes it. Here are two recordings from his 2011 collection At the Bureau of Divine Music, “The Art of Self -Defense” (starts at 2:04) and “Awake” (starts at 3:27).