Celebrate President Obama at an open poetry reading on Inauguration Day

Date: 1/12/2009

Northampton Poet Laureate Leslea Newman, the Florence Poets Society and the Northampton Arts Council will host an open poetry reading on Jan. 20 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Yellow Sofa Cafe (24 Main St., Northampton) to celebrate the election of Pres. Barack Obama. Poets are asked to write an inauguration poem celebrating this momentous occasion and bring it to read. Sign up will begin at 6 p.m.

"Barack Obama loves poetry; he is having poet Elizabeth Alexander read at his inauguration, he has been spotted with a book of Derek Walcott's tucked under his arm, he is going to be a fabulous president in terms of supporting the literary arts," said Poet Laureate Leslea Newman. "I don't know who came up with the idea originally, but similar events will be happening coast to coast, and the goal is to make this the biggest simultaneous open reading of debut poetry that's ever happened in this country. I know the poets of the Northampton community are going to write amazing poems to read for, about, and in celebration of Barack Obama, and I can't wait to hear them."

No previous writing experience is necessary in order to participate. Come one, come all, and read a poem for Obama!

The Yellow Sofa is located at 24 Main St. in Northampton and offers delicious Mediterranean food such as hummus and spinach and feta pie, as well as a wide assortment of coffee, tea and locally baked goods.

For more information about the event, contact Leslea Newman at 552-3865 or leslea@lesleakids.com. For information about the Florence Poets Society, contact Carl Russo at 584-7482 or fpoets@localnet.com. Visit www.poetrynewscalendar.com for information about this and all other local poetry events.