Annual Nanjemoy Heritage Day set for Oct. 8
On Saturday, Oct. 8, the 16th annual Nanjemoy Heritage Day will be held at the Nanjemoy Community Center (4375 Port Tobacco Road) from noon until 3 p.m.
The Department of Community Services Aging Division is requesting old family photos and Nanjemoy artifacts to showcase. If you have a piece of Nanjemoy heritage to share, or you would like to be part of the parade with a classic vehicle or antique farm equipment, contact the Nanjemoy Community Center coordinator at 301-246-9612.
The festivities will begin with a parade. Participants will then enjoy live music, crafts for the kids, face painting, area artists, local heritage displays, classic cars, games and more. Refreshments and souvenir T-shirts will be available.
For more information, call 301-246-9612. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD at 800-735-2258.
Volunteers needed for Community Resource Day
The Charles County Homeless and Emergency Shelter Committee is planning its eighth Community Resource Day to help those in need throughout Charles County. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Community Center in Waldorf.
Capital Clubhouse Bridal Show cancelled
The Capital Clubhouse Bridal Show, featuring Serendipity bridal fashion, scheduled for noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, is cancelled. Email events@capitalclubhouse for more information.
Libraries seek artwork for new mobile site
Charles County Public Library is looking for high-quality graphics fitting the theme of learning, discovery and technology to use on its new mobile library that will debut April 2017. Art submissions may be sent to marketing@ccplonline. org in a .tiff, .jpg or .psd format no later than 8 p.m. Dec. 30. Include a name and contact information to be notified if a piece is selected. All submitted art must be original and un-copyrighted.
Veterans home to host artists reception
In partnership with the Charles County Arts Alliance, Charlotte Hall Veterans Home will present its public art gallery, showcasing 29 artists and 46 works of art, at a “Meet the Artists” reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Satuday, Sept. 24. The gallery is located along the E-Wing Assisted Living Dining Hallway at 29449 Charlotte Hall Rd., Charlotte Hall.
The reception will be hosted in the E-Wing Multipurpose Room to honor all the artists participating in the show. The public is invited to this event and will have a chance to meet the artists while viewing their works on display. Light refreshments will be served.
The show’s theme is “Artist’s Choice” and includes work from: Theresa Alo, Shirley Andrews, Anne Buffington, Sue Cassidy, Bill Cassidy, Trish Clark, Fanny Cramer, Dorothy Crown, Cecelia Dunay, Greg Ford, Rita Fox, Penny Gold, Roxana Gonzales, Gordon Johnson, Alie Koroma, Ursula Lawrence, Addison Likins, Willie Lowry, Bill Meck, Kathy Noel, Jonathan Nordstrom, Nadira Nunez, Joshua Owen, Nancy Owens, Ashley Radano, Ernest Sinnes, George Skypeck, and Nancy Walcutt. Most artwork is available for purchase; the E-Wing Security desk has a copy of the price list and artists biographies.
A floral interpretation will be provided by the Crossroads of Hughesville Garden Club.
For more information, contact Melissa Canada at 301-884-8171, ext.1468#, or VeteransHomeArt@gmail.com.
Free rabies clinic set for Oct. 23
Maryland law requires all dogs, cats and ferrets are vaccinated for rabies. Protect the loved ones and bring pets to a free rabies clinic 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, at the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department, 911 Washington Ave., La Plata.
Dog and cat licenses will be available for purchase. The fee for a pet license is $5 if the animal is altered and $25 if the animal is not altered.
All dogs must be leashed and all cats and ferrets must be contained in a carrier.
For more information, contact the Charles County Department of Emergency Services at 301-609-3425, or e-mail Debbie Yost at YostD@ CharlesCountyMD.gov. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.
CSM Connections series hosts poets Shockley, Benjamin
The College of Southern Maryland will continue its tradition of bringing engaging writers to its campuses this fall with the annual Connections Literary Series. The series will showcase two nationally recognized poets. Evie Shockley, a Holmes National Poetry Prize winner, will visit the Prince Frederick Campus on Sept. 30, and Rick Benjamin, former state poet of Rhode Island, will be at the Leonardtown Campus on Nov. 4.
Neal Dwyer, coordinator of the Connections program and a professor in CSM’s Languages and Literature Division, believes Shockley and Benjamin will be a good fit for the series.
“I was struck by their commitment to using poetry as a way to build bridges and break down barriers,” he said in a press release.
Shockley will read from her collection titled “the new black” beginning at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 30, in Building A, Room 119 on the Prince Frederick Campus, 115 J.W. Williams Road.
Born and raised in Nashville, Shockley earned a bachelor’s degree at Northwestern University, a juris doctor degree at the University of Michigan and a doctorate in English literature at Duke University. She is currently an English professor at Rutgers University.
The author of several collections of poetry, including “a half-red sea” (2006) and “the new black” (2011), Shockley is also the author of the critical volume “Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry” (2011). Her poetry and essays have been featured in several anthologies, including “Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry” (2009), “Poets on Teaching: A Sourcebook” (2010), “A Broken Thing: Contemporary Poets on the Line” (2011) and “Contemporary African American Literature: The Living Canon” (2013).
In preparation for Shockley’s visit, Dwyer has introduced his students to her work. He recalled a recent class where his students were responding to the poem “improper(ty) behavior.”
“The topic of the poem is racism in America. We discussed how a poem can speak to issues in a way that news reports or other media cannot. What I realized early on in our discussion is that her work spoke to my students in a very personal way,” he said in the release.
The poem ends with “I sometimes wonder how I get away with living while black.” That opened the floodgates of intense reflection and sharing, Dwyer said.
“Not only were they responding to Shockley’s
words, they were responding to each other. It really kicked in when they were asked to share their personal stories. Students need to be encouraged to believe their lives matter, it’s hard for them, but once they buy-in, you find it’s like they’re just waiting for someone to ask them to share their story, that’s all it takes, and that’s when learning begins.”
Dwyer hopes Shockley’s presentation will serve as an opportunity for the larger Southern Maryland community to join in the conversation, not only about racism, identity and society, but about the role poetry and storytelling can play in transforming conflict.
Benjamin will read from his work at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Leonardtown Campus, Building A, Auditorium, 22950 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown.
He has taught at Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, the MFA Program in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College, in many schools and in community and assisted living centers — where, he said, “I have passed good time in the company of people who range in age from 6 to 96.”
Benjamin also served as a Fellow at New Urban Arts, an afterschool arts mentoring program for Providence-area high school students. His poems and essays have appeared in “PRØOF,” “Watershed,” The Providence Journal, “Tongue,” 350.org, “The Writer’s Circle,” “American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics” (Wesleyan University Press), “Urthona: An International Buddhist Journal of the Arts, Poem, Home: An Anthology of Ars Poetica” (Paper Kite Press) and “La Petite Zine.”
Benjamin believes that poetry can play a primary role in creating vibrant and connected communities. Dwyer said that is what drew him to Benjamin’s work.
“Rick is about building community and using poetry as a way to bring people together. That could be the theme for this season of Connections: Poetry’s role in bringing people together,” Dwyer said.
Benjamin’s poetr y classes at Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design always included a community component so that his students could more fully experience what it means to circulate in communities outside of higher education, and his own creative practice includes work in many schools, community and senior centers.
Dwyer is excited about the upcoming fall Connections authors and the prospect that poetry could be the force to ignite a community dialogue on important issues.
“We can try it in many ways but, unfortunately for us in this culture, poetry has such a reputation,” Dwyer said in the release. “Most people would not think of it as a way to deal with a concern like racism, as Evie does, or in Rick’s case bringing communities together.”
The work these poets are doing is important and relevant, Dwyer said. He has seen the extent to which a poem can actually be “a direct connection to the lives that my students are living. These poets can inspire an audience to believe that there are other ways of dealing with conflict, trauma and division — at very least, their works can serve to begin the conversation.”
“As an educational institution, that’s a big part of our job,” he said, “… to begin the conversation, to bring people together over issues that matter, to share stories, to employ words, poetry to engage the larger CSM community … in terms of how we give back to the region, that’s what we’ve been doing through the Connections series and the literar y magazine for years.”
In addition to the Connections readings by Shockley and Benjamin, the Connections Magazine is soliciting submissions. The magazine is a regional literary journal published twice a year that features poems, stories, artwork and photography of Southern Maryland residents. A reading by contributors to the magazine will take place at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 on the La Plata Campus Center for Business and Industry (BI) Building, Rooms 103/104 at 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. The event is free. Another reading will be held in May. To be considered for fall 2016’s issue, the deadline for submissions is Oct. 31.
Since 1990, the Connections program has featured writers such as National Book Award winners Tim O’Brien and Robert Stone, Pulitzer Prize winning poets Yusef Komunyakaa and Henry Taylor, and Maryland Poet Laureates Lucille Clifton and Michael Glaser. Connections readings offer the Southern Maryland community a chance to hear from and meet established and emerging writers up close and personal.
Shockley’s reading is sponsored in part by a grant from the Arts Council of Calvert County and the Maryland State Arts Council. Benjamin’s reading is sponsored in part by a grant from the St. Mary’s County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council.
The spring literary series will include visits to CSM by author Michael Archer on Feb. 17, novelist Sunil Yapa on March 3 and Affrilachian poet Frank X. Walker on April 7.
Tickets for the Shockley and Benjamin readings are $3 in advance at the CSM box office, $5 at the door and $3 with a CSM Student ID. For tickets, contact bxoffc@ csmd.edu or 301-9347828.
For information on Connections, study guides and author links, go to www.csmd.edu/connections. Featured books are available at any CSM College Store or online at www.csmd.edu/CollegeStore.