Special Alert

Seat in the Shade Poetry Reading

The final evening of the annual Seat in the Shade poetry series is pleased to welcome Charlee Cain, Josina Guess, Alexander Johns, and Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor as they read their poems at Hendershot's on Prince Avenue. Following their readings, a group of emerging teacher-poets will have the opportunity to share their work as well, as part of a course on poetry and education, taught by Cahnmann-Taylor.

Charlee Cain is a language educator and emerging poet who seeks to make a confident language learner out of every student she encounters. She holds an M.Ed. In TESOL and World Language Education from the University of Georgia and a B.A. in Spanish from Valdosta State University. She utilizes poetry to explore her own learning and aims to create more intersections between the arts and education.

Josina Guess is a freelance writer based in Comer, GA. She is the recipient of 2018 Louisville Institute study grant focusing on our national recovery from the wounds of war and racism. She has written for various places including The Christian Century and Communities Magazine she has work forthcoming in Sojourners and (Athens' own) Crop Stories. She writes about race, faith and history and the work of gardening, home and family making at Josinaskitchentable.blogspot.com.

Alexander Johns is an Associate Professor of English at the University of North Georgia, where he teaches American literature and creative writing. He was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and currently resides in the Athens, Georgia area. His most recent collection, Darwin's Book of Saints, was published in 2018 by Aurore Press. He is the recipient of the 2013 Pavement Saw Press Prize for his collection “Robot Cosmetics,” and his poems have appeared in Town Creek Poetry, Stray Dog Almanac, Chaffin Journal, Accents Publishing, The Oklahoma Review, Red River Review, Two Drops of Ink, The Journal of Language and Literacy Education, Kota Press, Scrivener’s Pen, Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, Bellemeade Books, and other publications and were featured in the No Small Measure Georgia Broadsides project. He is the managing director of Word of Mouth, a monthly reading series bringing together nationally known and local writers in Athens, Georgia.

MELISA "Misha" CAHNMANN-TAYLOR, Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia, is the author of Imperfect Tense (poems, 2016), and co-author of three education books, Teachers Act Up: Creating Multicultural Learning Communities Through Theatre (2010) and Arts-Based Research in Education, first edition (2008) and Arts-based Research in Education, second edition (2018). Winner of NEA “Big Read” Grants, the Beckman award for "Professors Who Inspire Social Change," and a Fulbright for nine-month study of adult Spanish language acquisition in Oaxaca Mexico, she is poetry editor for Anthropology & Humanism and judges the journal’s annual ethnographic poetry competition. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Women’s Quarterly Review, Cream City Review, Barrow Street, Puerto Del Sol, Mom Egg, and many other literary homes. Follow her blog at http://teachersactup.com

Poetry for Educators Collective: https://www.facebook.com/groups/poetryed/

PRESS RELEASE FOR WHOLE SERIES: Georgia's poet laureate among performers for 'Seat in the Shade' Poetry series features weekly readings from notable authors The summer poetry series "Seat in the Shade" kicks off next month with a slate of notable writers that include Georgia's poet laureate. Hosted by Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor, a professor in the University of Georgia College of Education, the weekly readings kick off Wednesday, July 11, and continues July 18 and 25. The final performance takes place Thursday, July 26, with a special reading by Cahnmann-Taylor and student poets who attend the readings as part of a class. Readings take place 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Hendershots Coffee, 237 Prince Ave., Athens. The poetry event began six years ago in conjunction with Cahnmann-Taylor's summer poetry class that encourages students—often Georgia teachers pursuing a graduate degree—to think outside the box in their writing. "These won't be stuffy black turtle neck readings, but public celebrations of music and story. Poetry on the page comes alive on the stage--this year features a range of emerging and accomplished Georgia writers," Cahnmann-Taylor said Poets Soham Patel and Jenny Sadre-Orafal will read on July 11. Patel is an assistant editor at Fence and The Georgia Review, and is the author of several chapbooks and two full-length collections of poetry. Sadre-Orafai has written two books and five chapbooks, and her collection of poetry, "Book of Levitations," will be published next year. The July 18 performance features Sabrina Orah Mark and Lemuel "Life the Griot" LaRoche. Mark has written two collections of poetry and her collection of stories, "Wild Milk," will be published later this year. LaRoche is known in the Athens area for his groundbreaking work with the nonprofit Chess and Community, but is also internationally known for his poetry and spoken word and has written two books. On July 25, Sharon Nuruddin and Dave Bottoms will take the stage. Nuruddin is a bilingual author and a doctoral student of language and literacy education in the UGA College of Education while Bottoms, Georgia's poet laureate, has published many collections of poetry and won numerous awards for his work. His poems draw from Southern imagery and narratives, including church hymns, bluegrass music and the natural world. The series concludes with a Thursday evening performance led by Cahnmann-Taylor, the author of three educational texts and a book of poems, Josina Guess from Comer, Geogia, and Charlee Cain, a language educator and emerging poet. The performance is also a chance for Cahnmann-Taylor's students to flex their poetry muscles and perform what they wrote during the summer class. This is the first year this series has support from an Athens Arts Council "Arts In Community Grant" and a Georgia Literary Events Grant For details, visit coe.uga.edu/seatintheshade

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