Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Urbancode's New Poetry Blog featuring the works of Joseph Ross and J.M. Sannes

Check out the poetry of J.M. Sannes and Joseph Ross on urbancode's new poetry blog site.

Local Artists Travel from Anacostia to Belfast

While Irish Culture has taken thousands of years to develop, on March 9, 2008, five young artists and writers living and involved in the Anacostia community will experience that culture first hand with a journey to Belfast, NI. Joining in a cultural exchange celebration, the five Washingtonians travel overseas to learn of the life Irelands own live, as ‘Americans in Ireland’ week begins.

This talented group was selected as a result of a collaborative effort hosted in 2007 by Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure of NI, the Honfleur Gallery and ARCH. When Irish Photographer Meryn Smyth and US poets Katey Richey and Fred Joiner began a collaboration of their works, “Anacostia Exposed” was the result and it became a renowned exhibit at the Honfleur Gallery in July 2007, showcasing six DC Poets and black and white documentation of Anacostia by Mr. Smyth. The transatlantic relationships kept growing with a public art project; with the expertise of two international muralists, and under the watchful hand of local artist Seneca Wells, "Long Legs Take Great Strides" exploded with color onto the scene and still adorns the building on Martin Luther King Avenue SE. High school student Simone Simmons could be found behind the lens of a camera as a result of the Discovering Anacostia photography class, her photographic and literary works included in the Honfleur Exhibit. As a facilitator for these many community projects, ARCH’s Briony Evans will travel to NI as well. All of this talent will now be one link in building transatlantic bridges between NI and Washington DC, and sharing our cultures.

About The Artists

Fred Joiner is a poet and artist living in Washington, DC's Historic Anacostia neighborhood. As a poet Fred has given poetry readings at Busboys and Poets, Grace Church, and Howard University, among other places. His writing has appeared in Callaloo, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora, Mosaic Literary Magazine, and Warpland: A Journal of Black Literature and Ideas.
Some Fred's other interests include, photography, mixed media collage, and African Diaspora Studies. Fred works as a Systems Administrator for a social conscious technology consulting company, Community IT Innov

Katy Richey is a poet and teacher living the Washington Metro area. Her work has appeared in Beltway Poetry Quarterly and forthcoming in Gargoyle Magazine. She has performed poetry at venues throughout the Washington Metro Area and has been a featured reader at the Arlington Public Libraries Reading Series and WPFW 89.3 FM "On the Margin." Her work has also been on display at the Honfleur Gallery, as part of a traveling photography and poetry exhibit: Anacostia Exposed, which will go to Belfast, Northern Ireland in March 2008. She currently writes curriculum and teaches English to second language learners in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Simone Simmons is a senior at Dunbar High School. In her “spare” time, she is completing in an internship with Fox News. Ms Simmons is also involved with two local theatre groups, Ana’s Gold Youth Theatre, where she fulfills many roles including actor, playwright, producer, director, marketing agent and box office manager, and Diary of Theatre, which she started. Simone took the “Discovering Anacostia” black and white photography and literacy class at ARCH last summer and worked with NI’s Mervyn Smyth as a part of this project. She is looking forward to photographing Northern Ireland, especially in seeing the ancient castles.

Seneca Wells is the Art Director for the Lifepieces to Masterpieces, a DC-based after school arts program for young men. Seneca and his students created the “Long Legs Take Great Strides” mural last summer with the guidance of Muralists Tracey Gallogly from Northern Ireland and Cheryl Foster from Washington DC. Seneca mentors youth in the LPTM program in specialized painting and sewing techniques which involve a collaborative creative process. The young men’s amazing creations can be viewed at www.lifepieces.org, along with more information about this innovative arts education organization.

Briony Evans is the Creative Director for the Honfleur Gallery, in the Anacostia neighborhood of SE Washington DC. With a diverse background in fine art and sculpture, public art, carpentry/construction, community development and education, Ms Evans is the representative for ARCH and Honfleur Gallery, and assisted administering last years cultural projects with Northern Ireland. She looks forward to many more artistic collaborations with the creative minds of Northern Ireland.