The Southern Collective Experience hosts Visions of Verse the second Saturday of each month at the Pickens County Library. Writers and artists are invited to bring their work out to read/show and get feedback from peers. The next Visions of Verse is Saturday, Nov. 11 from 2 - 4 p.m. Here, Southern Collective Experience founder Clifford Brooks speaks to participants at the October meeting.
Submitted by Southern Collective Experience founder Clifford Brooks
Visions of Verse is a program initially started to enrich the education of the local GED program. Named by Holly Holt, the “V of V” outgrew that forum and grew into a larger concept to not only feature poetry, but all forms of artistic expression. In the spring of 2017, the program moved from Chattahoochee Technical College to the Pickens County Library. The library has been extremely generous, and now allows the Southern Collective Experience (www.southerncollectiveexperience.com) to showcase our art, and the
arts of others far and wide as the event is not only about the Collective, but also the entire community. It is an open mic program that is meticulously designed to incorporate established artists, those who are still honing their craft, and tutorials from experts to hem both groups into a gorgeous whole.
For those who want to know more about their material with a constructive critique, we have people ready to provide it. No harsh words are thrown or judgement cast. I simply never saw the point in an open mic without the constructive criticism that pushed me to still forge ahead and push harder to flesh out the writer I am still to become. Charles Bukowski (not a favorite) wrote a poem called “On Poetry Readings.” I read it for a PBS series, and it stands as my over-arching feeling concerning poetry readings as a general rule: “You get up and read terrible work and I’ll sing your praises….as long as you promise to do the same in return.” No, that does nothing for the listener or the writer. That sentiment goes for all writers. Visions of Verse is there to help prose writers best present their material and know when to say when as a patient crowd’s tolerance runs thin.
Of course, the most enthusiastic development is how many people come to the V of V to simply enjoy the tutorial and open mic elements. The Southern Collective Experience want to foster a love in the arts not only in those who feel compelled to join in creation, but also in those who are fans of that passion. Our whole organization was built on and thrives on inclusion, not exclusion. Exclusion is a poisonous thread to pull, and it never stays fast once torn loose.
V of V is every second Saturday of the month from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The next one is this Saturday, Nov. 11 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. If you want to read, sing, or simply enjoy, we’re thrilled to see you! Come in peace and leave more peaceful.