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Poetry/Storytelling Open Mic Night series to continue at the Cultural Center on Feb. 16

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will continue its monthly Poetry/Storytelling Open Mic Night series on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006 at 6 p.m., in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston. The series will feature Peter Kosky of South Charleston as host and a guest poet/storyteller each month. The February program will feature Norman Jordan of Ansted. The Poetry/Storytelling Open Mic Night series is free and open to the public.

New and established writers are invited to come and share their poetry and storytelling talents at the open mic sessions. Kosky, a history teacher at South Charleston High School and a talented singer/songwriter, will introduce all participants. The open mic session is limited to one hour; the guest artists will begin their shows shortly after the last poem/story has been read, whether or not the hour is over.

Jordan is an internationally published poet and West Virginia’s most-published African-American poet. His poetry has been anthologized in 41 books of poetry, the most recent being Make a Joyful Sound: Poems for Children by African-American Poets, In Search of Color Everywhere: A Collection of African-American Poetry and Wild Sweet Notes: Fifty Years of West Virginia Poetry 1950-1999.

Jordan was a featured poet in Creative Classroom, a magazine published by the Children’s Television Workshop for the famous Sesame Street television show. His poems are included on three CDs. Jordan also is a playwright and his work has been staged in San Diego, Cleveland, Dallas, Atlanta and New York. He holds a United Nations Playwright’s Award and was the first recipient of the Harriet Eells Performing Arts Fellowship at the famous Karamu House Theater in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition Jordan portrays the History Alive character Carter G. Woodson who spent his early years in West Virginia as a railroad worker, coal miner, teacher, and professor.

Jordan has taught African-American literature at West Virginia University (WVU) and Glenville State College. He holds a bachelor of fine arts in theatre from WVU and a masters of arts in African-American Studies from Ohio State University. He is co-founder and director of the African American Heritage Family Tree Museum in Ansted, and president of the West Virginia African American Arts and Heritage Academy.

In January of 2000, Jordan was the recipient of a Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream Award, issued by the Martin Luther King Jr. West Virginia Holiday Commission.

The evening’s program, presented in conjunction with Black History Month, will conclude with a question and answer period.

For more information about the Poetry/Storytelling Open Mic Night series, call (304) 558-0162. Next month’s program will feature Colleen Anderson, poet and storyteller of Charleston, on Thursday, March 16, at 6 p.m.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Media Note: Norman Jordan can be reached by phone at (731) 660-5304.

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Ginny Painter
Director of Public Information
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
Phone (304) 558-0220
Fax (304) 558-2779
ginny.painter@wvculture.org