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On Thursday, June 27, Merritt will join a handful of other local poets, activists and writers at Spalding at 21c: Voice and Vision, a series that celebrates creativity in Louisville. Drake, Dylon Jones, Minda Reves, Ian Stansel and Sarah Anne Strickley, and it’ll be hosted by Lynnell Edwards, associate program director of Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing. The other two will be pieces of her own work.“I chose the poems I will read because I felt like challenging people,” she says.
The event is free and starts with open-mic readings, followed by presentations from the guests. The poet is most looking forward to hearing the work of her fellow writers.“A few years ago, we attended a spoken-word workshop with Hannah Drake at the Writer’s Block conference, so I’m especially excited to hear her read,” adds Merritt.
At least, that’s what I’d like the answer to be, but before that there may have been a small group of blind and low-vision high school friends hellbent on an evening with Barry Manilow. Really, any of a vast number of jobs where doing your job is mutually exclusive with being a decent human being — robber barons, telescammers, politicians, predatory anythings. It’s comfy and cozy and quiet enough for talking — how is it a good thing for restaurants to be so loud? The food is always good, and a meal there won’t break the bank.
What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation? A few months ago my wife and I took visiting writer Carolyn Forché there for lunch, and she remembered being there with poets Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs on a previous visit to Louisville, so, yeah, Ditto’s is a solid choice — at least, for poets.
Constance Merritt is an award-winning poet based right here in Louisville.
This is not an indication of a security issue such as a virus or attack.Before she takes the podium on Thursday, we asked her some very important questions …What was your first concert? I won tickets off the radio, and my parents drove me the 40 miles from our hometown, Pine Bluff, Ark., to Little Rock to attend.My dad stayed in the van the whole time talking on the CB or listening to preachers on AM radio, while my mom and I went in.Merritt is the author of four volumes of poetry — “Blind Girl Grunt: The Selected Blues Lyrics and Other Poems” (2017), “Two Rooms” (2009), “Blessings and Inclemencies” (2007) and “A Protocol for Touch” (2000).She’s won numerous literary awards and currently serves as the poetry editor for the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. Merritt tells Insider she’ll be reading three poems on Thursday, one by poet Laura Hershey, who she recently wrote an essay about.