By Elizabeth Roberts
April is National Poetry month, and Pompano Beach’s Bailey Contemporary Arts is honoring that medium with a poetry contest and new exhibit that opens April 5.
Cash prizes of $100, $75 and $50 will be awarded for the poetry contest but poems must be inspired by the collages on display, by artist Mimi Botscheller.
Local writer and artist Calvin “MadeS.O.N” Early will be judging the entries. The exhibit, called “Visions & Verse,” is a selection of collages by Botscheller, who uses bits of paper, photos and digital media to create new images that evoke different ideas. Aspiring poets are invited to draw inspiration from those renderings and submit a poem.
“Something went wrong with the CD,” he explained, ” … [so] I did it without the beat.”
He found he actually preferred performing without the electronic soundtrack.
“When you rap, you have to be on the beat. With this, I didn’t feel so confined,” Early said. “I was able to convey a message without restriction.”
Early teaches spoken word poetry at workshops.
“We are delighted to bring together the visual and the literary, ” said Grace Gdaniec, the new exhibit’s curator.
Early said it’s a natural mix.
“A lot is stuff you learned in high school but you don’t necessarily retain it – using metaphor or imagery,” he said. “In creative writing, I’m not teaching you poetry. I’m not teaching you stories. I’m teaching you to write creatively.”
It is that ability to discern whether, for example, beat or metaphor should prevail that Early teaches in his seminars. He will be weighing that artistry as a judge when local poets compete for cash prizes.
The “Visions & Verse” exhibit runs April 5 to 29 at BaCA, 41 N.E. First St. in Pompano Beach. Poets and writers of all levels are encouraged to explore the gallery and submit their poems about the exhibit via email to Director@baileyarts.org. The deadline for submissions is April 21.
For information, visit www.baileyarts.org or call 954-284-0141.