In between all the costumes, readings, nibbles, and door prizes, a theme quickly emerged at the CCCC Creative Writing Program event open mic on Friday: COMMUNITY! In addition to appearances by favorite local writers and fans, people came from as far away as Lee, Randolph, and Orange counties to read and savor the work of others.
We were delighted to see Kristy Baggett, Director of Personal Enrichment at CCCC, who joined us with her husband Robert. To name just a few, local writers such as Karen Pullen, Al Manning, Mary Barnard Ruth Moose, Ralph Earle, Judith Stanton, Linda Johnson, and Michele Berger also joined us.
Our emcee, founding CWP member, linguist and poet Chris Bouton (pictured above in a snazzy hat), opened the event by reading our newly minted mission statement, which was compiled by our wonderful and talented marketing intern, Sarah Beth Robbins:
“The Central Carolina Community College–Creative Writing Program teaches the craft of writing as an art form, fosters imagination and excellence in writing, and creates a community for writers, whether they are beginners or seasoned veterans. We believe in the beauty and power of good writing and its ability to transform both writers and the world.”
Chris was on the verge introducing the first reader when lo and behold in sashayed none other than Queen Elizabeth I, that legendary patron of Shakespeare and many other poets.
Fittingly, the Queen transported us back to Elizabethan England, the home of the English sonnet. She regaled us with a reading of “When I Was Fair and Young” (penned by the Queen herself) and other Elizabethan favorites!
Our readers then took their turn at the mike, where we were transported again into the hearts and minds of friends, both new and old. Given the occasion, I shared a piece of my own twisted writing, “The All-Inclusive Vacation for Pessimists.”
The work shared (whether poems, essays, or fiction) was truly global, featuring settings as familiar as Pittsboro and as exotic as Africa. The universal emotions conveyed united us all: joy, laughter, grief, and fear. And this is how community is created.
Chris then closed the event by thanking everyone and drawing three door prizes, which included published samples of several of the local writers.
Scroll down to see more pictures of the event. And if you hadn’t been there, no worries, we’ll be holding another event in the spring. In the meantime, however, you can join our community by enrolling in any of the CWP Spring 2016 Courses, which will be available online soon.
Photographs courtesy of CWP Board Member Mary Barnard, who pulled double duty as photographer AND poet extraordinare!