The Dangerous Curves of Women of Word
Celebrating seven years of hard-hitting poetry
Women of Word, now in its seventh year, is not for the faint of heart. The poetry event, at Edinboro's Diebold Center for the Performing Arts on March 30, focuses, by choice, on some of the most unsettling topics of our day. Expect original poetry about suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental illness, domestic violence, homelessness, and more. The event is not exclusive to female poets; male writers will also add their voices to the evening.
As you may recall, WoW differs in that poems are not read individually but are paired thematically, creating poetic conversations with unexpected twists and turns, resulting in surprising moments of clarity or counterpoint.
"Audiences have been blown away for the past six years by the two-poem conversational format," says Thasia Anne, who created, directs, and produces WoW. "For example," she adds, "Matthew Borzon has a book of poetry completely about PTSD. Darryl Brown sat and listened to him, and wrote the perfect poem to join them together. Borzon got chills when he heard Brown slide it into their conversation."
Also on the program is Luchetta Cookie Manus addressing homelessness. She and Thasia will join Marjorie Wonner in a piece about STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), which is a fresh and compelling topic.
As always, WoW brings in unusual elements to keep things new. This year, expect an expanded interpretive dance component and original folk music. "Last year, dancer Sukanya Burman watched from the audience and asked to participate," says Thasia. Burman will be joining Sarah Foster, back from last year. Jack Wonner will open the show with folk originals and is throwing in some limericks, as well.
In all, WoW delivers a distinctive and interesting way of experiencing poetry. Besides the novel delivery, you can continue the conversation afterward and pick up a chapbook by the poets. If nothing else, go for the poetry about STEM curriculum. – Mary Birdsong
6 p.m. // 219 Meadville St., Edinboro // Free admission // Meet and greet after the performance