Women’s Herstory Month got off to a phenomenal start at the Countee Cullen Branch, NYPL. Poets Network & Exchange presented a two part series. Part One consisted of featured storytellers Jasmine Eileen Coles, Dr. Joyce Duncan, and poet/storyteller Yodi Duane Vaden.
Jasmine Eileen Coles mesmerized those in attendance with a story told through powerful and creative dance. The storyline, a young child explores three doors, the child plays with delight.
One of the windows when explored makes the child uncomfortable. We witness a painful expression appearing on the child’s face. It disappears just as quickly as it appeared and joy returns. The story ends with her asking the child’s name and the child replies Faith. Jasmine Eileen Coles is an extraordinary artist, more importantly as a person she’s authentic, warm and smiles and laughs easily. It is the combination of these qualities which draws her audiences to her.
Yodi Duane Vaden shared powerful poems about his mother. His
stories have been dubbed “Urban Lullabies”, he eulogizes what he sees, hears and feels in life. This is evident in the power of his stories. His unique blend of story conveys his view point of life through his eyes, in his masterful words.
Last but not least on of the features was Dr. Joyce Duncan. Dr. Duncan beguiled us with stories of her youth specifically her childhood. She lead us in songs from her travels around the world.
Dr. Duncan is a member of the Pearls of Wisdom, and she shared
her wisdom through stories and powerful words with her audience.
Poet On Watch’s words are powerful, beautiful and gentle. She interacts with her audience by stopping and having brief conversations. She’s unafraid to share her innermost thoughts and emotions with her audiences. We love this about her, we connect and honor this sharing as sacred. She called on the ancestors and memory. We celebrated those who came before us and ourselves. We celebrated the power and the beauty of women and specifically Black women. Some of her poems are heart wrenching when she speaks eloquently of the Shawn Bell, Trayvon Martin and so many others. She loved us passionately and tenderly with care.
A special thank you to our featured Poets and Storytellers, Jasmine Eileen Coles, Dr, Joyce Duncan, and Yodi Duane Vaden. Special thank you for all those in attendance, our participants in our open mic segments for sharing your wonderful poetry and stories and Poet Daniel Sottile who drove in from Allentown Pennsylvannia with Yodi Duane Vaden. Thank you to Poet Nichelle Johnson for your continued support and excellent facilitation of our open mic segment. A special shout out to the Pearls of Wisdom, Filmmaker Katherine Cheairs, Poet Robert Gibbons, and Poet/Storyteller Mercy Tullis Bukhari and Susan Lippman, Brooklyn Community Storyteller, and Thelma Ruffin Thomas, Artistic Director for the Pearls of Wisdom.
The Countee Cullen Branch of the New York Public Library was definitely the place to be on Saturday March 1st, 2014.
©Lorraine Currelley 2013. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author is strictly prohibited.