Sponsored by the PDCCC Literary Club, the free event will be held Friday, April 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the atrium of the Hobbs Suffolk Campus at 271 Kenyon Road. Highlights of the festival include an open mic session and panel readings, along with storytelling, puppet shows and arts and crafts for the children. Storytelling will be led by PDCCC’s Dr. Harriette Arrington, dean of academic programs, and Dr. Paul Wm. Conco, president.
Arrington, a former teacher, college professor, and public school administrator, is the author of two children’s books. She has performed storytelling around the country.
Conco is also a known storyteller, with a background in the culinary arts, management and education.
In addition, panelists Brenda Andrews, Reginald Johns, Don Roberts and Tony Ruggiero will present original works. Local native and author Nathan Richardson will serve as moderator. Andrews, an accomplished publisher, journalist and public speaker, is the owner of the New Journal and Guide, the state’s oldest African-American weekly newspaper. She writes poetry under the alias, Belle, and published her first collection in 2010.
Johns, published author and motivational speaker, is a native of Hampton. He shares his faith through wit and humor and conducts workshops for churches, schools, teachers, civic leagues and art galleries.
An award winning reporter and a published author, Roberts is co-anchor for WAVY-TV 10. His collection of positive poetry and rap songs, Rap to Live, is for children of all ages. He also hosts the talk show, Bottom Line, which airs Sunday mornings at 5:30.
Ruggiero, a teacher and writer, is known for his groundbreaking novels- dark fantasy thrillers that combine the vampire lore of Anne Rice and the clandestine military secrets of Tom Clancy. He is retired from the U.S. Navy after 23 years of service and resides in Portsmouth.