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Black Arts and Culture

The New Journal Guide’s New IMPACT POETRY OPEN MIC

By Sean C. Bowers

The New Journal and Guide is proud to participate in the brand new 757 Poetic OPEN MIC for spoken word poetry of impact.

Since 2014, the Guide has hosted an “Impacting Lives” annual leadership breakfast for the community, so the fit is as beautiful as a Natural.We do it for the culture,” said Roy Wood of The Daily Show.

In a monthly partnership with the host facility, the IMPACT COMMUNITY CENTER, at 3421 Portsmouth Blvd, in Portsmouth, Virginia, we will be addressing a monthly issue, (issue of the month every third Thursday) starting with “LOVE” on January 19, 2023 from 7:30-10:30 p.m.. The topic for February 16, is BLM addressing “RACISM.” On March 16, the topic is “SEXISM.”

Poets are requested to bring a minimum of one poem on the monthly chosen topic, performers are admitted for free. The $2 cover charge for witnesses goes directly to the non-profit Impact Community Center’s empowerment building efforts. There is plenty of free parking, new bathrooms and it is a BYOB event.

The overall goal of this IMPACT POETRY OPEN MIC series is to create a shared “757 Poetic Round Table” cultured impactful epic monthly spit spot—by touting possible solutions demonstrating equality and equity for all.

The stage has been built and the lights set for our fully mature 757 poetic culture to rise above and beyond ourselves. The graduation of poets from “me and I” poetry to “we and us” poetry clearly shows the understanding of all our common bonds and chords we share. United, we can collectively address and overcome anything.

The 757 has a long, poetically rich history going back over the past twenty-five years. Now we poets of the 757 Poetic Round Table unite in common sense causes. We desire to both do more and be more IMPACTFUL as our monthly performance showcase demonstrates. Via our poetic heroic efforts and life experiences, we shall overcome apathy through empathy. We have the untapped spiritual wealth of human capital in our minds, waiting to uplift and inspire the masses.

The IMPACT COMMUNITY CENTER allows for the moderate BYOB beverage policy with light hors d’oeuvres to be shared with worldly wit and wisdom, in peace.

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NJ&G publisher these past 35 years, Ms. Brenda H. Andrews, is a self-published poet herself. She has been invited to share some of her poetry at the kickoff event on January 19.

Some video and audio recording capabilities for direct posting to youtube and the internet’s digital world will be available on certain dates that are pre-announced. Occasionally and ultimately there will be both guest featured performers and guest poet hosts. This will be done so that the IMPACT POETRY OPEN MIC establishes our own modern-day poetic “Camelot” right here in the 757.

Both my parents were regular performers at the hippie coffee house scene at Norfolk’s “FOLK GHETTO,” on Freemason Street in the 1960’s-70’s. I come by it honestly, as I have been writing and performing spoken word poetry for the past 25 years (some in) the Guide and on local 757, 703, and 804 (area code) stages. “We are the ones we have been waiting for” is a common 757 poetic refrain, honoring Suffolk native Poet-Historian Nathan Richardson’s poem by that title and his Frederick Douglass re-enactment performances.

“Are you in it for the poetry or the money?”, added early poetry venue organizer Pete Freas. “No time spent in poetry is ever wasted,” is another poetic gem offered by the long-time 757 poetic contributor, mentor, organizer and the publisher of the Skipping Stones.

Words have always been a kind of poetic refuge from today’s barrage of societal mirages. 757 poets are like lighthouses, in that we warn of impending dangers to help keep others off the rocks. America’s oldest first lighthouse at Cape Henry was commissioned by George Washington himself. Our 757 VOICE BOX HEROES will poetically illuminate the issues and dangers with potential solutions shared in light and love.

We in the poetic community fully understand that it is never where you can take poetry, it’s always about where the poetry can take us that matters most. Save the date, come join us for something truly new and special, -the unlimited flow of goodness, one poem, and poet, at a time.

IMPACT POETRY Contact & Questions e-mail me at VOICEBOXHEROS@AOL.COM


Poet Sean C.

Sean C. Bowers has written the last twenty-five years, as a White Quaker Southern man, for the nation’s third oldest Black Newspaper, The New Journal and Guide, of Norfolk, Virginia, about overcoming racism, sexism, classism, and religious persecution. Some of his latest NJ&G articles detailing the issues can found by searching “Sean C. Bowers” on the NJ&G website. Contact him directly on social media at or by e-mail NNPA 2019 Publisher of the Year, Brenda H. Andrews (NJ&G 35 years) has always been his publisher.

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