Category Archives: Gardendale

Kat Copeland- Midland/Odessa (Permian Basin), Texas 2017

Organizer: Kat Copeland

Contact: kopykat@grandecom.net

 

 

 

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Mesa Journal article: Permian Basin Poetry Society Presents 100,000 Poets for Change

This is an article I wrote for UTPB’s online newspaper, The Mesa Journal. I am currently the Arts & Entertainment writer for the newspaper, but I wanted to have another place to share my articles where I can also share writings that I am not writing for The Mesa Journal. This is a review I wrote on my city’s 100 Thousand Poets for Change event which occurred on September 30, 2017. Please enjoy and come back for more writings. I hope to share movie reviews and some local arts & entertainment news here and possibly some of my creative writing. When my articles are published by my editor onto The Mesa Journal’s website, I will edit its respective entry here on my blog, and add the link to it. Anyway, enjoy this review of my city’s 100 Thousand Poets for Change event!

Permian Basin Poetry Society Presents 100,000 Poets for Change

Written by Beth Atkins.

The Permian Basin Poetry Society held its annual 100 Thousand Poets for Change event at Dee’s Bistro in downtown Odessa on Saturday, September 30, 2017. 100 Thousand Poets for Change is a non-profit organization, started in 2011, which reaches out to communities all over the world to hold poetry, music, and art gatherings in their own areas. The organization advocates reconnection among community members through the arts; by fostering solidarity, their goal is to promote political, social, and environmental change that would lead to peace and sustainability around the world. Kat Copeland of the Permian Basin Poetry Society organized our local event, and collected food and monetary donations for the West Texas Food Bank.

Odessa’s 100 Thousand Poets for Change 2017 event included diverse artists from all over Texas and some other states, including Oklahoma. Performers, artists, and patrons of all different ethnicities and backgrounds gathered to share in the celebration of free expression and creativity. There was a visual arts exhibit featuring paintings and photography, as well as an open mic event which featured poetry and prose readings, musical performances, comedic acts, and even couture and kinetic art.

 

 
Figure 1. “Suicide,” by David Limer.

I spoke briefly with two visual artists whose work was on display at the event. David Limer of Amarillo, Texas had four acrylic paintings at the exhibit; one entitled “Suicide” is pictured here in Figure 1. Limer is also a poet, with two published books entitled “My Blood, My Tears” and “Real Thought in Real Time,” and I was lucky enough to hear him read some of his poetry at the open mic event. From his poetry reading and the small discussion I had with him about his paintings, I gathered that a theme common to both his art and poetry was the recognition and condemnation of cruel behaviors in our society which can alienate people, and lead some to depression and suicide. Other published writers who read at the open mic event included local poet Cynthia Ruby and novelist Ann Swann.

 
Figure 2. “Within Yourself” (Top Left), “Out of the Darkness” (Bottom Left), and “Waking Up,” by Emma Lee.

Emma Lee, an Odessa native, was another visual artist who I spoke to briefly. Her painting “Waking Up,” pictured here on the right side of Figure 2, explores the idea of people becoming “faceless silhouettes” as a result of being too wrapped up in the turmoil of modern life to stop and witness the beauty around them. Her other featured paintings, also pictured here, promote reliance on “the light within” oneself as a faithful resource for creativity and personal development.

Among the musical performances were two local bands, The Corbell Blues Band and a group of youngsters called the king of infinite space and the indifferent children of the earth (yes, you read it right, and, yes, the lack of capitalization is intentional). The Corbell Blues Band put out a lot of fun energy and had frequent crowd interaction. Brian Corbell, one of the guitarists and vocalists, had a very unique voice which I enjoyed and found thoroughly bluesy. For their finale, Brian introduced a new instrument to the show: a shovel (yes, as in the tool you use to dig holes) which had been converted into a 3-string guitar! It was a surprising and amusing addition to their set, and the shovel sounded great (that’s certainly a sentence you don’t hear every day!).

The next band, the king of infinite space and the indifferent children of the earth, was a band of very young musicians: three of them are still juniors at Midland High School, while one, the percussionist, is a freshman at West Texas A&M. Two of the members, Harrison and Christopher, switch between bass and guitar, while Hadn is the vocalist and Balin, the percussionist.

 
Figure 3. Indie band the king of infinite space and the indifferent children of the earth performing at Odessa’s 100 Thousand Poets for Change, 2017.

All of the songs performed by the king of infinite space… were original compositions, except for one: a spot-on cover of the Violent Femmes song “Blister in the Sun.” The band exhibited expert command of their instruments, rhythm, and on-stage communication, often switching from faster tempos to slower ones in an instant, with just a glance exchanged between them. Their songs featured complex rhythms and endearing melodies. The singer’s voice had a timbre which I would describe as a wonderful combination of Robert Plant and Gordon Gano. This band was captivating, and their sound as a whole had a grungy, folk punk quality. I hope very much to see more performances by them, or a demo release in the future.

I am including at the end of this article a list of all the performers who appeared on the printed program; I am doing this because I could not get to everyone who participated in the event, and I think they all deserve recognition for such a wonderful showcase of talent and creativity. It was encouraging to see so many people in attendance to show support for the local art community.

Please check out the Permian Basin Poetry Society’s Facebook for future events; Kat Copeland stated that they try to hold open mic nights in the Odessa-Midland area at least once a month. Kat also made it clear to me that she is a big advocate for freedom of expression, stating “everyone has a right to express their creativity and to express themselves.” Therefore, she would love to see even more participants in Permian Basin Poetry Society events, and welcomes artists of all different backgrounds.

Make sure you check out 100 Thousand Poets for Change, and definitely consider attending or even performing in next year’s event, which will likely take place the last weekend of September, 2018.

Performers and Artists of Odessa’s 2017 100 Thousand Poets for Change event:

Emcees: Ernesto Calderon, Kyle Trueblood; Music:Corbell Blues Band, the king of infinite space and the indifferent children of earth, Kyle Trueblood, Regina Bejarano, Dorian Guerro, Murder Monroe, The S.E.E., Maul; Poetry/Spoken Word: Shaobeny Chanprell, David Limer, Amanda Rudloff & Shelby w/ Bella, Ann Swann, Lorrie Norris, Courtney Simpson, Martha Zulema Barraza, Isaiah Mata, Kionne Lewis, Vince, Cynthia Ruby, Laron Wright, Patrick Gesch, Tabara Williams, Triston Lee, Isaiah, Jared Madrigal, BoUdre; Comedy: Adam Rhee; Couture: Lorrie Norris; Kinetic Art: The VooDoo Child; Paintings:Marilyn Benefield, Bitty, Lauren Christine, Taylor Jones, Veronika Kot, Emma Lee, David Limer, Michaela, Adam Rhee, Cynthia Ruby, Jim Waddell;Photography: Dana L Bryson, Ryan Fryoux, Courtney Simpson; Videographer: Isaiah Villafranco.

 

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Kat Copeland- Midland/Odessa (Permian Basin), Texas 2016

Organizer: Kat Copeland

Contact: kopykat@grandecom.net

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Kat Copeland- Midland/Odessa (Permian Basin), Texas 2014

10647114_10204235286589575_1973594918243365918_nOrganizer: Kat Copeland

Contact: kopykat@grandecom.net

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PERMIAN BASIN BEYOND ANTHOLOGY: Master anthology columns 158 v11

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Kat Copeland-Gardendale, TX

Contact: kopykat@grandecom.net

September 11, 2013
FAX 366-9434

To: LSM Committee
Local Sales Marketing

Supper at 6:30 PM at Gardendale Community Center
Your contribution of food is most appreciated.

Contact: Kat Copeland, Public Information
Kopykat@grandecom.net;432-697-4205

Co-sponsors, non-profits:
Permian Basin Chapter, Poetry Society of Texas,
Midland/Odessa and beyond
Founded by Marjorie Morris of Globe Theatre fame in 1967
Forrest Fest Inc., an international gathering of poets and musicians
based out of Lamesa, TX

Event: 100,000 Poets et al for GLOBAL positive change
Founded by Michael Rothenberg of California in 2011
One hundred plus countries participating

Permian Basin & Beyond, Texas “Heard”
Gardendale Community Center
Gardendale, Texas
September 28, 2013
2 PM til midnight
Admission: Humanity, Water, soft drinks, snax

Performers:
Poets, Spoken Word Artists, West Texas Poets, Cowboy Poetry and music,
Contests: Poetry Spoken Word and Haiku
Open Mic: All genres of music, dance, and poetry

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On Sept. 28 2013, the quiet Texas community of Gardendale was part of a worldwide phenomenon. Area poets, musicians, and performers gathered at the community center to call for change through the Permian Basin and Beyond Texas Heard 100,00 poets et al, a part of the 100,000 Poets for Change event.

Texas Heard was sponsored by the Permian Basin Chapter of the Poetry Society of Texas, Midland/Odessa and Beyond, and Forrest Fest, Inc. Mexican food was served to those who attended, and the tables were decorated with candlelight, silver shimmers, sheriff badges, cookies shaped like cowboy boots, and glow globes.

Daniel C. Ramos, the 27-year-old Permian Basin PST member, was the host of the event.

“[It] was a chance to meet others who had the same passion for art and progress,” he said.

Performers included poets Kat Copeland, Kayla Keel, Sarah LaMascus, Jennifer McNeely, Michelle Pfalzgraf, and Connie Williams, as well as the musical group Sister in the Rain (Steve McCaleb and Ryan Johnson), Middle Eastern Dancer Kelly Kingston, singer Yvette Loredo, singer/guitarist Sara Jackson, and West Texas Talent Entertainment founder Daniel Ryan, who talked about the power of protest and his work with cold cases.

The poets performed in a poetry slam, which consisted of four rounds of poetry rated by guest judges. Sarah LaMascus won the slam. The 21-year-old poet has been writing and performing for one year and nine months. She has won the last three slams hosted in the area.

“I took part in 100,000 poets for change because I really loved the idea of a worldwide spoken word,” she said. “Since I’ve started writing I’ve been inspired to work hard, learn more and become a stronger writer because I do want to be able to cause change someday. I have a unique story, but it can really hit close to home for so many other young adults and even hopefully prevent some teens from going through as many hard ships as I did.”

A haiku death match was also hosted, and 37-year-old Michelle Pfalzgraf won the competition. She has been writing since grade school and had her first poem published in high school.

“I wanted to do 100 because I wanted to express myself, share my work and ideas with others and be part of something bigger than myself,” she said. “The idea behind it, I thought, was really beautiful.”

When asked if they believed poetry could change the world, the poets gave their opinion.

“We do make a difference,” said Copeland.

“Absolutely,” said Pfalzgraf. “Many writers throughout the ages have opened society’s eyes to the bigger picture and helped us see the world around us more clearly. People can be inspired through poetry and can be given the impetus to view things from a different perspective and learn to think for themselves and formulate new ideas.

“Yes I do believe poetry can change the world,” said LaMascus. “It’s too genuine and unique in form not to. It’s all about putting the past in a painted picture to try and help the process of understanding one another go a little smoother.”

“I could get up to a mic and raise awareness about the causes I feel are important through a slam poem every day, but it wouldn’t mean anything if I didn’t get off that stage and actually do something for that cause,” said Keel. “Maybe poetry can’t change the world, but poets can.”

“I believe it can inspire change,” said Ramos. “It can be the spark in a chain reaction of change.”

Organizer: Kat Copeland

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Kat Copeland, Rebel Rouser for Senior Citizens & Youth

1. How long have you been with Permian Basin PST? Officer or just member? Been member for about 8 years, current – treasurer, public info. was president for 2 terms, and vp.
2. What did you take away from the event (thoughts, feelings, etc.) We do make a difference.
3. Do you believe poetry can change the world? Yes, culmination of all writers

Michelle Pfalzgraf, age 37

1.How long have you been with Permian Basin PST? Officer or just member? Officially became a member of PST this year but I had known about them for a couple years before that. Became a contributor to WTP page this year and also created a page under my pen name. Pen name cynthia ruby, legal name mhp but also had stuff published under maiden name michelle colleen hall.
2. How long have you been writing/performing poetry? Started writing in grade school, got serious with it in junior high. First published poem in high school. Began performing back in 96 or so. Stopped for several years due to life circumstances but still always wrote and began performing again this year.
3. What made you decide to take part in the 100,000 Poets for Change event? I wanted to do 100( because I wanted to express myself, share my work and ideas with others and be part of something bigger than myself. The idea behind it I thought was really beautiful.
4. What pieces did you perform? I can only remember some of the pieces. One of them was Uncle Sam, about my view of american politics and society while using my fathers military service as a background theme. Another piece was hourglass, a poem dealing with emotions and passage of time. The other was street’s veil, a piece about the negative aspects of society using apartment dwellings as a focal point. I like to use a lot of imagery in my work.
I also performed several of my haikus, which was what I enjoyed the most. I got a very good response to uncle sam and my haikus, which made me very happy.
5. What did you take away from the event (thoughts, feelings, etc.) What I took away from the event was feeling of comraderie, free expression and being with fellow artists and like minded individuals. I also greatly enjoyed the musicians we had on hand, they were amazing. I just wish we had more people from the public there. Unfortunately in our corner of the world most people don’t understand the power and significance of the written and spoken word. But knowing that we were part of a global event was really special and something I’m very proud of.
6. Do you believe poetry can change the world? Do I feel poetry can change the world? Absolutely. Many writers throughout the ages have opened society’s eyes to the bigger picture and helped us see the world around us more clearly. People can be inspired through poetry and can be given the impetus to view things from a different perspective and learn to think for themselves and formulate new ideas.

Sarah LaMascus, age 21
1.How long have you been with Permian Basin PST? Officer or just member? Only since July so 3 months just a member
2. How long have you been writing/performing poetry? I’ve been writing and performing poetry for a year and 9 months
3. What made you decide to take part in the 100,000 Poets for Change event? I took part in 100,000 poets for change because I really loved the idea of a worldwide spoken word! Since I’ve started writing I’ve been inspired to work hard learn more and become a stronger writer because I do want to be able to cause change someday. I have a unique story, but it can really hit close to home for so many other young adults and even hopefully prevent some teens from going through as many hard ships as I did.
4. What pieces did you perform? I performed almost my whole inventory including chain link fence, cracks in the mirror, plainview, dead leaves, switch leaves, and piccolo.
5. What did you take away from the event (thoughts, feelings, etc.) I really loved being able to see our small community come together in such a big way and support each other. It gave me hope that if even in a town like midland we can have this many diverse performers and activists then surely there’s hope for the rest of the world.
6. Do you believe poetry can change the world? Yes I do believe poetry can change the world. It’s too genuine and unique in form not to. It’s all about putting the past in a painted picture to try and help the process of understanding one another go a little smoother.

Kayla Keel, age 19
1.How long have you been with Permian Basin PST? Officer or just member? I believe since May, but I’m not sure. End of spring this year. Just a member.
2. How long have you been writing/performing poetry? Performing since summer this year, writing for 6 years.
3. What made you decide to take part in the 100,000 Poets for Change event? The idea of Poets for Change was abstract to me and I wanted to find out more about it, so I went.
4. What pieces did you perform? I performed Bathroom Confessional, The War on Twerking, storm chasers, Moth, and Heartless In This Case Is Not a Metaphor.
5. What did you take away from the event (thoughts, feelings, etc.) After leaving, I thought that poetry brought together different people from different walks of life and I felt honored to get to hear each person’s expression of life and art. It was an awesome experience.
6. Do you believe poetry can change the world? I could get up to a mic and raise awareness about the causes I feel are important through a slam poem every day but it wouldn’t mean anything if I didn’t get off that stage and actually do something for that cause. Maybe poetry can’t change the world, but poets can.

Daniel C. Ramos, age 27
1.How long have you been with Permian Basin PST? Officer or just member? I’ve been with the Permian Basin Poetry Society since 2010. Was the president at one point in time. Currently just a member.
2. How long have you been writing/performing poetry? Been writing as soon as I learned how, started performing poetry back in 2004.
3. What made you decide to take part in the 100,000 Poets for Change event? Was a chance to meet others who had the same passion for art and progress.
4. What pieces did you perform? Several untitled pieces. Just poems I felt fit the theme.
5. What did you take away from the event (thoughts, feelings, etc.) That I’m not alone in my wants for the world, and change starts from within.
6. Do you believe poetry can change the world? I believe it can inspire change. It can be the spark in a chain reaction of change.
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