Organizer: Kat Copeland
2017 – 100,000 Poets for Change and the Permian Basin Poetry Society
Kat Copeland, Reporting:
The Permian Basin Poetry Society sponsored the 100,000 Poets for Change (Global) event on September 30th, locally, in downtown Odessa, Texas from 7 pm – midnight. The house was packed. The positive support and sharing by the poets, musicians, visual artists, and audience was astounding. The feel was electric and enthusiast, an eclectic crowd. In spite of the constant rain all day – and flooding.
Dee’s is the perfect artsy venue, brick building from the 1940s, the former Ector County Library and Presidential Museum. It includes brick floors, decor of antiques and collectibles.
Our dual talented emcees, who are also musicians, were Ernesto Calderon and Kyle Youngblood. An additional singer and five bands of multiple genres performed.
Poetry/spoken word artists were: Shaobeny Chanprell, David Limer from Amarillo, Ashley Alley, Amanda Rudloff, Ann Swan, Lorrie Norris, Courtney Simpson, Martha Zulema Barraza, Kionne Lewis, Vince Angeles, Josh Weir, Isaiah Mata, Jared Madrigal, BoUdre Williams, Angel Sanchez, Kat Copeland, comics Adam Rhee and Lubbockite Jesus Herrera.
Fifteen visual artists, including multi-talented poets and other artists displayed in the gallery, including Jim Waddell from Denton, Texas.
Authors were welcomed to do book signings. Merchandise was available.
Also performing was Cynthia Ruby (Michelle Hall Pfalzgraf), published poet and visual artist, who arranged for Beth Atkins, reporter for UTPB’s “Mesa Journal” to interview the artists. Video was done by Isaiah Villafranco, Michelle Hall Pfalzgraf, and others. Our 100 tpc flyer on Facebook received 23,000 likes.
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Kat Copeland, organizer photo
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.