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MAYOR MEEKER TO PROCLAIM APRIL AS RALEIGH POETRY MONTH; 2009 PIEDMONT LAUREATE TO READ POETRY AT MUNICIPAL BUIILDING ON THURSDAY

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The City of Raleigh will recognize National Poetry Month to honor the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievements of American poets. The City also will be celebrating the area’s newly created Piedmont Laureate program.

At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 7 Mayor Charles Meeker will declare April as Raleigh Poetry Month in a proclamation that includes the statement, “Whereas, the art of poetry enriches the City of Raleigh by inspiring, enlightening, and entertaining our citizens.”

Additionally, in celebration of Raleigh Poetry Month, 2009 Piedmont Laureate Jaki Shelton Green will be reading selections from her poetry on Thursday, April 2 at 5:30 p.m. at the opening of the “Southern Vernacular” exhibition in the Miriam Preston Block Art Gallery located in the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 W. Hargett St. The exhibition, sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, will feature striking photographs by Clifton Dowell and multi-media presentations about North Carolina’s people and dialects produced by the North Carolina Language and Life Project of North Carolina State University. “Southern Vernacular” will be on display in the Block Art Gallery until May 18.

The Piedmont Laureate program is dedicated to building a literary bridge for residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing.  Co-sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County, the program’s key goal is to “promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts throughout the Piedmont region.”

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