The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Oct 07, 2010

USpeak Open Verse Performance Series Continues

Posted by laflor

The second season of the raucous and quirky USpeak: Open Verse and Performance Series continues on Friday, Oct. 8, when University of Miami Creative Writing alumni return for a special Parents' Weekend Reading. Among these distinguished alumni, teacher and journalist Mia Leonin (1995), author of Braid: Poems, Unraveling the Bed and Havana and Other Missing Fathers; Crissa-Jean Chappell (1997), author of Total Constant Order; chess-champion, poet, and dad Benjamin Bloom (2004), poet of Tongue Twister; among other distinguished alumni.

September's USpeak kick-off event was packed with friendly faces (see photos below) and a fabulous spread of veggies and fruits (the strawberries were amazing!). The event featured original works by an eclectic mix of undergraduate and graduate students who stepped up to the mic and read their work. Geoffrey Philp, the featured alum poet, came back to launch his newest book of poems, Dub Wise, 28 years to the day of his last reading when, on, Friday, September 24th, 1982 he launched his first book ever!

What’s great about USpeak is that audience members are invited to bring a poem or a page of prose to read (5 minute maximum!) during the open mic portion of the evening. So, bring some work, something in progress, or write something just for this event. Arrive early to sign-up to read. Mix and mingle with Miami's literary future.

The USpeak events are free and open to the public. Future USpeak series events will also take place on Nov. 12, Dec. 3, Jan. 28, Feb. 25, March 11 and April 15. USpeak is recorded and available to listeners on iTunes and is sponsored, in part, by the University of Miami's Creative Writing Program, English Department, and Auxiliary Services.

USpeak, October 8th, Friday, University of Miami, Oasis Deli at the Whitten University Center. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the program begins at 6:30 p.m. For more information about the series, please visit

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