Little Rock poet and musician R.J. Looney will be this week's feature for Wednesday Night Poetry at Kollective Coffee+Tea, 110 Central Ave.
The regular open mic session for all poets will begin at 6:30 p.m. and Looney will perform at 7 p.m., followed by a second open mic. Admission is free and open to all ages.
A native of Oil Trough, Looney is well known in the central Arkansas music community as the harmonica player and vocalist for the musical duo Fret and Worry, a news release said. They play a wide variety of music, ranging from bluegrass to blues and have been featured locally at Maxine's.
He was also known for his radio program "Under The Influence" on Little Rock's community radio station KABF 88.3FM which aired for seven years. The program featured area musicians and poets who performed live on the air and then discussed their work. Looney retired from the program earlier this year.
Looney is a former environmental coordinator for the Federal Highway Administration and has written poetry for more than 30 years. He credits Oxford, Miss., poet Larry Brown as a major influence.
"A lot of my poetry is taken from conversations I have with different people," Looney said. "I find discussions with people in bars to be particularly inspiring. Those folks are usually really relaxed and open to speak their minds."
Over the past 14 years, Looney's poems have appeared in numerous print journals and online. He has also served as editor of the online poetry magazine "Thunder Sandwich." In 2014, Rank Stranger Press published a collection of his poems titled "A Crow's Breakfast: Poems From the Low Road," which is available online at http://www.amazon.com.
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