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story.lead_photo.caption Submitted photo FEATURED POET: Little Rock professor, performance artist and poet Carla "C.C." Carter will be this week's featured poet for Wednesday Night Poetry at Kollective Coffee+Tea, 110 Central Ave.

Little Rock professor, performance artist and poet Carla "C.C." Carter will be this week's featured poet 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. Carter will perform at 7 p.m., followed by another round of open mic. Admission is free and open to all ages.

Carter was born in Little Rock, the daughter of a minister, and moved a lot throughout her life, from Arkansas to Chicago, New York, back to Chicago and returning to Little Rock to be with her mother after her father died four years ago. She is a graduate of Spelman College and also earned her M.A. in Creative Writing (poetry) from Queens College, N.Y., and her Ph.D. in Christian Education from Jacksonville Theological Seminary.

Carter is a professor of Theater Arts and Literature at Philander Smith College and is a performance poetry artist at various music festivals nationwide.

"Evocative and poignant performance poetry is a large part of Carter's public persona and acclaim," a news release said. She has won several poetry slams, including the Fifth Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Awards. Her poems have been published in over 15 anthologies, including "Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders of the Spoken Word Revolution." She has two collections of poetry, "Body Language," a 2003 Lambda Literary nominee, and "Body Target," released in 2017.

"Each collection examines the ways in which Carter's culture, gender, and sexuality intersect within the current societal landscape of social and political issues," the release said.

"I love exploring issues of the erotic juxtaposed against issues of marginalism and various oppressions. I'm interested in how people still manage to love, create love, do love, be loved while enduring or experiencing oppressive injustices," she said.

She founded Performers or Writers for Women on Women's Issues, or POW-WOW Inc., a weekly spoken-word venue in Chicago that lasted for 10 years, and has received numerous honors, including being inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2002 for her cultural work, and again with the African-American LGBTQ performance ensemble "A Real Read," in 2006, and for POW-WOW Inc., in 2013.

When asked about what inspires her writing, Carter said, "Any and everything inspires me to write. It's important that diversity of voice be visible even if similar artists are writing about the same topics. My take on environment, nature, politics, gender, culture is still different than another poet who lived next door and grew up similar to me. Varying perspectives around same issues are necessary for societal understanding and healing. Or at least starting courageous conversations and difficult dialogues."

This week marks 1,577 consecutive Wednesdays for Wednesday Night Poetry. Email Kai Coggin at wednesdaynightpoetry@gmail.com for more information.

Entertainment on 04/16/2019

Print Headline: Professor, performance artist featured at WNP

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