Love, poetry and music will be in the air at Rock Island's Rozz-Tox next Wednesday at 8 p.m. for a special Valentine's-themed night in the Spectra Reading Series.
Spectra held its first three free poetry readings by acclaimed authors last fall at Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Ave.), and will pick up again with the first of three again on March 14, but event organizer and Midwest Writing Center director Ryan Collins wanted to do something funky before that to mark this day of love.
"I'm trying to grow the audience for poetry, not just for the series," he said this week. "This might be a good way to bring people under the tent."
Mr. Collins invites anyone in or around the greater Quad-City area who has an original "poem, song, story, soliloquy, bit, rant, performance art piece, etc. they are willing to share with the one they love and a loving audience," he said.
Have something poetic you want to share with your special lady? Want to sing a song about your love for your line-walking man? Have a hilarious and terrible Valentine's Day story about love gone wrong? There is a stage and microphone and a welcoming audience ready to love anyone with the courage to get up and testify, Mr. Collins -- a poet himself who will host the free show -- said.
There will be food and drink specials, and also local poets on hand to write priceless love poems or fragments on the spot for only $5, "in case you want or need assistance expressing your love for that special someone or secretly admired, or if you just want to give the everlasting gift of original poetry," Mr. Collins said.
If you would like to submit a poem/song/story/etc. in advance, email your submissions/proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org with the phrase "Local Lovers" in the subject line. If you're more spontaneous, there will be a sign-up sheet at the event, and performers will be summoned on a first come, first serve basis.
Note that all performers will be limited to one poem/song/story, etc., and no more than 5 minutes of stage time per performance, Mr. Collins said. For more information about Spectra or otherMidwest Writing Center programs, contact him at (563) 324-1410 or email@example.com.
The next Spectra reading will be Thursday, March 14th, 8 p.m. at Rozz-Tox, featuring poets Chris Martin, Mary Austin Speaker and Ted Mathys — details and bios are at midwestwritingcenter.org. The other spring dates are April 5 and April 27.
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