by C. Leigh McInnis
This is the first newsletter sent to the entire listserv in over a year. Many of you have emailed, asking what has been happening or if you’ve been removed from the list. No one has been removed, but, with so much occurring, it has been difficult maintaining the listserv. In fact, this may be one of the final emails you all receive as part of the Psychedelic Literature Listserv. Before I get to the upcoming events, allow me to provide brief history and current status.
This listserv originally grew from the Mississippi Vibes Open Mic Poetry events. Of course, as a way to build a following and keep people informed of what was happening, the listserv became an ideal format for many organizations, which is now being replaced by social media formats. While poetry was the primary emphasis of Mississippi Vibes, which grew from Southern Vibes, we were always a multidimensional network of writers, musicians, painters, singers, actors, and community activists. In fact, the entire purpose of the artistic collective was to use the arts to affect socio-political change. And from 1997 – 2002 there was a whirlwind of activity throughout the Jackson-Metro area, and we were proud to be in the eye of that storm. After 2002, Mississippi Vibes officially ended, though we held special readings and events until the death of one of the co-founders David Brian Williams in 2006. After that, I continued the listserv mostly because whenever I went a couple of weeks without posting anything I received emails from folks wanting to know what was happening. So, I continued regularly posting events through the listserv until 2010 or so. Around 2010 I realized that my own writing duties, teaching, and the growth of Black Magnolias Literary Journal made it impossible for me to continue the listserv in its original format. There was just too much happening, which is a good thing for the city, but it was simply too much for me to cover. So, in a difficult but necessary decision, I decided to post only literary events to save myself time and energy, and that decision also coincided with my ten-year transition/return to my original love of publishing. Many of you first met me through my work with Mississippi Vibes, but prior to that, seven years prior to that, I was exclusively interested in and pursing print publication, especially in literary journals, and was dragged lovingly to the stage by Jolivette Anderson and David Brian Williams. So, my return of emphasis to all things literary, particularly publishing, means that I have little time to coordinate the listserv, which is why there have been so few emails over the past year.
However, I want to thank each of your for continuing to support the local arts, especially those of you who have been members of this listserv since 1997. Wow, y’all are old, especially those of y’all who were old when we first started! I don’t know how many more posts will appear though I am sure I will continue to post very special events like the ones below. I have started a smaller listserv that concentrates mostly, almost exclusively, on literature and publishing with a few additional items, but not many. This allows me to concentrate on my primary love and engagement without having to struggle to find time to post about every artistic event in the city. Believe me, I would love to promote each artistic and socio-political event in the Jackson-Metro area, but I am no longer able to do so. With that, I thank each of you, again, for the love and support that you have given to me, Mississippi Vibes, Psychedelic Literature, Black Magnolias, and all of the local artists. As I have been saying since 1997, support your local artists because all national artists were once local artists. Take care.
C. Liegh McInnis
The Nameless Open Mic still meets the first and third Saturdays at Suite 106 (106 Wilmington Street), and they also have a writing workshop. For more information, contact Herb Brown at email@example.com or Nathan Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On April 13 – 14 the Jackson State University Margaret Walker Alexander Center will hold its annual Creative Arts Festival. The festival will feature presentations from students and faculty with a keynote address by Jackson native and award winning actress Dr. Tonea Stewart. Presentations will also be made by noted storyteller Diane Williams, poet/playwright/essayist Charlie Braxton, and poet/short story writer C. Liegh McInnis. Below is a brief sketch of the schedule of events.
April 13: 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Arts and Activism at the JSU College of Science, Engineering, and Technology Auditorium
April 13: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Reception and Poetry Reading at the Margaret Walker Center in JSU Ayer Hall
April 14: Panels (Panels will run concurrently. So at each time slot there will be at least three panels. I have noted the literary panels for each time frame.)
10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Poetry Panel in the JSU Student Center Room 3213
1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Black Literature/Racial Identity Panel in the JSU Student Center Room 3210
3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. General Literature Panel in the JSU Student Center Room 3210
4:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closing Address: Dr. Tonea Stewart in the JSU Student Center Theater
For more information, contact the Margaret Walker Center at email@example.com.
On April 19 – 20 the Jackson State University will hold its 42nd Annual Gibbs Green Memorial Conference which will feature national and local scholars and artistic presentations to study and remember the 1970 shooting at JSU when the Mississippi State Highway Patrol, the Jackson Police Department, and the Mississippi National Guard surrounded the campus and fired over 200 rounds at JSC students, killing two, Phillip Gibbs and James Green. For more information about panels and speakers, contact Jean Frazier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Jazz Icon and Grammy Award-winning artist Cassandra Wilson has opened an elegant and state of the art listening room, Yellow Scarf (741 Harris Street, Suite E). Essentially, Yellow Scarf is the finest in jazz/soul/blue live music experience in the Jackson-Metro area and will feature Wilson and her renowned band, the wonderful vocals and songs and Rhonda Richmond, the soulful experience of Twanna Shante, the legendary Andy Hardwick, and much more! And true to her roots in the Jackson, Mississippi, arts world, Yellow Scarf has already coupled the listening pleasure with visual arts. In short, Yellow Scarf is the classiest, hippest, and most dynamic live music experience that Mississippi has to offer. For more information, contact Thabi Moyo at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday, April 14, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, DeAnna Tisdale will give her vocal recital at part of her requirement to complete her Masters in vocal performance at the University of Southern Mississippi. The recital will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 115 N. 25th Ave., Hattiesburg, MS, which is near the USM camp. DeAnna is the child of noted newspaper publishers Charles and Alice Tisdale, but she has worked as a journalist and singer in her own right, publishing articles and performing globally. For more information contact Alice Tisdale at email@example.com.
==============================Black Magnolias Literary Journal has just published its spring (6.1) issue, and it features local, US, and international writers, such as co-coordinator of the Nameless Open Mic Herb Brown, Nigerian poet Kufre Udeme, Dr. Agnieszka Lobodziec—English Professor at the University of Zielona Gora (Poland), Alabama fiction writer Tom Lawrence, poet Neli Moody who is also an English Professor at San Jose State University, and JSU graduate and literary theorist Paula Wingard who is teaching and pursing her PhD at the University of Arkansas.