February’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

February Feature Henry L. Jones

henryljonesHenry L. Jones is an award-winning writer and artist who focuses on cultural connections and social issues in both his art and writing. He’s inspired by his heritage and history to show how they relate to contemporary time. This resulted in his activism in the arts and society. Jones is from a long lineage of family members who were activists especially during the Civil Rights Movement. He believes, “I can’t remain silent about what I see. I must do something to promote social change.” He published Run into Blackness: Feeling My Poetic Gumbo (Pneuma Publishing), which was his first book of poetry. It included topics such as racial identity, love, spirituality, community affairs and history.

He has received several awards, honors, and recognitions for his literary and art work. In 2016, he was the recipient of the GANSPA Award for his art. Another honor was his inclusion in The African Male Museum Series, a photography and poetry project with photographer Carlton Wilkinson. The series won the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship (visual art). His poetry has been published in anthologies, journals, newspapers and magazines such as Chicago Quarterly Review, The Black Digest, Fisk Herald Journal, Vanderbilt Review, Chicago Writers Journal, Healing Poems Journal, Center Stage Magazine, Urban Flavor, Blacks in Asia Magazine, Style Magazine, and others. Poetry Train America, a book and film about poets around America, featured him in its literary documentary.  The House of Blues Music Company & Platinum Entertainment commissioned Jones to write about the church burnings in the South during the 1990s. His essay and poem “Our Houses are Burning” was published in the book for Houses of God, a gospel CD release. This music project was produced to raise money to rebuild the Southern churches burned by domestic terrorists. Nearly half million dollars was raised.

As a featured poet, he’s recited at events such as Southern Festival of Books (Chapter 16), Celebration of Cultures (The Mud Man Series), Scarritt-Bennett Center (Poet’s Corner), Global Education Center (Line Breaks Literary Reading Series), Parthenon Museum (Dance rendition of Jones’ poem, “Abstractions Heal” by Rossi Turner and his dance troupe), EarthMatters (Book and Arts Fair), and others.  This poet conducts workshops about creative writing as well as hosts open-mic events. His last venue was Kijiji Coffee House in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s worked as an editor for several magazines and journals. A Fisk University alumnus, Jones lives in middle Tennessee with his wife and three children. Currently, he has several literary projects and art exhibits coming up.

Here’s a preview of Henry’s poetry:

Abstractions Heal

Fear trapped the darkness
in my skin.

Some of my expression
must live as whispers
and then some
must die as screams.

These symbols
to explain my dark definition
Are but shadows
Cast from my dreams.

Words that mourn lost inspiration
seeking love and understanding
for these eyes
A history of lynched baptisms
and a whispering golden sphinx
without lies.

What beast is my form
made by black magic
A snake that dances to the sun?

As rhythm and light
bend for creation
the shedding
of my fear has begun.
The joy and relief
of a fearless darkness
Our beauty
not mocked or shamed.

A healing by voiceless abstractions
Through these eyes
that once only blamed.

Also check out Henry on YouTube:

4 thoughts on “FEBRUARY 11, 2017 POETRY IN THE BREW

  1. Henry Jones says:

    Awesome. Will tell others of course

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

  2. pery lea says:

    All right
    can’t wait

  3. Amie Lara says:

    Your poetry is beautiful.

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