ROCK SPRINGS – Western Wyoming Community College continues its 2015 Visiting Writers Series with a reading by Detroit poet Rhonda Welsh on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. in Room 1302 on the Rock Springs campus. This event is free and open to the public.
Welsh is well-known throughout the Detroit region as a spirited performer of the spoken word. She has been featured at numerous metro Detroit venues, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Opera House, Wayne State University, and the Ford Performing and Community Arts Center. Detroit poet M.L. Liebler, who visited Rock Springs in 2013 with the late musician Steve King, describes her as a “soulful presence who will rock the house.”
Her releases include the CD I Saw Myself; the book Red Clay Legacy, which Welsh describes as a “poetic memoir”; and the digital release Raw Clay. She has recently appeared on a number of music compilations, including Sidney Howard’s Jr. Analogue Monster, Mahogany Jones’s Pure and Josh Milan’s Happy.
A native Detroit resident with a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Public Relations and Organizational Communications, Welsh founded the event Feminenergy as a poetic forum for women to discuss issues germane to everyday life, and the event Free Verse, a literacy project that raised much-needed funds, volunteers, and book donations to help combat Detroit's low literacy levels.
In a recent interview, Welsh described the healing role that poetry can play in our lives: “Poetry allows us to have a slowing down, to get a better sense of who we are, an opportunity to understand ourselves,” she said. “Through hearing the writer share about herself, readers get courage and inspiration to face stuff in their own lives.”
Welsh will also offer an author’s workshop entitled “Strum Your Pain. Sing Your Life,” which she describes as “a series of poetic exercises on how to write about self.”
That workshop is scheduled from 1 - 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26 in Room 1406. It is also free and open to the public.
The Spring 2015 Visiting Writer Series will conclude on Thursday, March 26 with a visit from Teresa Jordan, who has written or edited seven books about Western rural life and culture. Jordan will be accompanied by her husband, Hal Cannon, a musician and folklorist.
The Visiting Writers Series is sponsored by the WWCC English Department and the Arlene and Louise Wesswick Foundation, with additional support from the Best Western Outlaw Inn and Open Range Restaurant.
For more information on Rhonda Welsh’s reading and workshop, or on the Visiting Writers Series at Western, contact the program coordinator, Associate Professor of English Rick Kempa, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (307) 382-1731.