Arts Coast Magazine – Literary

Times Festival of Reading 2022

By Margo Hammond. Turning 30, the Times Festival of Reading slimmed down this year. There were fewer authors. The venue was smaller. And it was no longer free. But two essential ingredients stayed the same – inspiring authors and enthusiastic readers…. Read More

A Lit Fest for Kids Makes its Debut

By Margo Hammond. The first annual St. Pete Reads! Lit Fest — a celebration of all things literacy — was hosted by Cultured Books Literacy Foundation in partnership with the Barbershop Book Club and St. Petersburg College. Aimed at kids and their parents, it was the brainchild of Lorielle Hollaway, dedicated to promoting books and literacy in the South St. Pete community…. Read More

Helping Your Kids Learn to Love Reading

By Margo Hammond. Here are discussions from the St Pete Reads! Lit Fest – with creative tips from parents on how to help kids learn to love reading – a crucial skill that will help them choose their own path… Read More

Hot Mics

By Margo Hammond. The mic is hot at Studio@620 for poets and storytellers — and always has been. By blurring the line between organizers and audience, between poets and poetry readers, between storytellers and lovers of stories, open mic events create a space where everyone is welcome to step up and perform or just sit back and listen…. Read More

Literacy is a Civil Right

By Jake-ann Jones. St. Pete Master Barber Antonio Brown is continuing the legacy of the barbershop as a place of power, and taking it to the next level — a space for growing and impacting youth literacy. Join the Barbershop Book Club and Cultured Books at the free St Pete Reads! Lit Fest on November 5 at the Woodson African American Museum… Read More

Writers and Actors Bring Halloween Stories to Life

By Tiffany Razzano. “There are three things I love about Read No More. First, it’s an authentic local event. It showcases the talents of Bay Area writers and actors. It’s set in a real house — not a set — and the stories are often inspired by real Florida history.”… Read More

Breakfast. Literacy. CommUNITY.

By Margo Hammond. BLC stands for Breakfast. Literacy. CommUNITY. The recipe from St. Pete’s Cultured Books is simple. Encourage young Black kids to read a self-affirming picture book. Invite an artist to offer a workshop related to that book’s subject. Bring everyone to the park and mix in some waffles. … Read More

Every Day’s the Golden Age of Baseball

By Margo Hammond. There aren’t many witness still around from baseball’s Golden Age era, usually considered to be from about 1920 to 1960. In Peter Golenbock’s new book, “Whispers of the Gods,” their stories come alive…. Read More

A Literary Double Threat

By Margo Hammond. Meet Natalie Symons. Like a running quarterback on the football field, she is a double threat in the literary world – an award-winning playwright and a top-of-the charts literary thriller writer…. Read More

Art for the Bookish

By Margo Hammond. On our anniversary my husband and I always try to include a museum visit for our celebrations to remind ourselves that marriage is an art. This year we went to an exhibit at the Morean Art Center called Bookish, where artists had been asked to submit works based on a book they loved. It was an inspiring concept…. Read More

Celebrating the #LiteracyLifestyle

By Margo Hammond. The Cultured Books Literacy Foundation is a nonprofit, book-promoting organization with an unusual mission. Unlike most literacy programs which look to the needs of individual children, CBLF is interested in fostering literacy throughout an entire community — the Black community of south St. Pete. “It’s not just about focusing on the children,” the foundation says on its website, “It’s about supporting and involving parents as well.” For CBLF, literacy is a lifestyle…. Read More

Community Dance Classes Welcome Everyone

By Amanda Sieradzki. In November, I began an interdisciplinary, community dance class at downtown Tampa’s Water Works Park Pavilion. Classes are donation-based and open to anyone who wants to discover the world around them through movement and poetry. my goal as writer, poet, dancer and educator, is to provide a safe, welcoming environment for anyone with a desire to reconnect with themselves through movement…. Read More

Poetry by M. Thandabantu Iverson

By M. Thandabantu Iverson. here’s a word of thanks
lettin’ you know I heard
testifyin’ that I ain’t scared no longer
to say out loud that listenin’ at the table and hearin’ all those prayers
mixed in with all the truthtellin’ makes sense to me now… Read More

How a Book Launched a Healing Space for Women

By Margo Hammond. In 2012, after reading Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent, Barbara Rhode was inspired to launch a unique program of healing at the Pinellas County Jail for women prisoners. The Red Tent Women’s Initiative, a program that combines group therapy with classes on arts and crafts, has helped over 1,000 incarcerated women work through the trauma that landed them behind bars in the first place… Read More

Community Healing Through Poetry

By Bernice Willis. Let’s talk, not text, your voice is what I want to hear
It closes in the distance, as if you-are-near.
Call Me
Your voice is pleasing, gives me the same joy as to when
I heard it the first time. A text can’t recapture that moment, now or then…. Read More

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