UnPlugged: Pen Stroke Poetry Edition

UnPlugged Poetry is the signature Open Mic/Spoken Word venue in Albany, Georgia.  

Started in August 2011, by Tannur Shewrightz Ali and Patrick Jenkins, owner of Global Essence World Bazaar, UnPlugged was the perfect venue for an all out poetry palooza during the festival.  Poets from all over the country, as well as throughout the Southwest Georgia region came to take part in this awesome experience and share their work with the community.  

This evening event culminated with features by Jay Knives and Darius Lantz, members of The Cafe Collective traveling poetry troupe from Philadelphia, PA.  It was an exceptional evening in which poetry, song, storytelling, acoustic music and dance were celebrated and enjoyed by all who attended.  The dancers, including Soloman Snowden and Michelle Fields, leaders of the Flavor-N-Motion Dance Crew stole the stage to demonstrate dance moves and give the history behind the moves.  It was a moment when everyone recognized that the Grand Influx of Positive Energy for which the festival was purposed, had come to fruition!

Please take a few moments to view the pictures and see what happened!

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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Uncategorized


Writers on the Block

Writers on the Block was both an indoor and outdoor event that took place in the courtyard of the

Municipal Auditorium as well as inside of the Carnegie Library.  

Writers on the Block provided an opportunity for drummers, story tellers, dancers and poets to come together to share their art and experiences with the community.  It was a free event that included a special drum circle set facilitated by Michael Harper of “Good Life Drum Circles”.  This drum circle seemed to make the clouds lift from over our heads!  We decided to scale the event down due to the possibility of rain, but as the drummers began to make their beats, the sun came out.  Dancers began to congregate in the square, poets began to share their poetry and a full event emerged!

Inside of the Carnegie Library, book signings by authors Kimberly Lawson author of Wet Whispers and David Hallman, author of The Growing Season both books are available now on   We also enjoyed a reading by Albany’s newest #1 Best Selling Author Manswell Peterson, who read from his record-breaking best seller Tracks of my Tears.   All of the authors who participated helped to bring home the message that reading is fundamental; and writing is foundational!  We were honored to bring such distinguished guests to speak on the process of writing their books as well as the process of developing oneself as a serious writer.  The audience was filled with young art enthusiasts who were able to really soak up the wisdom of these vets.

Books by LoReal ElleVintage, a Poet & Vocalist with The Cafe Collective

Music/Story telling by Don Lambert

African Drums and Story Telling by Michael Harper of Good Life Drum Circles
Click here to link to the Facebook Page!

The reading also included poetry by members of The Cafe Collective.  These poets traveled 1,000 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to take part in the Pen Stroke Poetry Festival.  We were honored to listen to their poetry, hear their stories and learn about how they express their poetry in ways that cause goose-bumps to rise on their audiences.

Darius Lantz of The Cafe Collective

Darius Lantz sharing his work with a packed room at The Carnegie Library

Manswell T. Peterson signing autographs

Roseanna Almaee, Poet, writer, community activist, facilitator

Writers on the Block Reading segment was facilitated by Mrs. Roseanna Almaee.  Roseanna, a major supporter of Pen Stroke Poetry Festival, is herself a published poet and literary enthusiast.  She is a staff member at Darton College in the English Department, and spends her free time working on many projects to develop the writers in our Southwest Georgia community to come out of hiding, hone their skills and express their talents.  Her leadership throughout the festival, and facilitation of Writers on the Block Readings was indicative of her dedication to the development of a true literary community in Albany and beyond.

Here are a few more pictures, for your viewing pleasure!

A look at the crowd

Captivated youth

Manswell Peterson, sharing some of his story as well as snippets from his #1 Best Seller, Tracks of My Tears

Manswell Peterson

Melvin Davis, Poet, Dancer, Organizer, Volunteer

Thierry Lundy Merchandise

Darius Lantz, Poet and leader of The Cafe Collective

Sara Stull, poet, musician, vocalist, community activist, volunteer, literary enthusiast

The crowd gathered as the clouds dissipated

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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


Shop Talk!

Shop Talk At Ethnic Shynes Salon was a great success!  Excellent topics and discussion facilitated by Erica “Sunshyne” Jones, Patrick Jenkins and Taj El.


The purpose of the Shop Talk Open Forum Discussion was to ensure that we began the festival with an opportunity for supporters, writers and artists alike to get to know one another.  We wanted to create an environment where speaking honestly and kindly was a part of the tapestry as the festival unfolded.  We were fortunate to have people from different ages, races, genders and sexual orientations to participate in the conversations and give their honest opinions on social topics and situations.  It was refreshing to find out that so many people are able to communicate on a wide range of topics, and while not everyone agreed with each other, it was a safe space to be open about where people were coming from.  This type of discussion makes it easy for people to recognize when they may need to open their minds and hearts to perspectives that they may not be used to.  

Our facilitators included the Shop Owner Ericka “Sunshyne” Jones who is local entrepreneur who walks in her power.  She maintains a beautiful salon, a steady client base and fruitful relationships with many community members.  Her unique perspectives as well as her Run-The-Room disposition gave the event fantastic structure.  She was doing hair through out the event, and had a chance to show off her twisting and styling skills as well.  

We invite everyone to take some time and stop by Ethnic Shynes Salon at 305 West Broad Ave. in Albany, GA for superior hair styling/barber services as well as great conversation in a clean, professional salon environment!

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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


Pen Stroke Festival

Here are a few random pics from throughout the week.  

Flip through for a chance to see what went down!  

If you find your picture, share it!

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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Uncategorized


What’s Happening Here


As a child, my Mother gave me a large book to read.  At first I couldn’t imagine that I ever would, but it later became my favorite book.  That book sat on the shelf for years before I really understood how to use it… but when I did… I began to use words that truly reflected my sentiments and emotions.  The book was Roget’s Thesaurus.    The beauty of becoming a poet, for me, was finding out that there are always more ways to express myself; and through that expression, connections can be made.  These connections are the essence of our gifts.  They are the proof that our talents have purpose.

With these connections in mind, I am pleased to announce a true collaborative effort, and would like to invite you to join us in Albany Georgia on June 24-27, 2012 for The Pen Stroke Poetry Festival!  Your participation, energy, enthusiasm and appreciation for the art of poetry are the reason for this great event that, with your help, will become something revolutionary.

Albany is in the midst of an artistic Renaissance.  Artists are emerging from the wood-work; pen in hand ready to make changes to this long dilapidated community.  We have realized through this resurgence of arts in all forms, that we, the artists are the ambassadors to a renewed sense of purpose and prosperity for our entire community.  We invite you to collaborate with us to reflect on the joys of past accomplishments, speak on the challenges that we now face and usher in an era of revitalization and appreciation for the art that has been an honor and duty for any person blessed with the talent.  Poetry.





Posted by on March 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


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