Celebrating Love & Animals with Poets Nickole Brown & Jessica Jacobs
Charlotte Lit is thrilled to welcome back Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs as featured poets for our May 4X4CLT poetry and art poster series.
Back in 2016, when 4X4CLT was newly launched, Nickole and Jessica graciously agreed to read and teach at this virtually unknown new Charlotte nonprofit for writers. On the afternoon of the release party, we learned the venue we’d arranged for the reading could no longer host us. So Jessica and Nickole read instead to a packed room (truly packed—over 50 people jammed into the original Charlotte Lit studio) gracefully rolling with the chaos. Now that Charlotte Lit and 4X4CLT are more established, and even have a bit of grant funding to our name, we thought it was only right to invite them back to celebrate. They’ll share their poetry at the spacious and welcoming Free Range Brewing on Friday May 17 from 7 to 9 pm as we celebrate the latest edition of the poster series featuring their writing.
Their appearance is one stop on their “Love & Animals” book tour in honor of Jacob’s latest collection, Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going, and Brown’s Rattle Chapbook Prize Winner, To Those Who Were Our First Gods.
Jacob’s collection—the “Love” part of the the tour—centers on her relationship with Brown, her wife. She writes of her childhood in Florida, missed connections, a cancer scare, long-distance runs, and the joy of finally finding true love. Gabrielle Calvocoressi (previously featured in a 4X4CLT poster release) says the collection “tells of love and everyday life in a way everyone deserves to hear about but many of us never do.” Jacobs is also the author of Pelvis with Distance, a biography in poems of Georgia O’Keefe, and the chapbook In Whatever Light Left To Us, which was the precursor to her new collection.
Brown’s award-winning chapbook is also a precursor. She’s at work on what she calls “a bestiary of sorts” that references animals “in a queer, Southern-trash-talking kind of way.” Many of the poems from To Those Who Were Our First Gods—the “Animal” part of the book tour—will make their way into a future collection. Brown is also the author of a biography-in-poems called Fanny Says, and a novel-in-poems, Sister.
On Saturday May 18, Brown and Jacobs will team teach “Writing through Conflict,” a master class in poetry, at Charlotte Lit. Both exceptional editors and instructors, they’ll lead a discussion of ways to approach those moments or events that sometimes feel too difficult to fully think about let alone put on the page. A multi-part writing prompt will follow to help class participants build a foundation of facts before feelings, from which they will then be guided to consider multiple perspectives—enabling them to write through conflict with both nuance and power, as well as empathy and compassion for themselves and others.
The May 4X4CLT release party and master class round out Charlotte Lit’s programming until fall. Brown and Jacob’s inspired poetry and instruction will hold you through the summer.