Rhythms and Rhymes: A Music and Poetry Series

The Greenville County Library will present a series of three public programs based on poetry and music in April 2019 for National Poetry Month. The goal of the “Rhythms and Rhymes” series is to engage the community in a discussion of poetry through the welcoming and accessible lens of music. SC Humanities supported this programming with a Mini Grant.

The first program will feature local musical group Valentine Wolfe performing original music featuring the poetry of Emily Dickinson and other gothic style writings from Edgar Allan Poe and Tennyson. The program will take place on Thursday, April 11, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Hughes Main Library. Valentine Wolfe is a gothic metal duo blending the ethereal soprano vocals of Sarah Black and the thunderous roar of Braxton Ballew’s electric upright bass to evoke the imaginary soundscape of Edgar Allan Poe.

The second program will feature local poet Martha Mims with the Greenville Jazz Collective in a program emphasizing the interplay between the music of poetry and the language of music. “Jazz and Poetry” is scheduled for Thursday, April 18, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Five Forks Branch in Simpsonville. Martha Mims is an author and recording artist. She currently does storytelling and poetry readings in the region of Upstate South Carolina. 

Finally, Dr. John Akers will perform the music beloved by poet Carl Sandburg on the Spanish guitar and recites his guitar-inspired writings on Tuesday, April 30, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Hughes Main Library. Dr. John Akers’ niche in the guitar world is that of interpreter of Carl Sandburg’s love of the Spanish classical guitar. He has performed twice as the featured artist for the Sandburg Days Festival in Galesburg, IL, and three times at the annual Memorial Day Folk Festival at Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, NC—the only classical guitarist to ever perform at the event.

More detailed information about the programs is available on the Greenville County Library webpage: https://www.greenvillelibrary.org/rhythm-and-rhymes.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Image: Valentine Wolfe