Thursday, February 17, 2022

Newark's leading poets teach free virtual poetry workshops in honor of April a k a National Poetry Month



Registration opens February 17th


Led by Rutgers-Newark MFA Candidate Attorious Augustin +
Rutgers-Newark MFA Graduate Poet Dimitri Reyes 

Featuring Live Readings by Newark Poets: Queen Mother Elaine Lloyd Nazario, Marina Carreira, Sean Battle, and Dimitri Reyes



WHEN: Every Wednesday in April 4/6, 4/13, 4/20 + 4/27 @ 6:00-8:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Via Zoom (link provided upon registration)
WHO: General public and students ages 18+.
Registration is required. Registration opens Feb 17th. Register online at or call NJPAC at 1.888.GO.NJPAC.

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the state’s anchor cultural institution, today opened registration for a free, virtual poetry workshop series to be held weekly during the month of April aka National Poetry Month. As part of City Verses, a jazz poetry initiative in partnership with Rutgers-Newark University, this Spring 2022 Virtual Reading and Poetry Workshop Series is led by Rutgers-Newark MFA candidate Attorious Augustin with guest instructor Dimitri Reyes, a Newark poet and Rutgers-Newark MFA graduate. This year’s series theme is The Forest of Bricks: What We Call Home named after the eponymous poem and collection of poems by Rutgers-Newark graduate Sean Battle.

The series comprises four workshops and curated readings studying the works of and highlighting Newark poets in celebration of National Poetry Month. At the end of each workshop, each celebrated local poet reads and engages with the participants. Scheduled guest poets include: queer socialist feminist Luso-American multimedia poet artist Marina Carreira, founder/CEO EvoluCulture and local “Evolution Dopen Mic” series and performer/producer Sean Battle, Boricua multidisciplinary artist/educator and author of Every First and Fifteenth (winner of Digging Press 2020 Chapbook Award) Dimitri Reyes, and Elder High Priestess/poet/educator/activist and ordained Interfaith Minister serving on Newark Mayor Ras Baraka’s Interfaith Clergy Council, Queen Mother Elaine Lloyd Nazario.

About City Verses
A jazz poetry NJPAC initiative in partnership with Rutgers-Newark University made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

City Verses is a unique, joint initiative of NJPAC and Rutgers University-Newark, offering a range of complementary programs that celebrate and expand upon the rich historical connection between jazz and poetry; create new opportunities for the public to engage with these art forms; strengthen community ties through the arts; amplify the authentic voices of the people of Greater Newark, a city with a diverse and ever-expanding cultural legacy; and engage a new generation of poets, jazz musicians, and teaching artists. The program includes a summer camp, high school residencies, an undergraduate-level jazz-poetry course created and taught by Simeon Marsalis (Rutgers-Newark, MFA Graduate) at Rutgers-Newark, adult poetry workshops, and performances and readings showcasing poets and jazz artists from Newark and beyond, both in-person at NJPAC and through our online archive.

Artistic Directors Rigoberto Gonzalez, Distinguished Professor, Director, Rutgers-Newark MFA Program in Creative Writing, and Mark Gross, Director of Jazz Instruction, NJPAC provide creative and pedagogic leadership for City Verses, while NJPAC’s distinguished jazz faculty and Rutgers-Newark’s talented MFA poetry candidates and alums co-teach, curate, and perform on our workshops, residencies, summer camp, and performances. NJPAC Jazz Advisor Christian McBride and members of NJPAC’s arts education department also play central roles in the project.

One Center Street, Newark, New Jersey 07102 or 888.GO.NJPAC (888.466.5722)

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, N.J., is America’s most diverse performing arts center, and the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has served more than 10 million visitors (including over 1.9 million students and families) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.