Preconference Events

Hear from Harrisburg: Creative Texts and Spoken Word Traditions

Words create worlds. Words create alternatives to violence. Words predict and prepare the way for liberation. 

“Creative Texts and Spoken Word Traditions from Harrisburg,” was facilitated by Rick Kearns, Nathaniel Gadsden, and featured poets from the Writers Wordshop, Roe Braddy  and Winde Washington-Nnochirionye’. 

Poetry is often perceived as rarified or elite. But for me and others doing this in communities of color, poetry is about bearing witness and fighting against marginalization.” 

Richard Kearns

Rick Kearns (aka Kearns-Morales) is a poet of Puerto Rican and European heritage from Harrisburg, Pa.  His latest full collection was Rufino’s Secret, 2012. Other books include Street of Knives, Crow at the Lawson Hotel, The Dead Go Swimming and five other collections. His poems have appeared in over 70 literary journals and anthologies. He was named Poet Laureate of Harrisburg, Pa in 2014. His writer’s website is:

“The Wordshop is especially geared toward the voice of the liberation writers, who scream for the destruction of Social Injustice.” 

-Rev. Nathaniel Gadsden

In 1977, Nathaniel Gadsden created The Writers Wordshop, a weekly poetry venue, designed to give Poets and Writers a platform to share their works with the world in a safe & non-threatening environment. The Writers Wordshop exists to create a better community through writing, reading, spoken word, and education. The Writers Wordshop strives to destroy the school to prison pipeline, by sending more students to state universities instead of state prisons.