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Arts Planner: Poetry on the bus

gmelendez@thestate.com

A little poetry for your commute

Columbia’s public transportation just got a lot more interesting. How about sitting on a bus, while listening to a poem about sitting on a bus? Or a haiku about the Congaree river? Or a funny visit to the Riverbanks zoo?

On Sunday, riders on The COMET will get some poetry along with their transportation. A number of poets will be reading their work from 3:30-6 p.m. on Route 101 North Main as part of Poetry 101, a project from Columbia’s inaugural Poet Laureate Ed Madden.

The project is a partnership between Madden, One Columbia and The COMET, with the goal of getting literary arts into our daily lives, Madden said. “It makes poetry part of the life of the city.”

Madden and a committee selected 51 poems from more than 200 submissions for Poetry 101. Most of the poets are from Columbia. Some are established writers and spoken word artists. Others are students in Richland County and Lexington County middle schools.

One haiku submission by Sumter County Cultural Commission’s Poet-in-Residence Len Lawson is a haiku titled “Rosa Parks Rode the Bus Too.” It goes: “A revolution/ began on a city bus/ Where is your next stop?”

The 101 North Main route will be free all day for the readings, Madden said. Anyone who would like to ride along with the poets should report at the Sumter Street Transit Center, 1780 Sumter St., at 3:30 p.m. Seating is first come, first served.

After the rolling reading, the event will proceed to Tapp’s Arts Center at 1644 Main St., where there will be light refreshments, a poetry reading and chapbooks of the bus poems provided by One Columbia.

Poems are currently displayed on all buses and on The COMET bus schedules which can be viewed at http://catchthecomet.org/routes.

Say it loud, say it proud

If you need more poetry, direct your attention to the “Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest” for South Carolina high schoolers.

The program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry — recitation and performance.

Structured similarly to the National Spelling Bee, POL challenges high school students to master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage through the memorization and delivery of classic and contemporary poetry.

The deadline for schools and teachers to sign up for Poetry Out Loud is Nov. 6. www.southcarolinaarts.com

‘PolyVores’ exhibit open at ifArt

The new exhibit at ifArt Gallery is girly with an edge. In “PolyVores,” Charleston artist Dorothy Netherland explores the fashion world’s affect on young women, specifically the fashion website polyvore.com, where “polyvores” can create outfits for virtual paper dolls. Netherland’s daughter is one such “polyvore” and features prominently in the artist’s paintings.

Netherland will have a gallery talk at 2 p.m. Nov. 7. The exhibit will be up through Nov. 21.

1223 Lincoln St., ifartgallery.blogspot.com

Carolina Community Day at the State Museum

Sunday from 1-4 p.m., the State Museum and various partnering agencies will provide services and collect oral histories for those affected by the recent flooding. Conservation professionals and volunteers will be on hand to offer tips, basic advice and information on caring for objects damaged by flooding, including fine art, photographs, paper, furniture and metal objects.

Workers from the University of South Carolina Psychology Service Center will have information about coping after the flood. They will also be available to discuss mental health resources for those affected, especially for families and children.

Professionals will also be collecting oral histories. They will talk with people interested in sharing their experiences related to the historic flooding and preserve their stories for the future.

General admission is $1. www.scmuseum.org

Chalk it up at ArtLinc Arts Festival

From noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, the Lincoln Street Tunnel will transform into an open-air gallery with colorful works of chalk art. Art spaces will be sectioned into 51 squares throughout the tunnel and each entrance. Each artist or artist group will be assigned one square and will receive a box of chalk. The free festival takes place between Lady and Taylor streets and will include live street performances.

Palmetto Pans Steel Band Concert

In this free concert, musicians perform the music of Trinidad and Tobago. Enjoy island classics and popular music played on 55-gallon oil drums.

7:30 p.m Monday in Room 206 at the USC School of Music Recital Hall, 813 Assembly St. calendar.sc.edu/music

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