During the week of Sept. 24, 2011, poets in Jamaica will take part in a worldwide event aimed at promoting environmental, social and political change. The main event, “Out of One Mic, Many Changes” will take place on Sept. 24 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica at the Moxons Beach Club Hotel. That day, as part of the “100 Thousand Poets for Change,” poets in 500 cities representing 95 countries will organize the largest poetry reading in history. More than 600 individual events are scheduled to take place simultaneously.
Around the world, poets, writers, artists, and humanitarians will create, perform, educate and demonstrate, in their individual communities, and decide their own specific area of focus for change within the overall framework of peace and sustainability, which founder Michael Rothenberg stated, “…is a major concern worldwide and the guiding principle for this global event.”
The events range from a poetry and peace gathering in strife-torn Kabul and Jalalabad to 20 collective poetic actions in Mexico City where poets, painters, filmmakers and musicians will spread the word of peace and non-violence throughout the city with day long readings and workshops. There are 29 events planned in India, 7 in Nigeria, 17 in Canada, 19 in Great Britain, 5 in China, 3 in Cuba and over 220 events in the United States for a start.
In Jamaica, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, Jamaica Chapter has organized a four-day series of events at different venues. Participants will discuss challenges facing the country and its people. All those involved are hoping, through their actions and events, to seize and redirect the political and social dialogue and turn the narrative of civilization towards peace and sustainability.
On Sunday, Sept. 25, “Street Dub Poetry Vibe” will take place at various popular street locations in New Kingston. Later that day, local and international poets and musicians will perform at “Seh Sup’m Open Mic” at Village Blues Bar.
On Monday, Sept. 26, Schools will rally an event within the curriculum to encourage “Youth Poets for Change.” As part of this event, youth poets and musicians will express, through poetry, the need to stamp out violence within local and international schools and communities.
On the last day of the series, Tuesday, Sept. 27, organizers will host Poets for Change “Meeting of the Minds” at a local venue. There, Poets for Change, Jamaica will build a team that will include poets, musicians, artists, community leaders, and organizations to strategize, build and plan events to reach and include the general population as well as influence the positive change needed in Jamaica.
“100 Thousand Poets for Change” founder Michael Rothenberg is a widely known poet, songwriter, editor of the online literary magazine Bigbridge.org and an environmental activist based in Northern California. Immediately following September 24th all documentation on the 100TPC.org website will be preserved by Stanford University in California, which has recognized 100 Thousand Poets for Change as an historical event, the largest poetry reading in history. They will archive the complete contents of the website, 100TPC.org, as part of their digital archiving program LOCKSS.