And as much as I love those poets, I feel so much pride when I learn about a local Black poet like Marcus Amaker. Marcus is also a musician and award-winning graphic designer, but I was most excited to learn that he is Charleston’s first Poet Laureate (an appointed poet, usually called upon to write poems for special events).
The position of Poet Laureatewas established by City Council in 2016, and Marcus was chosen for the position about a month later. Mayor Tecklenburg said the position was established in Charleston to encourage the appreciation of poetry in the city.
He has written several collections of poetry, with The Birth of All Things being his most recent publication. Last year Marcus was named the artist-in-residence of the Gaillard Center – a position which he is using to mentor students through various workshops.
Typewriter + poetry | Image via Pexels
If you’re anything like me – then you know nothing says fall mood like picking up a book of poetry from a local bookstore like Turning Page Bookshop (the only Black female owned bookstore in SC) + heading to a park or beach for some time in this gorgeous October weather.
And don’t worry, once you get through Marcus’ work, there are still plenty of works by Black poetsfrom South Carolina to read. My recommendations are Angelo Geter – Poet Laureate of Rock Hill, Drew Lanham – Poet Laureate of Edgefield, and Upstate poet mOody bLaCk.
I also highly recommend Nikki Finney, winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry. I met Nikki in 2017 + I smiled for a week. Reading poetry on your own is always lovely, but if you have the chance to get out + hear some poetry live, do it.
State ○ The South Carolina Department of Education(SCDE) announced that it will spend $33 million on supplies to keep schools’ students + staffhealthy during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Items such as gloves, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, plexiglass barriers and both reusable + disposable face masks will be distributed to school districtsacross the state to ensure a safe in-person learning experience for all. (Holy City Sinner)
Asked ○ From light displays to inflatable ghouls, larger-than-life spiderwebs + porches with poltergeists – you no longer need to travel to a haunted house to see the best spooky scenes in Charleston. What homes, neighborhoods, or businesses have the best Halloween decorations? It can be your own or one you’ve spotted around town. Let us know. It’d be a real treat if you include details about the decor – or better yet, a picture.🕷
Development ○ TD Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of TD Bank, announced its allocation of more than $5.5 million to the construction of Charleston’sInternational African American Museum(113 Calhoun St.). Expected to open by 2022, the state-of-the-art museum will feature interactive exhibits that educate visitorsonAfrican American history + culture. ○ Charleston Countyhas proposed plans to improve three intersections in West Ashley: Orange Grove Rd. at Sam Rittenberg Blvd., Old Towne Rd. at Charlestowne Dr./Donahue Dr.+ Sam Rittenberg Blvd. at Amberly Rd. The county plans to construct new sidewalks, turn lanes + crosswalks throughout the Old Towne District. 🚧 (WCSC)
CofC ○ College of Charleston’s Chief Diversity Officer, Renard Harris, has labeled 2020 the “Year of Action” as he continues to spread awareness + acceptance across the campus by inviting speakers and organizing events that aim to better educate studentsonsocial justice issues. Learn more about what CofC and Renard Harris are doing to create a more inclusive + diverse environment here. (WCIV)
Opening ○ New sports bar 1st Place(570 King St.)is officially opening its doors on Tues., Oct. 20 – the first day of the World Series.The bar will feature more than 20 flatscreens, live music and a menu with good eats + drinks.🍻 (Holy City Sinner) ○ Chefs Nico Romo + Dominique Chantepie are coming together to open Bistronomy(64 Spring St.), a restaurant serving traditional French cuisine with flare. Including delicious Romo favorites like duck confit steamed buns and newer additions such as escargot dumplings, the menu promises both classic + unique tastes. The owners hope to open Bistronomy’s doors by mid-November. 🍽
Cause ○ Red’s Ice House(98 Church St.)has partnered with Warrior Surf Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing veteransfree surf therapy, to host the first Paddleboard Race for Vets event on Sat., Oct. 31 at 2 p.m. The managersat Red’swill race while patrons cheer them on and enjoy drink specials. All proceeds will go to Warrior Surf Foundation. 🌊 (BizWire) ○ Coastal Pain Care(8626 Dorchester Rd.) introduced a new program called “Giving Back” that donates all patient fees on the third Wednesdayof the month to the Charleston Animal Society(2455 Remount Rd.). According to officials, it costs $373 to provide food, shelter + medical care to a homeless dog or cat ahead of adoption. 🐶 (WCIV)
Closing ○ 5th Street Group, owners of 5Church(32B N. Market St.) + Tempest(32 N. Market St.), announced that they will be closing their restaurants on Election Day (Tues., Nov. 3). CEO Patrick Whalen hopes that by closing down, voter participationwill beencouraged among not only employees but also the community as a whole.🍴
Read ○ Charleston-based author Andrea Boyd has released her latest book, “Forthright: 2020 Poems.” Boyd describes it as a “cathartic introspection of humanity” in 40uniquepoems on lightness + darkness. Learn more about her book here. 📖
Coronavirus Visit SCDHEC’s website for full coronavirus data + stats, and here for daily positive COVID-19 cases + related deaths in South Carolina and accelerateSC’s website for full coronavirus data + stats on South Carolina’s employment, business, economy, education, and more.
Click the button below for local resources regarding COVID-19.
Tiny, red and completely harmless, pea crabs sometimes hide away insidefreshAtlantic Coast oysters. These little visitors technically act as parasites, but that word is a lot scarier than the reality. The presenceof apea crab, or the pinnotheres pisum, actually indicates an oyster ofhigh quality + health. 🦀
Even better, many seafood connoisseurs find the pea crab itself a welcomed + delicious snack. Included in that list of pea crab enthusiasts is George Washington, who reportedly ate them instew. So, if you ever crack open an oysterand find yourself staring at miniscule pink pincers, don’t panic – consider yourself lucky.
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Active ○ Bicycle Across South Carolina 2020| Thurs., Oct. 15-Sun., 18. | Locations vary | $65+ | A three day ride across the state’s finest trails + parks. There are some rider + non-rider options available, depending on the day.
Sunday ○ Games in the Garden| Sun., Oct. 18 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Middleton Place, 4300 Ashley River Rd. | $10-$26 | Spread out on the sprawling lawns and play games such as quoits, jackstraws, noughts + crosses, and more.Fri
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.