ARTSPEAK poetry event returns to Gainesville

Published: Sep. 19, 2021 at 10:58 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Today was the 9th annual ARTSPEAKS event and more than 30 poets shared their work.

Many said it’s events like these that show the community how important it is to bring arts into our education system.

Brittany Cole was just one of many whose words echoed throughout the Historic Thomas Center this evening.

ARTSPEAKS, a poetry organization, hosted the event bringing people together through the power of spoken-word.

“In high school or college sometimes it’s a little too academic. You know, this is not academic at all, this is gut bucket self expression and it’s good for the soul to hear it,” said Eric Diamond, a poet who attended the event.

And hear it, they did.

ARTSPEAKS dedicated the event to James Thompson, a fellow poet who recently passed away.

The event was canceled last year due to COVID-19 so many say they are thrilled to be back.

“You know I had a couple of hugs today hugged some people that I was like man I haven’t seen you in like two years,” said Gene Anderson, a poet who read his work at the event.

Anderson said he’s been involved in the poetry scene in Gainesville for about 25 years.

“The people who do spoken word and poetry in Gainesville, I’ve known over a long time, we’re like we’re really tight.”

He said while he enjoys this event, there are never enough ways to bring light to the arts.

“Yeah I’d like to see more of that in Ocala, that’s actually where I’m from but I’ve lived up here.”

From one artist to the next the role of poetry remains the same.

“It’s just kind of what I do, ya know,” said Anderson.

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