Student/Faculty/Nearby Universe Spring Reading featuring Poet Laureate Ashley Cornelius packs the house

The Spring Reading and Visiting Writer’s Series was a magnificent evening! Students, faculty, and Nearby Universe readers were wonderful, and Ashley was amazing, weaving poetry, hope, courage, and humor together in a way that made us all feel warm, empowered and connected, with renewed faith in the power of words and art to heal ourselves and heal this world. Thanks to everyone who came, read, or otherwise helped make this happen, especially Poet Laureate Ashley Cornelius!

The Nearby Universe

The Studio West black box theater was full on the evening of March 23, making the Spring Reading featuring Poet Laureate Ashley Cornelius the most widely attended literary reading at PPSC in recent history. Nearby Universe founder and facilitator and English faculty member Brook Bhagat organized and MCed the event. “I want to help my students not only develop their voices but to believe in their voices. Now more than ever, we need to use our voices, for ourselves and for those who have been silenced, with the conviction that what we say, what we write, and what we do matters,” she said in the opening remarks.

photo by Kat Atherton, PPSC Paper

Readings began with creative writing students Marley, Sa’Mya Hall, Oscar Caldwell, and Valerie Ramirez, whose work, in different ways, painted pictures of the defiance of love in the cold of the world, inside and out. Next, English…

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Student/Faculty/Nearby Universe Reading featuring Poet Laureate Ashley Cornelius

The event I’ve been organizing for almost a year is almost here! Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Ashley Cornelius is coming to Pikes Peak State College on Thurs., Mar. 23. Ashley is an award-winning, nationally recognized spoken word artist and speaker committed to using her voice to uplift marginalized communities. The evening will begin with refreshments and hot drinks at 5:30 in the Art Gallery at Studio West downtown, featuring the “Latinx Voices” art show. The reading begins at 6 pm in the Studio West black box theater with PPSC students, faculty, and members of The Nearby Universe, the writers’ group for faculty and staff I founded and have been facilitating for over five years. At 7 pm, Ashley Cornelius takes the stage! Finally, at 8, we’ll pull the winners of the book raffle. Winners get to choose from fantasy, sci-fi, poetry, and signed faculty publications, including my poetry/flash fiction collection, Only Flying. Free and open to the public. If you can’t make it in person, we’ll be streaming, too–scan the QR code on the flyer to pre-register. Join us!