THREE-DAY POETRY FESTIVAL AT HIGHWAYS PERFORMANCE SPACE 15 Year Old Organization holds its 1st Festival Honoring National Poetry Month FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BEFORE APRIL 8, 2005: (Santa Monica, CA, March 16, 2005) In honor of National Poetry Month, Highways Performance Space, presents “In The Beginning Was The Word,” a 3-day festival merging poetry with performance, on Friday through Sunday, April 8, 9 and 10th. Tickets are $15 a night or $40 for a three-day festival pass. Reservations can be made at 310-315-1459. “In The Beginning Was The Word” is curated by LeVan D. Hawkins. Highways Performance Space is located at 1651 18th Street in Santa Monica, within the 18th Street Arts Center. There is a parking lot and street parking available Night One—Friday, April 8, 2005—8:30 p.m. Slam Poets—You Better Come Correct—Who will present their new show at Highways? Slam/Performance poets mollie angelheart, E. Amato, Jim Bolt, Robert Carroll, Mona Jean Cedar, Beatrice Hall, Kennon B. Kraines, Merilene M. Murphy, Miss Natalie, Shailja Patel, Ratpack Slim, & AK Toney compete for the opportunity to present a show at Highways, one of the country’s premier performance spaces. Say “WORD” at the door and admission is $10. Hosted by Marcus Kuiland-Nazario. Night Two—Saturday, April 9, 2005—8:30 p.m.—Performance Poets—Word On Fire—Regie Cabico, Michael Datcher, IN-Q, Rachel Kann, Ariel Robello, Tajarka, and Jaha Zainabu take the stage accenting their works with art, music and theater. Music and reception afterwards. “What we have on this night are some really talented writers who also excel at performing their poetry,” says LeVan D. Hawkins, curator. They have been encouraged to expand their poetry with other genres to entertain and share their messages with their audience.” Night Three- Sunday, April 10th, 7:30 p.m. Poets as Performers—PASSION (What Moves Us) Belly dancing, God, gadgets, caretaking, his penis. Peter J. Harris, LeVan D. Hawkins, Pat Payne, Bianca Taylor, and Imani Tolliver reveal their passions through music, props, and the WORD. “On this night, we present noted poets as performers; they embrace other art forms such as theater/performance while still being influenced by their poetic beginnings.” “Often literary poetry, performance and slam poetry are segregated and the three never meet, “ says Hawkins. “In The Beginning Was The Word” is an opportunity for all three forms to be under one umbrella. They each have their own night but on Saturday and Sunday, there is opportunity for the forms to merge and overlap. Audiences who enjoy good entertainment and thought-provoking content can get a nice sampling of what the Los Angeles poetry scene has to offer.” “We are bringing some very accomplished poets/performers under one roof,” says Hawkins. “We have three poets who have performed on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, a nationally best-selling author whose book was a Today Show Book Club Selection and has been optioned by actor Will Smith; the two-time winner of the prestigious Taos Poetry Circus Heavyweight Championship; a former soap opera queen returning to the stage for the first time in over a decade; and poets who have worked with or opened for such cultural figures as the Dakah Hip-Hop Orchestra, actor/rapper Snoop Dog, former California poet laureate Quincy Troupe, and former candidate for Democratic presidential nomination Howard Dean. Our poets have played at numerous colleges and theaters and such venues as UCLA Hammer Museum, Disney Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art, Natural History Museum, LA County Museum, Getty Museum, Henry Miller Library and published in publications such as the LATimes, LA Weekly, LA & SF Frontiers, Washington Post and Vibe. They represent a wide range of styles and cultures.” Highways Performance Space (www.highwaysperformance.org) is Southern California’s boldest center for new performance. In its fifteenth year, Highways continues to be an important alternative cultural center in Los Angles that encourages fierce new artists from diverse communities to develop and present innovative works. This event is supported by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from The James Irvine Foundation. —Come alone, get entertained and get some culture. Bring a date and pretend you are cultured. Bring your love and remember that you have culture. Gather with your close friends, hang out and take in some culture. Call some friends you haven’t seen in a while, get some culture and act a fool.