Friday, January 21 sees not one, but two poetry events taking place in Salem, Oregon, and the P&PC staff is hoping to make it to both. Consider:
1. The SAIF Corporation Agri-Business Banquet
With a long list of sponsors, this year's "celebration of Willamette Valley agriculture" is featuring renowned mustachioed cowboy poet and humorist Baxter Black as the evening's entertainment. With his ten gallon hat, huge ol' belt buckle, and spirit channeling Canadian balladeer Robert Service, Black has been described by the New York Times as "probably the nation's most successful living poet," appears on NPR, and lives—where else?—"between the horse and the cow—where the action is." No slouch when it comes to touring, the Brooklyn-born, former large animal veterinarian is set up for five January events alone which take him to Ohio, Montana, Arizona and Florida before he hits Oregon. You can check out some of his poems here, here, and here.
2. Willamette University MLK Celebration featuring Angela Davis & Good Sista/Bad Sista
The same night that Baxter Black brings his stylized spurs to the sold-out Salem Conference Center event, renowned civil rights leader and activist Angela Davis will be speaking on the campus of Willamette University as part of the school's two week-long MLK Day celebration. As cool as this is, what's landing her event on P&PC's calendar is actually the opening act that Willamette has lined up for Davis—the Portland-based spoken word duo of Turiya Autry and Walidah Imarisha known as Good Sista/Bad Sista. Check out an interview with them here and watch them perform here:
As far as P&PC can determine, tickets to the Agri-Business Banquet are sold out (they were $40 per person or $400 for a table of 10), but there are still seats left for the Davis & Good Sista/Bad Sista event. They're $15 each, with proceeds going to benefit the World Beat Festival and Oregon African American Museum.