Poet to speak at PDCCC

Published 9:37 pm Monday, February 17, 2014

Poetry influenced by major speeches and documents in the history of America will be showcased at Paul D. Camp Community College today in honor of Black History Month.

Performance poet Nathan Richardson, a Suffolk native, will speak from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the college’s Hobbs Suffolk campus, 271 Kenyon Road, in room 104.

Local poet Nathan Richardson will perform today at Paul D. Camp Community College in honor of Black History Month.

Local poet Nathan Richardson will perform today at Paul D. Camp Community College in honor of Black History Month.

“We are honored to have this opportunity with acclaimed poet and author Mr. Nathan Richardson,” said Literary Club adviser Ronette Jacobs. “Black History Month is not only a celebration of the accomplishments of important African-Americans, but it’s also a celebration of history in our country.”

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This is the third or fourth time Richardson has performed at Paul D. Camp for Black History Month. He also has shared his talents during the college’s annual literary festival, coming this year in April.

The theme for his performance today is the relationship between his poetry and great speeches and documents in black American history, he said. He’ll talk specifically about Barbara Jordan’s 1976 speech to the National Democratic Convention, the Emancipation Proclamation, Frederick Douglass’ 1852 Fourth of July speech and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“My poetry has been influenced by these,” Richardson said, recalling memorizing the speeches in school. “Just being familiar with the history, it tends to creep into your poetry.”

Richardson currently is a marketing representative for the Suffolk News-Herald. He also is involved in a number of literary pursuits. In 1998, he founded Spiritual Concepts Publishing, which offers literary consultations and workshops for emerging writers. He is the organizer of the Poetry, Prose and Pizza Open Mic Series in Suffolk, Chesapeake and Prince George. He also serves as the head coach for the Hampton Roads Youth Poets.

His poetry has been commissioned to accent art exhibits at the Delaware Museum of Art, the New Mexico Holocaust Museum, the Chrysler Museum and the Peninsula Fine Arts Center.

“Paul D. Camp Community College names diversity as one of the chief cornerstones in our mission statement, and programs such as this go far to expand the educational attainment of our students,” Jacobs said.

For more information on the event, call 925-6331.