Children’s Poetry Show goes ZOOM to feature Poet Laureate Semaj Brown June 29

By Jan Worth-Nelson

“Dreaming, Imagining Good Happenings” is the theme of a children’s poetry show featuring Flint’s poet laureate Semaj Brown via  Zoom/Facebook Live at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 29.

“All children everywhere, inside and outside of Flint,”  are invited to join in, Brown said.

Semaj Brown’s portrait from the Flint Institute of Arts exhibit Women of a New Tribe, photo by  Jerry Taliaferro, 2016, Digital print © Jerry Taliaferro. Used by permission of the Flint Institute of Arts.

The event also is a celebration of a donation of children’s poetry books from the Genesee County Medical Society Alliance, which contributed three sets of 17 books each.  Brown will perform some of the poems from the books during the reading, and hopes to give away four or five books to participating children.

The show originally was scheduled for a live performance  in April at the James E. Kennedy Family Life Center, but due to the pandemic shutdown,, Executive Director Ralphael D. Read moved it online.

Pastor Read has been offering Monday evening children’s reading events and will host the special June 29 reading with Brown, Flint’s first poet laureate and founder of the Poetry Pod Project.  #POETRYPODPROJECT 

Read plans to ask questions of the children,  and those who answer will receive a book.

Participants can join the show by:

–Going to the James E. Kennedy Family Life Center page where the live FB show will be playing. or

–Clicking on this link that will take them to the Facebook Live site.

Brown said she hopes to distribute the books in different ways, mostly during the Poet Laureate Chidren’s Readings she has been organizing since she was appointed as the city’s first poet laureate in 2019.  Her plans have required adjustment since the onset of the pandemic, but she is moving forward with alternate ways to reach out to children through poetry.

Among the book titles are:

The Oxford Illustrated book of American Children’s Poems
Edited by Donald Hall (2006-7-U.S. Poet Laureate)

Hip Hop Speaks to Children:
A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat Edited by Nikki Giovanni

Read Aloud Poems
Edited by Glorya Hale

Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young
Edited by Jack Prelutsky

William Shakespeare
Edited by Margueiye Tassi, PhD

Langston Hughes
Edited by David Roessel and Arnold Rampersal

The program will last about 50 minutes, Brown said.  It will include introductions by Pastor Read, a presentation of the books by a representative of the Genesee County Medical Society, followed by 20 to 25 minutes of Brown reading to the children. Time will be set aside for a Q&A, concluding with announcements.

Semaj Brown, in addition to being the Flint area’s first poet laureate, is the author of Bleeding Fire!  Tap the Eternal Spring of Regenerative Light, and Feasts and Fables from the Planted Kingdom:  A Story Cookbook & CD.  She and her husband, Dr. James Brown, are co-founders of Health Collectors LLC.

EVM Editor Jan Worth-Nelson can be reached at

Author: East Village Magazine

A Non-profit, Community News Magazine Since 1976

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