The local poetry scene, as poet Rigsby St. Claire said on the “Burberry Lounge” podcast, “is still growing.” It’s made some major strides over the last few years, with notable contributions from Osyrus Bolly, Sibling Rivalry Press, Amoja Sumler and the 2015 Southern Fried Poetry Slam (held in Little Rock that year), Rocktown Slam, the Vino’s Back Room Writer’s Series, Pub or Perish, Wednesday Poetry Nights at Maxine’s and Kollective Coffee + Tea in Hot Springs and slams affiliated with central Arkansas colleges and universities.
Kent Walker Artisan Cheese is adding a monthly forum to that mix, and tonight, the cheese shop hosts “Words and Curds: A Series of Writers,” an open mic featuring poets Kara Bibb, Zachary Crow, Claudia Cerna and Rigsby St. Claire.
Bibb, longtime host of the open mic poetry sessions in the back room of Vino’s and author of the poetry blog “there will be flowers,” is currently developing her debut poetry collection. St. Claire, a stand-up comedian and driving force behind the Awkward Poetry Slam series whose work ranges from “love, life and loneliness to pirates, robots and super heroes,” began his work at Hendrix College, where he was a student. Cerna is new to the slam scene, and Crow, author of chapbook “Thirty,” captivated a small audience at a Vino’s back room session in June with a recitation from what he calls a “record of voices silenced by empire.”
Attendees to tonight’s “Words and Curds” are encouraged to bring their own work to read, and admission is free, 6:30 p.m., Kent Walker Artisan Cheese (323 S. Cross St.).