Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL) has partnered with Limestone District School Board to showcase local Black writers in an event called ‘Celebrating Black Creators: Readings of Poetry and Prose.’
From Feb. 1 to Feb. 27, community members can submit poetry or short stories related to diverse Black experiences and perspectives.
“This [event] is a chance for people to show their creative spark,” Jake Miller, KFPL’s adult services librarian, said in an interview with The Journal. “It allows them to do it where their work can be seen.”
A live event will be held on Feb. 28 where writers who have submitted pieces or simply enjoy writing can share their work with like-minded members of the public.
“It gives a live platform for those who want to read to someone other than themselves in a mirror,” he said. “Or maybe it’s just a bit of a social event to make that connection.”
KFPL will display submission on their website after Feb. 28, regardless of whether the writer attended the live reading.
“[Either way], their work will be seen,” Miller said. “It will be cherished. It will be celebrated.”
“That’s what the community needs—more opportunity in general for direct engagement with the library and to see themselves.”
‘Celebrating Black Creators’ was inspired by a conversation Miller had with a representative of Kingston’s Black Luck Collective, who recommended creating a format for expressing the Black experience in Kingston through short stories or poetry.
Miller also noted KFPL’s many other opportunities for involvement, like partnerships, programs, and workshops.
Specifically, he recommended a workshop run by Britta B, a Kingston-born spoken word performer, writer, and poet, being held on Feb. 22 and 23, as something that may interest those submitting pieces to ‘Celebrating Black Creators.’
KFPL hopes to integrate more diverse perspectives into the online and print resources used in both their adult and children’s programming.
“Public input is essential to sustaining these productive and collaborative relationships with Black communities and other communities that were traditionally under served,” Miller said.
“[We want to establish] that ongoing dialogue, to ensure their direct input is reflected in our programming and in our collections.”
Above all else, Miller believes sharing diverse perspectives and stories is necessary during every month of the year—not just February.
“Giving a platform for only one month does not do nearly enough justice.”
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