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Huntington Town Board to Recognize Teen Poets. Winning Teens to Join Poetry and Performance Duo in April 27th Reading

On Wednesday, April 27, the Huntington Town Board will recognize teen poets from the community recently selected for participation in the Town’s Poetry for the HART Public Art Initiative.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Walt Whitman Birthplace (246 Old Walt Whitman Rd., West Hills), with the winning teen poets receiving certificates from members of the Huntington Town Board.  Following the ceremony, there will be a reading led by “The Robin and the Lady Poet” (a poetry & performance duo) at which each of the winning teens will read their winning poems.  After the reading there will be a brief reception honoring the teen poets.  The award ceremony, reading, and reception are free and open to the public.

“The Robin and the Lady Poet” is a hybrid-mix of music, poetry and performance presented by singer/songwriter and performer Robin Andre and poet and performer Erica Miriam Fabri, two NYC-based artists and partners in love.

Robin Andre is a Brooklyn-born singer-songwriter, performer and recording artist.  He was signed to RCA records for his debut album “Paper Bag” and has recorded, performed and toured in 32 different countries with multi-platinum artists such as The Dave Matthews Band, The Fugees, Mariah Carey, Lil Flip and Inaya Day.  His solo work is a tight blend of rock, hip-hop and reggae sensibility.  His newest hit-sensation single, “Betty,” is featured on itunes and he recently completed filming the colorful and funky music video by director Jose Infante.  He has also starred in off-Broadway musical theater productions, and worked as a commercial actor and professional dancer.  He writes, performs and tours solo as well as in the duo “The Robin and the Lady Poet” and also can be seen performing live every week with the iconic house band at the legendary “Village Underground” in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

Erica Miriam Fabri is the author of “Dialect of a Skirt.”  She is a writer and performer and a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.  She received her MFA in Poetry from The New School.  Her work has been published in numerous journals and magazines and she has facilitated workshops and seminars at Cooper Union School of the Arts, New York University, Columbia University and Pennsylvania State University.  She has worked on projects as a writer, editor and performance director for The New York Knicks, HBO and Nickelodeon Television.  Erica has been awarded a writer’s residency at the Omega Institute, has been a featured and/or visiting poet/performer for drug rehabilitation centers, prisons and hospitals.  Her first book, “Dialect of a Skirt,” was included on the list for: The Best Books of 2009 at About.com and made the Small Press Distribution’s bestseller list for June 2010 as well as the Poetry Foundation’s bestseller list for October 2010.  She is currently a spoken word mentor and curriculum writer for Urban Word NYC, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing spoken word, poetry and hip-hop arts to inner-city teens.  She also teaches Performance Poetry at Pace University, Creative Writing at The School of Visual Arts and a variety of Poetry courses at Baruch College and Hunter College of The City University of New York (CUNY).

Poetry for the HART is a Huntington Public Art Initiative developed by the Town’s Public Art Advisory Committee in conjunction with Teenspeak, which suggested the project to the Town.  Teens in the community from ages 14-18 were invited last fall to submit poems for consideration in the program.  This spring a selection panel comprised of the poets Dr. Richard Bronson and Barbara Reiher-Meyers, as well as James Metcalfe, a member of Huntington’s Public Art Advisory Committee, reviewed the 138 different submissions and narrowed the choices to the 20 winning poems.

Additional partners in this project included Heckscher Museum of Art; Huntington Arts Council; The Long Islander, which has pledged to publish the winning poems; REACH CYA; Town of Huntington Youth Bureau; Tri-Community Youth Agency; the award reception host – Walt Whitman Birthplace Association; and Youth Directions & Alternatives CYA, as well as numerous area teachers who actively encouraged their students’ participation.  Subsequent to the ceremonies, colorful placards, each bearing one of the winning youth poems, will be placed in the interior advertising spaces on buses throughout the HART system.

The names of the winning teen poets and text of their winning poems will be available following the April 27 event.  For further information on Poetry for the HART or other Town of Huntington Public Art Initiative projects, contact John Coraor, Director of Cultural Affairs, at 631-351-3099 or via e-mail:  jcoraor@town.huntington.ny.us.

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