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Got poetry? Join OP Staff Assembly open mic this Thursday

If you’re still looking for a way to celebrate National Poetry Month, join the OP Staff Assembly at its open mic poetry reading this Thursday, April 18, 12 to 1 p.m. in 512 Kaiser.

Several OP staff will be reading their own poems, including Jamani Perry, administrative assistant in the Business Resource Center. His poem, My Baby Melody, starts out like this:

I had a dream last night
Maybe my mind painted a picture that my eyes couldn’t yet see
In the moment of time when I blink my eyes I see this beautiful picture of you . . .

Perry, who is also a musician, composer and lyricist, said he hasn’t written poetry since he was in high school. But impending parenthood inspired him to write this poem about his unborn daughter, which you can hear in its entirety at the event.

Event organizer Darlene Alvarez, calculations specialist in the Retirement Administration Service Center and communications co-chair on the OP Staff Assembly Steering Committee, encourages everyone to participate by reading your own poem or reciting one of your favorites.

It is not a contest and there will be no judging, so don’t be shy! But even if you don’t participate, you are invited to come by just to listen and enjoy. Refreshments will be served.

If you are interested in participating in the April 18 event, please send an email to and say what you would like to do.

Depending on interest, OP Staff Assembly is hoping to add another poetry reading at the Franklin building later in the month.

National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 and is now held every April. Thousands of poets, schools, libraries and other organizations participate through readings, festivals and workshops to celebrate poetry and its place in American literature and culture.

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