image Northampton Poet Laureate Lesléa Newman, The Florence Poets Society, and the Northampton Arts Council will host an open poetry reading on Tuesday, January 20th starting at 6:30 p.m.at the Yellow Sofa Café (24 Main Street, Northampton, MA) to celebrate the election of President Barack Obama.

Poets are asked to write an inauguration poem celebrating this momentous occasion and bring it to read.  Sign up will begin at 6:00 p.m.

"Barack Obama loves poetry; he is having poet Elizabeth Alexander read at his inauguration, he has been spotted with a book of Derek Walcott’s tucked under his arm, he is going to be a fabulous president in terms of supporting the literary arts," said Poet Laureate Lesléa Newman, who will emcee the event. "I don’t know who came up with the idea originally, but similar events will be happening coast to coast, and the goal is to make this the biggest simultaneous open reading of debut poetry that’s ever happened in this country. I know the poets of the Northampton community are going to write amazing poems to read for, about, and in celebration of Barack Obama, and I can’t wait to hear them.

"No previous writing experience is necessary in order to participate. Come one, come all, and read a poem for Obama!”

The Yellow Sofa is located at 24 Main Street in Northampton, and offers delicious Mediterranean food such as hummus and spinach and feta pie, as well as a wide assortment of coffee, tea, and locally baked goods.

For more information, about the event, contact: Lesléa Newman at
413-552-3865 or leslea@lesleakids.com.  For information about the Florence Poets Society, contact Carl Russo at fpoets@localnet.com.

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