New Jersey Stage

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Getting out the word on iPoet, March 5 in Long Branch

(LONG BRANCH, NJ) -— Ours is a city that takes the power of the word very seriously — a birthplace and home to famous novelists, short story writers, rock stars, journalists, even a Poet Laureate of the United States.

On the afternoon of Saturday, March 5, Long Branch celebrates the rich written legacy, and spotlights a new generation of poetic voices, when the event known as iPoet returns for the first of several scheduled showcases in 2011. The community room of the Long Branch Free Public Library at 328 Broadway will be the setting once again, as a group of prominent local people and a special guest host join in welcoming the area's best young poets..

Scheduled from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., the March edition of iPoet will be hosted by one of the real rising stars of spoken word performance — Brooklyn-based Rock Wilk, whose acclaimed appearances at the Nuyorican Poets CafĂ© and Asbury Park's Showroom have allowed him to put together the first national tour of his autobiographical one man show, "Broke Wide Open." The veteran musician, arranger and author has also released a new volume of poetry entitled "A Harlem Love Story," available from his website

A collection of guest speakers — including Long Branch City Council members John Pallone and Michael Sirianni, historian and author Helen Pike, New Jersey Repertory Company's Carl Hoffman and dedicated poetry lovers from the Long Branch Free Public Library and Long Branch Historical Association — will read from a selection of classic American verse. At the heart of the event is a chance to see and hear the work of some talented and creative young writers, from area grade schools and colleges, as well as from the Inkwell's weekly Loser Slam and other independent, word-powered events in and around Long Branch.

Admission to the event is free of charge, with participants invited to bring family and friends, and enjoy complimentary refreshments while meeting fellow poets and enthusiasts during a reception for the event.

To obtain a sign-up form or find out more about iPoet, contact Kate Angelo, director of Outreach and Adult Programming at Long Branch Free Public Library, at Robyn Ellenbogen, Community Arts Coordinator for the Long Branch Arts Council, is also available for media interviews regarding this event and can be contacted at

The iPoet series is sponsored by the Long Branch Arts Council, the Long Branch Free Public Library and the Long Branch Historical Association, and supported by Investors Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Monmouth County Arts Council and the City of Long Branch. Future iPoet sessions (on April 9, May 14 and a June date to be announced) will pay tribute to some world famous writers with a connection to Long Branch, such as Norman Mailer and Dorothy Parker.

The Long Branch Arts Council is a partnership dedicated to working with the city government, civic and business organizations and the arts community to re-establish the City of Long Branch as a thriving regional center for the arts. Our aim is to accomplish this goal by attracting artists and arts organizations, by coordinating fundraising and development efforts, by establishing arts education programs, and by presenting arts-oriented events that draw upon the natural resources, accessibility, historic assets and "people power" that are unique to our beloved city.