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More Than Words, a poetry reading to benefit the Cherry Center’s Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts Monterey County High School Poetry Awards, will be held Saturday, January 20th at 3 p.m. Local writers Patrice Vecchione, George Lober, Philip (Rags) Rosenberg, Anne Mitchell, and Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts will read selections of their poetry in the Cherry Center Gallery. Reservations required. Tickets are $20, available on Eventbrite.com or by calling (831) 624-7491.

Established in 1994  to increase literacy, empower youth, and invigorate communities through poetry recognize and promote excellence in high school poets, the Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts High School Poetry Awards  were created as a collateral program to “Thinking Out Loud”, the Carl Cherry Center’s annual high school art exhibit.  The poetry awards were created out of two fundamental insights: First, the vigorous and open-eyed quality of student poetry gives the student work a redemptive role complementary to other forms of human expression, second, poetry by young people is a vital yet largely unrecognized part of our culture. The Awards were conceived as a simple and effective way to address these concerns.  Through poetry and the act of creative writing, the program is intended to help transform the imagination and awareness of high school students in Monterey County. These goals are in keeping with the aspirations and values of the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts.

 About the Poets:

George Lober teaches English at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.  He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from San Jose State and his master of Arts in English from Fresno State.  He is a recipient of the nationally awarded Ruth Cable Memorial Prize for Poetry.  His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and journals.  He lives in Carmel, California

Anne Mitchell has called Carmel, CA home for over 30 years. A lifelong writer, when the year 2020 brought the unexpected realm of solitude and poetry presented itself, she became a willing conversationalist. She enjoys the theater, and has acted in staged readings at The Cherry, The Listening Place and Eulalia Theater. Anne’s new book of poetry, Fog Totem, is being published in February 2024.

Phillip Rosenberg’s first chapbook, Raised in the Shadow, was praised by Robert Bly (“a certain drive forward into truth”) and U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine (“strong signs of a real talent”). His poetry has appeared in Black Moon, Fine Homebuilding Magazine, The California writers Club Literary Review, and Hudson View. He has lived and worked in Carmel-by-the-Sea since 2021.

Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts is Professor Emeritus at Monterey Peninsula College where he taught composition, literature, public speaking and humanities for 32 years. He serves as President of the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation in Carmel, California. He coordinated the National Endowment for the Arts, “The Big Read:  The Poetry of Robinson Jeffers,” during which he read and performed Jeffers’s poetry at venues throughout Monterey County, including local libraries, high schools and colleges. The Carl Cherry Center’s high school poetry contest is named in his honor.

Patrice Vecchione, poet, nonfiction writer and teacher, is the author of  My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice: A Guide to Writing Poetry & Speaking Your Truth, among other books. Ms. Vecchione is the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts Poet-in-Schools.

Pictured: “Space of Love” – Anne Marchand

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