In observance of National Library Week, the staff of A. C. Lewis Memorial Library presented Poetic Readings. The program began with an invocation by Belinda Woods and the singing of the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which was led by Jerry Brooks.
Maraine M. Hall, chair of the program, said, “This program is dedicated in loving memory of our dear friend and colleague, the late Patricia A. Williams. She was our resident poet and she wrote a poem for each staff member upon their retirement.”
Poems were presented by Melanie C. Thomas, Cynthia Allen, Dr. Jimmy McJamerson, Tommy Johnson, Thelma Williams and Nicholas Harrison.
The first three poets were introduced by Sarah Hassen, who quoted Robert Frost, “Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement,” she said.
Thomas recited Maya Angleou’s “Still I Rise,” and Allen recited James Weldon Johnson’s “Creation.”
McJamerson, who has gained a reputation as a poet, presented his poems “I Made It – I Am Resilient,” “Be a Man My Son, Be a Positive Man,” “Is It Not True?” and “Phenomenal Man.” They were followed by Brooks, who sang “Hero.”
After the next set of poets was introduced by Glenda Corbin, Johnson thrilled the crowd with his rendition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and “We Always Destroy We.” Williams recited her poem entitled “The Big Fish.”
Harrison, the son of Patricia Williams spoke of his mother and the importance of the library. He said his mother loved the library, GSU and the people she worked with.
He told the audience, “Your key to the future is the library. If you want to better yourself, please come to the library. Young people, get off the keyboard, and get on the written word.”
Harrison was followed by Rene Bobbitt who recited an assortment of her poems.
“Poetic Readings on the Patio is one of the activities in the celebration of library week. April is National Poetry Month, and we thought that it would be wonderful to get outside in the fresh air and listen to some beautiful poetic expressions,” said Hall.
Hall said that it was very touching to have Williams’ son, read some of her work. “The day was made even more special by having her family stop by and share in the program with us,” she said.
Library director Dr. Rosemary N. Mokia gave remarks.
Mokia, Derek Addison, Brooks, Corbin, Anil Deshpande and Hassen also served on the committee.