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RISE Contributed Photo / Jericho Brown

RISE Chattanooga is partnering with local writer and spoken-word artist Christian J. Collier to present a free, community creative-writing workshop and reading session led by award-winning poet Jericho Brown. The event will be held Saturday, Oct.5, at Floor Five in the Edney Innovation Center, 100 Market St.

This workshop is the second installment of The Plug Poetry Project reading series created by Collier. The project's goal is to grow the city's poetry community by providing resources, classes and events.

Brown is an African-American poet, scholar and director of the creative writing program at Emory University in Atlanta. He grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, and worked as a speech writer for the mayor of New Orleans before earning his Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston. He also holds a bachelor's degree from Dillard University and MFA degree in creative writing from the University of New Orleans.

He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Brown's first book, "Please" (2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, "The New Testament" (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection "The Tradition" (2019).

His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, as well as several volumes of "The Best American Poetry" anthologies.

The creative writing/poetry workshop will take place from noon to 2 p.m. The evening reading, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Local poets Marcus Ellsworth and Brynija Lloyd will open the night with sets of their work.

Interested writers should email Christian J. Collier at thespeakeasypoetry@gmail.com to secure a spot. Seating is limited; make reservations at Eventbrite.

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