Aug 112013

By Michael Dean Benton 

When the news of the verdict of innocent for George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin was announced, there was an explosion of concern and comments on social media about how the decision reflects ongoing problems in regards to racism in American culture. At the same time, there was a counter-narrative that included paranoid declarations of arming for the coming race riots and lauding the verdict as a symbol of the rightness of self-appointed community policing.

Clearly there was a lot of confusion about the actual trial and the impact of laws, like Stand Your Ground, on the jurors’ verdict. This is why it was so important that communities across the nation immediately responded by gathering together to hold vigils, to actively protest the verdict, and to convene town-hall meetings to discuss the trial and ongoing racism.

In Lexington, Bianca Spriggs led the organizing of a town-hall style forum at the Carnegie Center on July 16. In the two days leading up to the event, despite her calls for civility, arguments concerning the verdict began to flare on the Facebook event page. It was quite obvious that Spriggs was scrambling to develop a sense of communal dialogue in order to avoid pointless, dismissive arguments. This was most clearly demonstrated in her continuous revision of the rules of dialogue and the decision, at one point, to remove long, rambling dialogues that violated the spirit of the gathering. Continue reading »

Feb 032013
Tattoo this. Photo by Laura Webb.

Tattoo this. Photo by Laura Webb.

By Michael Dean Benton

Bianca Spriggs has entered my dreams. No Hendrick, not in that way. It is her art and words that I have been dreaming about intensely over the last week. Let me explain how this came about.

A few months ago I saw an announcement by Transylvania University professors Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorva for The Lexington Tattoo Project.  They had a dream of their own, a collective art project that would involve 250 participants tattooing onto their bodies parts of a Bianca Spriggs poem written to Lexington.

As an advocate of participatory and communal art, I was intrigued and read through the poem for tattoo options.  We were told that we could make multiple choices, with the understanding that we may not get our first choice, that the tattoo would be donated by the artist Robert Alleyne (Charmed Life), and that we could choose where to place it on our bodies. Continue reading »

Sep 142011

September 11 kickoff at Green Lantern

By Sunny Montgomery

The summer may be winding down but do not fret, my friends.  We still have plenty to anticipate.  The 32nd annual Kentucky’s Women Writers Conference (KWWC) officially kicks off on Sunday, September 11at the Green Lantern with the Wild Women of Poetry, featuring raucous women writers from across Kentucky, music by Karly Dawn Higgins and, of course, bourbon.  The ensuing week long literary celebration will be comprised of a multitude of free events leading up to the weekend conference hosted at the Carnegie Center of Literacy & Learning. Continue reading »

Jul 132011

Short film nears completion

By Barbara Goldman

If you’ve been doing double takes at what appear to be mermaids in downtown Lexington recently, your eyes aren’t betraying you. Sightings of the legendary long-tailed sirens of the sea have occurred in area creeks, pools, parks, restaurants, and even a clawfoot bathtub.

Local urban fantasizers and artists have found a way to bring the mythical creatures to life with the short film Waterbody, written by central Kentucky poetry/publishing diva Bianca Spriggs. The film concluded principal photography on June 12th and is anticipated to debut early this fall. Continue reading »