Colorscape’s Literary Arts, poetry slam persevere for a ninth year

NORWICH – It was questionable whether or not Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival would continue to offer literary arts activities after learning that its longtime volunteer, Richard Bernstein, had decided to move on.

Bernstein, a Norwich High School English and poetry teacher, and a published poet, established the arts installation at the annual festival back in 2001. The literary arts tent, complete with such activities as the “Bad Poem Toss” and “Clothesline Poet Tees,” became popular venues for all ages.

Moreover, under Bernstein’s leadership, Norwich’s Colorscape Poetry Slam competition has become one of the more popular performance poetry venues in the northeast, attracting talent from universities as well as the international stage.

Step in Emily Vogel, a former NHS student of Bernstein’s and a published poet herself. Vogel, who is currently an adjunct professor in the English departments at Hartwick College and Morrisville State College, has lined up featured poet Joe Weil to lead the Ninth Annual Colorscape Poetry Slam. It takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Cafe Connection, 28 S. Broad St.

Weil is a lecturer in the graduate and undergraduate creative writing programs at SUNY Binghamton and has published in numerous literary journals, including Poet Lore, Onthebus, Rattle, The New Renaissance, Paddlefish, Maggie, Paterson Literary Review, The Journal of New Jersey Poets, and New York Quarterly, as well as in the New York Times, The Star Ledger, and the Princeton Packet.

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