Persimmon Creek Artists & Writers Residency Presentation
The Persimmon Creek Artists and Writers Residency is an initiative designed to bring emerging and established writers, artists and musicians to live and work in the historic Village of Arrow Rock. The program was established by an advisory board of private citizens, including current and former residents of Arrow Rock, Marshall, and Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to hosting creative visitors in the village, the program hopes to introduce the Village of Arrow Rock to a wider national creative audience; recognize the historic presence of African American lives in Arrow Rock; and enrich present-day awareness of these one-time residents.
For nearly 60 years, Arrow Rock has been recognized as National Historic Landmark for its historical importance and the foundational role it played in westward expansion. At one time, the village was also home to a significant African American community consisting of both enslaved and emancipated Black peoples. Today, much of this communitys story remains obscure, but the evidence of its presence is visible in many Arrow Rock landmarks, among them Browns Chapel, the Brown Lodge and Black History Museum, and the stone gutters of Main Street. Alongside its mission to host talented artists and writers, the Persimmon Creek Writers & Artists Residency hopes to reengage with this rich history.
The residency is named in honor of the novel Persimmon Creek, a 1938 publication by Marshall author and native Nellie Page Carter. Designed for young readers across races, the book tells the story of two Black children who visit their grandmother in a settlement near Arrow Rock called Persimmon Creek. It was the first of Carters four novels, and the author based her work on three years of research in Arrow Rock. As a result, Persimmon Creek offers a rare glimpse into the villages historic African American community, and it reflects important Black landmarks, including the local church, school, and a juke-joint in the east end.
Appropriately, guests of the Persimmon Creek Writers and Artists residency will reside in a refurbished cottage at 706 High Street, which stands in the footprint of the former parsonage for Browns Chapel Free Will Baptist Church. During their two-week stay, residents will have time and space to themselves to work on creative projects. At the end of each session, residents will discuss their creative work in a presentation open to the people of Arrow Rock and the general public and hosted at the historic Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre.
The presentations begin at 7 p.m. (you are invited to join other for a picnic dinner at 5:30 p.m. near the Lyceum Theatre. Bring your own picnic!) Tickets to the presentations are free but limited to 150 per program. Following the presentation, all are invited to stay for a free concert on the Lyceum patio, featuring classic soul and R&B music performed by the J Love Band.
Glenn North will present on July 1. Xavier Atkins will present on July 16.
Glenn North is currently the executive director of the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center. He received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Glenn is the author of City of Song, a collection of poems inspired by Kansas Citys rich jazz tradition and the triumphs and tragedies of the African American experience. He is a Cave Canem fellow, a Callaloo creative writing fellow, and a recipient of the Charlotte Street Generative Performing Artist Award. His work has appeared in the Langston Hughes Review, Caper Literary Journal, Platte Valley Review, New Letters, KC Studio, Cave Canem Anthology XII, The African American Review, and American Studies Journal. Glenns ekphrastic and visual poems have appeared in art exhibitions at the American Jazz Museum, the Leedy-Volkos Art Center, the Bunker Center for the Arts, the Portfolio Gallery (St. Louis), the Greenlease Gallery, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. He collaborated with legendary jazz musician Bobby Watson on the critically acclaimed recording project Check Cashing Day, and is currently filling his appointment as the poet laureate of the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District.
X.C. Atkins is the author of Grace Street Alley and Other Stories, published by Makeout Creek Books in 2018. His second collection, The Desperado Days, is forthcoming in late 2021 with Trnsfr Books. Additionally, he has short stories in Prairie Schooner, Paper Darts, The Poydras Review, Akashic Books Richmond Noir, and other journals and anthologies. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. He lives and writes in Los Angeles.
Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre (View)
114 High Street
Arrow Rock, MO 65320
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|
The Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre is a handicap-accessible facility.