• Kevin Batts

The Arts Amid The Chaos: How one man is transforming the streets of Memphis through poetry


We live in a peculiar time. We live in a defining time. Between the chaos of the 2016 Election and the chaos spilling into the streets of our nation, hope and voices of hope are needed now, more than ever. Subjects such as race, terrorism, and the economy are amongst the pressing issues America is facing. Citizens are confused, and voters are more emotionally charged than ever before, but it is, indeed, refreshing to see voices within the chaos who want to help bring solutions to the table. One of those voices belongs to William Owens, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee and passionate author and director of a new and exciting movement called Poets For America. Although Owens was born in Memphis, he has recently returned to the area after several years.

This movement is about bringing people, Americans, together through the performing arts which I find unique. It’s an appeal to peoples of all races and backgrounds to come together and begin to talk about social difficulty, openly and artistically through the art of poetry. William has a passion for poetry and has been on a journey of writing a poem a day until the election. You can follow his journey on his website, Here. It consists of all of the poems written by William over time and until his journey ends, but his passion doesn’t stop there.

A poetry contest is being held in Memphis, Tennessee on October 30th and is being headed by William himself. Admission will be free for both attendees and poets; however, registration will be required. 1st and 2nd place cash prizes will be given at the contest. This dynamic event has been planned in hopes to inspire the young and old across Tennessee and beyond to make their voices heard and as William says, “take over the mic.” The event will be live streamed for free, and Poetsforamerica.com is serving as a hub for the contest itself including submissions of poems, video commentary, and an online chatroom called the Heal Our Land Symposium. William’s goal is that hope, love, and unity be the focus and be the center of this contest.

Here, we are clearly seeing the seven mountain mandate being executed with passion right in front of us, and it is truly beautiful. We often hear the sometimes screaming voices coming from the media and government, but in such a time of prevailing opinions and thought, art is being brought to the table. I applaud William and his passion, not only for his community, his state, his relationship with God but his hope for America. If you share a passion for poetry, please consider entering your artistic ability in this unique contest, and take a look at the information below. Let’s take over the mic and bring hope and answers back to the streets of America, again.

Call to Action

Without a measurable call to action, Owens believes PFA will be nothing more than entertainment. He is, therefore, launching an ambitious goal of raising 1.5 million dollars for community organizations as well as enroll 10,000 volunteers to give their time and talents to serving the people of these communities. This means every American Poetry Contest and Heal our Land Symposium will only be held where community organizations are being recognized, and a portion of proceeds raised will go directly to them.

Poets Who Blog

The voice of the people matter. With the bully stage of media and the often disconnected platforms that provide no and very little room for poets and the creative to express, PFA is creating a powerful stage of poets to blog their works. See if you have what it takes.

Links below to get invloved.

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#Faith #Poetry #Election2016 #PoetsForAmerica

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