News Releases

2/25/2014 - Pen & Microphone: A Workshop for Emerging Writers and Performers

Contact: Sharon Benson, Arts Education Coordinator
Arts and Humanities


Rap artist Cash Hollistah and poet Lori Brack invite writers of poems, prose, or lyrics to join them in a six-session writing and performance workshop in March and April, sponsored by Salina Arts & Humanities.                                                                                                                                                

The “Pen and Microphone” workshop will encourage participants to experiment with language and writing from a variety of subjects and themes, and practice the art of emotion and tone for public performance.                                                                                                                                                                      

In four writing and revising sessions, participants will create at least one new poem or short prose piece as well as a piece for performance.  In two additional live sessions, writers will experience and analyze performance techniques, to present their work at One Mic on Friday, April 18.

Hollistah and Brack are looking for participants who are already writing, who can commit to all six sessions, and whose work will benefit from this collaborative hip-hop and contemporary approach. This is not a drop-in workshop, but requires written submission.     

To join the workshop, writers 16 years or older must be accepted by submitting at least two but no more than three pages of original writing to by noon on Friday, March 7. Appropriate samples to submit include two to three poems, a short piece of fiction or non-fiction, or two or three song lyrics.

Those accepted to the workshop will be notified via email by  Monday, March 10. Sessions will begin at the Smoky Hill Museum Community Room (2nd floor; use west entrance) on Thursday, March 13, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.  Other sessions are Friday, March 21, at Ad Astra Books and Coffee House, 141 N. Santa Fe at 7:30 p.m. and sessions on Thursdays, March 27, April 3, and April 10 at 6:30 p.m.  The final session on Friday, April 18, will offer participants an opportunity to showcase their new writing and performance.  One Mic sessions require a $5 admission to atend.                                                

One Mic is Hollistah’s monthly poetry, spoken word, and acapella rap event at Ad Astra.  He presents hip-hop poetry workshops in Salina public schools through Salina Arts & Humanities. Hollistah says, “My sound is lyrical, soulful hip-hop.  I write for myself mainly, but in writing these songs, I find out that other people have either gone through or are currently going through what I’m rapping, so I rap for them, too.”                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Brack’s poems and essays have appeared in national journals including Mid-America Review, The Prose-Poem Project, Superstition Review, and Another Chicago Magazine. Her 2010 chapbook, A Fine Place to See the Sky, was written in collaboration with her grandfather’s 1907-1919 Kansas farming journals and served as a poetic script for a work of performance art by Ernesto Pujol.  She teaches writing at Bethany College.  “I want to work with Cash and other writers to stretch my own ideas about language and to bring my insights as a poet to the field of performance,” Brack says.

For needed accommodations, please call Kathy Burlew at Salina Arts & Humanities at 785-309-5770 between 8:00 a.m. - Noon and 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.  Every effort will be made to accommodate known disabilities.  For material or speech access, please call at least five working days prior to the event.

Salina Arts & Humanities, a department of the City of Salina, has served a unique role in arts advocacy and support since 1966.  The Smoky Hill River Festival, Horizons Grants Program, Smoky Hill Museum, Arts Infusion Program in schools, Community Art & Design, Cultural Connections, and Art a la Carte concert series are among the programs of Salina Arts & Humanities, located at 211 W. Iron Avenue in Salina.