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Poetry returns to McLeod Plantation Historic Site this Fall

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The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission’s Poetry at McLeod series returns this fall with two events on October 9th and November 13th. The events will be held from 11 am to 1 pm in person at McLeod Plantation Historic Site, and also broadcast via Facebook Live.

In this innovative series, African American poets reclaim the plantation landscape by exploring the past, present, future, and the imagined. Often representing pain, suffering, survival, and perseverance, our featured poets confirm in their own voices that plantations are places of conscience.

On October 9th, join poet Grace C. Ocasio (right) with a poetry reading of her own works. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Ocasio was a finalist in the 2016 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award in Poetry and was a recipient of the 2014 North Carolina Arts Council Regional Artist Project Grant. Ocasio will also host a free poetry workshop called “Channeling Voice: Persona Tricks” on Sunday, October 10th from 11 am to 1 pm. Registration for the workshop is required and available at CharlestonCountyParks.com, and space is limited to 10 participants.

On November 13th, join poet and author Dustin Pearson (left) as he reclaims the plantation landscape with a poetry reading of his own works. In 2019, The Root named Dustin one of nine black poets working in “academic, cultural and government institutions committed to elevating and preserving the poetry artform.” Pearson will also host a free poetry workshop called “Empathy and the Lyric Narrative Poem” on Sunday, November 14th from 11 am to 1 pm. Registration for the workshop is required and available at CharlestonCountyParks.com, and space is limited to 10 participants.

Poetry at McLeod is free to the first 50 participants, and thereafter free with park admission. Advance registration is not required for the poetry sessions. Interested participants can also watch the poetry readings live on social media via McLeod Plantation Historic Site’s Facebook page. The writing workshops the following day are also free, but space is limited, and registration is required for those. This series is made possible by the generous support of The Poetry Society of South Carolina and the Charleston County Parks Foundation.

CCPRC opened McLeod Plantation as a public county park and historic site in 2015. Located on James Island, McLeod Plantation Historic Site is a former sea island cotton plantation. In 2019, it was named a “Site of Conscience,” a designation that places it among an international coalition of museums, historic sites and memorials that confront both the history of what happened at the site and its lasting impacts.

For more information on McLeod Plantation Historic Site and these programs, visit CharlestonCountyParks.com or call 843-795-4386.

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