Worcester Collective Goes Back to its Roots for Book Launch

By Jaclyn Kirby Morrison

This Sunday, October 2nd, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. in the Sheehan Multi Purpose Room at Worcester State University, the Noh Place Collective will be holding a book release for their new collection, the Noh Place Poetry Anthology.  Noh Place is a Worcester Artists’ Collective formed in the 1980s by WSU alumni. Holding a key place in the rich, often overlooked, Worcester art scene, the collective has worked in many artistic mediums, including visual art, theater, music, as well as live poetry reading; today, Noh Place sponsors art events in the community. Many of the founding members are still sharing their art, including the poets behind this anthology. Due to the collective’s history with Worcester State, Noh Place considered it to be the best place to launch the collection. 

When asked about the collective’s impact on his work, Professor Jonathan Blake stressed the importance of community on the writing process and the continued community he has found with the collective’s members in sharing his work.

“It provides a wide spectrum of people who are also engaged in the discourse about art, writing, poetry etc, and helped me, and others, benefit from a dimensional understanding and approach that enabled our own work to become richer through risk,” said Blake.

Another contributor— Steven Campligno described the collection as a group of close friends. 

“As a total creative enterprise, Noh Place drew together visual art, music, open mics, workshops, and theatre, to complement the poetry,” Campligno said. “Without these fertile and collaborative beginnings, I’m not sure I would be the poet I am today.”

Another local poet, Eve Rifkah, offered an anecdote of publicly reading a poem with the backdrop of art and musical accompaniment. 

“This performance did a lot to give me confidence in my work and in speaking in front of an audience,” Rifkah said. “It was a wonderful experience.” 

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