The Middletown Art Center (MAC) invites the public to a reading of poetry and prose from its newly released chapbook RESTORE: Restoring Community Post-Disaster Through Art. The reading will take place on Zoom this Saturday, October 17, from 5pm to 7pm and is hosted by Lake County Poet Laureate 2020 – 2022, workshop facilitator, and RESTORE chapbook editor, Georgina Marie.
As the people of Lake County, and so many others in California, grapple with the trauma and uncertainty of six consecutive years of devastating wildfires and loss, the value of the arts as a sanctuary for healing, transformation, and connection has become urgently clear. The writings and images in the book convey a sacred negotiation with both the reality of ecological disaster and basic human needs of love, safety, connection, a sense of belonging and home.
The book is a poignant collection of works by twenty-six writers and twenty-five printmakers who participated in MAC’s RESTORE workshops July 2018 through May 2019. RESTORE is a wildfire recovery project supported in part by the California Arts Council, and the generosity of local businesses, organizations, and individuals. The MAC has been involved in community recovery through the arts since the Valley Fire of 2015 which devastated the area and 1300 homes.
“The writing workshops of the RESTORE project inspired and supported poems of grief, trauma, vulnerability, and authenticity of the self,” explained Georgina Marie. “As an editor of the RESTORE book, I had the opportunity to read a variety of personal and creative original work; as a writer of the RESTORE book, I had the chance to write poems which explored my own grief and sensitivity. To write about loss, heartache, and even wildfire lead to a deeper sense of creativity and a realization of perseverance, of my own and of our community.”
Pre-registration is required at middletownartcenter.org/chapbook. Participation is by donation of $5 to $25, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. A Zoom link will be provided upon registration. Proceeds from this event will support MAC’s Literary Arts programming.