Poetry at McLeod is a collaborative project with McLeod Plantation Historic Site presenting African American poets at a site where many James Islanders were enslaved. The poets are invited based on the quality of their poetry, performance, and teaching, and their interest in illuminating the experience and aftermath of enslavement.

The mission of McLeod Plantation Historic Site is to correct the romanticized view of plantation life. These readings create an opportunity for contemplation and dialog about what life was like on a Southern plantation, and help us to reclaim this complex physical, historical, and emotional American territory.

Poetry at McLeod 2019

Town Hall Poetry Workshop, four Saturdays
James Island Town Hall, 1122 Dills Bluff Rd, James Island
2-4 p.m. on April 27, June 8, September 7, October 12.

Poetry Reading, Q&A, and Reception, four Sundays
McLeod Plantation Historic Site, 325 Country Club Drive, James Island SC
2-4 p.m. on April 28, June 9, September 8, October 13.

Glenis Redmond
Saturday, April 27, 2019, 2-4 p.m., workshop at town hall
Sunday, April 28, 2019, 2-4 p.m., reading at McLeod

Glenis Redmond is Poet-in-Residence both at The Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville, SC, and at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ, as well as a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist. Among her awards are a Cave Canem fellowship, the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival competition, and the Plattner Award. She has published three poetry collections, What My Hand Say (Press 53, 2016), Under the Sun (Main Street Rag, 2008), Backbone (Aqyil, 1997), and two CDs, Monumental and Glenis on Poetry.

Roger Reeves
Saturday, June 8, 2019, 2-4 p.m., workshop at town hall
Sunday, June 9, 2019, 2-4 p.m., reading at McLeod

Roger Reeves’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and Tin House, among others. Kim Addonizio selected "Kletic of Walt Whitman" for the Best New Poets 2009 anthology. He was awarded a 2013 NEA Fellowship, Ruth Lilly Fellowship by the Poetry Foundation in 2008, two Bread Loaf Scholarships, an Alberta H. Walker Scholarship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and two Cave Canem Fellowships. He earned his PhD the University of Texas-Austin, where he is now an associate professor. His forthcoming On Paradise from W.W. Norton follows King Me (Copper Canyon Press, 2013).

Tyree Daye
Saturday, September 7, 2019, 2-4 p.m., workshop at town hall
Sunday, September 8, 2019, 2-4 p.m., reading at McLeod

Tyree Daye is a poet from Youngsville, North Carolina. He is the winner of the 2017 APR/Honickman First Book Prize for his book River Hymns, a 2017 Ruth Lilly Finalist, Cave Canem fellow, and longtime member of the editorial staff at Raleigh Review. He received his MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University. Daye’s work has been published in The New York Times, Nashville Review and elsewhere. Daye won the Amy Clampitt Residency for 2018, and The Glenna Luschei Award for his poems in the Fall 2015 issue of Prairie Schooner. He is an assistant professor of English at St.Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC.

Geffrey Davis
Saturday, October 12, 2019, 2-4 p.m., workshop at town hall
Sunday, October 13, 2019, 2-4 p.m., reading at McLeod

Geffrey Davis is the author of Night Angler (BOA Editions), winner of the 2018 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Revising the Storm ​(BOA Editions), winner of the 2013 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. He has received the Anne Halley Poetry Prize, the Dogwood Prize in Poetry, and the Wabash Prize for Poetry, as well as fellowships from Bread Loaf, Cave Canem, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Whiting Foundation. His words have appeared in Crazyhorse​, ​Massachusetts Review, Mississippi Review, New England Review, ​New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, PBS NewsHour, Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere.

Calendar 2017-2018

Kendra Hamilton
Saturday, June 17, 2017, 2-4 p.m., workshop at town hall
Sunday, June 18, 2017, 2-4 p.m., reading at McLeod

Kendra Hamilton, a Charleston native, is a professor of English and Director of Southern Studies at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC. Her poetry appears in The Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. A Cave Canem fellow, Dr. Hamilton’s recent art reflects her research into the lives of people enslaved at McLeod.

Kwoya Fagin Maples
Saturday, October 21, 2017, 2-4 p.m., workshop at town hall
Sunday, October 22, 2-4 p.m., reading at McLeod

Kwoya Fagin Maples, a graduate Cave Canem fellow, is a Charleston native now teaching in Louisiana, whose manuscript, Mend, treats the lives of enslaved women forced to be medical research subjects.

Gary Jackson
Saturday, March 17, 2018, 2-4 p.m., workshop at town hall
Sunday, March 18, 2018, 2-4 p.m., reading at McLeod

Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, Gary Jackson is the author of the poetry collection Missing You, Metropolis, which received the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. He was featured on 2013’s "New American Poets" by the Poetry Society of America, and his poems have appeared in Callaloo, Tin House, 32 Poems, Crab Orchard Review, and Shattered: The Asian-American Comics Anthology, and is the recipient of both a Cave Canem and Bread Loaf fellowship. He joined the Department of English at the College of Charleston in 2013.

Len Lawson
Saturday, April 7, 2018, 2-4 p.m., workshop at town hall
Sunday, April 8, 2018, 2-4 p.m., reading at McLeod

Len Lawson, of Sumter SC, hosts Cave Canem retreats in SC and is an advocate and organizer of discussions on race. He is studying toward the Ph.D. degree in Pennsylvania. His chap book, Before the Night Wakes You, was just published by Finishing Line Press.

Marilyn Nelson
Friday, June 1, noon-1 p.m., Lowcountry Senior Center
Saturday, June 2, 2018, 2-4 p.m., workshop at town hall
Sunday, June 3, 2018, 2-4 p.m., reading at McLeod

Marilyn Nelson, daughter of a Tuskegee Airman, a founding member of Cave Canem, and finalist for several National Book Awards, has composed extensively on the lives of African Americans, including Emmett Till, George Washington Carver, and a slave named Fortune.

Poetry at McLeod receives major support from the SC Humanities Council, a not-for-profit organization inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage.

Poetry at McLeod is also funded in part by grants from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Poetry at McLeod receives support from the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the SC Arts Commission.

PSSC receives generous support from the Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund, the John and Susan Bennett Foundation through the Coastal Community Foundation, and PSSC members.