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Conversations at the Culver:   
Black Dads Who Write – A Conversation on Fatherhood and Poetry 
With Eric DeVaughnn, George Hammons, and Brandon Allen, and moderator James Coats

FREE • Sunday, February 5  
1:30–3:00 PM (Doors open at 1:00 PM) 
Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts 
3834 Main Street, Riverside, CA 92501

This February, “Conversations at the Culver” offers a one-of-a-kind discussion on poetry and fatherhood – with four Black dads who also happen to be poets. Moderated by James Coats, the panel will investigate the ways fatherhood has shaped their writing in the past, and continues to show up in their poetry today. They will also look at the importance of being present, active, and inspirational in their roles as fathers. Plus, we’ll receive the opportunity to hear some poetry from the panelist.

There will be a preshow dance performance by the Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts at UCR.

James Coats is an author, poet, and educator born in Los Angeles and raised in the Inland Empire. He received his BFA from Cal Poly Pomona and his MBA from Cal State San Bernardino. As a creative change agent he believes the arts can inspire the youth and influence positive change in the world. His first poetry collection If I had Lived was published in 2018. He is the winner of the 2021 San Gabriel Poetry Slam. In 2021 he founded the organization Lift Our Voices Education which hosts an award winning workshop monthly called Be The Change: Social Justice Writing Workshop. He became the Artist in Residence at The Garcia Center for the Arts in 2022. His newest poetry collection Midnight & Mad Dreams is published by World Stage Press. You can find him attending poetry readings throughout California or follow his poetry via his Instagram @MrLovingWords

Eric DeVaughnn is a father, author, educator, and poet. He has hosted open mics, facilitated workshops with the local literary laureate, and is cofounder of innateDIVINITYbooks. He has three self-published collections. A new title is forthcoming. Eric received two degrees in Kinesiology from California Baptist University. He teaches elementary physical education in San Bernardino, California, where he resides.

George Hammons is a poet and photographer; his poetry and photography examine intricacies that often go unnoticed, but once witnessed, they become small cosmos within themselves. George writes predominantly about family, love, and social justice. Still, within his work, the borders between topics can become indistinct, making the resulting poems simple, profound, entertaining, and informative. George became interested in poems as a child and has written poetry for most of his life. He also attributes his love for accent, dialect, and storytelling to his approach to poetry. George sometimes uses historical, mythical, and/or religious references in his work because, as he is fond of saying, he “ponders” them. 

George studied creative writing at California State University San Bernardino and is the author of the chapbooks, “Hungry to Bed, Love Poems,” Arroyo Seco Press, 2019, and “Witness, Selected Poems,” Picture Show Press, 2021. George’s current projects consist of both publications and performances.

In Brandon Allen’s poetic work and profound thoughts about life events and his walk with Christ, you learn exactly what happens “WHEN THUNDER SPEAKS” His passion for community, Christ, and building up those who come in contact with him are only a few of his gifts. As the Program Director of Rescue A Generation, founded by Rodriguez, Brandon pushes to motivate a generation through life changing engagement. The vision and fruition of his creative mind can be seen in the works of his clothing line PA APPAREL, SPOKEN WORD, and LIFE’s MISSION of being a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.

Inlandia workshops and events are supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov. To find out more about how the National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

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