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APSU visiting writers series features renowned Nashville poet

September 2, 2003

Austin Peays Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts will present a performance by poet Minton Sparks as part of the Visiting Writers Series.

Sparks combination of music, poetry and storytelling begins at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 5, at the Roxy Theater in downtown Clarksville.
September 2, 2003

Austin Peay's Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts will present a performance by poet Minton Sparks as part of the Visiting Writers Series.

Sparks' combination of music, poetry and storytelling begins at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 5, at the Roxy Theater in downtown Clarksville.

Sparks has released two albums, “Middlin' Sisters” and “This Dress," which are filled with tales of Southern life and its simple joys. “All Music Guide” reviewer, Thom Jurek, declared “Middlin' Sisters” to be “one of the finest spoken word recordings issued in America in more than 10 years.”

Originally, Sparks did not intend to be a performance poet. It was only after she encountered the obstacles of traditional poetry that she began to experiment with a mixture of spoken word and music. The result was what has been referred to as the “hip-hop of the rural, white South.”

The feel of the South is intensified by the accompaniment of a banjo, guitar, Dobro, mandolin and, especially, Sparks' Southern accent.

“I went to radio and television school and did all this stuff to lose my Southern accent,” Sparks says. “[And yet] for me, the Southern voice is the voice of truth because it is my mother's tongue.”