Terry E. Carter selected as the City of Medford, MA's first-ever Poet Laureate
Along with the Medford Arts Council, I am honored to announced that longtime Medford community member, Terry E. Carter, has been selected to serve as Medford’s first-ever Poet Laureate! An author of 5 volumes of poetry, Terry has already worked to bring poetry to Medford residents of all ages through his involvement with numerous Medford organizations, including the Medford Public Schools, the West Medford Community Center, the Mystic Valley Branch NAACP, ArtsMedford, and many others.
I have been lucky enough to hear Terry’s poetry and have seen first hand his work with the Medford community, and I am very much looking forward to working with him to expand access to poetry throughout the City of Medford.
As the official City poet, Terry will work to highlight poets and poetry, and literature, particularly working with community members who may traditionally have less access to poetry.
"This is a proud moment for me and for the West Medford neighborhood I grew up in,” Carter said. “I've always tried to use my poetry to connect people and highlight important truths in American society. I think that this opportunity reflects the City's sincere desire to be an open and welcoming place for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, age, or national origin. That is a city I'm proud to represent as its first-ever Poet Laureate!"
Welcome, Terry! We can't wait to get to work.
The BSP's successful GoFundMe campaign
pushes Brown Skin book three forward...
May through July of this year (2016) saw Terry engaged in a really exciting and highly successful GoFundMe pledge campaign to raise the publishing costs for Brown Skin book three. All told, the BSP was blessed with close to $8,000 in total support from well over 100 donors.
"Brown Skin and the Brand New Day: A Poet's Renaissance" was also published by Christian publisher Xulon Press. Tentatively Terry was released in October of 2016. The Brand New Day is the last book in the Brown Skin trilogy and further highlights the growth of Terry as as a poet, writer and Christian arts minister. The rhymes flow liberally and the book lyrically exams contemporary living, African-American heritage, spiritual maturity, community and family.
Terry wishes to again thank everyone who helped support his fundraising efforts and hopes you all saw your names and "shout-outs" prominently displayed on his Twitter and facebook pages. the full roster of supporters is also noted in this site's Forum section. Terry looks forward to sharing the more new work with you all real soon!
Fisk University's Sesquicentennial Scholarsip Gala blends
the poetry of the BSP with the music of the Jubilee Singers again
Commencing its 2016 Commencement and "All Class" Reunion weekend, Fisk University rolled out the red carpet for a spectacular Jubilee Singers concert at Nashville's phenomenal Music City Center Complex. Celebrating the the 150th anniversary of one of the nation’s leading historically black colleges, the University's Scholarship Gala and Banquet featured rousing performances by the Fisk Jubilee Singers with Country music legend Wynonna Judd and was hosted by renowned comic actress and Fisk alumna Kym Whitley. The concert also seamlessly blended the "Jubilee Suite", a poetic narrative written and voiced by poet and alumnus Terry E. Carter with several beautiful renditions of the chorale's repertoire. The event took place on April 28, 2016 and set the stage for an amazing weekend for thousands of Fiskites, friends and family from across the nation and around the world...A brief excerpt from Terry's narrative is featured below. The narrative in its entirety is in Terry's latest book "Brown Skin and the Brand New Day: A Poet's Renaissance" (Xulon Press, October 2016).
Berklee College of Music's Tribute to Fisk University's
150th Anniversary features Terry's Unique Poetic Voice...
On Sunday, February 21, 2016 Berklee College of Music celebrated the 150th anniversary of one of the nation’s leading historically black colleges, the Nashville, Tennessee-based Fisk University, with a Signature Series salute to—and performances by—the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Since 1871, the renowned choral group has been at the forefront of introducing and sustaining the tradition of the negro spiritual and African American religious music throughout the world.
“We were honored and proud to pay tribute to the towering musical and social achievements of the Fisk Jubilee Singers,” said Berklee President Roger H. Brown after the event, which was also attended by Fisk University President Frank L. Sims. “It was truly a historic evening—the music was uplifting and the narration was immensely powerful.”
That narration, written by Boston-area poet, writer, and 1980 Fisk alumnus Terry E. Carter, was delivered by former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Harvard sociologist, author, and professor Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, who is also a Berklee trustee. As Carter recounts, the concert featured “songs that covered slavery’s most naked truths and uncovered the strength and character of an enslaved multitude in simultaneous symphony,” Gov. Patrick recited. “Yet despite its captive origins, it is not a music of resignation and acquiescence to a foreign host. It is rather the sound of liberation’s most fervent and hopeful call.”
The Fisk Jubilee Singers, annually composed of current Fisk students selected for the quality and the harmonious capacity of their voices, shined on spirituals such as “There Is a Balm in Gilead” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” among others. In addition, the evening’s lineup of performers included Berklee Voice Department Professor Donna McElroy, a 1977 Fisk alumna; an orchestra featuring faculty members from Berklee and The Boston Conservatory playing pieces composed and conducted by Composition Department Professor Julius Williams; Ensemble Department Professor Dennis Montgomery III; the Boston Children’s Chorus; and student and faculty groups performing songs under the direction of McElroy and Jerome Kyles, assistant professor in Berklee’s Voice Department.
McElroy, who drew a standing ovation for her soul-stirring performance of the traditional spiritual “Soon-Ah Will Be Done,” called the collaboration “magnificent—a night filled with history and song, an entertaining gift from the ancestors.” The tribute event came to life with support from lead sponsors Cathy and Jim Stone and Berklee Presidential Advisory Council member Hassell McClellan, an associate professor of finance and policy at Boston College and a 1967 Fisk alumnus who had previously brought the Fisk Jubilee Singers to Symphony Hall in 1978.
In addition to providing audiences with an inspirational evening to remember for a lifetime, donors contributed more than $50,000 toward a scholarship to support a Berklee student specializing in spiritual and gospel music.
(story credit to Berklee's Mike Keefe-Feldman)
Phil Hamilton and the BSP Rock the Regent...
On Thanksgiving week-end the Brown-Skinned Poet joined internationally renowned vocalist and recording artist Philip Hamilton in a gala "Homecoming Concert" at Arlington's historic Regent Theater. The night featured jazz, rock, calypso, rap, Brazilian Bossa Nova, and modern dance. A five piece band, featuring Phil on percussions, really cooked throughout the night. It was an absolutely outstanding evening of musicality, lyricism, and high-caliber entertainment. BSP and Phil joined creative forces to lay down two outstanding selections that combined Terry's dynamic spoken word and Phil's remarkable acapella vocalizations. If you missed it, stay tuned. We hope to do it again real soon. Check out the feedback and pics below:
"This concert was absolutely amazing. The combination of poetry and music was other-worldly."
"Terry and Phil channeled Gil-Scott Heron and Brian Jackson."
"Exceptional talent on a great night of music and the creative arts...made the Ville (West Medford) very proud."
Fisk Alumni Honor
the Brown-Skinned Poet in Harlem, NYC...
As you may know, Terry E. Carter is a proud 1980 alumnus of the renowned HBCU, Fisk University. Well, back in the late fall, the Eastern Region of the General Alumni Association of Fisk University (GAAFU) honored the BSP for his literary achievements as part of their annual regional meeting. Terry was just one of several honorees saluted at Harlem's legendary Londel's Nightclub and eatery, but as one might suspect, the celebration was a particularly sweet and memorable opportunity for him. He read some of his work, sold a bunch of Brown Skin books and gathered together with a lot of new fans, including GAAFU officers Karen L. Maynard and Vincent Leal. (Pictured with Terry at right...)
The Brown-Skinned Poet on the South Shore...
"Brown Skin and the Beautiful Faith: A Poet's Reflection" comes to the South Shore...
Following a fantastic 1st release event in West Medford on May 30th, Terry hosted a gala second book release celebration and signing on June 20th at the historic Jonathan Belcher House, in the town of Randolph where he and his family and have lived since 2006.
Friends and family joined him for a remarkable evening of music, poetry, and inspired literary fellowship. There were deliciously sweet refreshments to go with the exceptional creative statement and and great time was enjoyed by the intimate and enthusiastic audience. Both of the BSP's poetry books were available and more than a few signed and inscribed copies went out the door.
Stay tuned for upcoming literary events with the BSP in 2015, as the Brown-Skin book train gets back on the tracks with a full head of steam and few epic surprises!