Thursday November 8, 2012

Community Access to the Arts

Taylor Mali -- one of the most acclaimed Slam poets in the country and a familiar figure to Berkshire County residents -- will perform Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Crissey Farm in Great Barrington, and share some of the works that have made him a star of HBO's "Def Poetry Jam" and four-time National Poetry Slam champion.

His appearance will help to kick off a series of special events hosted by Community Access to the Arts, honoring C.A.T.A.'s 20th year of nurturing and celebrating the creativity of people with disabilities through a shared experience of the visual and performing arts.

More than 1,000 C.A.T.A. workshops serve some 600 people through out the Berkshire area each year.

Mali will also lead a workshop with C.A.T.A. creative writing faculty and C.A.T.A.'s writers, and in the evening performance he will read poems from the workshop.

Mali's many performances, books and recordings have won him admiration from poetry fans and teachers far and wide. He often draws on his background as a former middle school teacher in his work, and his latest book of essays, "What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World," expands on his hugely popular poems espousing the joys of learning and the essential role teachers play in helping develop and influence young minds and lives.

A reception will follow the reading, and a donation of $10 is suggested. Information: