By Lindsey McLemore | Reporter
The Heart of Texas (HOT) Poets Society is celebrating its inauguration by joining poets and word enthusiasts around the world in 100 Thousand Poets for Change.
Poets in more than 100 countries will celebrate different types of change through poetry readings, public demonstrations, community picnics, awareness events, parades, concerts and more.
Co-founders of HOT Poets Society, Dr. Cassy Burleson, a senior lecturer in Baylor’s journalism, public relations and new media department, and Sandi Horton, a member of the board of directors for the Waco Cultural Arts Fest, chose 100 Thousand Poets for Change to be the official launch of the HOT Poets Society because of its unifying message.
“Change is something that affects and connects everybody,” Horton said. “Political, social, personal — we just want the world to know that change is good, and that’s what the 100 Thousand Poets for Change is all about. Change can be a very personal thing, but there’s a beauty in it that needs to be shared, which is why we started our group.”
Burleson said she wants to use HOT Poets Society to form a community of kindred spirits and share experiences by using members’ different approaches to the same subject matter.
Burleson and Horton are both involved in poetry groups around the country. They have met many poets in these groups who submitted works to HOT Poets Society’s first volume of poems that will be released later this month at the Waco Cultural Arts Fest.
Burleson’s first publication, “Her Texas: Story, Image, Poem & Song,” told the story of Texas women through various works shared by female artists in Texas, many of whom she developed relationships with through other poetry organizations.
“I’d like to see those kinds of intimate relationships develop [from the HOT Poets Society],” Burleson said.
The society will host an open mic to celebrate 100 Thousand Poets for Change at their first meeting at 2 p.m. Saturday, at The Art Center of Waco.
Anyone attending the event can sign up upon arrival to read or perform a poem, song or monologue about change up to three minutes long, regardless of experience.
“I’ve met people from all kinds of professions and walks of life through poetry. While we may not have communicated in any other situation, writers share the written word, and that leads to more intimate connections,” Horton said.
The event is open to the public, but some readings may contain adult topics, so families with children should consider this before joining the festivities.