Gotahold Brewing has chosen the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (WCDH) as their #TipsforTransformation benefactor for April 2022. Poetry Happy Hours will be held at 5:30 pm every Thursday in April in the beer garden at Gotahold. The events will benefit the WCDH scholarship fund and celebrate National Poetry Month. On Thursday, April 7, at 5:30 pm Sandra Jackson-Opoku and Melan White will inspire the audience with their poetry.
Sandra Jackson-Opoku was first a writer-in-residence at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in 2008 as the winner of the Maeve Fellowship for children’s writing. She is author of the award-winning novel, The River Where Blood is Born and Hot Johnny (and the Women Whom Loved Him), an Essence Magazine Bestseller in Hardcover Fiction. She coedited the anthology Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks. Jackson-Opoku’s fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and dramatic works are widely published and produced. Recognition includes a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines/General Electric Award for Younger Writers, an American Library Association Black Caucus Award, Newcity Lit50: Who Really Books in Chicago 2020, an inaugural Esteemed Literary Artist Award from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, a Pushcart Prize nomination, residencies at Ragdale, Hedgebrook, Djerassi, the Studios at Key West, the Betsy Hotel Writers’ Room, MacDowell, and other awards and honors. “Simbi” is selected from her collection of stories-in-progress about Black women travelers.
Melan White is a winner of the 2021 Celebrate! Maya Project Fellowship for young writers on social justice issues. She recently completed her Bachler of Arts in Creative Writing at Ashland University. While a student, she worked for equity and inclusion, serving on the Executive Boards of the Black Student Alliance and the Athletics Diversity Council and on the Programming Committee of Eagles for Pride, which serves the Ashland University LGBTQ+ community. She is a four-year varsity letter winner in Women’s Lacrosse and was an English Department Mentor. In addition, she was an Undergraduate Writing Coach at the Ashland University Multiliteracy Center where she worked to fulfill the center’s goals of encouraging students to become active learners in their writing and communication processes. White has served as an intern at Ashland University’s MFA in Creative Writing program, the Ashland University Office of Diversity, and she completed a term with AmeriCorps. White received Ashland University’s Diversity Enhancement Award for the 2019-2020 school year and was a recipient of a 2020 Cincinnati Black Pride Vizazi Spark Award, which recognizes the efforts of area youth under age 29.
Gotahold Brewing is located at 408 W Van Buren in Eureka Springs. Opened in 2020 by Wendy Reese Hartman and Dave Hartman, their mission is to change customers’ perception of beer while inspiring deeper connection, compassion, and positive action in our world. Visit them at https://gotahold.beer.
The WCDH scholarship fund was developed in December 2019 to assist emerging writers and those from marginalized communities who need financial aid to benefit from a writing residency at Dairy Hollow. Over $17,000 in support has been provided to 40 writers for more than 300 residency nights. Scholarships are awarded on an as-needed basis depending on availability. If you are unable to attend a Poetry Happy Hour but would like to support the WCDH scholarship fund, please visit https://www.writerscolony.org/give-to-wcdh-scholarship-fund.
Since opening its doors to writers in 2000, the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow has made a lasting impact on the arts and literary communities by providing uninterrupted residency time for writers of all genres, including culinary, composers, and artists, without discrimination. The WCDH has hosted over 1,600 writers from 48 states and 13 countries. For more information, please call Michelle Hannon or Jeanne Glass at (479)253-7444.