Office of University Communications & Marketing

Boxcar Voices Group to Host Poetry, Spoken Word Holiday Event Dec. 7
Dec. 7, 2011



FLORENCE, Ala. – Organizers of the Boxcar Voices spoken word and poetry group encourage University of North Alabama students and community members to wear their tackiest holiday sweaters while supporting local storytelling and artistic expression at The End in downtown Florence Dec. 7 at 9:30 p.m.

Established by UNA students Andy Thigpen and Juliann Losey in March, the Boxcar Voices group hosts monthly open-mic spoken word events that give writers a forum to share their stories, poems and other forms of written expression. The events exist to facilitate inspiration and provide an environment for writers to comfortably convey their art with others who share the same interests.

“As far as creative outlets, there’s not a whole lot of that here,” Thigpen said. “For creative people, there’s not enough for them here. I hope this event will one day be able to house a lot of creative activity because we need that here and because we also have this huge history of creativity in the area.”

Organizers hope attendees will share stories and memories from past Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Solstice events, as well as any happy, sad, funny, romantic, unusual or awkward stories about the season, family or holiday traditions. Thigpen said the Boxcar Voices advocates local storytelling and will hopefully continue to grow organically in the Shoals area.

"We don’t want it to just be a singer/songwriter type of event,” he said. “We want to focus our energy on storytelling, poetry, spoken word, oral tradition and slam.”

Admission to the Boxcar Voices event will cost $2 per attendee, with half of proceeds going to the student-formed group to plan future activities and the other half to the theater for facilitating the event.

In early November, the Boxcar Voices, in conjunction with the UNA Department of English, brought professional poets Regie Cabico and J.T. Bullock to campus, who performed slam-style poetry in the Guillot University Center Atrium. Cabico, of Washington, D.C., is the winner of a number of poetry awards, including the 1993, 1994 and 1997 National Poetry Slams. He also appeared for two seasons on HBO’s Def Poetry Slam.

For more information about the event, contact organizer Andy Thigpen at pathigpen@una.edu. To learn more about The End, visit www.theendoftheatre.org.