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Harshman Captures Ginsberg Honors

West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman can rightfully say now that he is channeling his inner Beat poet.

The reason, you see, is that Wheeling resident has won first prize in the 2019 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards. The honor includes a $1,000 prize.

Harshman’s winning poem is titled “Poet in the Schools.”

The poet laureate said he is deeply honored and humbled to receive this award. In sharing the news, he commented, “It is especially satisfying to recall how it was Ginsberg who first sent me chasing after my own poems.”

The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College organizes the competition named in honor of the famous American Beat poet, Allen Ginsberg.

Harshman and other winners in the competition are invited to participate in a reading, set for Feb. 1, on the college campus in Paterson, New Jersey.

Francesca Maxime of Brooklyn, New York, also has won first prize honors in the Ginsberg program.

Second prize has been awarded to Edwin Romond of Wind Gap, Pennsylvania. June Avignone of Rochester, New York, has earned third prize.

Several honorable mention citations also have been issued to participating poets.

Congratulations, Marc, on another well-deserved honor!

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Glen Dale native Brad Paisley launched his 2019 world tour last weekend with shows in Albuquerque, Phoenix and San Diego. The country music star played to capacity crowds at all three stops.

His publicists said that a portion of all ticket sales will go to The Store, a nonprofit, free, referral-based grocery store that Paisley and his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley are spearheading in Nashville, in partnership with his alma mater, Belmont University. It will be a year-round free grocery store allowing people to shop with dignity for their basic needs.

Two dates in the Buckeye State are the closest that Paisley’s world tour will come to his hometown. He will perform at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati on July 21. Paisley also will appear at Blossom Music Center in Cleveland on Aug. 2.

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In response to the massacre last year at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and other violent hate crimes, Classrooms Without Borders is organizing a contest for area teachers to create lesson plans to counter such hatred.

Classrooms Without Borders is an educational organization founded in Pittsburgh, with a branch operating in Wheeling.

In its call for lesson plans, officials explained, “Classrooms Without Borders encourages educators to propose lesson plans aimed to help teachers tackle issues of racism, hate, and antisemitism in classrooms; teach their students about the shooting; and help them act to prevent more violence.”

First, second and third place awards will be granted for both middle and high school lesson plans.

The educator who submits the best lesson plan will win a full scholarship for a Classrooms Without Borders travel seminar.

Second-place educators will be given a $1,000 grant toward travel expenses or registration costs for a seminar with a focus on racism, antisemitism, the Holocaust or Israel. Third-place educators will receive a $200 book stipend.

All winning proposals will be presented at the Antisemitism, Hate and Social Responsibility conference in Pittsburgh on Nov. 10-11.

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@theintelligencer.net.

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