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July 24, 2024

‘Poetry in the Pasture’: Applegate Valley poetry event will feature Oregon poet laureate

Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani will perform in the Applegate Valley on Friday, Sept. 22, bringing his signature heartfelt, energetic and thought-provoking performance style. Courtesy photo
September 20, 2023

Anis Mojgani to read Friday at Plaisance Ranch in Williams

By James Sloan, Rogue Valley Times

Three performers are bringing poetry, prose and music to the Applegate Valley, including Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani.

Titled “Poetry in the Pasture,” the free event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, at Plaisance Ranch, 16955 Water Gap Road, in Williams.

Musician and writer Nick Jaina will bring a multimedia prose performance, using his spoken-word style accompanied by music. Completing the trio of performers will be Ashland resident Dot Fisher-Smith, a Rogue Valley artist and community elder who will close the evening with a brief poem.

Mojgani is a two-time National Poetry Slam champion known for his lively, heartfelt and thought-provoking style of spoken word.

Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani will perform in the Applegate Valley Sept. 22, bringing his signature heartfelt, energetic and thought-provoking performance style. Photo courtesy of Anis Mojgani

Jaina is an Oregon Book Award finalist with a background as a composer and musician. His music scores have been featured in the indie comedy film “All Sorts” and the fire documentary “Elemental.”

“I hope it’s a present and intoxicating blend of music and words,” Jaina said of the event. He describes his style as bringing a “swirling, meditative, emotional presence and connection in the moment with improvisation.”

Coming from a career as a musician touring with a band and later writing books and memoirs, the meshing of the two media seemed inevitable for Jaina.

“Because of the nature of that, it really flows together to make it feel like it’s moving to a new medium every few minutes,” Jaina said of his art. “It’s nice to do something like this with poets and a listening audience.”

Poetry in the Pasture is sponsored by A Greater Applegate, a community-building organization aiming to integrate more art, music and culture into the Applegate Valley.

“My vision was to bring the poet laureate out to Applegate Valley,” said Christina Ammon, an organizer and content writer for A Greater Applegate.

“We’ve asked people in the Applegate Valley what they wanted to see more of in the community and applied all those ideas into Applegate Valley Vision,” Ammon said.

Applegate Valley Vision involved organization members listening to hundreds of residents in the community to find what ideas, issues and projects to prioritize.

“It addresses things like transportation, food and farming, recreation, and art and culture,” Ammon said of Applegate Valley Vision.

One of the Poetry in the Pasture performers, Dot Fisher-Smith, poses with a turtle in Morocco. Photo courtesy of Christina Ammon

A Greater Applegate’s vision extends to any locals in the the valley looking to enhance the community, with the organization offering grant funding.

“A Greater Applegate gives out dozens of innovation grants, and any community member can apply for those grants, which go up to $2,000 each,” Ammon said. “If the grant proposition falls in line with Applegate Valley Vision, you get the grant.”

Ammon hopes to draw culture and poetry lovers from the Applegate Valley and surrounding areas to Plaisance Ranch.

“We picked Plaisance — Joe and Suzi (Ginet) who own it are wonderful people,” she said. “It seemed like a fitting place. It’s beautiful.”

For event details, visit plaisanceranch.com/upcoming-events/2023/9/22/poetry-at-plaisance-welcoming-oregons-poet-laureate.

To learn more about A Greater Applegate, go to agreaterapplegate.org.

Reach reporter James Sloan at jsloan@rv-times.com. This story first appeared in the Rogue Valley Times.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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