SAY WHAT? A Spoken Work Event


Pedro Jarquin

Pedro Jarquin

Gabriel Horn

Gabriel Horn

Venus Jones

Venus Jones

Photo Corps

Nation of Poetry



Program Overview

By popular demand many of last years favorite programs will be brought back for this year's Say What?

Say What? is a unique spoken word experience in the Tampa Bay area. This event is a celebration of the richness and diversity of the spoken word in the Tampa Bay area showcasing local poets.  

There will be Open Mic's with poets from all around the Tampa Bay area. Haiku poetry danced to by the Revolution Dance company. An evening of Native American poetry. The Photo Corps returns with new images to stimulate the creativity of our poets. The Youth Arts Corps will present a spoken word theater. A play from Nation of Poetry and a closing evening with a Halloween theme of erotic poetry filled with fashions, rope art and the spoken word. The title of the evening is, Mum's the Word.

Pedro Jarquin
Born in Nicaragua “with metaphors wrapped around his umbilical chord”, Pedro Jarquin has “walked miles with the broken glass of shattered dreams in his shoes” “and has come close to being stomped on by the steel toe boots of man’s indifference” simply to be able to offer you three realms of understanding the three layers of a poet’s soul through the form of spoken word poetry. He’s a local poet and borderline bum and can be found spittin’ poetry anywhere from parties to bars, to weddings to funerals; dreaming up rabid poems and writing them “on top of a tombstone on a page ripped out of a fairy tale book then folding it into an origami swan and swinging it into the night so that the wind carries its wings into the horizon” and setting unborn suns into fetal positions so that you can forever enjoy the darkness of life. He also loves God, and females, especially artists.

Gabriel Horn
Horn is an award-winning writer and a nationally recognized lecturer on writing and on Native American philosophy and it's intricate connection to the rights of indigenous people, animals, and the welfare of the natural environment.

Early in his career Horn was one of the original teachers who helped establish the American Indian Movement Survival Schools in Minnesota and later became the Cultural Arts Director of the Minneapolis American Indian Center where he also helped in the struggle to gain religious expression for Native American prisoners which made him a finalist for Minnesota's Human Rights Award. He has a B. A. in Language Arts and an M.A. in Writing and Native American Studies. Selected Who's Who Among America's Teachers four times, Horn has also been presented with the Florida Space Coast Writers Guild's Distinguished Service Award for 1996 as Distinguished Educator, Author, and Master Children's Writer.

His written works with Beyond Words Publishing include the award winning children's book, Ceremony - in the Circle of Life, The Great Change, and The Native People/Native Ways series, (recently translated into Italian). Horn is also the editor and the author of the national best seller, Wisdomkeepers - Meetings with Native American Spiritual Elders (reprinted in German) and presented on CBS’ On the Road with Charles Karault; Horn is a featured writer in The American Eagle, selected by former President Bush as a Presidential Gift-of-State, who presented the book to the Queen of England. He is also a contributing writer in A Circle of Nations – Voices and Visions of Native America. His work has appeared in Native People’s Magazine and other national and international publications. In addition, Horn has authored other books for children about endangered and extinct animals. His two critically acclaimed books for adults, the first published by New World Library, Native Heart, has been recently reprinted by Paraview Special Editions, and the second, Contemplations of a Primal Mind, reprinted by the University Press of Florida, are used across the country in secondary and university curriculum. Excerpts of Native Heart appear now in college texts. His most recent work for Beyond Words was a special inclusion in Our Kinship With the Animals, which featured world-renowned scientist, Jane Goodall. His latest book, The Book of Ceremonies, was recently reprinted in paper. Spirituality & Health magazine stated that the book was written with “a kind of radical amazement”.

Presently teaching writing and literature in college, Horn has also instructed young journalists for the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. And at other times he served as a wisdom keeper for The Wisdomkeepers Program in North Carolina, where he also co-founded and co-directed the first Native American Writers Camp for children on the Cherokee reservation. He has been featured on various local television programs, National Public Radio, Radio for Peace International, and the Education Channel and has written and read on the American Indian Ghost Dance for MSNBC's award winning worldwide web site, Time & Again.  In 2002, Horn received the University of South Florida’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement. In the spring of 2003, his essay, Genocide of a Generation’s Identity, was featured in a new anthology of Native American writers, Genocide of the Mind, which includes the late Vine Deloria Jr. In the fall of 2004, Horn gave a performative reading at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts where his children’s book, The Great Change, had just been honored. He has also recently written a new children’s book, now seeking publication, Rainy’s Door, and a new novel, Transcendence, the Mystical Journey of a Divine Messenger.

Venus Jones
Venus Jones is versatile! She’s an award winning speaker, writer and entertainer.  She’s a former MTV correspondent and an accomplished actress, voice-over and model.  She’s worked on blockbuster films like the Punisher and Out of Time. She also credits over 100 print ads and commercials to her name.

She’s the producer of the Multiverse and as a spoken word artist she’s shared the same stage with grammy nominated poet Nickai Giovanni.  She’s opened for Def Poetry on Broadway.  She’s a three-time Tampa Bay area slam winner. She served as the first resident poet on WMNF.  Her poetry has been published in the UK’s X magazine, Underground Poetz, Artists Embassy International and in Map of Austin Poetry. Her work has been featured at The Salvador Dali Museum, The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, The Improv and several poetry venues, conferences, schools and festivals across the U.S.

More info on her workshops, performances and products is available at

Photo Corps
Under the direction of photojournalist Beth Reynolds, the program has grown from a small class of photography neophytes to a robust curriculum with opportunities for photographers of all skill levels to develop their artistic vision and technique, to learn about different photographic media, and to perfect skills in both the traditional darkroom and the new digital studio. Learn more.

Nation of Poetry
The inherent design and intent for the nation of poetry is to provide artists with a means to express and experiment within their chosen vocation of expression; providing a chance to step beyond the comfort zone and facilitate free experiment within and outside a wide range of artistic meduim. Learn more.


Dates & Times

04/14/06 - 04/28/06

Doors open:

Most programs begin:
(except as noted)


(except as noted)

Program Schedule

April 14 , Friday
Hosts: Pedro & Jeffrey James
Open Mic with Featured Poets: Lizz Straight, Walley B, Mike Forge, JB, Jim Dwyer. Open Mic means open to all...
April 21, Friday
Hosts: Pedro & Jeffrey James

Native American Poetry, and Story Telling.

Open Mic with Featured Poets: Venus, Asia and Nickai. Open to all including poets, musicians and dancers.  Come prepared to share the stage.
April 22, Saturday
$10 general admission
$6 students/seniors

REVOLUTION DANCE COMPANY will do interpretive dance to Haiku so bring a Haiku or two to share. After the dance Peter Meinke the Dean of St. Petersburg poets will share his gift of the WORD with us.

April 23, Sunday
Arts Center Photo Corps presents 15 or more competitively chosen images which are responded to with impromptu poetry by “JOINT ART”.  This will be followed by an unknown number of Featured Poets.

April 24, Monday
Hosts: Pedro & Jeffrey James
Open Mic - The Closet Poets of our small world are the Featured Poets for this evening... .So if you have never shared your poems before this is your chance to do so in the comfort and security of SAY WHAT? 

April 27, Thursday
Host: Manuel Ramos
A Play Poetica titled, “1600” by Karamazov and a Benefit for NATION OF POETRY. 

April 28, Friday
It’s Halloween in April.  Wear a Costume and write some Erotic poetry you wouldn’t share with your parents or your children. In addition you may have a knotty experience with Rope Art by Leelee and you will see a Fashion Show to rhyme home about.