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Attend the Poetic Address to the Nation This Saturday at the Painted Bride

Every January, the President delivers a State of the Union address which highlights important issues from the past year and suggests priorities for the coming year. Last month, Just Act, in partnership with U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, hosted the People’s State of the Union, an evening of story circles to reflect on the President’s State of the Union.

These story circles were held in over 100 communities across the country to give people the opportunity to reflect on and take part in shaping the current state of our union. Then, they were uploaded to an online Story Portal and have since inspired a diverse group of poets to create “The Poetic Address to the Nation,” a poem for the page and the stage to be performed live in Philadelphia on February 20.

“The Poetic Address” will open with a “Poetic Preamble” featuring Montgomery County Poet Laureate David Escobar-Martin and other emerging poets. Commissioned sonnets on the state of our union by Cathy Linh Che, LaTasha Natasha Diggs, Denice Frohman, Ross Gay, Bob Holman, Margaret Randall, Luis Rodriguez, and Tanaya Winder will be performed by local poets.

Local artists Bethlehem & Sad Patrick, Trapeta Mayson, Jena Osman, Frank Sherlock, Monnette Sudler, and Kirwyn Sutherland will also perform new work. The event will be hosted by Yolanda Wisher, USDAC Chief Rhapsodist of Wherewithal and newly named Poet Laureate of Philadelphia.

“The Poetic Address to the Nation” will take place at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the People’s Bazaar featuring local literary goods for sale. The performance will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and $8 for students and seniors with ID. Buy tickets online at

For those who can’t make it, the event will be livestreamed on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at and can be watched locally on (Comcast: 66/966 or Verizon: 29/30).

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