by Sa’Mya Hall, staff writer

PPSC will welcome local poet laureate, Ashley Cornelius, to perform at PPSC’s Visiting Writers’ Series on March 23. Any and all are invited to attend.

Cornelius is the 6th Pikes Peak region Poet Laureate and the first black woman to hold the title. Her poetry is focused on systematic oppression, self-care, self-love and intersectionality. She is nationally recognized for her poetry performances and TedTalks, sharing her wisdom on the spoken word and positivity.

The upcoming speaking and storytelling event was organized by creative writing professor Brook Bhagat. She describes Cornelius as “one of those people who make you feel seen, feel heard and accepted and powerful. And when she takes the stage, it happens to the whole room,” she says.

Cornelius is the co-director of Poetry719, a group giving a voice to marginalized communities and BIPOC groups through poetry. She also works as a workshop facilitator and an advocate for mental health awareness centering domestic violence, sexual assault, body positivity and racial equity.

The event will take place at the West Studio Art Gallery at 5:30 p.m. with student/faculty readings beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Black Box Theater. Cornelius will perform at 7:00 p.m. alongside other award-winning poets, published authors, and the PPSC creative writing group Nearby Universe.

Raffle tickets will be handed out at the door for the chance to win a book of your choosing. Any gently used book donations will be accepted at the venue for the book raffle.

Admission is free but nonperishable donations for the PPSC food pantry will be collected.