OPWC: Clayton Scott

Staff Report

Courtesy Photo: The Ozark Writers and Poets Collective's poetry reading at Night Bird Books on Dickson in Fayetteville begins at 7 PM, Tues., Jan. 31. An open mic will precede and follow

Former Fayetteville Poet Laureate, Clayton Scott, will bring some heat to the OPWC’s poetry reading at Nightbird Books on Jan. 31.

Author and former UA creative writing chairwoman, Molly Giles said of an earlier poetry performance by Scott, “I was blown away. His performance poetry is electrifying! His stage presence was professional and thoroughly compelling. I go to a lot of readings, have seen hundreds of writers, but no one has ever impressed me more than Clayton Scott.”

With an MFA in creative writing and with vast experience as an award-winning slam/performance poet, Scott brings a blend of wordsmith excellence and performance intensity to the stage. Scott, who resides in Fayetteville, delivers hard-hitting, thought-provoking poetry with an arsenal of variety — humor, mystery, drama or whimsical metaphor.

He is a master cinematographer of poetic narrative. His poetry show is like a one-man theatre of poetry, weaving one story after another. Steve Young, of the Poetry Foundation, says of Scott’s poetry, “Clayton Scott is a gifted storyteller, whose eye and ear for vivid detail illustrate Faulkner’s theme of an ever-present past. Yet it is through his poetry, and their call to the listener’s imagination, that brings us all to life, in that we grow larger and big enough to hold something beyond us.”

In describing his own work, Scott says, “My styling is strong visual narrative with a mix of provocative metaphorical spoken word. Audiences typically enjoy my work because of its engaging accessibility. In other words, my stories in poetry make it easy for the listener to join me in a sensory carnival of visual language.”

Beyond being a poet/playwright, Scott is a teaching artist, and has brought poetry and slam poetry to more than 150,000 students in classrooms and auditoriums throughout Arkansas and beyond.

The following is an excerpt from his poem, Language of Rain:
Something about rain on tin talks to a man, rain pelting down
on the top of the barn so hard at times he can’t hear himself holler, and then turns soft-fall like finger tips tapping. Makes the mind free to think; provides background music for the lyric of discovery and blank pages, pens the heart to hear what teachers in the wind have to say.

The Ozark Poets and Writers Collective’s poetry reading at Nightbird Books on Dickson in Fayetteville begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31. An open mic will precede and follow Clayton Scott’s featured poetry presentation.

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