EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 3, 2013

NECC presents champion performance poet

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — LAWRENCE — Carlos Antonio Contreras, a national champion performance poet from Albuquerque will present his work during a White Fund lecture series titled “Becoming Comfortable in the Skin of Your Own Voice” offered in partnership with Northern Essex Community College on Oct. 9, at 8:45 a.m. at Lawrence High School, 70-72 North Parish Road.

This event is free.

“I have used spoken word as a tool for growth, advancement, and survival,” said Contreras, 25.

Performance poetry, he said, is “a journey in spoken word, how it heals, helps, and informs one about who they are, where they are from, and who they come from — but most of all, why that matters, to us all.”

His lecture will include a slam poetry performance and a discussion on how to use poetry to encourage participants to “find their own voices, their own messages, and their own point of delivery.”

Contreras has twice been recognized as a national champion performance poet. He got his start in the area of competitive spoken word, or Slam Poetry when he was just 17. Today, Contreras works as an educator in Albuquerque. He leads writing workshops in the adult jail facility at the Metropolitan Detention Center where he developed the JustWrite writing exchange which is both an exchange between college students and inmates, but is also an exchange between numerous universities, and correctional facilities. In addition, Contreras teaches all levels of high school English.

For additional information about this event or The White Fund, or to receive a calendar of upcoming events in the White Fund Enlightenment Series, call 978-738-7403 or visit the website www.necc.mass.edu/whitefund.

Fall Festival planned for Saturday

HAVERHILL — The Haverhill Alternative School will host a Fall Festival on Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon.

The event will include a yard sale, craft fair, bake sale and car wash. The school is at 415 Primrose St. in St. James School.

Fire safety open house Saturday

HAVERHILL — Residents can learn about fire prevention and safety tips and enjoy free pizza when the Fire Department holds a free open house on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Water Street Fire Station.

October is National Fire Prevention Month and Papa Gino’s restaurants are teaming up with local fire departments, including Haverhill’s, to help educate the community on fire safety and prevention. During the open house, firefighters will demonstrate how to “stop, drop and roll,” how to plan an escape route, and how to crawl to safety through a smoke-filled room. Firefighters will also give cooking safety and fire prevention tips, and show off Sparky the fire safety mascot.

Papa Gino’s on River Street will provide free pizza and children’s fire safety coloring sheets.

Fire safety open houses are held to educate the community and help better prepare families in the event of a fire. More information is available from Fire Inspector Steven Trocki at 978-373-8460.

Pentucket Burial Ground tour Saturday

HAVERHILL — A tour of the historic Pentucket Burial Ground will be held on Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon.

Set aside in 1660, the Pentucket Burial Ground is Haverhill’s oldest cemetery. Visitors will hear stories about some of Haverhill’s 17th and 18th century inhabitants while touring their final resting place.

The tour leaves from the Buttonwoods Museum parking lot and includes a scavenger hunt for children. Cost is $7 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and $3 for children ages 7 to 17. Please come prepared to walk on uneven ground. For more information, please email programs@haverhillhistory.org. Visit the Buttonwoods online at www.haverhillhistory.org.

Hippy Dance planned for Saturday

HAVERHILL — The Haverhill Lions Club will host a “Hippy Dance” fundraiser to fight blindness on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Haverhill Lodge of Elks, 24 Summer St.

The event will feature music of the ’50s and ’60s performed by the Koolest Kids in Skool. Prizes awarded for best costumes. This event also includes a cash bar, raffles, surprises and snacks. Tickets, sold at the door, are $15 per person or $25 for a couple. Tables of 10, available in advance only, are $100. For tickets or more information, contact Doug Fowler at 617-799-3760.