Crystal Mercer ’10

WNP features poet, activist

Little Rock poet, performance artist and activist Crystal C. Mercer is this week’s feature for Wednesday Night Poetry at Kollective Coffee+Tea, 110 Central Ave.

The regular open mic session for all poets will begin at 6:30 p.m. and Mercer will perform at 7 p.m., followed by a second open mic. Admission is free and open to all ages.

Mercer earned her B.A. in Theater Arts and Dance from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has performed in numerous plays and musicals in Arkansas, off-Broadway in New York and in Canterbury, England. She is also the founder of Columbus Creative Arts+Activism and SAFI FABric Market. She makes draperies, other interior textiles, and clothing from material she imports from Africa.

“I fuse arts and activism by using theater and textiles to tell social justice narratives through merchandising and storytelling,” said Mercer in a news release. “The emphasis is to uplift voices of color.”

She sees her work as a way of honoring the legacy of her father, the late civil rights lawyer Christopher C. Mercer Jr. He was a leader in the NAACP and an adviser to Daisy Bates during the 1957 desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. Sixty years later, Crystal C. Mercer was the master of ceremonies for the 2017 Women’s March in Little Rock.

Over the years, Mercer has performed her poetry at numerous Little Rock venues, including the White Water Tavern and South On Main. She has recently published her first full length volume of her poetry titled “A Love Story Waiting To Happen.” The book also contains photography by Joshua Afante. She describes the book as “rhythmic, raw, and open movement of poetry that explores love, grief, mourning, freedom, social justice, sex, and courtships.” Copies of the book will be available Wednesday night.

Wednesday night will be one of her last performances in the United States before she travels to Africa this summer. She will spend a year pursuing graduate studies with the Clinton School of Public Service at the Nubuke Foundation in Accra, Ghana.

Email for more information about Wednesday Night Poetry.


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