On the 70th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights -- as part of a worldwide event, poets from around Hampton Roads gathered last night to share their own work as well as the work of writers from around the world whose voices have been stifled by totalitarian rule and oppression.
Sponsored by The Muse Writers Center at Cafe Stella, the reading was hosted by Catherine Fletcher. It featured a host of notable poets including Robert P. Arthur, Amanda Gomez, Luisa Igloria, Mary Jean Kledzik, Al Markowitz, Kindra McDonald, Renée Olander, and Michael Pearson. The recent assassination and murder of Saudi journalist and editor, Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, weighed heavily on the event.
The call for readings originates from the Berlin International Literature Festival, now in its 18th year. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a historic document, ratified by the United Nations General Assembly on December tenth, 1948. The declaration consists of 30 articles affirming the rights of individuals which became the basis for most of today's existing human rights laws.