Slabess-Charles-St-GalleryPoetry is not a form of entertainment, and in a certain sense not even a form of art, but our anthropological, genetic goal, our linguistic, evolutionary beacon.”

– Joseph Brodsky

April is National Poetry Month. Come celebrate poetry, our evolutionary beacon, with the members of the Otram Slabess Group on Saturday, April 13th at the Charles Street Gallery.


Bring a poem (one per person please) to read, if you like, along with your story of what it means to you or how it came to be. The Slabessers with hold forth at will and try to entertain. To introduce ourselves:

The Otram Slabess Group was originally formed in 2003 in Beaufort by Sheila Tombe, Fred Bassett, Warren Slesinger, and Quitman Marshall. Sheila and Fred have moved away to Ireland and Greenwood, SC, respectively, and the group has grown to include Teresa Bruce, Steve Johnson, and Jacquelyn Markham, with occasional visits from Fred’s son Michael. The group’s namesake, Slabess, a great Persian poet of the thirteenth century, echoed his own master when he said that poetry, by means of a certain determined ambiguousness, was aimed at stirring up those faculties in people that cause them to experience expansive and contractive moods and, in turn, cause great effects in the order of the world. While each member of the group is an accomplished, published poet or prose writer, each has also labored to other effects: Tombe as a theater artist, professor, and as editor of the literary journal Apostrophe; Bassett as a scholar of religion and philosophy revivifying ancient texts; Marshall as a host of the literary series at the Spoleto Festival; Slesinger as the founding editor and publisher of the Bench Press; Bruce as a print and television journalist and filmmaker; Johnson as a visual and performance artist; and Markham as a scholar and flautist.

Please join us on April 13th at 3pm at the Charles Street Gallery, 914 Charles Street, Beaufort. For more information, call 522-8718.