The Otram Slabess Poetry Group’s annual reading in recognition of National Poetry Month will take place Saturday, April 5th at 3 pm at the Charles Street Gallery. The reading is free and open to the public.


OSPG members Teresa Bruce, Steve Johnson, Jacquelyn Markham, Warren Slesinger, and Olivia Stiffler will share their work, as well as Quitman Marshall whose book You Were Born One Time won the 2013 SC Poetry Archives prize and is forthcoming from 96 Press in April 2014.

The Otram Slabess Group formed in Beaufort in 2003. The group’s namesake was a great Persian poet of the thirteenth century who 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 effect: 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; Markham as a scholar and flautist, and Olivia Stiffler, bird watching poet and newcomer.

“Poetry 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,” said Joseph Brodsky, poet and inspiration. For more on Otram Slabess Group, please visit:

The Charles Street Gallery is an established source for Lowcountry and international art, presented within a carefully renovated house surrounded by a lush garden in the middle of Beaufort’s historic district. 843-521-9054,, 914 Charles Street 29902.