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These poems travel time, experiment with form, honor my parents, explore my own blackness, interrogate the idea of [dominant race]ness through a multiracial lens, open dialogue with and rebut documents dealing with interracial marriage in the south, open up about grief while shining the light on resilience, and shout out my small hometown, Rich Square NC, and I can't wait for you to read them!




At times rhapsodic, at times elegaic, Junious Ward’s Sing Me a Lesser Wound parses Southern masculinity and interrogates the concept of home as a place we must leave—and sometimes spend the rest of our lives looking for. Published 2020 by Bull City Press. $3.99

Junious 'Jay' Ward is a poet and teaching artist from Charlotte, NC. He is a National Slam champion (2018), an Individual World Poetry Slam champion (2019), author of Sing Me A Lesser Wound (Bull City Press 2020) and Charlotte's inaugural Poet Laureate. Jay currently serves as a Program Director for BreatheInk, serves as vice chair on the board of The Watering Hole, and is part of several curatorial committees for arts events in Charlotte. Ward has attended Breadloaf Writer's Conference, Callaloo, The Watering Hole and Tin House Winter Workshop. His work can be found in Crabfat Magazine, Lackadaisy Lit Mag, Four Way Review, Diode Poetry Journal and additionally on Button Poetry, All Def Poetry, and Slamfind.

Previous events


Charlotte Lit Reading at Resident Culture

Resident Culture

Join Charlotte Lit for a poetry reading with Charlotte's poet Laureate, Junious Ward, along with select members of the Poetry Lab


Poets and Poetry Matters

FB Page for North Carolina Poetry Society

Interview with Charlotte Poet Laureate Jay Ward


Book Launch for Angelo Geter

Getty Center, Rock Hill SC

Join the Poet Laureate of Rock Hill SC as he releases his debut poetry collection, More God than Dead. Opening reading by Jay Ward


Lit/South Awards


Charlotte Lit's annual Lit Up! celebration featuring a reading and conversation with Ron Rash, the launch of Litmosphere: Journal of Charlotte Lit, and recognition of winners and finalists of the inaugural Lit/South Awards.


Voices of the City

8 of Charlotte's top spoken word artists compete in a poetry slam for bragging rights and $500. Hosted by VH1's Karli Redd.


The Art of Spoken Word

Poor Richards Book Shoppe, 135 Brevard Ct, Charlotte, NC

 A poet, a guitarist and a painter....need I say more? Jus John will be playing guitar and reknowned local artist William Puckett (ever seen the Matheson St Bridge?) will be visually interpreting the poetry. Me? I'll be performing the poetry. It'll be an outstanding night.

Age limit: All ages


Lyrical Elevation

The Tipsy Teapot, Greenville, NC

 Get ready for the Sons of Tunder - Jaycee, CP Maze, and yours truly J. Ward! I must say I'm really excited about this show. Price includes dinner.

15.00 Age limit: All ages


Say Word

Art, Music & Poetry

Age limit: All ages


Concrete Wordz

Poor Richard's Book Shoppe

Age limit: All ages


Rendezvouz Lounge Spoken Word

Rendezvouz Lounge, 616 Roosevelt Blvd, Monroe, NC

DJ Black on the Wheels of Steel, Open Mic hosted by Navi the Poet, your music feature will be Tony Lelo. (for those of you that don't know, Tony Lelo is a baaaad boy! You have to check him out live) and your poetry feature? Me! Make plans to attend. This is a grown & sexy event.

Age limit: 21+


WP4 - Book of Rhymes

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Raleigh NC

Private Event

Age limit: 18+

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