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Poetry/Storytelling Open Mic Night series to continue at the Cultural Center on April 13

The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History will continue its monthly Poetry/Storytelling Open Mic Night series on Thursday, April 13, 2006 at 6 p.m., in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston. The series features Peter Kosky of South Charleston as host and a guest poet/storyteller each month. The April program will feature Richard Knoblich of Wheeling. The Poetry/Storytelling Open Mic Night series is free and open to the public.

New and established writers are invited come and share their poetry and storytelling talents at the open mic sessions. Kosky, a history teacher at South Charleston High School and a talented singer/songwriter, will introduce all participants. The open mic session is limited to one hour; the guest artists will begin their shows shortly after the last poem/story has been read, whether or not the hour is over.

Knoblich’s original tales reflect on the gentle humor of Appalachia and the spirited people who take the time to relate their own tales to him. He won the title of “West Virginia’s Biggest Liar” at the 2002 Vandalia Gathering and has placed second and third place an additional five times. He also won a first place award at Oglebay Resort’s Farm Days’ Liars Contest.

Knoblich has had his tall-tale writings published in various national and regional magazines, including Reading Today, Appalachian Life, Country Extra, Goldenseal and Storytelling Magazine. He has performed in numerous venues including “Three Rivers Storytelling Festival” in Pittsburgh; “L.A.U.G.H.S. Festival in Virginia; and The Greenbrier Resort for the West Virginia Reading Association’s annual conference. In addition, he has made 10 appearances at the West Virginia Storytelling Festival.

National Public Radio’s The Story Tree, WOMP-AM and WHAW-AM all have broadcast Knoblich’s stories. His article “Storytelling and the Integrated Science Class” can be found on the internet support site for Call of Story, a Public Broadcasting Service television special.

Knoblich has a bachelor’s degree in education from West Liberty State College and a master’s degree in humanities from California State University. This year he is serving as publicity chairman for the National Storytelling Network’s (NSN) national convention in Pittsburgh and is the current West Virginia liaison for NSN. He also is a recipient of the West Virginia Humanities Council Fellowship: Appalachian Culture: Texture, Text, and Context.

For more information about the Poetry/Storytelling Open Mic Night series, call (304) 558-0162.

The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Department of Arts, Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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