The Batesville Area Arts Council is holding three Evening Series poetry readings for National Poetry Month, celebrated in April. Kendra Balser of the BAAC wrote via email, “the idea was to bring in a diverse selection of poets/spoken word artists to celebrate the beauty of poetry and how it can help us understand one another at a deeper level by transcending the barriers of culture, race, and human experience.” The BAAC has offered Evening Series events prior to COVID, bringing notable artists or performers to the community, often sharing their talent with local students at the schools during the day for the BAAC's Arts in Education program. The three upcoming events are the first since the pandemic and all are free to the public. Following is a list of poets and event dates:
Bill Miller - Thursday, March 31, 6:30 pm, Batesville Middle School.  Bill Birdsong Miller is an award-winning Native American composer, singer and songwriter, visual artist and master storyteller. 
Drawing from his own life experiences as well as centuries of tradition, Miller is an artist of considerable depth.  He has won six Native American Music Awards, including a 2007 Lifetime Achievement honor. He's earned three Grammy Awards and received international acclaim for “The Last Stand,” an original symphony. Well known for his beautiful performances on the flute, Miller was chosen to play flute on “Colors of the Wind” from Disney's Pocahontas. As a painter, his work has been featured in the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, and many other museums and galleries.  
A member of the Mohican tribe, Miller grew up in Wisconsin on the Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation in a home that combined the cultures of his Native American father with his mother's German ancestry.  Growing up in a turbulent home with an alcoholic father, music was a means of emotional escape for Miller.  He drew and painted at a young age and earned a scholarship into art school. Miller is also a highly sought-after public speaker on the topic of reconciliation and how it makes a difference in the world.
BMS students will have the opportunity to meet Miller during school on March 31 and April 1. Miller is visiting Batesville as part of the Arts in Education program sponsored by the BAAC, at the invitation of BMS art teacher Lynne DiMuzio. Miller has visited Batesville in the past and BMS has an original Bill Miller painting on display which he created with students during his previous visit. 
Kenny Fresh – Thursday, April 7, 6:30 pm, Batesville Memorial Public Library.  Kenneth Woods, known as Kenny Fresh, uses the power of words to refresh perspectives about navigating our individual journeys with collective hope. Kenny Fresh graduated from Indiana University with degrees in biology and chemistry but his love for words led him to poetry and spoken word in 2008. His prose is a compilation of humor and satire intertwined with faith in humanity's potential.
Kenny Fresh's love for science and poetry provides a distinct performance-art experience.  His spoken word art reaches beyond cultural and societal barriers providing a fresh lens to see the world and ourselves. Every poem has a specific focus with a universal, inspirational theme relatable for youth and adult audiences alike. Kenny Fresh has spoken all over the world, to groups small and large. 
Kenny Fresh is sponsored by a collaboration among the Batesville Memorial Public Library and the Batesville Area Arts Council.  His performance will be open to all community members and families and individuals are encouraged to attend. 
Matthew Graham (Indiana's State Poet Laureate) – Monday, April 11, 4:00 pm, Batesville Memorial Public Library. Matthew Graham, Indiana's State Poet Laureate, has written four poetry books and received an Academy of American Poets award, Pushcart Prize, two Indiana Arts Commission Master Fellowships and a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship.
Graham recently retired as professor of English emeritus from the University of Southern Indiana, where he taught creative writing for 35 years and worked with multicultural and international students in freshman composition. Graham recently collaborated with Indiana Humanities, exploring the themes of protest and pandemic with Hoosier Poets. During his term as Poet Laureate, Graham plans to visit all 92 Indiana counties.
Wrote Balser, “we are excited to welcome Matthew to Batesville through sponsorship by the Indiana Arts Commission.”
Graham will visit the AP English Students of Mary Gehring's class at Oldenburg Academy before the community forum, Monday, April 11. During the community forum, Graham will share selected readings from his poems and be available for a Q&A session.
Due to some themes in his work, the BAAC recommends Graham's reading for high school s