Spoken word event provides outlet for local writers

Myra Hammond performs a spoken word piece at last month’s Boxcar Voices at the Route of Art Gallery.

The Boxcar Voices hosted one of its monthly spoken word events last month at The Route of Art Gallery in downtown Florence.

“The purpose of the Boxcar Voices events is, primarily, to have a good time and give writers a forum to share their art,” said Juliann Losey, who coordinates the event with Andy Thigpen. “As a writer, I have found that these kind of events facilitate an exchange of inspiration, and I have personally learned so much and have grown as a creative person from this event, and I hope that our participants and audiences have had the same experience.”

The event has been taking place monthly since early March.

“The inspiration for The Boxcar Voices came from (former UNA student) J.T. Bullock,” Losey said.

Bullock used to host similar events during his time at UNA.

According to Losey, there were around 30 people at the event, but they have had up to 55 people attend, including UNA students and members of the Shoals community.

“I would love it if every person walked away from our event with a slightly different outlook or see an opportunity to think about something differently than before,” Losey said. “More than anything, though, I encourage all of our audience members to accept that they are interesting, that any contributions that they have are valuable, and that everyone has a story to tell.”

The event has inspired some students to read at future events.

“I thought the event was both entertaining and inspirational,” said UNA junior Caitlin Plummer, who attended the event last month for the first time. “I would recommend this event to students who enjoy poetry, short stories and to those who could use a little inspiration. I plan to read some of my own work at the next Boxcar Voices session.”

The cost of attending the individual events so far has been free.

“We have no specifically scheduled events, although J.T. Bullock will be kicking off his tour with us in the next couple of months, we will have a regular Boxcar Voices event next month, and we may be helping with a few other projects in the future as well,” Losey said. “The best way to keep up with our events is to find The Boxcar Voices on Facebook.”