Local poet Sam Love will be reading from his new book “Awakening” as the Featured Poet at the Nexus Poet’s First Tuesday Poetry Open Mic at 7 pm, March 3rd, at the Harrison Center, 311 Middle St. in New Bern. The poetry chapbook published by Manchester’s Fly on the Wall Press is a collection of his environmental poems. The book has been nominated for England’s prestigious Laurel Prize which honors a collection of eco and nature poems. The subjects range from meditations on Mother Earth to the changes in migratory patterns caused by climate change. Far from a doom and gloom autopsy of the contemporary environmental crisis, Awakening has some fun with everything from imagining the craziness of shipping bottled water 6,000 miles to how bacteria evolving for a counterattack must be laughing at us who think we have dominion over them. Denis Hayes, President of the Bullitt Foundation, and national coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970 has this to say about “Awakening”: “I generally find contemporary poetry overly pretentious, and intentionally opaque, but Sam’s poetry is lucid and provocative. Now Sam writes beautifully of environmental shame and hope.” Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan, MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and author of numerous books and articles on the Southwest’s threatened biology offered this commentary on Sam’s book, “May the awakenings which have come to this big-hearted poet ripple out to transform our entire society, for Sam Love has become our modern-day Walt Whitman, a beam of light in this moment of darkness.” Copies of “Awakening” will be available for purchase and signing at the event. After the Featured Poet reads at the Open Mic, the mike is open for original poems from other poets who sign up. The Harrison Center is located at 311 Middle St. in New Bern. This is a free event with donations requested to pay for the space. The readings are sponsored by Nexus Poets, a nonprofit group of Eastern North Carolina poets promoting poetry in the area.