17 February 2010

Of Poets and Poems

I'd like to challenge Winona to do this. It seems like a great idea. Sharpen your pencils: St Paul looking for more sidewalk poems

If anyone is interested in working on a project like this I'd like to be in on it.


I was at the Valentine's Day Poetry night at the Winona Arts Center last week. I hadn't originally planned on going, but I feel that as the new WAC board president, I need to go to every performance event.

I didn't know what exactly to expect. I thought there might be a handful of poetry readers waxing euphoric over sophomoric lines with a couple stellar poets leading the way... something fun, but not a must-repeat event.

Turns out it was a great evening. The theme of the evening was love poems - in honor of the upcoming St. Valentine's Day. Winona's Poet Laureate, Ken McCullough led the evening with grace, gentle encouragement and at times, bawdy renditions of poems written by himself and other poets. His co-poet for the evening, Marilyn Klinkner, also read poems of her own creation and poems that have caused her both pain and joy. These poet-leaders brought a huge stack of poetry books which they spread out on the floor in the middle of our circle for others to peruse for poems to read out loud.

After hearing a bit from the poet-leaders, others in the group of around 20 joined in. I read two of my poems - Rain & Renewal. I hadn't know that people would be reading poetry written by others - so I only had my poems with me. But I did have my computer and I looked up a few other poems. I ended up reading Wandering Aengus, by William Butler Yeats; Dove Sta Amore, by Lawrence Ferlinghetti; and a Carl Sandburg poem that I cannot remember the name of. Someone asked me to look up Blessing by James Wright, which I then read. 

I'm thinking that we should consider having a poetry gathering a few times per year.

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