Ohio Poetry Association Anthology Launch Party
On April 16, at Bexley Library in Bexley, on the eastern edge of Columbus, the Ohio Poetry Association held the launch party and reading for its first anthology, Everything Stops and Listens, edited by poet, Steve Abbott. I am honored to have a poem in this book that also includes some of Ohio’s most notable poets such as David Baker, Stephen Haven, Kathy Fagan, George Bilgere, and Cathryn Essinger, to name only a few. Everything about the book is top-shelf: the poem selections, the layout, the paper; not to mention, the beautiful cover art by Deb Grenert. Technical assistance with the book was provided by a cadre of Ohio poets including, associate editors, Mark Hersman, Chuck Salmon, Janet Ladrach, and Rinda Sansom. Lisa Van Doren designed the cover and Jonathan Johns provided technical assistance. Patricia L.K. Black, Janet Ladrach, Melanie Boyd, Carolyn Dandelides, and Chuck Salmons provided editorial assistance.
More than a hundred people gathered at Bexley Library to help launch the book, to bask in a day of poet camaraderie, and to hear many of the poems from the book read by those who wrote them. Here’s a small sampling:
from “At the Pond” Afterwards” by Erica DeWeese
…The fish, bloated with eggs,
Lay their futures in mud and silt,
Moving ever forward,
Ignoring the split-second turns above:
The lovers’ quarrel ending moan-sticky mornings,
The boy reeling in his fishing line too soon,…
from “Simile” by David Baker
…But there is no likeness beyond her body
in flames, for its moment, no matter its moment.
Yet the fringe bloom burns. Yet the moth shakes
and chews, as in sex…
from “Your Brass Bell Calls Me” by Phyllis Lee
…The mantle clock slices hours
into quarters and in a west window
the geranium saved from a killing frost
throbs its redness.
from “Pacific Coast Highway Blues” by Chuck Salmons
…elevating the bebop spirit
above the sea and trees.
I want that Kerouac
on-the-tracks railing, railing,
railing past brick-a-brack shacks
with the clickety clack,
of the blues in my head.
I’m going’ home to my baby,…
Ohio Poetry President, Mark Hersman, under whose tenure this beautiful collection has come to fruition, wrote in the forward that the book highlights the diversity of voices from across Ohio. He says,
“This anthology is a showcase that any Ohioan will be proud to own and any non-Ohioan will envy. The Ohio Poetry Association is please to present this long-awaited, much-anticipated collection. It is a testament to the creativity, talent, and insight of the people of Ohio—evidence of not only what words can do to us, but what they can do for us.”
You can buy a copy of Everything Stops and Listens on the Ohio Poetry Association website.
A Poetry Workshop in Dayton, Ohio
This year during National Poetry Month I was invited to present a two-part poetry workshop at Wright Memorial Library in Oakwood, (Dayton,Ohio).
In the sessions, we explored contemporary poetry. Attendees brought their favorite poem to class to read aloud, then talked about why they liked the poem. This lead to a discussion of what it is that makes us enjoy reading or hearing a poem; what are the attributes of a memorable poem. We also did in-class exercises to awaken the muse.
During the second session, participants read a poem they wrote from a prompt. It was thrilling to hear what these individuals had created.
It was a delight to facilitate such eager and talented participants. Here is a concrete poem by one of those who attended, Mia Pitsinger, who gave her permission to publish it on this site.
“Author followed the line of poetry within her“–An Article in the Dayton Daily News
On April 29, I met with Sharon Short, staff writer for the Dayton Daily News. Sharon writes a weekly column called, “Literary Life.” Sharon asked me questions about my writing, my background, my poetry, and my writing process. She was so easy to talk to and so engaging that at one point, I felt like I was just blabbing on and on. (The secret of a good interviewer!) The result is a beautifully written account of my writing journey. I am so grateful to Sharon for chronicling it so accurately and so kindly.
In additional to being a columnist, Sharon is also a novelist. Her latest book,My One Square Inch of Alaska came out at the end of January this year. My book club read it and we all loved it! I can’t recommend it enough. Sharon says of the book on her website,
This coming-of-age ‘book club’ novel is about a pair of siblings in a gritty 1953 paper mill town in Ohio, yearning to break free of the strictures of their family, their times, and their town.
She has written two mystery series, the Josie Toadfern Mystery Series and Patricia Delaney Mystery Series, and has a short story, Downriver, available as an ebook. Sanity Check: A Collection of Columns, brings together articles that Sharon wrote for the Dayton Daily News for over a ten year span. The humorous articles are about the foibles of everyday living
© 2010-2013 Grace Curtis