Heritage, poetry, and a thank you gift?

Despite the fact that there were only seven people, I felt last night’s “Heritage” themed Poetry Social was another success–filled with great poetry and meaningful conversation. I started the evening by announcing the upcoming events for National Poetry Month, and then passed out little scraps of paper for a writing exercise. I had everyone write on the scraps the first word or phrase that came to mind when they thought of our theme, collected the scraps, had everyone draw one from a cup, and told them to write a poem using that word as inspiration or a starting point. I turned on some music, also for inspiration, and joined the group in writing and then sharing. I was incredibly impressed with the creativity of each who shared, especially the participant who received “ribonucleic acid,” provided by a biochemist in attendance!

From a very enthusiastic high school student to an older gentleman who drives 20 minutes to get to the library from out of town, pretty much everyone there was willing to share and discuss openly. I even shared a couple of my own poems, which I think were received warmly. In closing the social, I thanked everyone for their presence and participation, and then talked a little bit about how the library is becoming not just a place to house information and entertainment, but a place to create and share as well. It was my intent with creating the Poetry Social to help gear the library in that direction, and I’m thrilled that our newly hired director, Brad Allen, envisions the same for the library.

When I got to work this evening, I found a package waiting for me at the Reference Desk. Inside were copies of I Lost It All The Night The Day The Circus Came To Town and Cue The Bedlam (More Desperate With Longing Than Want Of Air), collections by Mark Hennessy, the local poet I invited to perform at the library on the 4th of April. Along with the books was a hand crafted note made of construction paper with an Archie comic taped to the front and a drawing inside. Written in what appears to be three different peoples’ handwriting was “Dear William, these gifts, humble as they are, are for you with thanks & respect.” How nice! For tomorrow’s “Top Five Friday” I have been planning to blog this week about my favorite poets–guess who just made the list!

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