Life is good down here in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The FAWC is the perfect place to soak yourself in poetry and all the writing arts. This week I’m participating in a workshop led by Victoria Redel. We are writing every day in and out of class. We’ll have a sheaf of poems ripe for revision by the end of the week.
Tonight our assignment is to write a poem of couplets and also a poem totally made of one syllable words. Earlier we altered nursery rhymes and wrote about our education as a poet.
Every evening there are talks open to the students and the public: readings of poetry, fiction, memoir or play-writing as well as talks from the visual artists.
In addition to the arts, the shops and restaurants are on the top of any list for good food and interesting wares. And don’t miss the Pilgrim Monument or the monument/plaque on Bradford Street listing the names of all those who came over on the Mayflower.
The fabulous town of Provincetown, come and learn more about your American heritage and the arts.
Thursday, June 21, Dan Lewis was welcomed warmly by the Louise Bogan Poets at the Lunenburg, MA Public Library. Dan read from his new book, This Garden. The home poets also read – if you’d like to see clips of the reading visit Lunenburg Public Access Cable on Facebook.
The summer flew in with a burst of warm air – great for swimming and lolling around. Take a long look at the children playing or a flower growing (almost) before your eyes and write, write, write what you see. That’s the first step to creating a great poem – taking the time to see. To see the splash, to see the expression, to see the insect – missed in a blink if you are not looking.
Sit in your backyard or on your stoop or in a nearby park with a pad and paper and write down all the images that come into your eye then pick one to zoom into getting ever closer. List the color, the smell, the taste, the feel and everything else that comes to mind as your pen flows. There… you now have the beginning of a poem.
The iris are crowding each other, the peonies are saved only by stakes keeping them from plopping over, the rhododendrons are balls of color and the violets and vinca have raced across the ground. My favorite month of the year! And this May, in addition to the abundant flowers, I’ve enjoyed an onlinel poetry class with Maggie Dietz – a fabulous teacher who made the experience more than worthwhile. Ms. Dietz teaches at University of Massachusetts, Lowell and she is assistant poetry editor of the online magazine SLATE. Her PERENNIAL FALL won the 2007 Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry. The class, a 24 Pearl Street Production, was taught in blog format with videos included. All the students added to the abundance of the class by reading each poem with great thought and commenting with generous suggestions and encouragement. I’m grateful.
The Louise Bogan Chapter of MSPS will meet twice in the month of June. June 5 the poets will meet at my home to attempt a writing exercise that Maggie used in her online class and they will meet again June 21 at the Lunenburg, MA Library for an open mic and a reading by award winning poet Dan Lewis. Dan will be reading from his newest book THIS GARDEN published in 2012.
Tonight, April 30th, the Community Room of the Lunenburg, MA Library was filled with proud parents and excited teens as well as the usual enthusiastic poetry readers. There was a poem or two to please everyone in the audience. Lyrical, dramatic and humorous poetry kept the audience awake and sometimes on the edge of their seats. But the most enthusiasm was showered on the high school poets who won the Louise Bogan 2012 Poetry Contest.
The winners are: Brittani Stronionis, Honorabale Mention; Karissa Collins, Third Place; Jezrielle Bruno, Second Place and Emily Holman, First Place. Everyone who entered the contest will have their poems returned with remarks from the judges. The Louise Bogan Chapter of the Massachusetts State Poetry Society thanks all those who attended the poetry celebration, especially the contest entrants and invites them to submit poems again next year. The rules will be posted on this site in 2013.
The Louise Bogan Chapter of MSPS and the Lunenburg Library are organizing a public poetry reading April 30, 2012 at the Lunenburg Library at 6:30PM. Come read a poem by one of your favorite poets and tell the audience why the poem is special.
In addition the winners of the 2012 Louise Bogan High School Poetry Contest will be announced.
Here are instructions and criteria for entering the contest:
1. Poem must be 20 lines or shorter.
2. Send two copies: one with your name, address and phone number, and one with
no identification. Poems will not be returned.
3. Poems must be your own work and unpublished.
4. Deadline for submission is April 23.
5. Mail your entry to MaryEllen Letarte, 260 Lancaster Avenue, Lunenburg, MA, or drop it off at the Lunenburg Library, attention Kate McCarron
6. The contest is open to area students in grades 9-12.
The awards will be presented and the winning poems will be read April 30th
It’s been a mysterious winter with weather that is confused. Just when we thought we would skip winter snows a storm blew in. The school children had a day off to make robust snowmen and slide down the nearest hill. It was magical for a couple of days as snow dressed up the trees and covered the browns and grays. Reflections from the sky shadowed the white. But now I’ve had enough.
Spring can come any day and I’ll be quite satisfied. I’m looking for the crocus but crusty snow keeps them from breaking through. (or does it?) Write a haiku with a weather theme and you’ll smile.
crocus wait in line
the light tells when to blossom
rainbows for a week
nature drinks soft rain
downpours run to sea and lake
snow lasts one season
January was heavenly in Florida. And, surprisingly, February in Massachusetts hasn’t been too cold. Not yet anyway. A gift!
Poetry comes slowly for some of us but one haiku at a time and hundreds will be created. When my life overflows with deaths and births which happened this month I write short poems as a release from the cares of the world. Here’s a couple I have created.
Shelter rests in you
whispers sparrow to the elm
leaves balance on limbs
Sun crawls up the sky
the moon is in the heavens
Writing keeps me alive.
I skipped a December post – too busy buying and wrapping presents for all those I visited and who visited me. It was a lovely Christmas Eve with the extended family at my home (those who were near enough joined in) and worth all the extra preparations of cleaning, cooking and remembering Christmas pasts. We took Katrina, our oldest granddaughter to see a perfect production of A Christmas Carol at the Hanover Theatre. A holiday delight!
We had the tree up for less than a week – we were late putting it up and then I had to take it down before traveling to the warm winter place where I am now.
Especially wonderful was having our granddaughters, Katrina, Celeste, Quinlan and Cecile, stay overnight. Another granddaughter is due to arrive next month. Cecile will never remember a time without her sister as Celeste doesn’t remember life without Quinn.
Rich and I treated ourselves in December. We visited my friend, the poet Marie Ponsot. Marie made me lunch, then Rich and I taxied with her to her last class of teaching at The New School in Manhattan. Later we viewed Islamic and Indian treasures at the Metropolitan Museum. We also saw The Jersey Boys on Broadway – a reminder to be thankful for the wonderful shows at the Hanover Theatre, in Worcester.
Now a note to myself and to anyone who may read this. January is the month to look at your poems and organize them. File them under categories. For example, file under family, war, form or what ever comes to mind. Then while you are compiling them, look them over and revise where needed. Writing poetry comes at any time – don’t forget to carry a small notebook for those ideas that could be the core for the next poem.
Veteran’s Day at the Bedford NH Historical Society was as wonderful as I anticipated. Who wouldn’t love to be thanked in a public forum. And I know now that the Bedford Historical Society was the right place to donate the flag.
The Civil War Flag I donated was perfectly conserved after years of the Society’s fund- raising and now is ready for hanging. There remains a dearth of information about the history of the flag but I asked those who attended the event to notice the flags in any Civil War photographs published on the web or other places. Also, If you see any flag with the exact configuration of thirty-three stars — two inner circles of stars and three stars in each corner of the blue section of the American Flag please send that information to the Bedford Historical Society. Thank you for that.
Now on to Thanksgiving… It was a delightful day on many levels. The weather was mild and sunny and my guests were happy and comfortable. I cooked not only the traditional turkey and squash plus fixings, but also, creole beans and rice and other vegetarian dishes – one included quinoa – a crowd pleaser.
I’m very grateful for a large family that agrees to disagree, for good health, for interesting work such as my poetry and for so much more. There’s always much to complain about but there’s much more to be thankful for. I hope that your Thanksgiving Day brought reminders of all that you have to be thankful for.
It’s a delight outside today. But there are still little dots of snow in my yard as well as piles of torn tree limbs to remind me of the October 29th blizzard. Fortunately we have a few more days of lovely weather to enjoy the russet and red leaves that haven’t fallen. I do believe that the premature snow stressed the trees into more vivid colors. There’s a gorgeous full red leafed maple out my window and a slight breeze is shaking the golden leaves off other trees.
Veteran’s Day will be special this year as Rich and I are being honored by the Bedford NH Historical Society. They have conserved the Civil War Flag that we donated to them and want to celebrate the occasion with us as quests at the city hall. Doris Spurway, a fixture at the Bedford Historical Society, will deliver a speech about the history of 33 starred flags and flags in general. Doris is an amazing woman – still going strong in her ninth decade.