Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Poets & artists collaborate in Zumbrota and I’m in March 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:52 AM
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I SET A GOAL for 2012 to write more poetry. I’ve posted a contest list on my office desk and filed information in a three-ring binder. But all the best-laid plans and organizing are meaningless unless I follow through with my intentions.

Thus far, I’m doing OK, although not penning poetry probably as frequently as I should be.

Yet, I’ve already seen my initial efforts, including poetry revision, rewarded with the acceptance of a poem into Crossings Poet-Artist Collaboration XI in Zumbrota.

The exhibit, which will be installed on April 2 at Crossings at Carnegie, pairs poetry with art.

Poets were invited to submit up to three poems for consideration. Then four professional writers/poets juried the poetry—this year more than 180 poems—and selected 26 for inclusion.

I’m honored and thrilled to have my writing in this exhibit.

Marie Marvin writes in an e-mail to the selected poets: “It was exciting to receive such a fine outpouring of exceptional work from so many talented poets for this collaboration. Jurists told us they were a pleasure to read, and selecting those to be included was a difficult task.”

Additionally, Laura McDonough of Crossings tells me jurists were given complete license and no specific guidance during the selection process and did not know the identity of the poets.

But, she surmises, “They look for excellence and magic.”

Now artists, who also were juried for the collaboration, are working their magic creating  pieces of art inspired by the poetry.

Paired poets and artists will not know each others’ identities until the show is installed. Nor will the names of participating poets and artists be revealed to the public until April 2. I asked.

I’m not disclosing the content of my poem which I unsuccessfully submitted to previous contests and then reworked for this competition to make it a stronger, better poem. Yes, time allowed me to view my writing with fresh eyes and see areas where I could improve.

Naturally, I’m wondering how “my artist” will interpret my quite visual poem.

I’ll find out on Saturday, April 21, when I attend a reception beginning at 7 p.m. at Crossings at Carnegie, 320 East Avenue, in Zumbrota. Poets and artists will discuss their works. Please join me and the 25 other poets and 26 artists at this celebration during April, National Poetry Month.

FYI: MARIE MARVIN, who opened Crossings in 2001 to create an oasis for artists, writers and musicians, is the driving force behind the Crossings Poet-Artist Collaboration. She discussed her love for “mixing up the arts” with poet Beverly Voldseth and, between the two of them, the first collaboration took shape in April 2002.

The collaboration also includes publication of an exhibit book offered at a nominal cost to participating poets and artists and their families.

Crossings is housed in a former Andrew Carnegie Library built in 1908 in the Classical Revival style. I can’t wait to see the building as I appreciate libraries, history and architecture.

Zumbrota, a community of around 3,000, is located along U.S. Highway 52 about 25 miles north of Rochester.

Click here for more information about the art center.

IF YOU’D LIKE to share information about a similar poet-artist collaboration in Minnesota, please submit a comment with details.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Graphic courtesy of Crossings at Carnegie