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


16 Responses to “Poets & artists collaborate in Zumbrota and I’m in”

  1. Congratulations Audrey. Will you be sharing the poem with your readers? It sounds like you have quite an artistic community there. Poetry? Now that is hard! PS the pumpkin pic was totally Mrs. D’s idea. I can take no credit.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, I’ll likely share the poem after I’ve been to the reception. You know I’ll have my camera in tow to document the event and share with you readers. Writing poetry can sometimes present a challenge. But I’m up for it and I love this style of creative writing. When my mail arrived this morning, I found a letter informing me that another poem has been accepted for publication in an anthology. Seems I might have a good thing going here.

      Readers, Dana’s comment on the pumpkin pic references a photo she took of a pregnant woman and her family. She’s been documenting the pregnancy. Dana is a gifted photographer and I’d encourage you to check out this Canadian’s work at bungalow56.blogspot.com She’s one of my favorite bloggers.

  2. Congratulations! Isn’t it amazing how a little time…and fresh eyes…and we reaize that the piece of writing we thought was perfect…actually wasn’t! I’m so glad you re-worked it and it caught their fancy. My husband’s cousin lives in Zumbrota (she’s a vet there), though we’ve never visited her since she’s lived there. We really should – and check out the poetry, too!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Zumbrota would be quite a drive for you all the way from Bigelow. But you could make a weekend of it, visit that cousin and explore the area. Zumbrota has a delightful covered bridge. I really don’t know much more about the community and am looking forward to our visit there in April.

      As one writer to another, yes, you’re correct, we can always improve upon our writing. I’m a perfectionist, meaning I struggle sometimes, though, to finally say, “Enough, I’m done.”

  3. hotlyspiced Says:

    Congratulations. I admire anyone who can write poetry. I’ve always avoided it as I’ve never found it easy. xx

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you. A lot of people tend to avoid poetry. Mine is written in a quite straight forward and understandable style.

  4. Coleen Johnston Says:

    Glad you got that poem entered–and accepted. The Art and Poetry event is inspiring and fun. You’ll love it.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks, Coleen. I’m looking forward to the gallery show and reception and spending some time poking around Zumbrota.

  5. Emily Says:

    This sounds like a magical project. Congratulations, Audrey! I won’t be able to attend, but I’ll certainly look forward to you account of the event.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Emily. It should be a fun event, reading all those poems, viewing all that art, meeting poets and artists and exploring Zumbrota. I expect more than one post to come out of my trip to Zumbrota.

  6. Kristin Says:

    How goes the event?

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      The Gala Reception at Crossings at Carnegie is coming up on April 21. I’ll publish a follow-up post with photos and a full report.

  7. Another Artist Says:

    I’m one of the artists in the show. Thanks for writing about the background of the show; I didn’t know any of that. I’ll be in Minneapolis the weekend of the opening reception, so I plan to attend. I’m looking forward to it.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Wonderful and please introduce yourself to me. I’d love to welcome you to southeastern Minnesota.

  8. Beth Lee Says:

    I see that the names are all up on the websites, so I can set aside my cloak of anonymity! I’m Beth Lee. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone created for this show.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, they are and I had figured out your identity. Should be a fun event to see how we each tapped into our artistic talents.

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