WITH ONLY A WEEK until the presentation, I figured I better buckle down and finish my prep work. After all, wasn’t I the annoying mom sometimes harping on my once high school-aged kids to finish their homework?
“Don’t leave it until the last minute,” I would urge, not that they heeded my advice.
I decided to listen to myself and have been preparing for a poetry presentation Faribault poet Peter C. Allen and I will give at 6 p.m. next Thursday, December 6, in the second floor Great Hall of Buckham Memorial Library, 11 East Division Street, Faribault.
I expect Peter is not really stressing at all about this event as he enjoys reading his poetry to an audience.
Me? Not so much.
I’m counting on Peter, whom I first met last spring at a poet-artist collaboration in Zumbrota, to help me ease into our joint poetry reading and poetry educating. He’s the kind of guy who makes you feel comfortable and who reads with the confidence of a seasoned poet.
And that he is. Several weeks ago Peter invited my husband and me to dinner in his home with wife, Maria, and their adult son, Peter Allen (the sixth). After our savory meal, I asked the elder Peter to read some of his poetry. When my friend pulled out a thick binder of his poetry, I spouted, “You’ve written way more poetry than me.”
That matters not to Peter. Nor, I suppose, should it matter to me. After all, we each write poetry when the muse calls—or in my case when a contest deadline approaches.
Peter and I were both winners in the Southeastern Libraries Cooperating 2012 Poetic Strokes competition, which is why we were invited to speak at the library next week. Of the 202 submissions from regional poets, only 30 poems were selected for publication in Poetic Strokes: A Regional Anthology of Poetry from Southeastern Minnesota, Volume 6.
I’ve also been published in volumes 2, 3 and 4 of Poetic Strokes.
I’ll read six of my poems from those four volumes plus an additional 11 published elsewhere. Even I did not realize, until I began gathering my work, that I’d been published this often. Do I have enough published work to possibly think about compiling a book of my poems?
Additionally, I’ll share tips on poetry writing and a sampling of places Minnesota poets can submit their poetry right here in Minnesota.
You can also expect me to use visuals in presenting several of my poems. Initially I’d considered using PowerPoint, but worried that I couldn’t pull that off given I have no idea how to prepare or technically present a PowerPoint. Lack of equipment at the library for that type of presentation caused me to drop that thought and rely instead on my ingenuity. (No, I’m not even going to hint at what I have planned.)
Besides listening to Peter and me read our poetry and talk about poetry and our other writing experiences (including blogging), you will leave with a gift—a free copy of the 2012 Poetic Strokes, compliments of SELCO.
Peter and I will also treat you to snacks and beverages.
So…if you’re up for an hour of poetry followed by a question-and-answer period, or simply want to meet me, the real person behind this blog, join Peter and me at 6 p.m. next Thursday, December 6, at the Faribault library. Peter and I promise a casual and relaxed (hopefully for me) atmosphere with down-to-earth poetry you will (hopefully) understand and enjoy.
Full disclosure: I am being paid a small stipend to present on poetry at the library. However, I was not asked to write this post and did so because I often promote such cultural events in my community and elsewhere.
The Poetic Strokes project is funded in part or whole by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling