Call us progressive. Wait – that’s been done already.
National Poetry Month begins tomorrow but here in Vermont we just couldn’t wait. The observance began a day early with tonight’s opening event at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier.
Poetry Alive! is officially underway. It’s a month-long, citywide celebration of the art with contributions from local poets (all abilities, amateur to professional) posted in 70 local business and public locations along with readings, workshops, and all kinds of other special events. Former Maine state poet laureate Baron Wormser opened the festivities tonight with select readings from his collections Impenitent Notes and Scattered Chapters. Among my favorites were “Taxi“, “Ode to Time”, and “Four Bands”.
I’m very pleased to be part of things this year, my poem “Ice Storm” is among those posted at the library for the next month.
This is the second year of the project, a joint effort between the Kellogg-Hubbard Library and Montpelier Alive!, the downtown business association. Last year featured 70 poets and 40 businesses. This year there are 170 poets, and 70 local businesses participating! Montpelier’s been plastered with villanelles, sestinas, odes, haiku, free verse…you name it. The whole town’s erupted in words.
If you take one message away from all of this, it should be that poetry is an ‘everyday’ kind of thing, not something to be reserved for special occasions or those with an above average degree of education. Poetry began as a spoken tradition and became more formalized as time went on. This month’s project offers the best of both worlds with printed poetry – everywhere – along with a full schedule of readings and discussions as well.
A grand celebration. To which we say, – Word.