Posts Tagged ‘Montpelier Alive’

poetry alive!

April 16, 2011

It’s National Poetry Month and the celebration is continuing in Montpelier with the Poetry Alive! project. It’s a whole month of readings, workshops, and other special events dedicated to the well-versed word. (Upcoming events listed below). I’ve read and written poetry for most of my life so I decided to participate in the call-out for poetry earlier this year, and I submitted three poems. One made it in and it’s posted now at the Kellogg-Hubbard library.

my poem, "Ice Storm"

“Ice Storm” is more or less a fantasy based on a real-life incident that happened one early spring day a couple of years ago.

The ice storm hit late in the day, when the temperatures dropped and the rain very quickly froze on the roads and on…everything. I was headed South on VT Route 117, on the way home from work listening LOUDLY to band leader/trombonist Willie Colón’s album La Gran Fuga (“the Great Escape”). One moment I was moving in a straight line, and the next moment the car was still traveling the same speed but it was sideways, headed for the ditch on right side of the road. Somewhere mid-slide it occurred to me it was kind of a ridiculous situation, listening to the slippery trombones and hot rhythms of that Latin music while losing control of the car on a slick, iced, Vermont road.

In the poem the ice storm and winter itself is re-imagined as men in gray suits and hats, while the music is realized as a beautiful young Latina dancing alone in her brightly colored dress. The men, overdressed visitors in this tropical land, stand around impassively, expressionless, smoking and watching her dance by herself as the flirtatious and seductive music continues to play.

(P.S. – the car was fine, I was fine, and a poem was spontaneously born in the experience.)

Poetry is an exciting form of expression. As with any art it can be anything – say anything – do anything you want.

Here are some of the events coming up this month with Poetry Alive! :

April 22, 2011: Montpelier Art Walk

Montpelier Art Walk is a self-guided tour of local shops, galleries, and venues hosting art and artists receptions. This month’s poetry theme will highlight the POETRY Alive! 2011 display, The Budding Poet’s Garden, Poetic Legacies, and Guy-ku, a poety StoryWalk™. Features also include various poetry events. 4 to 8 p.m. (Various venues in Montpelier)

April 22, 2011: VCFA Group Poetry Reading

Join Vermont College of Fine Arts for a group reading by established poets and VCFA students during Montpelier Art Walk. The reading will take place in the Chapel, with a reception following in the T.W Wood Art Gallery 4-6 p.m. (Vermont College of Fine Arts 36 College St. Montpelier)

April 22, 2011: All-Ages Poetry Slam with Geof Hewitt

Join Vermont Slam Master Geof Hewitt in this fun all-ages poetry competition at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Perform your poem (5 minutes or less) before an audience of your friends and neighbors. Takes place during Montpelier Art Walk. 7 p.m. (Kellogg-Hubbard Library)

poetry alive!

March 31, 2011

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.

Poet Baron Wormser

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.

poetry alive!

February 2, 2011

April is National Poetry Month.

Why am I talking about that now, on the snowiest Groundhog Day many folks have seen in decades (if ever)? The submission deadline for this year’s event was yesterday. I sent in three poems, and I know of several other friends who also did. It’s always a fun thing to do, as Montpelier Alive Association and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library create poetry installations that are displayed throughout the whole capital city. This year’s theme is: “Vermont: Past, Present, and Future”

Here’s the rundown of activities  for last year’s events. This year’s isn’t posted yet, when it is you can look for it here. Good luck to everyone who sent in poems!

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