If you like to write poetry or read and share it with others, or listen to local poets read their work, come to the next poetry hour held at the Akron-Summit County Public Library Meeting Room 1 on Saturdays from 3 – 4 p.m.
The next readings in the 2013 series will be on April 20; July 20; and Oct. 19.
Akron is home to a thriving community of local poets, many published, some of whom attended the second Poetry Hour sponsored by A.S.C.P.L. on January 19. The first meeting was held in September, 2012 as a trial run to gauge the response to the event. And it was a success, according to organizer Deb Papa of the Popular Culture Department.
She said a survey was conducted after the first one asking people if they wanted to do it again and if they wanted it once a year or more than that.
“The response was overwhelming, almost to the person, to have it quarterly,” Papa said.
As to her inspiration for beginning the group, she said a personal love of poetry and knowing another staff member who equally enjoyed poetry. “She just devoured any new poetry books that came into the building, that we got in the system,” Papa said.
“There are so many poetry books that are published, I mean people enjoy writing just as an outlet, and I felt that there had to be more than just two of us in the community [who liked poetry].
“So I worked with my supervisor and we talked about it, and then another staff member came up and asked about it. The supervisor said: ‘Well, we’ll give it a try, we’ll have one and see.’ It took about a year [to organize] and the community responded,” Papa added.
Asked how the attendance to the second one compared to the first, Papa said, “There’s more today.”
There was quite a range of topics and styles heard including some like the “Beat” poets. Like Jack Kerouac back in the 50s with that kind of driving beat rhythm.
The reader’s ages spanned multiple generations from 18 through retirement, both men and women, and self-educated to college graduates.
One young gentleman there was Dierre Spaulding who read his poem, Wages. Originally from Hinesville, Georgia, but raised in Akron most of his life, the 22-year-old Fortis College graduate, with a degree in Medical Assisting, started writing poems at the age of eight.
“My dad had Hallmark cards and I would copy and read the cards trying to mimic the text and develop the passion to write poems. I write poems for personal reflection. As I grew up in age, I learned some people’s reflections do need to be heard,” Spaulding said in an email recently.
Spaulding, who now attends the University of Akron majoring in Biochemistry, has the goal of becoming a Neuroscientist. He recently founded the nonprofit organization NeuroDirection to continue that voyage which he has been pursuing most of his life.
“It will help me stay focused on my career and make more specific efforts towards becoming a Neuroscientist. Such as: studying the right materials; connecting with the right people; and developing ideas for Neuroscience,” he added.
Others sharing their work included: Ken Blackerby who read a moving poem titled Gettysburg, which was based on his impressions from a recent three-day visit there. Anna Marie Kelly, a published poet, wrote about injustices and social changes in Angles Rush In and Slaves and Plantations. John Argabright is published and told of experiences in life in Autumn Years. Ruth Hale read several works from her recently published book “Swing” Poetry. Mary Ann Fear has been writing for 15 years and is published. She read My Pretty Ones, a poem about cats and Summer Wine.
Jason Blackly, who has been writing for 15 years and is published said: “Poetry is like medicine, it doesn’t always taste good, but it’s good for you.”
Neal Greene has been a poet since the 1980s and read A Tribute to Sarah Vaughn and Sweet Peas Bloomed in Tobacco Fields along with five others. Samuel Lindsey was first published in 2006 and has been writing for nine years. He said he is inspired by Nature and read Lake at Indiana and Is the Wind a Bully?. Latty Fair, who is introspective about life experiences, has written for 37 years and is published. She read Thurston and Above Ground along with two others which were untitled. Cameron Byrd is a student at UA and has been writing for five years. He read Living Love, A Common Misconception and Dream’s Edge.
Papa said on the pop culture blog: “We thank everyone who participated for their time and sharing of their talents. We look forward to hearing more of your words in future Poetry Hours. We anticipate and welcome others joining us to share another relaxing, enjoyable, and thoughtful afternoon. In a word, the afternoon was wonderful.”
Email [email protected] or call (330) 643-9035 to register to read your original poems for a 5 minute interval. Free to register. Adults ages 18 and over.
Poems read at the Poetry Hour should not be overly explicit in language or subject matter. Poetry lovers are welcome to attend to relax and enjoy the words of our local poets. Coffee and cookies provided.
Meeting room door opens at 2 p.m. Parking in the High/Market deck is free on Saturday. The library is located at 60 S. High Street in Akron. Visit:www.akronlibrary.org.