Monday, August 17, 2015

Northwoods Book and Art Festival and Poetry Recognition Event

I’m writing in a different color.
Bursting to fill in the outline she left when she died.
Like a piece of the puzzle, 
the only one left to finish the scene, 
her presence still holds space that no one—but she—can fill. 

I’m careful not to substitute poor replicas of the original.
I’ve learned it is better to let the space remain empty.
Certainly I can dismantle the puzzle,
throw the puzzle pieces in the garbage, 
but even if the box were burned,
that one piece would still remain missing for me,
like a stain that refuses to let go
of the fabric it now possesses. 

I am her fabric, colored by the stain of her leaving.

Charmaine Pappas Donovan
Brainerd poet submission
Poets were honored this past weekend at the Annual Northwoods Art and Book Festival in Hackensack. There were an impressive number of artists and regional authors who also participated in the festival. 
I chaired the annual Poetry Recognition and Display Event. Each poet who submitted had one of their poems on display. Those who attended the festival had an opportunity to vote for their favorite poems during the day. 
Five poets were recognized in the category Popular Choice. A committee selected five winners in the category Works of Merit.
I facilitated the poetry reading and the announcement of winners. 
Poets in attendance shared their poems with guests and their reflections on why poetry matters
"Poetry Matters" by Ralph Fletcher is a small, concise book on writing poetry. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has taken up writing poetry and wants to improve their writing skills. The book is written as a tool for both children and adults. It is clearly-written with many wonderful stories by poets who share their experiences and frustrations throughout the writing process. The author encourages those who want to write poetry by showing a variety of poems, both good and bad with instructive ideas on how to improve. 
The concise title Poetry Matters inspired me to ask submitting poets why poetry matters to them. The following are some of their responses 
The rhythm and texture of words can relay profound thoughts, images and emotions in small spaces.
It explores and exploits language and helps keep language strong and deep.
To me, poetry matters for the deep and musical ways it is able to speak of both the joy and the pain that are part of all our lives. 
Poetry especially matters because I have found that it often illuminates the deeper (and sometimes darker) aspects of life. It is the lifeblood of literature. 
In the Book Arts section regional authors were eager to share their work, sign books and chat with attendees.
Outside there was something for everyone to enjoy, browse and even buy!

It was an enjoyable way to spend the day. I was inspired by the works of authors, poets and artists.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, now I see what I missed...what a great event, Sue.

    Congratulations to all of the winning poets. And thank you, Sue, for your part in the poetry competition.