Celebrating National Poetry Month in April

by Lori-Anne Shapiro

As a wannabe poet, I have to say Orange County Public Library in Hillsborough was the place to be from the very end of March ’til the end of April! The library hosted many events to celebrate National Poetry Month.

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Lori-Ann Shapiro with Joanna Davidson and Lynn Sadler.

On March 28th we hosted Lynn Veach Sadler, PhD, and her student, Joanna Imogen Davidson. Lynn has many accolades and titles to her name, including Distinguished Poet for 2013-2015, Central Region, Gilbert-Chappell Poet Series, North Carolina Poetry Society. (Read Dr. Sadler’s full, and very extensive, bio.) Her published poetry and fiction include ten chapbooks, four full-length poetry collections, over a hundred short stories, and four novels. She is also an accomplished playwright and journalist. At our event Lynn read several poems, which were largely inspired by her experience of traveling the globe with her husband. Her mentee, Joanna Davidson, was introduced as a Gilbert-Chappell Student Poet. She is a transgender woman who writes about a wide range of topics, including her experience of transitioning and other social-psychological experiences. Needless to say, her work was very interesting!

Pamela Baggett,  poet, freelance writer, photographer, and former owner of Singing Springs Nursery in Cedar Grove, NC, facilitated a two-hour poetry workshop, “Getting Honest and Yet More Honest.” The workshop was based on the premise that we cannot avoid the big issues in our loves; unless we face them, they will continue to haunt us and undermine everything else we try to do. Poetry can be the ideal medium for accomplishing this interior work.

On April 16 Pam Baggett visited us again, this time as moderator of “A Night of Local Poetry.” The four local poets were Aaron Belz, a Hillsborough Poet Laureate; Jaki Shelton Green, the 2014 Inductee into the NC Literary Hall of Fame; Crystal Simone Smith, managing editor of Backbone Press; and Celisa Steele, Carrboro Poet Laureate. Each of these poets shared their thoughts on how they began writing poetry and read selections from their work. Simone Smith was my favorite reader, as her images and language spoke to me in a very strong and intimate way. This stimulating event was very well attended!

Ida Trisolini held a children’s poetry workshop on April 28. Her work incorporates poetry and fine arts, based on paper in its many different forms and functions. I’m personally intrigued by her work and am greatly looking forward to when she presents a program for adults! To view a sample of her amazing work, go to her website.

Our celebration of poetry doesn’t have to end. The Poetry Foundation offers a poem-a-day email service, and of course there’s a wide selection of poetry available at the library.

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