CORINTH – Soon after the successful conclusion of its first countywide poetry contest and readings in April, the Crossroads Poetry Project began planning for next year’s event.
The group is in the midst of an ambitious schedule of poetry workshops and poetry readings at several locations in Corinth to spark enthusiasm and help interested poets prepare.
The readings, at three locations around Corinth, are giving experienced and novice poets a chance to share or to listen.
“We’ve had quite a few people from the community – lovers of poetry and many who have written poetry – participate in the readings,” said Donna Stockton, one of the event’s organizers. “People can share and get ideas from other poets.”
The idea for the poetry project began in a discussion last year between Stockton and Autry Davis, a performer in community theater who also has presented a series of poetry programs.
The deadline for entries in the poetry writing contest is Jan. 15, 2010. As with the first contest, the Crossroads Poetry Project is working with teachers at schools throughout the county to encourage more submissions from students.
Davis is visiting schools, presenting poetry readings and answering students’ questions about writing poetry.
“Autry and Cody Daniels have both been doing the school visits, a trememdous undertaking to stimulate interest in poetry and help teachers get kids enthused about it. Some teachers are doing units on poetry and it is part of school standardized tests in fourth grade,” Stockton said.
Another poetry writing workshop for the community is scheduled for Oct. 17, and will introduce participants to Haiku, a form of traditional Japanese poetry.
Workshop leader Lee Ann Story is a local journalist, published poet and former co-editor of a Haiku magazine.
“It’s such fun,” Story said of the Haiku poetic form. “Haiku is the easiest, and yet the hardest, poetry to write. I see little nuggets of brilliance as the potential for Haiku.”
With Story, workshop participants will explore not only the traditional, but also the modern form of Haiku.
Two other general poetry workshops are scheduled for Nov. 21 and Jan. 9, 2010. All of the workshops are scheduled for Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Corinth Public Library.
“It has been a total group effort, and everything is going very well so far,” Stockton said. “We want to encourage everyone – young people and adults – to attend the poetry readings. We already have several poetry contest entries from people in the community.”
Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal