Poetry Liaison Seeks News, Ideas, and Partnerships

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Happy National Poetry Month! 

As many of you are already aware, I was selected as the 2017 Highland Poet Laureate (Indiana).  I have a year to foster poetry in my town and surrounding communities, and I would like to make the most of it.  In today’s society, the idea that “poetry is dead” persists, despite the fact that the form is possibly more active and relevant than ever before, and frequently, when I ask my college students in introductory creative writing to name their favorite poet, the response is “Shel Silverstein”; it seems that in the pursuit of quality standardized test scores and with the increased emphasis on STEM, creative thinking and literature are often pushed to the side in education after elementary school.  (Please note that I do not blame teachers for this shift.)

My goals thus far are as follows:

  1. To show the uninitiated that news of poetry’s death has been greatly exaggerated. To invite people of all ages into the poetry community and illustrate that contemporary poetry is powerful, accessible, and vital
  2. To host poetry workshops for children, adolescents, and adults that introduce and encourage the writing of poetry in its myriad forms
  3. To support poets, particularly those who reside in Indiana, by showcasing their work
  4. And to strengthen Northwest Indiana’s arts community by promoting awareness and poetry events, both stand alone and mixed media

To these ends, I am asking you, dear readers, to:

  1. Please friend highlandpoetlaureate on Facebook and/or follow @highlandpoet on Twitter

I will be posting news of local and state poetry events and projects, videos, resource recommendations, links to interviews, reviews, and more on social media.

  1. Email me at highlandpoetlaureate@gmail.com
  • Send news about local poetry happenings that you’d like promoted
  • Send ideas for events and projects that I could possibly assist with or host in Highland
  • Write “Add to Eblast List” in the subject line, and I will add you to the list for announcements of local poetry events
  1. Spread the word about events and projects – please be an advocate!
  1. Attend! Participate!  Having coordinated the IWC’s literary reading series, Stream Line, for two years, I can promise you that I will organize events with these aims in mind:  They are comfortable, accessible, interactive, stimulating, creative, and enjoyable
  1. Share this blog post to help me get the word out!

Please know that I appreciate any and all efforts on your part, and I look forward to serving Northwest Indiana as a poetry liaison!

There are a million powerful quotations about poetry in existence, each saying something different about its impetus, purpose, beauty or power.  According to Paul Engle, “Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.”  In response, I say, let our words walk, our words dance, our words climb mountains, this year and always!

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