Share Your Favorite Poem at the Watauga Library’s Poetry Month Event on Saturday

Published Monday, April 18, 2016 at 11:20 am

By Kaitlan Morehouse

It’s National Poetry Month!

The Watauga County Library (140 Queen St.), local poetry group Behind the Stacks and The Friends of the Watauga County Public Library will co-host The Community “Favorite Poem” event in the Watauga County Public Library’s Evelyn Johnson Meeting Room in observance of National Poetry Month on Saturday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“It’s [for] all ages, with all kinds of people, from all walks of life,” said Paula Finck.

There will be a master of ceremonies, and refreshments will be provided during the event.

This favorite poem event is your local engagement of National Poetry Reading Day, which is on April 28.

In addition to focusing on works of poetry, the event shows how poetry affects everyone in different ways.

“I think in our high-tech world sometimes we don’t have maybe as much reflection and art, and I think National Poetry Month is a good way to take a little bit of time to recognize how people have found meaning in words and touched other people’s lives through poetry,” said Adult Services Librarian Ross Cooper.

You are encouraged to attend if you have an original poem you’re particularly proud of or if you have a favorite poem that you would like to share. Poetry lovers who just like to read or listen to poems are also welcome. Your poem may be two words or may go on for pages and tell a story. You or someone else could have written it years ago or right before the event.

The whole idea of the event is to shine a spotlight on poetry and those people who dedicate their lives to it.

If you do bring a poem, you have the option of giving an explanation of why you chose it.

“‘Why’ is a very important part of introducing your poem because you learn who promoted poetry in your life and how,” Finck said. “For instance, some people read poems to their children when they were very young. I just heard of someone who reads poetry with their partner every night before they go to bed, so they are devotees of poetry.”

Don’t worry if you don’t bring your own poem or don’t have a reason to share some poetry — others certainly will, and you can learn a lot about your community members!

Is public speaking your worst fear? Not to worry! It’s nice if you to recite your poem, but you don’t have to!

“I always enjoy every one of them because they are all so different, and come from all different kinds of people and different genders,” Finck said.

If you do want to recite or read your favorite poem, arrive 15 minutes early to sign in, but you’ll get your chance either way!

If you would like more information, call Paula Finck at 828-963-1164. You can also contact Ross Cooper at the library’s reference desk by calling 828-264-8784, ext. 2 or visit the Library’s website or Facebook page.

If you need special accommodations, call the above numbers at least five days in advance to make sure your requests are granted.

Stop by the favorite poem event and get a chance to share a poem that speaks to you!

“It’s just an open time together with no special [materials to bring] other than your favorite poem,” Finck said.

Finck’s Involvement

Finck first heard about National Favorite Poetry Reading Day when she lived in West Virginia. In 1999, she came across an announcement in the paper asking for hosts for a favorite poem reading from Mr. Robert Pensky, who was poet laureate. When she moved to the High Country, Finck was delighted to be able to continue hosting readings with Evelyn Johnson — longtime Watauga County librarian — and later the Behind the Stacks poetry group.

Finck wishes to have more young people and other poetry groups attend this year and hopes the library will circulate more poetry in its collection. The library hopes that people will be encouraged and enriched by everyone’s poetry and the mutual love of the art.

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