At Your Library: Fall for Poetry

hello Quincy my name is Eileen Fontenot
and I’m one of the librarian for the Thomas crane Public Library and today
I’m here with local poet Donna Stein she’ll be facilitating a community
poetry reading fall for poetry at 7 o’clock on Wednesday November 6th all
are welcome to come to the main library and hear poetry read by your neighbors
and maybe try your hand at reading some poetry yourself welcome Donna well thank
you for having me I mean this is a an event that now has happened for five
years and very grateful to the Public Library for allowing us to use the
Quincy the community room in the first floor and this is the poster that Paul
Porter made for the event so folks yeah look around if you see this just tells
you what I’ll eat just said I’m so looking forward to it so yeah do you
want to tell me a little bit about yourself and your background well I
started writing or reciting presumably before I could read reciting poetry to
my mother what she thought was some miraculous thing but I suppose I was
influenced by fairy tales and poems that she read to me so I probably wasn’t very
original but anyway now she would write these down and send them to children’s
magazines and a couple of them I guess were printed into a publication called
like we wisdom but she collected children’s work and published it and
then teachers encouraged me those teachers that had poetry as part of
their literature program in public school and I suppose that was a
dangerous thing because then I began to think it was something pretty cool all
right and kept on and just kept on doing it yeah and I was on the board of the
literary high school magazine on the college magazine so kind of flair
yes that’s about it I suppose the real jumpstart for other than taking classes
of other people’s poetry in college was I was spending time doing that at home
in between taking care of the baby and I never quite quite figured out exactly
what my husband thought of my poetry but at one point he said well I suppose you
better find out what you’re doing okay and I thought to myself that I know what
I was doing but I said well if that’s what he thinks
okay so I signed up for a poetry class at Harvard and was accepted that’s great
and then went on to work with Kathleen Spivak in a Radcliffe seminars program
and when I other people who did the same thing and I thought well gee this is
okay yeah you found your people yes yes wonderful
so but that’s sort of how I got into doing this community event was when I
moved to a new place and I couldn’t find any poets
so I said well wait a minute maybe if I organize and announce poetry reading
people will come in right right and then they did oh that’s great so what kind of
things can people expect from your poet the poetry reading you’re gonna be
facilitating well one of the things that I enjoy is being a member of the
audience is that there are all kinds of poems humorous poetry rhymed poetry
poetry’s that are narrative that tell stories and so on people that have been
inspired by Shakespeare will recite some of Shakespeare’s poetry from one of his
plays so there’s quite a range and there’s quite a range of people in
terms of age retired people some high school students which I love to hear
their work and even though it might still be on their phone they’ll read it
which is behind pay so I think it’s quite a range and that people I think
enjoy that aspect of it so it doesn’t have to be original work it can be
someone who just enjoys a poem and wants to share it with people as can be yes
absolutely I mean if you have a favorite poem you could come and read your
favorite poem doesn’t have to be a poem that you have written okay so why should
people read and listen to poetry what does it bring to people I think oh it’s
good for the soul I think any art painting dance going to fit our hearing
theatre hearing music and is essential I’m aware of studies that have shown
that students who take part in the arts usually do better or improve even in
their other schoolwork in terms of elementary school middle school in high
school good for the soul yeah I think that would you have like small children
like smaller children like when you started out as a kid do you have like
parents bring their kids in or you encourage that as well
well I haven’t especially done a program for children I think parents who read to
their children inevitably read poetry dr. Seuss is totally poetry sam-i-am
green eggs and ham and all that so people sometimes aren’t aware that they
have already a background in poetry and that’s one of the things I like to do
when I was teaching at the university was to say how many of you read poetry
how many of you listened to poetry no hand goes up I said how many of you
listen to music how everybody exactly I said well good news for you sar lyrics
of poetry yeah that’s right yeah so you’re like you’re one of us
well that sounds really great anything you want to add you know about what’s
gonna be happening on those six no we haven’t
I haven’t gotten into music but I think it would be wonderful if there were a
musician who played the harp or some instrument would like to come and
provide music yeah that would be great or even maybe somebody would read to
music but I haven’t gone that far yeah maybe that’s something I think about in
the future mm-hmm sounds great
well thank you for joining us and everyone is welcome to come to the
library here in Quincy to read some poetry here’s some poetry and coming up
now is Donna’s gonna give us a little preview hello I’m Donna Stein and I’m
facilitating the poetry reading and listening event being held at the Thomas
crane public library Wednesday November 6th right now I’m going to read one or
two of my poems even though that evening I will not be reading my own work you’ll
be listening to members of the community read poems they wrote or that they enjoy
reciting this is from that my fifth poetry collection called leaving Greece
I wrote some of the poems when I was living in Greece and this pretty much is
a description of the sounds during the day it’s called black wings
Chiquita’s stopped in the dark the cats in heat have screamed all night long at
5:00 the Roosters start in the noonday Sun turkeys cart
gobbles across shuttered rooms till sundown Chiquita’s drive everyone crazy
till dark late afternoons we get up while dogs bark and swallows Twitter’s
join the throng we go out though at dawn the Roosters
start those black wings bats next embark on the evening swoops squeaking are gone
then Chiquita’s stop lovers kiss in the park at 5:00 a.m. the Roosters start so
some of these poems use or take off on a myth or a mythical figure some of you
remember Searcy who presumably turned Odysseus sailing companions into swine
pigs Circe this one hums crawls from her cave near William any shakes out her
hair dislodges anemones smoothes her dress hanging like a curtain of gold sings as she pushes her right foot into
its silver sandal decides to go to Glee fodder for its evening cool now steps on
to the number 15 bus moving her hips just enough for those who stare wonders
if she tucked in her breasts rub the fur down on her arms reminds herself not to
open her mouth or they will follow her on Metaxas Street turned to the haba
it’s getting so a girl can’t even have a quiet night in town everyone wants a
siren wants to drown in someone else’s song and that’s the end of a poem called
Circe from my fifth collection called leaving Greece I hope to see you
Wednesday evening November 6th starting at 7:00 in the Thomas crane public
library community meeting room there’s parking and the event is free

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