Poet of the Week Archive: June, 2006
May 29 - June 4, 2006: Writers' Group of the Triad
Judith Hill, a Greensboro writer and the founder/director of the Wildacres writers' workshops, started the Writers' Group of the Triad in 1990. The Writers' Group (also known by its initials, WGOT) is an umbrella nonprofit organization for area writers of various genres who meet monthly or bimonthly in subgroups. Members share expertise and information, offer critiquing to their peers, and provide encouragement, The organization, which currently has nearly a hundred members, also serves the larger community. Members are called upon to conduct workshops, judge writing competitions, edit publications, and organize special events. And the membership itself sponsors many such events. Last year's agenda included either workshops or guest speakers in the following areas: creative writing, book marketing, publishing, public speaking, and copyright law.
In 2005, through the efforts of WGOT's poetry group members, "Poetry, Jazz and Java" became the title of a series of poetry readings: seven during National Poetry Month and two others during the fall/winter. The series has united our area poets like nothing before. As part of their goals, the WGOT poets seek to bring together WGOT members, faculty and student poets from the various colleges and universities, and the many poets we have in the community at large. The first reading of 2006 took place at one of the local Starbucks on February 13th, the eve of Valentine's Day, to celebrate love. This was the first but perhaps not the last theme-oriented reading. Eight more Poetry, Jazz and Java events took place last month. Others will be scheduled in the fall.
Catherine Ashley-Nelson, retired from the English Department of NC A& T State University, has been a member of the Writers' Group of the Triad since 1990.
Sullivan's Island Girls at Thirteen
When summer began
Caren Masem lived in various places in the United States before settling in Greensboro four years ago. She has taught for thirty years, including a four-year stint at Iowa State University. Her poetry has been published in several magazines for Jewish women, and she has read her poetry in coffee houses and bookstores.
A hot summer afternoon in the 1950's:
I sit idly swinging on my grandparents' front porch in Louisville, Kentucky,
The junkman stops:
Turning away, he makes a soft clicking sound
Larry Webb, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, served in the U.S. Army from 1968-1971 before attending the University of Miami in Ohio, where he earned a B.S. degree in education. He has lived in Greensboro since 1991 and works in the insurance business. He notes that the insurance field has yielded only two significant writers, Kafka and Wallace Stevens. But, he says, he is "encouraged in his writing by the conviction that the law of averages says we are long overdue to produce a third."
Then answered the Lord unto Job
The godhead sneezes
I noodle the numinous
Connie Ralston has served as facilitator for The Writers' Group of the Triad's poetry group for the past several years. Her poetry has been published in GW, Chiron Review, and Poet magazine as well as in A Turn in Time and Wordworks. She has won several prizes in various poetry contests such as the fifth Iva Mary Williams Inspirational Poetry (first place) and Chiron Review(third place). She is a former assistant editor of Our State magazine and is currently working as a writer and editor in the furniture industry.
A feathered symphony floats.
The wind brushed earth's face
Fran Ostasiewski is the organizer of Greensboro's Poetry, Jazz and Java series. He serves on the committee with the Central Library in coordinating various poetry events. He is also treasurer of The Writers' Group of The Triad. As a poet, he has a special interest in haiku. His haiku have appeared in two anthologies celebrating the form: Walking the Same Path and Rose Haiku for Flower Lovers and Gardeners. His poetry has also appeared in The Writers' Group of the Triad's multi-genre anthology, Wordworks (2003), where "Wind Spirit" first appeared.
Yadkin County Thanksgiving
I claim this craze
This was my day
Any other day
Kelli Rush is a copy editor at Pace Communications, where she is assigned to Hemispheres magazine. She has been interested in writing since she was a teenager and has published poems in small magazines. She likes the precision that poetry requires and loves to find the perfect word. Recently she has been reading the works of Sylvia Plath and a contemporary poet from Idaho named Catherine Wagner. She enjoys the freshness of their language.
(Refrigerator Poem II)
one elaborate moment
Catherine Ashley-Nelson, retired from the English Department of NC A& T State University, has been a member of the Writers' Group of the Triad since 1990. She has edited or co-edited anthologies for WGOT as well as the Greensboro Group. Her poetry has appeared in Blue Pitcher, Bay Leaves, and the following regional anthologies: Edge of Our World, A Turn in Time: Piedmont Writers at the Millennium, and Wordworks. She assists in setting up Greensboro's Poetry, Jazz and Java series.
Visiting Pinewood Cemetery
After hurricane Floyd shook
was floating in the Tar River.
Boyd, Wilkerson, and Clark.
the calm September morning.
remnants of magnolia silk flowers
Janice L. Sullivan is president of the Poetry Council of North Carolina and a member of the North Carolina Poetry Society. She is an annual participant in the Wildacres Writers' Workshop. Her poems have appeared in several North Carolina journals and anthologies: Bay Leaves, NCPS Award Winning Poems, Flying Machines: International Icarus, Pembroke Magazine and A Turn in Time: Piedmont Writers at the Millennium. Two poems will soon appear in GTCC's new literary journal, Write Mind.
Dermochelys coriacea: plight of the leatherback turtle
Only a tidal invitation from the moon can induce the beach walk of a fugitive
But she is a death-row inmate;
Shedding tears she thrusts her carcass to the Pacific,
David Mahood has been writing consistently for ten years. His published work reflects a range of interest from environmental issues and his business, Olive Designs, to more intimate writing in poems, which have been published in Lone Wolf Review, Writer's Cramp, Geneseo Bicentennial Celebration and Fifth Street Review. Splitting time between Massachusetts and North Carolina, he can be found in traffic on I-95 north or south. He is also a proud father of two boys and Maryann's permanent partner.
Only the Wind
I felt cool fingers
Adrian Vyner-Brooks is a native of Liverpool, England who came to the U.S. in 1980. He studied engineering at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, but has developed an interest in poetry. He is one of the newer members in the Poetry Group and claims to have panic attacks before meetings. His modesty aside, Adrian has such a beautiful reading voice that everyone in the poetry group wants him to read their poetry as well as his own.
She is standing
There are stars
If she moves,
N.K."Brinkley" Origer was born in New Jersey across the river from Manhattan. She moved to Florida with her family and went to graduate school in Tallahassee, where she studied with Van Brock, a poet and English professor while at the same time pursuing an MBA in Finance. Her poetry has been published in Appalachian State University's Cold Mountain Review. She currently works as an accountant and holds degrees in psychology and strategic management in addition to accounting.
The chemo blew the nerves out in my feet:
Coventry Kessler was born in Washington State but grew up in Indiana, California, and Oregon. She has spent most of her adult life in North Carolina. A former English teacher, she now designs online courses for UNC-G. In her words, she has "four grown sons, two middle-age lady cats, an unmentionable ex-husband, and more unfinished manuscripts than you can shake a stick at." She says "Nerve" is a Shakespearean sonnet written for a class exercise focused on touch.
June 5 - 11, 2006: Michael Beadle
There's Michael, and then there's Beadle.
If you read Michael Beadle's poems in a sheaf all at once, you may feel you've been ambushed. Going along through the lines of "The Folded Poem," "Morning at Fontana Lake," "March," and "A Kiss of Sorts," I admired the nuances of such phrases as "We think in whispers," "gauzy sun," "Each day is a diary / that tries to recall warm days." This poet, I thought, has an exquisite sense of evanescence, a discriminating eye for the fritillary brevity of fleeting experiences.
Oh, I was feeling all refined and sensitive. . . .
Then there leapt out at me the other Michael Beadle, the Ebullient Twin, the Ghozlak, the Lippery, the Bubbasaur, who came roaring and soaring, snorting and cavorting out of a raucous thicket of slamjam rhythms, spitting rhymes like the driverwheel of a steam engine setting off sparks. This is the one who wrote "3...2..1," "Yaylong," "The Dastly Skull Duggeries," and the pop-top others.
For a moment there, I thought it was me. I have gone plumb schizophrenic, I figured. No poet can be so much the obverse of himself, so janiform, so Jekyll-&-Hyde in just a few poems. But when I went through the pages again, there he was, the two of him, the romping stomping Michael and the other Beadle, the savorer of wisps and clues and misty hints.
As soon as I understood that I had not become suddenly crazy, I admired the poems all the more and enjoyed them all the more. And maybe I began to comprehend that Mr. Beadle is a poet of delights, some of which he casts in a cool, suggestive minor key and some that he delivers in the brassiest, sunniest, most major of keys. And maybe it came to me also that we wouldn't want one without the other, any more than we would want a piano that did not sport keys both black and white.
If The First Law of Art is Contrast, as someone told me when I was just a tot, then Michael Beadle is its Enforcer.
Celebrate, you-all! -- Fred Chappell
Fred Chappell was North Carolina's poet laureate from 1997 through 2001. He was a professor of literature and creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro from 1964 to 2004. For his many works of fiction, poetry, and literary criticism he has received a long list of awards -- among them the Best Foreign Book Prize from the Academie Francaise, the Bollingen Prize, and the Aiken Taylor Prize. He lives in Greensboro with his wife, Susan.
"What about this one?" I asked.
A Town Too Small For Maps
When a lady asks me where home is,
What bees see, science tells us,
angle of trespassed flight, every
If only I had such eyes.
as I hold you in the kitchen and wait
Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth:
In the days of Gilead when tribe fought tribe
Born in Syracuse, N.Y., and raised in eastern North Carolina (Kinston and Eureka), Michael Beadle earned his B.A. in journalism and mass communication in 1994 from UNC-Chapel Hill. As an award-winning journalist, he has worked 12 years with community newspapers across the state, and is currently a contributing writer with Smoky Mountain News, a weekly newspaper covering Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties. Mr. Beadle's feature stories have been published in Business North Carolina, Carolina Alumni Review, and Smoky Mountain Living.
As a performance poet, A+ Schools Fellow, and writer-in-residence, Mr. Beadle tours the state doing writing workshops and poetry shows for schools, festivals, church and civic groups, Elderhostels, and private parties. His first book of poetry, An Invented Hour (Hard Times Press), was published in 2004, and his poetry has been featured in The Asheville Citizen-Times, The Raleigh News & Observer, and Gatherings (Spring Street Editions, 2001) -- an anthology of western North Carolina poets edited by Kathryn Stripling Byer. Mr. Beadle lives in Canton with his wife, Nicole Wilhelm, and their three cats.
June 12 - 18, 2006: George Moses Horton
In 1999, the North Carolina Division of Archives and History approved placement of a historic marker celebrating the achievements of George Moses Horton. The marker would be the first in the state for an African-American and also the first for a nationally recognized artist in Chatham County. After long delay the marker was unveiled on June 3rd, 2006, at a ceremony at Fearrington Barn, in Pittsboro. It stands now on the northeast corner of 15-501 and Mt. Gilead Church Road. The marker reads:
Slave poet. His The Hope of
George Moses Horton lived