American counterculture hit the mainstream in the 1960s, but it had already been stewing for over a decade with the Beat generation. This group of novelists, poets, and playwrights pushed against the norms of Eisenhower's post-war optimism to reveal a different side to the nation.
Yes, there is a connection between the upcoming Fredericksburg Welsh Poetry Contest, the library, and your personal ancestors. Although it seems a tad far-fetched, it really is easy to see how the library can connect you to anything and anyone. Here’s how this connection works: since the library is a community center and encourages local groups to keep us informed as to their upcoming public events, we discovered that the Welsh Society of Fredericksburg is sponsoring a poetry contest as part of their upcoming annual festival this September 21. The deadline for entries is September 1.
Drop in to the England Run Branch each Friday this April at 4:00 pm for informal poetry readings in our “living room.” Bring a few poems to read or come to listen. Poems can be your own work or just ones you enjoy. If you’re a published poet, you’re welcome to bring copies of your work for people to purchase. No advance sign-up needed.
We’ll also be giving out poem scrolls all month long. Some of the poems were written by our own patrons, like this one! (posted here with permission of the author.) To submit your own poems, click here.
Winter pauses spring,
Maple and forsythia
At the ready, waiting.
Cardinals, juncos and finches
Flit and feast,
Instinct trumps weather.
by Lori Izykowski
Put your poems in someone’s pocket
If you’re an aspiring poet
We would sure like to know it
Send us your poem
You can do it from home
There’s no reason not to do it
Okay, I can see that my own poetry needs a little work. I’ll work on polishing it up. Meanwhile, we’re asking for some of your poems for Poem in Your Pocket Day ! In past years we’ve reprinted published poems (with permission), rolled them up into pocket sized scrolls and distributed them in the libraries.
This year we’d like to add some original poems by our patrons to this project. Submit as many of your original poems as you like via this online form, or via old-fashioned paper & ink at the research desk of any of our branches. We’ll select some to print & distribute in the form of beribboned scrolls in April (National Poetry Month.)
Claudia Emerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and English professor at the University of Mary Washington, will be inducted into the prestigious Fellowship of Southern Writers during its biennial meeting at the Conference on Southern Literature. Emerson won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Late Wife. She has written five books of poetry, with a sixth forthcoming, and has won numerous other honors. We are fortunate that each April she has helped our library system by judging the Teen Poetry Contest and acting as presenter for Teen Poetry Night.