- Michele Brown
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.
Anyone can enter the contest. You don’t have to be Welsh, know Welsh, or have any knowledge of things Welsh, but they do ask that you be between the ages of 6 and 90! What’s the library got to do with a poetry contest, you ask?
Well, for starters, the library can help you write that contest-winning poem. We have fantastic books not only on how to write poetry but also on how to get it published. If you’re closer to 6 than 90, take a look at Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem, by Jack Prelutsky. If you’re a tad older, check out Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words, by Susan Wooldridge. If you’re way, way older, try The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within, by Stephen Fry. Then find a publisher by consulting The Literary Market Place, also known as the LMP, or The Poet’s Market.
If you’re not ready to enter the poetry contest but looking for a good time (and honestly, who isn’t?), then go to the 24th Annual Fredericksburg Welsh Festival. On Saturday, September 21, noon to 5 pm at the James Monroe Museum on Charles Street, you and the entire family can take a language lesson, listen to Welsh stories and children’s songs, and learn about all things Welsh, such as customs, history, and genealogy. Genealogy, did I say? Yes, indeedy, I did, and here’s where the library can help you again!
The Virginiana Room of the library houses over 7,000 volumes on local history and genealogy. A good beginning point for finding out if you have Welsh ancestry might be through our book, In Search of Your British and Irish Roots: A Complete Guide to Tracing Your English, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish Ancestors, by Angus Baxter. Follow up with a search in our powerful online genealogy databases, Ancestry Library Edition and Heritage Quest. Who knows? Maybe by tracing your family tree you’ll uncover a few, new branches, and make new connections!