By fools like me…

Box Top at Adelaide’s

You’ve probably noticed — Poetry is having a huge resurgence right now.  According to the National Endowment for the Arts, the share of adults in the United States reading poetry grew 76 per cent between 2012 and 2017.  Last year, the numbers doubled again!

And, it seems, our Peninsula is right in the thick of things.  Tony Pfannenstiel and Steve Kovach, both of whom I’ve met only recently, are among the movers and shakers who are encouraging poetry appreciation by establishing Poetry Boxes here at the beach.  The first went in at Adelaide’s a few weeks ago and one went up at the Ocean Park Timberland Library last weekend.  Other locations that I know of are at Bay Avenue Gallery, at Abaracci Coffee Bar in Long Beach and at the Norcross-Renner’s out on Stackpole Road.  Wow!

Poetry Box at the Library

Too, Peninsula poets have been sharing their works — not only by postings in the boxes, but by gathering to read in various venues.  Even I have been asked to read my poetry!  Say what?  I was astounded — mostly because poetry is SO intimidating to me.  I think my poetry-shyness began in the ’50s when the big pastime of some of my more intellectual college mates was to go to City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco and schmooze with the beat poets and wannabes.

As I recall, I got the idea during those sessions that nothing should rhyme, that the thoughts expressed had to be deep, and that a poem was successful only if it elicited hours of discussion interspersed with long silences.  It was all totally intimidating and, though there are some poems and poets I like very much and maybe even understand, I am loathe to hop in, myself.


So when Tony asked me to read at a wordfest to be held on Veteran’s Day at the Port of Nahcotta, I asked if I couldn’t read prose instead of poetry.  Even “prose” sounds pretty serious to me.  I’ll probably be reading some of my chicken blogs.  No long discussions or profound silences required.  Just some polite clucking, please.



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