What the Poetry Is Going On Around Here – Dad Poet Readings and News

Downtown Harrisburg and the Pennsylvania State...

Downtown Harrisburg and the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building as seen from Cumberland County, across the Susquehanna River (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I feel the need to toot my own horn. . . I mean to recap some of what I’ve been doing locally with my poetry, as well as to let you know about a few reading events coming up. So before telling you what you missed, here is what’s in my very near future in poetry land:

Faustina’s Art Gallery, Lewisburg,PA

And if you haven’t gotten used to it yet, you need to let your cursor hover over those announcements for all of the links. You can’t say I don’t provide enough links. So if you, like me, are procrastinating and avoiding doing your own writing, I’ve left you numerous distractions to follow.

It’s truly been an exciting Summer, since helping my friend Ann Keeler Evens, and our young friend Ben (I’m pretty sure Ben had a hand in it too) to start the PUP (Poetry Under the Paintings) events at Faustina’s Gallery, hosted by the wonderful Jody Horn. It started in May and has continued on the first Thursday of each month. This event is a great opportunity for local poets to meet each other and share their work, as well as a chance for poetry lovers to read favorites out loud, and to hear poetry shared in an awesome and atmosphere of visual arts. We’ve even had live musical accompaniment by Grammy Award-winning drummer Steve Mitchell and Dave Miller, of the Dave Miller Band.

In mid August I had the memorable opportunity to read with Melanie Simms and Marjorie Maddox in the new Amphitheater for Sunbury’s River Festival, the first ever appearance of poetry at Riverfest. If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ve already seen the videos. But if not, you still need to be hovering your cursor around for some links.

The new amphitheater in Sunbury, PA proves to be great for poetry readings.

In relation to all these events I’ve also had the chance to make some live and recorded interview “appearances’ on a variety of area radio stations, and even the local paper, The Daily Item put up a full page on the event. My thanks to Mark Lawrence of WKOK, Erica Funke of WVIA, and Tom Morgan of WFYY. I cannot tell you how exciting it was to be on three different formats, arts, news/talk and pop/variety, promoting local poetry. Ann came to me earlier this year with a vision for seeing Sunbury become a local hotbed for poetry, and I see that dream beginning to come true. Thanks for taking a bit of time out of your busy day to read about it here. Maybe it will give you ideas about what you can do in your area. If it does, please keep me posted on what you do about it!

Meanwhile, Melanie, Marjorie and I are sending out some videos of our readings from the Riverfest poetry event, in hopes of getting a bit more exposure online and possibly on some small art programs on TV. Wish us luck! Ann and I will be meeting again shortly to make plans and of course the Capitol reading is happening in October.

The Dome in Harrisburg, PA

Speaking of that, Melanie and I were interviewed by Cary Burkett of WITF, public radio in Harrisbug, on Tuesday. I’ll let you know when those interviews and snippets are to be aired. We had a fun drive down there and back, despite the traffic, and as usual Melanie got an idea in her head (the women in my life always do!). “Let’s go scope out where we’ll read in the Capitol Building!” She said. So we parked, toured around, and then she got the idea of meeting our State Senator. Well, wouldn’t you know that even though they are not in session, he was in the building and his secretary set us up to meet him after lunch. He was gracious and welcoming, although he might have worried about just what business two poets would have with him. He gave us a tour and even let us snap a photo.

PA State Senator John Gordner meets Commonwealth Poets David J. Bauman and Melanie Simms

Which brings to mind a topic I want to leave you with tonight, dear reader. We were asked in our most recent radio interview if we had a political agenda for wanting to read poetry at the Capitol, and honestly we had to shrug and say, not really. Unless of course you consider the personal to be political, which it is. And unless you consider the arts to be important for our nation and our communities, which I believe it is. And unless you think that it just may be possible for an obscure and rarely celebrated art form to be capable of uniting people in a time of many divisions  political and otherwise. I think–I hope, that such a thing is possible. There are many things to discuss and work through for progress in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the United States and the world at Large. Maybe bringing some unity and peace through artistic effort isn’t such a bad agenda, political or otherwise. Call me a dreamer, but we just may be onto something here. With all the talk of class warfare (and I talk as much, if not more than the next guy), it may behoove us to also dwell a bit on our common wealth.

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22 thoughts on “What the Poetry Is Going On Around Here – Dad Poet Readings and News

    • It’s keeping me busy. :) Just submitted five poems to a journal last night and am hoping they publish at least one. Need to be doing that on a regular basis now.

  1. If poetry can help bridge divisions and help us move toward a batter world, I am all for it. The personal is political and the world can be related to on a personal level. I think it is great you are doing all of these public events and putting poetry out into the public. I’m with you.

    • I don’t know how much poetry or any art can bridge the gaps, but it seems worth the effort, doesn’t it? Thank you, Jeremy for your words of encouragement. They are much appreciated. :)

  2. Shouldn’t you be writing poetry and what not? Hence the “poet” part of dadpoet. I wrote two last night in an aerosmith journal I found lying around. Why do I have an aerosmith journal?

    • In fact I am writing a new piece right now, about the river and egrets and a cormorant and two bald eagles. Surprise, right?

      But lately I’ve been in more of an editing mode than a creative mode. I submitted five poems the night before last, and was polishing up five more to send out today.

      You have an Aerosmith journal?

    • Thank you, Melanie! Tonight was a really great little chapter. A greenway project that involves poets, and photographers, musicians and painters? Very nice gathering, and we had a receptive audience. I enjoyed it very much.

  3. Pingback: Recorded Live at the River Gallery Exhibit | The Dad Poet
    • Thanks, Jennifer! I was just thinking of you last night. Thought I’d pop over and see how the new book (or is it chapbook?) is coming. :) Lovely to hear from you!

  4. Pingback: Unhappy Wedding, PUP and Personality | The Dad Poet
  5. Pingback: Poetry at the Pennsylvania Capitol | The Dad Poet
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