Thursday, July 16, 2015

Featured Poets at the 2015 Ohio Poetry Association Picnic and Business Meeting – Part 3

The Ohio Poetry Association annual picnic will be held on Saturday, July 18, at Jeffrey Park, Memorial Shelter, 1965 N. Parkview Ave., Bexley, Ohio 43209. A short business meeting will be conducted from 10:30 am - 11:30 am. The carry-in style picnic will be from noon until 3. At 1 pm, poets Kerry Jensen Trautman, Steve Brightman, and Wendy McVicker, as well as Student Voices winners and other special guests, will read poetry. There is an open mic too, so bring a poem or two to share.

You won’t want to miss the fellowship with other Ohio poets and the wonderful readings by featured poets. We’ve asked each of them to answer some questions about their poetry so we could get to know them better. We’ve already shared responses provided by Kerry Jensen Trautman and Steve Brightman. In this post, we get a small glimpse into the poetry life of Wendy McVicker.  

Do you draw inspiration from other poetry? If so, whose and why?

Poets who inspire me include William Stafford, for his plain language that expresses great depth, and for his ideas on writing and teaching; Frank O’Hara, for his playfulness; Sharon Olds, for her courage and ability to shine light in dark places; Anne Carson, for her wide–ranging lyricism and attention to silence; lately, a local (Columbus) voice, Hannah Stephenson, for eloquence and imagination. I’m always discovering new loves!

What three words best describe your own poetry? 

lyrical; spare; mystery

Do you have a writing routine? If so, describe it briefly.

Writing routine: Any time of the day or night, read, draw, stare out the window, listen, and keep the notebook open … I often pick up poetry or look at art before I write; this helps my mind move to that place where poetry happens, away from organizing, opinionating, and evaluating; a dreamier, more freewheeling place where I can surprise myself.

Aside from poetry, what do you like to read?

What do I read besides poetry: I am a fiction junkie!

What other activities do you enjoy (e.g., art, cooking, music) that may/may not influence your writing?

Other things I like to do: I love to move! Walking, dancing, yoga, karate: all of these feed the muse, one way or another.


Wendy McVicker is a Teaching Artist and Literature Field Consultant for the Ohio Arts Council's Arts Learning program, and loves to stir up poetry with people of all ages whenever and wherever she can. This has included residencies in schools, libraries, arts centers, and hospitals. Her poetry has appeared in online and in print, and in the anthologies Red Thread, Gold Thread (ed. Alan Cohen) and A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford (ed. Becca J.R. Lachman). Many of the poems in The Dancer’s Notes came from phrases handed to McVicker by a dancer during a performance at Ohio University in the mid–1990s, and others from watching, or collaborating with, dancers and musicians. She performs with instrumentalist Emily Prince as the duo another language altogether, often in collaboration with dancers and other musicians. When not involved in poetry and the performing arts, McVicker is teaching karate, which she has studied for over 20 years. She lives in Athens, Ohio, and her family includes one husband, two sons, and a Hemingway cat named Dora.

© The Ohio Poetry Association, 2015

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