Thursday, July 16, 2015

The 2015 Annual Ohio Poetry Association Picnic Raffle

Here's another reason to come to the picnic and stay for afternoon: following the readings and open mic, there will be a raffle for lots of super items. Check it out!


           -       OPA memberships
            -      Poetry books galore including anthologies and 
              Common Threads issues 
     


And, the grand prize…


A framed watercolor painting by the wonderfully talented Wooster artist, Deb Grenert. You will recall that Grenert did the paintings used for the anthology cover and the past two Common Threads covers.This painting has not yet been used as a cover image. A special thanks goes to OPA member Sandy Feen who provided the framing. 

The Ohio Poetry Association annual picnic will be held on Saturday, July 18, from noon to 3 pm, at Jeffrey Park, Memorial Shelter, 1965 N. Parkview Ave., Bexley, Ohio 43209.

© The Ohio Poetry Association, 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





Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Featured Poets at the 2015 Ohio Poetry Association Picnic and Business Meeting – Part 2

Last week, we shared responses provided by Kerry Jensen Trautman, one of the three featured poets who will be reading at the 2015 Ohio Poetry Association Picnic, to our five questions about the writing process. This week, we’re sharing responses from poet, Steve Brightman. 


Steve Brightman

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

I draw inspiration from whatever is willing to offer its vein(s) to me: poetry, the weather, baseball, people I know, people I don't know, historical personae, the trees (my family's and the ones outside my window), words, numbers...

What three words best describe your own poetry? 

taut, accessible, concrete

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

I do have a routine. I write every day. literally. Last week was the 2000th day in a row I've written a poem. Not all of them are good or deserve to see the light of day, necessarily, but they're poems. And they are strung together consecutively on Facebook. my routine is fairly simple. I sit down (usually in the dark) and unspool all the images/thoughts/noteworthy moments from that day in front of me (figuratively). I sift through those, frame the one I like most, and find a well-lit spot for it.

Aside from poetry, what do you like to read?

fiction. Colum McCann is big favorite of mine right now. I'm reintroducing myself to Margaret Atwood, too. I'm also partial to spending too much time reading garbage on the internet.  Oh, and Entertainment Weekly and my bills and baseball cards...


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

driving, watching baseball, people-watching, listening


***

Steve Brightman lives in Akron, Ohio. He firmly believes in two seasons: winter and baseball. His first full length collection The Wild Gospel of Careening and Other Sermons from the Rumble Strip was recently released by Red Orchid Publishing. His chapbook History, Too, Is a Simple Machine will be unleashed upon the public in 2015 by NightBallet Press.

                                                                ~

Remember, the picnic be held at, Jeffrey Park, Memorial Shelter, 1965 N. Parkview Ave., Bexley, Ohio 43209. A short business meeting will be conducted from 10:30 - 11:30 am. The carry-in style picnic will be from noon until 3:45. 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.



Thursday, July 2, 2015

Featured poets at the 2015 OPA Picnic and Business Meeting

The annual picnic is a favorite OPA event. Poets from all over the state gather in one of Ohio's beautiful parks for food, fellowship, and poetry. It's like a family reunion where every member of your family cares about poetry as much as you do. This year's event promises to once again deliver that spirit of camaraderie along with great poetry.

It will be held at, Jeffrey Park, Memorial Shelter, 1965 N. Parkview Ave., Bexley, Ohio 43209. A short business meeting will be conducted from 10:30 - 11:30 am. The carry-in style picnic will be from noon until 3:45. 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.

As a lead up, we have asked each of the three featured poets to answer some questions about their poetry. We'll share their individual responses each week before the event.

Kerry Jensen Trautman


*photo by Adrian Lime
Do you draw inspiration from other poetry? If so, whose and why?  

The first poet I felt a real connectedness to Edna St. Vincent Millay. My high school American Lit teacher was a fan, and I memorized two of her poems to recite for an assignment. I remember having this sense that I could embody her words, that it made sense for her words to come from me in a way not other poetry had up til then. Linda Pastan is another influence. Both poets wrote from an unabashedly female perspective. Pastan writes about motherhood in a way I hadn't yet encountered, and I was a young mother at the time I found her work. It was validating to hear a woman writing through marriage and motherhood--finding the time and inspiration.

What three words best describe your own poetry?  

I hope: genuine, attentive, unpretentious. 

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

For a years I woke at dawn to write before the kids awoke and I had to begin my stay-at-home-mom-ness. It was a lovely to have coffee and the dark house all to myself. Eventually, though, the kids started waking earlier, and I find it hard to write with them all stirring around. I think I need a sense of privacy, of isolation, though I can write in public place with no problem. So now the work is piecemeal, with notebooks and scraps of paper in my purse, bedroom, coffee table and car. I'm always jotting notes as lines and ideas come, and I get them polished into real poems whenever I find time. 


Aside from poetry, what do you like to read? 

I wish I had more time to read. I get two daily newspapers, Poets & Writers Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. I read some fiction, usually short stories, because they're easier to read in a quick gulp. I always have a stack of lit journals/zines which are my go-to for free afternoons, doctors waiting-rooms and airplanes.

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

I love movies and tv, and I enjoy baking/cooking, especially for friends. I fit in yardwork when I can, and I love wandering art fairs, and antique stores. All those things find their way into my writing.

***

Ohio born and raised, Kerry is a founding member of Toledo's Almeda St. Poets, and the Toledo Poetry Museum.  She is often seen at local poetry readings and events such as Artomatic 4-1-9, 100-Thousand Poets for Change, Back to Jack, and the Columbus Arts Festival. Kerry's poetry and short fiction have appeared in various journals, including Midwestern Gothic, Alimentum, The American Journal of Nursing, The Fourth River, Mock Turtle Zine, and Third Wednesday; as well as in anthologies such as, Tuesday Night at Sam and Andy’s Uptown Café (Westron Press, 2001), Mourning Sickness (Omniarts, 2008), Roll (Telling Our Stories Press, 2012), and Journey to Crone (Chuffed Buff Books, 2013).  Her most recent poetry chapbook is To Have Hoped from Finishing Line Press, 2015.