In November, the Wellspring of Imagination program will welcome young poets from across the United States and overseas to gather in Lancaster, Ohio, for a week of reading, writing, and performing poetry. The event culminates in a reading where the students present the poems they’ve polished during the experience.
“In a time where creativity and respect for the imagination take a back seat to proficiency-test driven schools, Wellspring provides an opportunity for young artists to shine,” said Alan Cohen, the event’s organizer and a retired school teacher. Cohen is also the founder and organizer of the annual Hocking Hills Festival of Poetry.This year marks the eighth consecutive year of this event, where young poets from six states and Norway will work intensively on their poetry for three days under the mentorships of established poet/educators. The student poets include two city youth poet laureates and one youth state poet laureate. This year’s teachers are Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer (Colorado), Jon Lee (Massachusetts) and Valencia Robin (Virginia). After working with the students, the teachers will mentor them during the next calendar year, one of the major strengths of Wellspring.
The final poetry performance is free and open to the public and will take place on November 16, 2019, at 7 P.M. at Alley Park, 2805 Old Logan Rd SE, Lancaster, OH 43130. The teachers will also share their work. Admission is free thanks to a grant from the Ohio Arts Council and generous donations from the poetry community.