By: Elizabeth Cate
For: Red Rock News
Date: April 24, 2015
Spark an Interest in Poetry during National Poetry Month
Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in
1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when schools,
publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets throughout the United
States recognize poetry’s vital place
in American culture. Whether you enjoy reading poetry, are intrigued
by the lives of poets, or are a poet yourself, we invite you to
visit Sedona Public Library and explore the myriad ways that poetry
can enrich your life.
If you are like many avid readers who appreciate all types of writing
but can’t seem to get enthusiastic about poetry, try creating a context
for the genre by first reading about a poet’s experiences. Two new
memoirs provide a perfect opportunity to pair a poet’s background
with their works.
In The Light of the World, poet Elizabeth Alexander
recalls her colorful life with her beloved artist husband, who
died unexpectedly of heart failure. Alexander is best known for
her poem “Praise
Song for the Day,” which she presented at President Obama’s
first inauguration. Short and accessible, this poem is available
on the Poetry Foundation’s website.
Another recent autobiography by a poet, Ordinary Light,
is an account of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Tracy K. Smith’s
journey from an orderly, middle-class childhood to an education
at Harvard, where she was able to discover her true identity. You can also
check out Smith’s acclaimed collection, Life on Mars,
which received the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
Poet Jane Hirshfield has simultaneously published a well-received poetry
book, The Beauty, and an essay collection about the value
of poetry, entitled Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World.
Both books are available through the Yavapai Library Network and
are reviewed in the April issue of “BookPage,” a free publication
you can pick up at the Library or access online at bookpage.com.
Inspired to create a poem of your own? Local poets interested in sharing
their works can attend the Sedona Writers Salon, hosted by author
Gary Every on the first and third Tuesday of each month, from 4 to 6 p.m.
at the Library. Attendees read their works and offer constructive criticism
to each other. Every Salon features a writing exercise, among other activities,
and first-time authors have a great opportunity to receive considerate criticism.
also a forum for authors to exchange information and ideas about
workshops, and discuss the works of favorite authors.
Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The land
on which our beautiful library sits was donated, and the library
building was constructed with private funds and is entirely debt-free.
Donations and grants allow us to continue to offer free and innovative
services to residents and visitors. Your tax-deductible donation
may be sent to: Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ
Sedona Public Library is located at 3250 White Bear Road in West
Sedona. Library hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Public Library in the Village is located at 7000 Highway 179, Suite
D-100, in the courtyard of Tequa Plaza. Library hours in the
Village are Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturday
from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You may call the main Library at 928.282.7714 and SPL-V at
928.284.1603 for more information about exhibits and services
that we offer.
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is
also presented on Sedona
Elizabeth Cate is Collection Development Librarian of
the Sedona Public Library.