Poets perform to celebrate Poetry Month
As published in the Red Rock News
The Library has done it again! We’ve taken the ‘d’ out of fundraising, and we’re having a ton of fun for Library Giving Day on April 27. It’s easy when it’s National Poetry Month and poets will join us for a full day of philanthropy and poetry. Come by and listen to local poets Roger Blakiston and Mary Heyborne, and Tucson poet Jefferson Carter, as well as an array of authors, poets, students, staff, and volunteers, all participating in our pop-up poetry extravaganza.
When you arrive on the 27th, grab a cup of coffee or tea, a donut or cookie, then stop by the poetry book display in our lobby. Pick up a collection by American Poet Laureates Joy Harjo or Billy Collins, a children’s great like Shel Silverstein, or American hero Walt Whitman. Then visit the “Poet-Tree!” A perfect opportunity to take a poem, write a poem, and leave a poem; it’s interactive fun!
Next, mosey on over to the gorgeous Silent Waterfall, our stained-glass treasure by Thomas Aderhold. This desert garden corner will serve as our pop-up poetry stage where readers will read their own poems or selections from favorite poets. You can gaze at the ten-foot high Madagascar Palm Tree, two African Milk trees, the ancient Cholla with a hidden owl, and of course, the huge Pencil Cactus! How perfect for a poetry corner!
The morning features a reading by local poet and magician Roger Blakiston at 10:30 a.m. Blakiston has published five books, including his recent book of poems, River & Rhyme. He says, “Since moving to Arizona from the U.K. thirty years ago, I have performed my Magic Show at almost every library in the state. It’s great to give something back to libraries, and the perfect opportunity to present my second love: poetry.” This is a reading you don’t want to miss.
Special guest Mayor Sandy Moriarty will join us at 11 a.m. to read some of her favorite poems. What a treat to hear our Mayor speaking publicly with rhyme, rhythm, and nary a mention of Robert’s Rules of Order.
The fun continues when Tucson poet Jefferson Carter takes the stage at noon, but as we’re expecting a crowd, we’ll move into the Community Room.
As you head over, grab another refreshment, and stop by the “Giving Book Display.” You’ll find a curated selection of books about charity, philanthropy, and popular philanthropists like Melinda Gates and George Soros. From The Giving Tree to Charity & Philanthropy for Dummies, there is sure to be a book for the philanthropist in you!
Jefferson Carter, a native Arizonan, has published numerous books of poetry including his most recent, Birkenstock Blues. He’s read across the southwest, and when reflecting on his lifetime of work, he says, “I'm an opportunist, not a poet with a plan. Whatever catches my fancy, I write about: an engaging image, a political or environmental issue, a bit of zoology, an overheard conversation, and, of course, love, love, love.” Carter will sell and sign books and donate proceeds for Library Giving Day. What do you get when you cross fun with philanthropy? Fun-anthropy!
The fun continues for the afternoon back at the Silent Waterfall for poetry from the little ones! Miss Marcia will guide children in the annual “pocket poetry” activity, and several kids will read the poetry they’ve tucked into their pretty paper crafts. This is a not-to-be missed part of the day, so parents, be sure to bring your kids by at 2 p.m. for the fun!
Harta Dunia, a member of our Library Giving Day family, and a regular at the Library, will read at 2:45 p.m. As a drummer and educator, we’re sure to both hear and feel the rhythm, soul, and beat of Harta’s poetry reading. Hang on to your seats for this one!
At 3 p.m., Sedona poet Mary Heyborne will read for us. Author of “On the Dedication of Sedona Library,” from her 2001 collection Who’ll Pick the Morning Rose?, we look forward to hearing that poem and other selections from her vast work. Mary is an artist, writer, traveler, and definitely excited to again get active in the community, especially at the Library.
Finally, as the day of poetry and philanthropy ends, we’ll hear from local author Robert DeMayo, who reads at 5 p.m. DeMayo will read some favorite poems, and maybe a section or two from his newest novel coming out in June: The King of the Coral Sea. What a way to end this wonderful day!
Library Giving Day, which began in 2019, is a celebration of libraries that now includes 438 American and Canadian participants, including your library! Libraries reach out to their communities for support during April, but only a few have matching gifts like we do . . . $20,000! Make a gift and it will be doubled through April 27. Please visit sedonalibrary.org/donate to show your support.
Remember, there’s only one library where you’ll get a day of Fun-anthropy! That’s right here at the Main Library in west Sedona . . . see you on the 27th!
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Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.