Celebrate Poetry

"Every poem has poetry ancestors…. No poem exists within a vacuum.
There are always  connections, probably ultimately to every poet in the world." 

-- Joy Harjo 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate --

Woodbury Public Library will host an all-day celebration of poetry April 29, 2023, in the Library Gallery. Join Connecticut's Poet Laureate Antoinette Brim-Bell, Woodbury's Poet Laureate Sandy Carlson, and several other Connecticut poets for panel discussions and workshops on poetry, poetry and art, and poetry and music.  

Morning Sessions, April 29, 2023

Opening Remarks (9:30 to 10:20 a.m.)

“What is Poetry?” 

A conversation about what makes a poem:  How do you know a poem when you see one? Why do writers write poems?  What is their place in our world?  Do we need them?

“Who and What are These Poems for?” (10:30 to 11:15 a.m.)

A conversation about why we write:  Who is the audience we hold in our minds as we write?  Whom do we hope will read our finished poems?  What does it mean to publish a poem in a world of social media, in-person and online open mics, blogs, and traditional and self-publishing?

Ekphrastic Poetry Presentation & Workshop (11:20 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)

Ekphrastic poetry is defined as poems about works of art. “Ekphrasis” is a Greek word that means to describe in vivid detail.  In this workshop, you’ll explore ekphrastic poems alongside the works of art they take as their subject, and you’ll have the opportunity to try your hand at writing an ekphrastic poem.  

Afternoon Sessions, April 29, 2023

Music & Poetry Playshop (1:10 to 2 p.m.)

Poetry can stand on its own or be enhanced by musical accompaniment. In this creative session, participants have permission to awaken their inner musicians by picking up easy-to-play instruments such as drums, chimes, and shakers to accompany short poetry readings — and then trade roles. Join the fun and open your ears to a new way to enjoy poetry!

Roundtable Discussion: “An Exploration of Poetry & Place” (2:05 to 3 p.m.)

A conversation about the relationship between what we write and where we are:  How does where we are influence, or interact with, what we write?  The designation of poet laureate is defined by geography.  How is that assignment reflected in the poets’ work?  How does poetry go beyond those borders?  How does it celebrate place?

Moderator:  Sandy Carlson

Panelists: Antoinette Brim-Bell, Pegi Deitz-Shea, Suzanne Frischkorn, Jim Kelleher, Pat Mottola, Tom Nicotera, and Lin Northrup

Art Song & Contemporary Poetry (3:25 to 4:15 p.m.)

In the art song repertoire, there is a distinct lack of contemporary music written with developing vocalists in mind. Supported by a UConn IDEA Grant, Sarah Marze composed a songbook and created educational resources for high school students of classical voice and their teachers. In collaboration with poets from the Connecticut Poetry Society, Marze has set six poems that  are age-appropriate, fulfilling and accessible for young students. The songs, while written to be teaching tools, contain expressive music for all ages meant to be a bridge into contemporary music. Marze, Emma Bocciarelli, and Conor Shirshac will perform songs from Let Us Sing.

Presenters:  Sarah Marze, Emma Bocciarelli, and Connor Shirshac