Life gets busy and full. Poems drag around my ankles and fall away in the wake. Sometimes I forget the power of poetry. But this weekend I was moved and reminded.
I spent the weekend at the Denver County Fair, mixing up a big batch of poetry.
At what's been dubbed the "craziest county fair in America," pies and pigs mix with zombies, drag queens, and crazy cats (Lil Bub!). In the whirl of all this, poetry sings. And as Director of Poetry (I love this title), I get to orchestrate all kinds of fun: a poetry contest, a poetry performance, and a poetry booth.
Now in our fifth year, poetry soared, with more poem entries than any other contest category. More than pies, more than pickles, more than beer!
Along with the contest, the Poetry Performance featured powerful readings by youth poets from Art from Ashes.
"I'm a recovered addict," Tyler told the audience. "Poetry transformed my life."
"I just had my last day of chemo," announced Vaniesha. "Poetry gives me strength."
Their words burned up the stage and ignited energy.
Just a few feet away, people crowded the Poems-Write-Now table. Poets of all ages went to work, penning on-the-spot poems for appreciative customers, many of whom until that day didn't think they liked poetry.
"It's so nice to see poetry in such a different venue!" noted Eduardo, a contest judge and a writer working the poetry booth. "It makes me happy to see enthusiasm for poetry."
For one weekend, poetry moved out of books, libraries and schools and into the wide open world where people play, laugh, and live. Now, that's powerful stuff!
It's Thankful Thursday, a weekly pause to express appreciation for people, places, things and more. What are you thankful for today?