Poetry Friday: What An Amazing Community!

For her birthday, Linda Baie GAVE the gift of poetry — she handpicked volumes for anyone who sent her their address. I’ll enjoy the David Ignatow book (POEMS 1934-1969) a little at a time, but her pick of CRY OUT: POETS AGAINST THE WAR was magical. From the blurb on the back: “On February 16, 2003, eleven contemporary poets held a reading in Manchester, Vermont, called “A Poetry Reading in Honor of the Right to Protest as a Patriotic and Historical Tradition.” Organized in response to the cancellation of a White House poetry symposium, the reading was sponsored by the Northshire Bookstore and drew a crowd of over seven hundred people. CRY OUT: POETS PROTEST THE WAR gathers together the poems read by the participants, many of them original poems and others poems by…renowned poets…”

We were in Manchester, VT just.last.week!! The Northshire Bookstore is one of our favorite destinations there! Magical! Thank you, Linda!!

Outside Manchester, VT
One of the poems read by Donald Hall

Words that still ring true today.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is winter-poem-swap-2021.png

Laura Shovan and I are helping Tabatha with the Winter Poem Swap. The Winter Poem Swap is a little different than the Summer Swap. In the SummerPoem Swap, poets do up to five swaps, while the Winter Poem Swap is just ONE swap. This time, though, you are asked to send a wee gift along with your poem. If you would like to participate, send Laura an email (laurashovan @ gmail . com) by November 6. Include your full name and mailing address. Let her know if you want to swap with the same person who is sending to you or if it doesn’t matter. Include any allergies your gift giver might need to know about. Laura will send you the name and address of your poem/gift recipient by November 13. Then you have a month to write your poem and put your package together for delivery by December 15, in plenty of time for the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere (10:58 AM on December 21, in case you were wondering).

Jama is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at Jama’s Alphabet Soup. Head over for some October goodness and the rest of the posts by this amazing community! I’m so thankful for all of you, and all you do to make the world a better place, one Friday after another!

17 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: What An Amazing Community!”

  1. The Winter Poetry Swap sounds like fun. I’d love to participate, but I’m swamped right now. I do enjoy seeing all the posts everyone shares afterward. Thank you, Mary Lee for all you do for poetry and to make the world better. xo


  2. Mary Lee, fun post with nice surprises. I love that Linda gave birthday gifts of poetry to all who asked. That quote by JFK does still ring true today. Thanks, Mary Lee.


  3. Mary Lee, I loved seeing your photos of your vacation fun that you posted on FB. I was particularly struck by the glowing photo of you and your husband. The smiles said it all. As for this post, it is filled with inspiration (Whitman, Kennedy), the generosity of Linda Baie-loved what she sent you. I will share what she sent me in the days forthcoming. I have to think about the Winter Swa[ to see if I have time. I would love to participate. Many thanks for your updates. Enjoy fall some more!


  4. I loved your Vermont trip pictures earlier this am, Mary Lee, and am so happy that I connected with the poetry choice. I admit I simply glanced at most of the books chosen, and get shivers when those REAL connections happen as yours has. Enjoy, and thanks for sharing these special poems from long ago, maybe time again?


  5. Yes to this wonderful community! I don’t know that bookstore in Manchester. Maybe we can stop next time! The Walt Whitman poem resonates with me. JFK’s words hit deeply. We all cherish our children’s future and we are all mortal. We need to find a way to live together. And value the beauty of our diversity and that different does not mean wrong. (Sometimes maybe but….) Freedom of expression is so important. Lovely gift from Linda. I signed up for the Swap! Thanks for helping Tabatha! The connections we can make with all people enlarges our lives and I love being able to do it with other poets/teachers/authors/writers for kids (of all ages) I have met here online and when possible in person. PS And that was a beautifully vibrant photo of you and your husband.


  6. I was also a lucky recipient of two books from Linda. Amazing generosity. I haven’t had any reading time yet. We do have such a great poet community!


  7. President Kennedy was an eloquent, perceptive speaker, wasn’t he? Thanks for sharing Linda’s wonderful gifts, and thanks especially for helping me with the swap!! I so appreciate that you and Laura graciously stepped in. 💖 🧡
    💙 🤎 💖 💛 💌


  8. Look at that serendipitous selection Linda made for you! I’m now curious–what is the relationship to VT? This post and your fondness for the bookstore makes it sound like you visit often. And I am struck to wonder what our world would be like if the man who spoke those words, JFK, had lived the long life he was entitled to instead of the short one taken from him, and us. Thanks for sharing that piece, and for helping the Swap along. I shall participate!!


  9. This is such an amazing community! I also received books from Linda and am already thinking about the swap. The Kennedy quote is just right and the way WW writes about the view outside a barn door is awesome!


  10. Your post reminds of all the ways the Poetry Friday Community connects. I’ve always found this community to be so welcoming, supportive, and giving. I’m continually inspired.

    Enjoy that new poetry read!


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