Celebrating Our Nation during National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month, Poetry Open Mic, Indian Trail Cultural Arts Center

Celebrating National Poetry Month, at the Indian Trail Cultural Arts Center, on Saturday April 11th exploded with fun and creative zest for everyone who attended this literary event. Participants accepted the poetry prompt challenge to (a) select a state, not necessarily one they are a native of and (b) compose a poem characteristic of that state to recite to the audience. We wanted to highlight the “National” in the celebration’s namesake and pay homage to our dear country and the freedoms we are privy to enjoy. On display was a copy of the mayoral proclamation issued during National Poetry Month 2014, by Mayor Michael Alvarez of Indian Trail, North Carolina. The proclamation recognized April, as National Poetry Month for the town. A 2015 National Poetry Month poster designed by Roz Chast that was inspired by Mark Strand’s poem, Eating Poetry was on display.

Moderator Kym Gordon Moore began the program by reflecting on the great 1814 poem, Defence of Ft. M’Henry, written by poet Francis Scott Key. This poem was set to a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith, named To Anacreon in Heaven. We know this familiar tune as The Star Spangled Banner. The audience stood and sang our beloved national anthem. The poem contains 4 stanzas compared to the first stanza that we commonly sing.

Poets who read for the evening’s open mic were: Casey Zvanut, Christian George, Brian Back, Sydney Nazloo, Joy Young, Norman Bartee, Dwight Roth and Kym Gordon Moore. A special historical tribute was made by Roger Fish recognizing the state of South Carolina. This evenings participants were chosen to have their poem featured on Poets for Hunger this month. We were also delighted to have for the first time, at our open mic readings, Matthew George, who shared one of his personal poems to add some additional spice to the evening’s celebration. Check out our slideshow!

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Artists Erin Penland and Alicia McDaniel painted their rendition of the poems being read, based on the atmosphere of the event on the mediums they chose. Erin chose to paint a tapestry of abstract symbols on fabric, while Alicia chose an abstract textural angle that she painted on a blank drawing of the United States map.

Susan Didier, Community Development Specialist, presented the picture “Nightingale” that was painted and donated by local artist Eugene Smith. The painting will be awarded to the poet who wins “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” Ekphrastic Poetry Contest next month. The award ceremony will be held during the “Pies, Pastries & Poetry” Mother’s Day open mic reading, on Saturday May 9th, at the Center.


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