Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Night of Poetry


So my project over the last two weeks was to help with a surprise party. 

The woman who leads the library poetry workshop, Mary Jane Dickerson, a retired University of Vermont English professor, has been doing this free class for ten years.  AND she has just published a book of her own poetry, Tapping the Center of Things.  We wanted to pay her tribute and honor the occasion.

No one knows or remembers who had the idea, but a group of us all took on roles and it all got done without an official committee.  Amazing!  And it was a surprise, too. 
The event was piggy-backed on a community poetry reading. I still have no idea who arranged that part.  The poet laureate of Vermont was invited and Mary Jane was also invited to read from her book.  Eight other area poets also agreed to read.

I sent out an e-mail to a list that the librarian gave me of workshop attendees (present and past) and some key community members.  Beyond that it was an old-fashioned social network—word of mouth.

In my e-mail, I also asked people who had taken the workshop to send me poems so that we could assemble a book of poetry that Mary Jane had nurtured over the years.  Three of us got together and assembled the collected poems in a binder, each poem encased in a page protector.  There were about 28 poems.  I illustrated it with pictures that evoked something from a number of the different poems.  This was the cover page:
PicMonkey CollageJC(a collage of the village center)
 
DSCN2740It was well attended.  Word of mouth worked.
 
There was rhubarb punch, a cake, and other sweet and savory snacks;
DSCN2753DSCN2754
 
DSCN2755Our guest of honor gets the first piece of cake.
 
And then my battery gave out, but it was a very nice celebration pulled off in our small town—a fitting tribute to a sweet and respected pillar of the community.

16 comments:

  1. How wonderful. It sounds like a great event and imgladyou pulled it off.

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    1. It was a group effort with some generous help from a couple of husbands as well. Not mine, though.

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  2. How neat. It is great to know that people can come together to put on such a nice tribute. Great job!

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    1. It was a fun evening and kind of a labor of love,

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  3. Congratulations for a job well done! You should be proud of yourself.

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    1. I am quite proud of the assembled book. I wish I had gotten a picture of that.

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  4. What a wonderful tribute to a awesome lady. Hats off to you for getting the ball rolling!!

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    1. Our librarian gets most of the credit for getting the ball rolling, but I was glad I could help her out.

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  5. It's such a satisfying feeling when a group project works out. Well done.

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    1. Details and logistics can drive one crazy, but in the end the success was sweet indeed.

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  6. Nice job of organizing and what a really nice turn out.
    You are really making good use of your time. I'm feeling a little slackerish right now.

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    1. I was expecting about thirty people--turns out we had to drag out extra chairs. There were 60 people there. That is a real crowd in our small town.

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  7. I would have loved to have been there! Poetry and food -- two of my favorite diversions!! Glad it all worked out.
    Peace,
    Muff

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    1. The poetry was wonderful and the audience was appreciative. The poet laureate was impressed.

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  8. What a wonderful celebration! I bet she really appreciated it, too!

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    1. She was surprised...but not at a loss for words. It was fun. I hope to not have to do something like that again for some time, though!

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