At Noon: Poetry Moments - Episode 1 of 4 (Online)

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“When I began to listen to poetry, it’s when I began to listen to the stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say, and I began to listen to others. And I think, most importantly for all of us, then you begin to learn to listen to the soul, the soul of yourself in here, which is also the soul of everyone else.” - National Poet Laureate Joy Harjo


Have lunch with the poets!

Poetry sometimes seems impenetrable. But interest in the ancient art has picked up after dynamic young inaugural poet Amanda Gorman read her work. Join Susan Thornton Hobby of HoCoPoLitSo (Howard County Poetry and Literature Society) for a discussion and introduction to verse with HoCoPoLitSo's Poetry Moment series, featuring local actors offering introductions to videos of famous poets. Each week, we learn about three poems based around a theme, including history, grief, family, and pep talks.

Young actors Chania Hudson, Sarah Luckadoo, and Shawn Sebastian Naar from Howard Community College’s Arts Collective will read introductions to the archival video of poets and their work. Poets we'll be hearing from include Lucille Clifton, National Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, Taylor Mali, Jason Reynolds, Sterling A. Brown, Eavan Boland, and Li-Young Lee.

Susan Thornton Hobby is a writer, editor, and literary consultant. For fifteen years, she has worked as a special projects coordinator for HoCoPoLitSo, the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society, and has served on the society’s board for more than twenty years. She is a founding member of the Little Patuxent Review and interviews nationally known authors for that literary magazine. Susan is also a freelance writer and editor, and writes her own fiction and poetry.

Here’s our poetry hit parade: 

Register separately for each episode.

Tuesday, April 6: We’ll talk about grief, something many people are dealing with this year. Poems we’ll be discussing include "Elegy" by Linda Pastan, "My Deepest Condiments" by Taylor Mali, and "The Long Boat" by Stanley Kunitz.

Tuesday, April 13: History is this week’s theme, and we’ll talk about Sterling Allen Brown's "Southern Road,” read by poet Toi Derricotte, "In the Tradition" by Amiri Baraka, and "Requiem" by Anna Akhmatova, read by poet Carolyn Forché. Register here.

Tuesday, April 20: Many contemporary poets turn to their families as sources for poetry. The poems we’ll read this week are "good times" by Lucille Clifton, "The Pomegranate" by Eavan Boland, and "A Final Thing" by Li-Young Lee. Register here

Tuesday, April 27: Our last week is centered on pep talks in poetry, verse to lift us up and give us strength. We’ll discuss "The Solstice" by W. S. Merwin, "For Every One" by Jason Reynolds, and "I Give You Back" by Joy Harjo. Register here

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