National Poetry Month

npmLast night, my local writers’ organization (SWAG Writers–the Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta Group of Writers, a sub-chapter of the Virginia Writers Club), hosted our annual Poetry Month reading. About 15 people were in attendance to hear wonderful work by four poets with very different styles and voices. The reading was in a great venue and a terrific addition to the arts community in Staunton–The Space (The Staunton Performing Arts Center Experience).

The first reader was John Most. John is from Crozet, Virginia but has lived and studied in Europe and New York. He read work from a complicated new project, but he also talked about published work and a long-term project that includes Atelier, available on CD. In honor of Poetry Month, John kicked off with a poem by H.D.

Then Sara Robinson read from both of her collections, including her newest book, Stones for Words. Sara, who describes herself as “rural balladry,” began with a reading of a Billy Collins poem.

Next up is Angela Marie Carter. Angela’s book, Memory Chose a Woman’s Body, will be out very soon from Unbound CONTENT. A confessional poet, Angela’s work is sometimes dark and disturbing, but always bold. Still she managed to end on an upbeat note!

The last reader was Jeff Schwaner. I’m a fan of Jeff’s work, which you can sample on his website, Translations from the English. Wonderful stuff. Love those long titles!

And then we sampled the refreshments.

For more information about SWAG Writers and what we do, leave a comment or send me an email:


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  1. Cliff,
    Thank you for the opportunity, for the words, and wonderful space that we were able to celebrate National Poetry Month last night. It was a wide array of subjects and voices, and I am so proud to have been a part of it.

    I would say that I’m an extremely positive person, as an individual, because poetry has allowed me to write about the things I do. Thanks for your support. Angela M. Carter

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