Wednesday, March 29, 2017

National Poetry Month in Bellview library

Blue posterboard that reads "National Poetry Month," decorated with images from the cover of a book by Jack Prelutsky, the "Poem in Your Pocket" pocket-shaped logo, an image from the cover of a book by Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss surrounded by several of his characters

Here is what is waiting in Bellview library, when Ashland schools return from spring break. April is National Poetry Month, and my posterboard display features Jack Prelutsky, Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss.

Support for the arts has been an emphasis of my career as an information professional.

As a newspaper editor in rural Lake County, Calif., I produced a short-lived tabloid that I modeled after the Ashland Daily Tidings’ weekly Revels publication. Later, I produced weekly A&E sections that were part of the broadsheet newspaper: published in both the Clear Lake Observer American and the Lake County Record-Bee. I was producer and supporter of a project among Lake County poets laureate, to print poetry and short fiction in the Record-Bee.

I did a radio segment promoting Arts events, and produced the ArtNotes quarterly members’ newsletter for the Lake County Arts Council.

In Ashland, Oregon, the arts enjoy a strong presence; they don’t need me to raise their profile, and I support them as theater-goer and patron. But I continue to advocate for literature and libraries; National Poetry Month is part of that emphasis.

I created this sign in April 2014, and bring it out again each year. The decorative sign accompanies books of poetry from the Bellview library collection.

These words by Jim Lyle, Lake County’s first poet laureate, resonate with me: “In 50 years, teenagers will not recognize most of the names of today’s world leaders. In 100 years, our current wars, periods of peace, triumphs and catastrophes will be mere lines in a text book. In 200 years, history will be understood only as explained and illuminated by the arts. In 500 years, our only history will be the arts.”

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