Word of the Month Poetry Challenges in the coming months

Hi everyone,

A quick reminder to those who have not posted their November Word of the Month poems yet. Grief is filled with meaning and stories. Thank you for the insightful poems already posted. I hope to see others as the month winds down.

If you remember, a few months ago I turned to the poets who attended my first workshop in 2011 near Honesdale, Pennsylvania and asked them to choose words for the next eight months. They were CORY CORRADO, JEANNE POLAND, KEN SLESARIK, SUSAN CARMICHAEL, JOY ACEY, HEIDI MORDHORST, BECCA MENSHEN, and CAROL-ANN HOYTE. In previous posts I’ve mentioned this group of poets, most of whom came to the workshop as strangers and left friends. Many have remained in touch over these past eleven years. With that original group in mind, I asked each in turn to provide the Word of the Month word for the months of September (Cory), October (Jeanne), November (Ken), December (Susan), January (Joy), February (Heidi), March (Becca), and April (Carol-Ann).

So far we’ve enjoyed words provided by Cory, Jeanne, and Ken. Coming up in December is Susan. I’m eager to see what she suggests to tickle our muses.

Interview in Ozarks Alive

Hi everyone,

I am grateful to KAITLYN MCCONNELL for her interview of me that is now posted on the Ozarks Alive site: https://www.ozarksalive.com/stories/lnbuid130gwc923t8v2sisfpz9lrcl

I am honored to be added to the series of stories about people and times that help make the Ozarks the way they are. On the site, Kaitlyn describes its purpose like this.

My thanks to Nathan Papes, Springfield News-Leader, for the picture

What is Ozarks Alive?
Ozarks Alive is a cultural preservation project that seeks to document the region’s people and places. Since its inception in 2015, more than 450 stories have been published about the region and its people. Most of these pieces cover southwest Missouri, others dip down into Arkansas. And while some are historical in nature, the vast majority tell of what life is like today. 

I describe Ozarks Alive as historical preservation in the present. My goal is to document the way life is now so it’s better understood in the future.

You are welcome to leave a comment after the article if you wish. I’m sure everyone is busy on Thanksgiving Day and the various activities and sports events that are traditional at this time, but I hope a few of you might find time between dishes and football to give it a look. Kaitlyn is a pro and has done a thorough job with this story.

Working on a new program

Hi everyone,

I’m working with STEPHANIE SMALLWOOD at The Library Center in Springfield on a new program for April. I’m developing a manuscript about the sounds we hear at night, which made me think that kids (and adults) might enjoy an evening learning more about the creatures that make them. This picture is from a program I gave about The Dirt Book when it came out last year. We had a lot of fun that evening!

Popular musician JUDY DOMENY and our friends from the Springfield Conservation Nature Center will join us for the evening to help us identify some of the sounds. Kids will learn facts about local nocturnal animals, enjoy stories and poems and even get to make some night sounds themselves!

Can you think of any songs I can pass along to Judy for the program? Any other ideas on how I can make the program more interesting for the kids that night? Maybe contests to see who can make the best imitations of a cricket? A tree frog? A katydid? Thanks for any ideas you might suggest. April will be before you know it

My Word of the Month poem

Hi everyone,

Sorry it has taken so long to write my W.O.M. poem, but here it is, inspired by KEN SLESARIK’s word for November — Grief.

The Hall, the Bridge, the Gate

Grief is a stone-walled hall
where memories of loss echo
from steel-clad bootsteps.

Grief is a bridge across regret
to a place where perspective
softens pain.

Grief is a freshly painted gate,
through which the future lies,
when it's time to open it.

(c) 2022 David L. Harrison