Jacksonville Public Library will host the summer meeting for those who love poetry on July 28, Saturday, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m..

“This is the fourth seasonal meeting for this group which started last fall,” says Trina Stidham, director of the library, “and we are very pleased to sponsor this group.”

The meeting is an open microphone event and anyone who would like to share their poetry or the poetry of someone else is welcome to attend.

“Even if you simply listen,” says Peter Hoheisel, moderator of the event, “you are welcome to come and enjoy meeting and listening to your neighbors.”

“At our last meeting during April, National Poetry Month,” he added, “we had a nice turnout of twelve people, including Mike Guinn, a

Jacksonville native.”

Guinn actively promotes open microphone, musical, and poetry events in the East Texas area.

“We believe in bringing people together in a positive space so they can express themselves,” Guinn says.

“What Mike is doing for East Texas,” says Hoheisel, who has organized the meetings at Jacksonville Library, “is profoundly important, because poetry is essentially an oral art form: it is meant to be heard. We are rapidly losing this awareness, by thinking of poetry as simply words on a page, which denigrates the rhythmic and musical quality of poetry.

“Also,” commenting on the work of Mike Guinn, in restoring poetry to its oral roots and as an expression of the community, Hoheisel explained, “while our culture currently thinks of poetry as a frivolity, a kind of playing with rhyming words, nothing could be further from

the truth.

What the poet does,” he says, “is to reveal to us the essence of what it is to be human. The poet shows us who we are, and how we experience the reality of who we are.

Poetry, therefore,” he added, “reveals the meaning of things. It gives us reality, not as an abstraction, as science does, but in all the complexity and depth of the experience of being alive. When a poem reveals to us the truth about our human condition, at a particular time and in a particular culture, it is a good poem; and a good poem becomes a great poem, when it reveals the enduring truths of human life, at any time, and in any culture,” he concluded.

As well as the seasonal celebration of poetry, Jacksonville Public Library sponsors many cultural and public interest programs throughout the year. Call 903-586-7664 for more information.

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