Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Poetry for the Masses From My Pals


That's Mary Hill above and Melanie Almeder, my homie, at the right>

You’d never know it unless you knew it, but the Roanoke Valley is a veritable hotbed of sizzling poets. Three of them—all of whom teach at Roanoke College—will be reading and talking Friday, Sept. 11 noon-1 p.m. at the Taubman Museum of Art downtown and I insist you go. It’ll be good for you. Like chocolate spinich.

The women, Melanie Almeder (one of my best friends), Mary Crockett Hill (whom I absolutely adore) and Cynthia Atkins (whom I've known through a conference) will each read from her own works and they are quite different, quite good.

Melanie’s On Dream Street is of such depth, good sense, and so thoroughly accessible that I’ve always thought she was something of a miracle.

Mary’s a lot like that, as well with A Theory of Everything: smart, senisble, sensitive and so thoroughly full of life.

Cynthia, who has taught in Lexington and Roanoke, among other places, has the dark edge of the group, delving into the darkest corners of the mind, especially with Psyche's Weathers, her latest book of poetry.

These are pleasant, brilliant, lovely, accomplished people whom I think you’ll enjoy as I do, so be there. I mean it. Your grade depends on it.

(By the way, Mel and Cynthia has each taught at our annual Roanoke Regional Writers Conference, which is scheduled Jan. 15-16 at Hollins next year.)

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