Poetry Revisited Group Encourages Poets in Brunswick County
In Brunswick Country, poetry is alive and well. A group called “Poetry Revisited” has worked hard to put enjoyment back into the reading and writing of poetry, and their efforts are paying off.
Nursery rhymes and music are common forms of poetry that many adults still enjoy and cherish. Yet for so many people years of education and required study have forced poetry to be seen as a group of words merely to be studied, accessed, poked and prodded, until much, if not all, of the joy leaks out of them
Kat Moore is a 2008 transplant to Brunswick County’s Brick Landing from High Point, NC and she is trying to change that through Poetry Revisited.
“I’ve been writing poetry off and on for a number of years,” Moore says. “When we moved here, I wanted to find a group of people interested in poetry so I could read my work to them and so I would be able to listen to the work of others. I could not find one, so I started Poetry Revisited.”
Moore selected Sunday afternoon at three in the afternoon for the meeting time. Lois Carroll, branch manager at Rourk Library provided the meeting room. Moore advertised in local papers and put flyers wherever she could. About a dozen people came to the first meeting.
“When the library began closing on Sundays, we had to go elsewhere. We moved around a bit until finding a home at Arbor Landing,” says Moore.
The group has grown since the first meeting, but in any given month the Sunday attendance can vary widely. Men, women, old, young, listeners and writers come to the group—some often, some occasionally. Encouragement is at the heart of the group. Poets are usually able to read at least one of their poems at each meeting. Some who came for a few months just to listen have now begun to write their own poetry.
Some of the members of Poetry Revisited have published and experimented with new forms, with some winning awards and publishing entire books. And, of course, there are always involved members who prefer to continue to write for themselves and family.
Joining Poetry Revisited is simple: attend a meeting and sign up for the monthly email reminders. There are no dues, or strict requirements, just some general guidelines. Once a month, members receive an email from the coordinator as a reminder about the meeting. Occasionally, the group holds public poetry readings in libraries, schools, and other venues. Moore says, “When I set up the guidelines for reading (only original poems, family language), we also decided against critiques, thinking that aspect might discourage beginners.”
Rourk Library still supports Poetry Revisited by exhibiting the Poetry Tree in the library entryway. There, short works by members introduce library patrons to poetry.
“It used to be just haiku. Now we have a variety of short poems,” says Margarete O’Leary, who maintains the tree. And the group’s website, (www.poetryrevisited.org), offers tips on writing and publishing as well as sample poems.
“In 2017, we expanded the tree from haiku only to include short poems of various types to give more of our members a chance to participate,” O’Leary explains. She hopes reading poems on the tree will inspire folks to reconsider poetry in their lives and maybe even join the group. “Poetry is not the “stodgy” old poetry we learned in school. Poetry expands our world and sends us on journeys like nothing else can. Poetry is the best medicine—it can soothe the soul, incite to riot, cause us to contemplate, make us laugh and more. A simple thought or line can profoundly alter our view of ourselves and others.”
As of this month, Moore stepped back from her role as group coordinator. “I want more time to devote to my own writing and family,” she says. Mike Dailey, a long-time member, has agreed to lead the group into the future. Dailey says he hopes to increase the number of public readings the group gives.
“Almost every writer I have ever known writes to be read,” says Dailey. Dailey’s poetry niche is humorous rhyming poems. He credits the regular group meetings with inspiring him to try something new—haiku.
“Haiku gives me a different way to work with words, a different perspective on phrasing. Poetry is about beauty in language,” says Dailey. Dailey hopes to continue Moore’s work of using the group to spread the love of language and poetry and to continue to encourage writers and listeners who attend.
Want to join Poetry Revisited?
Poetry Revisited meets at 3:00 pm on the second Sunday of the month
Arbor Landing at Ocean Isle
5490 Arbor Branch Dr., Shallotte, NC