Saturday, August 13, 2016

Poetry in Transit Rollout, August 19, 2016

The Poetry in Transit 2016-2017 Rollout will be Friday, August 19 at 5:00 PM at the downtown Wilkes-Barre Barnes & Noble on the Square (near Boscov's.)  This will be the third year that one of my poems will be featured as part of the project, which posts short pieces by local and regional poets in the advertising space of LCTA (Luzerne County Transit Authority) buses. This is a tremendous honor, and it's very exciting to know that someone may look at my poem and be touched by it, or be inspired by it - especially if that inspiration is in the form of "Hey! I can write something better than that! Next time they do one of these things, maybe I'll submit something!"

Here's an article about the event, which surprisingly features me pretty heavily:

Wilkes University, LCTA launch Poetry in Transit at Wilkes-Barre Barnes & Noble (Gene Axton, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader)

Homes turned to rubble, memories landed in muck and beloved locations ruined — rather than addressing the events of a flood directly with his contribution to this year’s Poetry in Transit collection, Nanticoke resident Harold Jenkins’ “After the Flood” aimed a spotlight at the corners of life that encroaching waters run into and disrupt. 
The 48-year-old writes from experience, letting memories of the 1972 and 2011 floods break through to his six-line poem. “After the Flood” is one of 15 works by local writers chosen for the flood-themed 2016 Poetry in Transit collection... (read more here, including a sneak preview of my poem for this year!)

UPDATE, August 18, 2016: The Citizens' Voice published an article today. I'm not mentioned in it, but my poem is used as the photo for the article! Mischelle Anthony, Sara Pisak, and Maddy Brozusky (aka Maddy Blake) are all interviewed:
Another local poet is Crestwood High School senior Maddy Blake, 17. Despite her age, Blake is an accomplished poet in her own right — a two-time “Poetry in Transit” veteran and long-time creative writer. 
“With this year’s theme being ‘flood,’ I was far too young to remember Agnes, so I chose to attack it from a much broader topic, bringing hope,” she said. 
Blake, who plans on enlisting in the Army after her final high school year, loves the uniqueness brought by the project that she believes “is missing from many other art endeavors.” 
“With ‘Poetry in Transit,’ you’re reaching an audience you never would’ve normally gotten,” she said. “Typically, with art-related things, you have the same crowd attending and patronizing ... With this, it’s exposing a brand new group of people each and every day to the writing, and it’s awesome that it’s in public spaces like this.”

A look back at my pieces from previous years:

My 2014 submission was an excerpt from "Hands," a poem I had written in November 2013. At the time Mischelle Anthony, who runs the program, knew me from my association with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Writers Collective and our readings at The Vintage in Scranton, so she assumed I was from Scranton. (I didn't notice the error until it was too late to correct.)

My 2015 submission was custom-written for the project, which that year had the theme of "River." I made a list of all of my most pressing memories of the Susquehanna River, and then recast them as a poem.  (I expanded the piece and read the longer version at the 2015 Rollout. You can see it here.) Two of those memories have to do with floods - the flood caused by Agnes in 1972, and the damage of the flood of 2011 - which made things difficult when it turned out the theme for 2016 was "Flood." But I found a way to deal with that.

To see how, you'll have to wait for the post that will appear after the Rollout!

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