Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Sunday, March 15, 2009

I HAVE COFFEE WITH THE POETS



Imagine walking into a bookstore like this one. It's a gray February day, with storms threatening, and you've just driven in the rain from Cullowhee over Winding Stair Gap and down into the town of Hayesville. You find the town square and park in front of a place called Crumpets, also known as Phillips & Lloyd bookstore. You're early. You sit in the car waiting for the doors to open, and when they do, you enter the store where you see one of the most welcoming interiors you've beheld in quite awhile.



But wait! It gets better. There's your old friend Nancy Simpson waiting to give you a hug. You are, after all, the special guest today, the poet who drove into the clouds and down again to get here for a morning of poetry.



Here are Brenda Kay Ledford and Carole Thompson waiting to say hello.



There's fresh coffee waiting, and oh my, all sorts of goodies being spread on a table in the room where ruffled curtains and quilts adorn the windows and walls. Soon other friends from Netwest arrive--Glenda Beall, Brenda Kay Ledford, and a little later, Janice Townley Moore, to name only a few. It's COFFEE WITH THE POETS morning. Wake up, wake up, the poets all around me seem to be saying, and after my reading and question/answer session, I listen to them read their own work in the open mic portion of this monthly event sponsored by Netwest.




(Michelle Keller, who coordinates Netwest's COFFEE WITH THE POETS, introduces me before my reading.)

Janice Moore sits to the side listening.



One by one the poets read their poems. "I want these," I declare, grabbing pages out of each poet's hand, and I carry them back home with me over the mountain. When I get home I realize I can't possibly type all of these for my blog! So, out comes my trusty digital camera, and I photograph each poem. Aha, the real thing, preserved by modern technology. Even the wrinkles in the paper.

Brenda Kay Ledford in her red-hot leather suit leads off the list.





Richard Argo flashes a big smile after reading his poem about being in a tent during rain. (I remember tent days--and nights---but mine weren't so romantic.)





Idell Shook introduces me to her book, Rivers of My Heart.





And Clarence Newton! What else to say about his "Adventure"?






One of the highlights of my day is meeting Lynn Rutherford, whose comments on this blog have delighted me over the past months. A Georgia girl herself, she knows about muddy rivers, squishy mud, sandspurs, and mosquitoes!








Nancy Simpson reads an old poem made new again through revision and recently accepted by The Pisgah Review.



Carole Thompson's poem set in St. Simon's Island, shows her gift for vivid imagery. It made me want to head south to the Golden Isles, where my favorite beaches wait.




Glenda Barrett, who lives just over the state line, promised to email me some of her poems. Here is one of them. Glenda is a widely published poet, with a recent chapbook to her credit. (more about that in a later post)




Flashback


The massage therapist

moves her slick palms

up and down my leg muscles

and notices a scar on my ankle.

Did you know every cell

in our body has a memory?

Experts say that simply touching

a scar can bring back the memory

of the trauma.

I listen as she speaks,

but I’m secretly glad

no one can touch my heart.

------------Glenda Barrett

Published in The Cherry Blossom Review in summer of 2008


If you are looking for crafty wit, look no further than Dorothea Spiegel's "X ON."





And Linda Smith's voice was well-suited to the "mystery" she unfolded in her poem "Mystery Memory."






Karen Holmes read a memorable poem about the circles life makes.





And after the open mic, we made our way to the delicacies arranged on the table. Poetry makes you hungry, after all. And COFFEE WITH THE POETS will make you hungry for more such mornings when friends and lovers of poetry gather to celebrate and enjoy the magic of each and every poem.


8 comments:

DogLover said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I enjoyed the post on "Coffee With the Poets" very much. The photos and poetry were great. I also enjoyed very much the great poetry Kay Byer shared with us at this event.

Glenda said...

Thanks, Kay, for posting our Netwest Coffee with the Poets group on your blog. We look forward to your visiting with us again.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thanks, Glenda and Brenda Kay. I had a fabulous time with all of you. And Brenda Kay, a special thanks for your "great" words about my poetry!

doris diosa said...

Ohhh! What a *wonderful* event! i feel like i was, or am, there -
and i just read the intro and scrolled the (great) visuals, so far.:) LOVE the idea of waking up to and with poetry - as i have done, b/c of this post.
Big Hugs and Kisses, Kay, and congrats on your "Blog Award."

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

doris, a few more poems coming your way if I have time later on....
Waking up to poetry is a "Fabulous" way to start the day.

Richard said...

Thank you, Kay, for being there and doing this, and, and...

Richard

Lynn Hamilton Rutherford said...

Kay! This was such a wonderful day and I will never EVER forget all these amazing people and their unforgettable poems! I feel so blessed to have been a part of them and to sit in a room with so much talent!

You inspired me in so many ways that day and for that I appreciate you more than I can express.

Let's go play in the mud soon!!! I'll let you have the fat worm!

:)

Lynn