Poet Naomi Shihab Nye has said “poems hide. [. . .] What we have to do is live in a way that lets us find them.” Poems or stories may be hiding near you right now—in newspapers and magazines, or in historic documents a few clicks away. Whether you collage fragments from many documents to make a found poem, discover a poem floating up from a single source text, or use documents as a spark for a story, come prepared for creative play. After seeing how poems can emerge from documents, in this case, poems that tell the story of Richmond’s elusive Progressive-era philanthropist and educator, Grace Evelyn Arents (who bequeathed land to the city that’s now Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden), we’ll mine new work from creativity-inspiring documents related to River City history and then share what we’ve found or invented.
Date: Thursday, April 20, 2017
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Patrick Henry Pub, 2300 E Broad St, Richmond, VA 23223
Wendy DeGroat’s poetry has appeared in U.S. and U.K. publications, including Rust+Moth, Raleigh Review, and Mslexia. Her chapbook Beautiful Machinery (Headmistress Press, 2016) is available at Chop Suey Books and online. She is currently working on a poetry collection in the voices of Richmond philanthropist, Grace Evelyn Arents, and her life companion, Mary Garland Smith. She and her wife live in Richmond, where she works as a librarian, teaches workshops, mentors poets, and curates poetryriver.org.