April 26, 2021 | By Laura Kepner
Celebrate National Poetry Month
at Safety Harbor Waterfront Park
April 29 at 6 pm
Safety Harbor Waterfront Park
April is coming to an end but there is still time to pen a new poem or browse through your poetry collection to find an old favorite. On Thursday, April 29, at 6 p.m., the Safety Harbor Library’s tradition of celebrating National Poetry Month continues.
“We had our first poetry month celebration in April, 2009. Ten years later, it was still going strong with featured poets, music, food and an open mic for local poets to read original poems,” says Safety Harbor Library Director, Lisa Kothe.
“COVID hit in 2020, so we created a Poetry by the Pier event at Waterfront Park in October and we are bringing it back this month to celebrate National Poetry Month.”
National Poetry Month was launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996 to remind everyone that poetry matters and that poets play an integral role in our culture. Safety Harbor’s poet laureate Steve Kistulentz will emcee the open mic-style event at the beautiful Waterfront Park under the shade sail.
Kistulentz is the author of the 2018 novel Panorama (Little Brown & Co.) and three collections of poetry – The Luckless Age (Red Hen Press), Little Black Daydream (University of Akron Press) and just released this past week, The Mating Calls of the Dead (Black Lawrence Press).
“The thing I like most about it is you get to see that poetry appeals across so many different types of people and you get a sense of what strong community arts support there is in Safety Harbor and really, this part of Pinellas,” he says. “That’s always invigorating for me.”
Community members can sign up to read an original poem or a favorite work written by someone else, published or not. At the end of the evening, Kistulentz will read several poems from his new book.
“I’m particularly interested — me as a writer — in the idea that every person has experiences that are often both formative and traumatic,” Kistulentz says. “Whether it’s being victimized in some way, or suffering chronic illness or disability, or something that we all will unfortunately experience like the loss of a loved one.
“The poems I respond to the most are the ones that take those small kernels of personal experience to tell a larger public truth. That’s what I think my book is, in large part, how my experiences or the experiences of people close to me mimic the experiences of the community I live and work in, and the larger American community.”
Bring a lawn chair, and a picnic dinner if you’d like. This is a free event but masks and social distancing will be required.
. . .
Safety Harbor Waterfront Park is located
at 110 Veterans Memorial Lane, Safety Harbor FL 34695
Call 727-724-1525 ext. 4112 for more information
or visit cityofsafetyharbor.com/60/Library