In celebration of Earthday, local author Jim Leahy will be hopsting the second annual National Poetry Month Open Mic at the at 65 Main St Concord.
Jim Leahy is the author of the book “Living in Concord,” a collection of essays, reflections, a poem and a recipe. Leahy also produces the weekly Poetry Moment program on local CCTV channel 8, and is the host of a monthly poetry circle at where he is employed as manager.
“I really came to love poetry only in the last 10 years or so, and particularly came to realize that poems, when read aloud, just come to life in all kinds of ways. The power, the rhythm, the music of sound adds an evocative layer that is simply not there when I read silently. Even when I am reading alone I like to read poems aloud so that I can hear and feel them in their fullness,” Leahy said in the press release for this event.
Last year the open mic event attracted a good audience, many of whom brought favorite poems to share. Readings included a Shakespeare sonnet, an Andrew Marvell 17th century poem, Dylan Thomas’ Fern Hill, works by Hilaire Belloc & Robert Service, children’s verse and contemporary poems. One attendee read her own original poem to the delight of the gathering.
“I have some poems in mind this year including some to celebrate spring and nature since this is actually taking place on Earth Day. But I also like to bring a good selection of books in order to find poems that will relate to the moods and themes that spontaneously occur during the readings,” says Leahy. “The poetry section at the Concord Bookshop has a wonderful selection. I have found some unique anthologies there as well as some of the best collections of individual poets.”
The event also includes a raffle. “Penguin has given us a copy of the new anthology edited by Garrison Keillor, Good Poems, American Places (the new paperback edition) to offer as a raffle prize,” says Dawn Rennert, Concord Bookshop’s community relations co-ordinator. The volume includes work from Billy Collins, Nikki Giovanni, William Carlos Williams, Naomi Shihab Nye, Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver and others.
"We really enjoyed the afternoon last year," adds Rennert, "There's something for everyone - whether a bookshop visitor wants to read a selection from a favorite poet, share a poem of his own creation, or simply sit and take in the afternoon as part of the audience. This is a fun way to come together as a community to celebrate National Poetry Month and the range of our poetic heritage."