COLUMN: Connect, relate, and grow through the written word | columns

I started writing poetry when I was young. Being rather shy, I found my outlet in poetry. It was my go-to when things didn’t make sense or when I was feeling sad or lonely or angry.

When my grandpa passed away in 2011, I wrote a poem and read it during the ceremonies of Relay for Life. Poetry was—and still is—the way I’m able to work through my feelings in my own space.

I have a binder full of half-finished and fully formed poems, most that no other eyes have read, and that’s OK because it’s how I express myself. It’s how I’m heard when I feel like there’s no other avenue to be heard. And that’s the power of literature, isn’t it?

Getting to connect, relate and grow through the written word.

April is Poetry Month, and the library is celebrating by accepting poetry submissions from our community members. It’s not a reply. Instead, the submissions will be made into a collection featuring community members. It’s telling your story, giving your truth. It’s your voice through poetry format.

Poems are accepted through the end of April. Then, they’ll be bound into a collection of poetry organized by age category. Each contributor will receive a free copy of the book, and the collection will also find a place on the library’s shelves.

The age categories are 8 & under, 9-13, 14-18, and 19 & over. Everyone is invited to participate, whether you’re new to poetry or not. Poems must be your original work and only one poem entry per person, please. No page or word limit. And, of course, you retain full copyright to your work, though you grant the library publishing rights when you submit.

Community members may drop off their submissions in the drop box located in the library lobby. You may also email them to our Adult Program coordinator, Margo Holmes at mholmes@enid.org.

This Saturday is also Enid Author Fest, and the library will have local poets, using typewriters, to create poems for people on the spot. Also, be sure to stop by and visit with Putnam Six Bookstore and the Old Soul Used & Antique Books. We’re also excited to welcome the Oklahoma Library for the Blind.

Visit the library from 1 to 5 pm and find your new favorite local author. Check out a full list of the 30 authors who will be at the library on EPL’s website: enid.okpls.org/EnidAuthorFest.

Be sure to stop by this April and help the library celebrate our community with your poetry.

Malan is a communications specialist at the Public Library of Enid and Garfield County.

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