Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ohio Poetry Day

In 1938, the State of Ohio declared the third Friday of every October to be Ohio Poetry Day. Many states now have a official state poetry day, but Ohio was the first.

The Ohio Poetry Day celebration is at a different location in Ohio each year, and this year, the OPD will be close to Cleveland, at Mount Union College, in Alliance, October 16 and 17.

The Ohio Poetry Day sponsors the Ohio Poetry Day contest-- in fact, I should say contests, since there are actually 31 individual contests, and one of the things that the celebration event is for is to celebrate the contest winners*.

The celebration itself starts on October 16 with Friday evening "warm up" events at 7pm including refreshments, readings and writing exercises. On Saturday, the day starts with the OPD workshops in the morning, and then, after lunch, continues with a reading by the 2009 Ohio poet of the year, followed by reading of some of the Ohio Poetry Day Award-winning poems**, and (if it's like other OPD celebrations), closing with some open reading. Should be good fun.

Watch the site for more details.

Tessa Sweazy Webb was the poet who originally lobbied the Ohio General Assembly to create Ohio Poetry Day (that's her up there on the t-shirt). She also founded the Ohio Poetry Association. (Well, OK. Back in 1928, when it was started, she originally called it the "Verse Writers’ Guild of Ohio.") Check out their web site.

Oh, and if you're interested, the 2010 OPD contests haven't been announced, but watch the OPD site for news.

**and the Ohio Poet of the Year, but that's for another post. Unless you click the links on this one, of course, in which case you already know.
**well, for full disclosure, I should mention that I won two of the OPD awards this year, so I'm not entirely disinterested.


John Burroughs said...

Sounds like a great event (and congratulations, Geoffrey!). I was unaware that OPD was on October 16th and 17th when I committed a couple of months ago to give readings elsewhere on those days. But I suppose it's better to have too many poetry events in this state on the same date(s) than to have too few (i.e., zero). Enjoy OPD! Wish I could be there, too!

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Say, I think you should just declare your readings to be in celebration of Ohio Poetry Day. No better way to support Ohio Poetry than by having many readings in many locations!

For everybody else, I notice that the OPD event now has the registration form now online (although you can't send it in online-- it's a print-it-out-and-mail type form).

John Burroughs said...

An excellent idea!


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau