Library and arts board join efforts
By Angie Landsverk
National Poetry Month is being celebrated in Waupaca in April.
Waupaca Community Arts Board (WCAB) members and the Waupaca Area Public Library are working together to offer ways to bring poetry into the lives of residents.
“Even before we had the written language, people told stories – sometimes in poetry form. It is something that was part of every culture. It’s your way of sharing how you see the world,” said Anita Olson, a WCAB member.
A few years ago, WCAB decided to add poetry and storytelling to Arts on the Square, the annual arts festival the board sponsors in downtown Waupaca.
While the poets and storytellers drew audiences, they were smaller ones.
The board loved the idea of having the activities but decided this would be a more suitable time of the year to have the events, Olson said.
It then decided to sponsor the events in April, since it is National Poetry Month, and the library came on board as well, she said.
“That is a big part of what the arts board wants to be – a collective, collaborative group,” Olson said. “The library was already working on National Poetry Month.”
The library is celebrating National Poetry Month during its next Lunch & Learn program.
Patricia Williams, a local poet, will be the presenter.
Her program will begin at noon Tuesday, April 10, at the library.
A light lunch will be catered by a local restaurant.
Those wanting to attend next week’s Lunch & Learn may register for it at www.waupacalibrary.org, or by calling the library at 715-248-4414.
In addition to that program, those visiting the library this month may see the “longest poem ever.”
The poem was written by more than 40 people last summer.
All of the verses were incorporated into the poem in time for Arts on the Square.
The printed poem was loaded onto a “crankie,” a long scroll wound onto two spools and loaded onto a box that has a viewing screen.
The crankie, built by Olson’s husband, is at the library all month.
People are encouraged to sit at the table behind the crankie and write more verses of poetry on the manual typewriter there.
They may do this throughout the month.
Also on view throughout April are Haiku poems written at another past Arts on the Square.
These are on display at Office Outfitters.
Area residents are also encouraged to sign up for a daily poem at [email protected]
The poems will be delivered to their email accounts, and there are also poems on the site written especially for children, Olson said.
The final piece of the local celebration will be Poem in Your Pocket Day.
This will take place Thursday, April 26, in Waupaca.
The public is invited to write poems or make copies of their favorite ones, place them in their pockets and then walk around and distribute them that day, Olson said.
They may hand out as many copies as they want, she said.
“It could be at a business or at school,” Olson said. “In another community that did this, no poems were found crumbled on the sidewalks, so everyone took them with them.”