It was an eventful night Friday evening, with two events going on at both the Nakusp Public Library and the arena, and both could not have been more different.
While folks were over playing hockey to raise money for the next grad class, many of Nakusp and New Denver’s poets, writers and avid readers chose to pack into the quaint building to listen and read poetry.
What Evelyn Goodell calls the “most popular” of the library’s events is easy to see as people packed into the children’s reading corner on varying degrees of comfortable seats. From the nice, leather seats in the back to the small wooden ones built for people in younger grades, I decided to sit in one of those.
Not by choice, really. But by necessity.
Other folks stood around the various bookshelves in the back, peeking over top the bound pages of written word to get a glimpse at the next reader.
Starting it off, as usual, was librarian Evelyn Goodell.
Much like the library event where each person chose a specific book to read, they also introduced the authour of the poem and why it was significant to them.
Goodell chose The Wild Geese by Mary Oliver. While she begins to read her poem, Caelen Starblanket LaRocque sits quietly on the side, softly strumming his guitar to provide a melody to each poem.
Following suit was Sabina Iseli-Otto, Evelyn’s soon to be replacement librarian when she retires at the end of this month.
Iseli-Otto chose Notes on Mushrooms by Ken Howe. This one was chosen for its hilarity and ridiculousness, since the author personified the one item he believes to be farthest away from humans – mushrooms.
Each reader was met with great applause, and not one stumbled during their reading, showing just how comfortable the community is with each other.
New Denver poet Art Joyce read, as well as a young girl named Rowan Wurst. Laurie Page, the local vet also read a poem, as well as the always tongue-in-cheek reader and writer John Perkins.
Attendees were taken through the works of William Woodsworth, Lewis Carroll, Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Thich Nhat Hanh.
Needless to say, words of humour, wisdom and love were shared among the gathered group of nearly 50 people.
It was a wonderful night. Well, minus the crick in my back from that wooden chair.
But hey, all in all, it was amazing. A full list of readers and their poems are as follows:
Evelyn Goodell – The Wild Geese; Sabina Iseli-Otto – Notes on Mushrooms; Jean Lancaster – Tam O’Shanter; Art Joyce – I Live My Life in Growing Orbits; Beveley Darnell – Friday Nights; Vikki Zinselmeyer – Daffodils; Trish Huesken – Jabberwocky; Gillian Redwood – Song of the Open Road; Rowan Wurst – All of the Time; Jean Nelson – The Mountain Whippoorwill; Anne Strachan – White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field; John Perkins – Lamia; Gail Joy – Colours; Sue McLean – Fern Hill; Barbara MacPherson – The Waking; Ien Van Houten – The Stone; Ramona England – Rocherster’s Song to Jane Eyre; Laurie Page – Please Call Me By My True Names.
Thanks again for the wonderful evening, and I hope there’s more I can attend soon.
Sam Smith is the reporter/photographer for the Arrow Lakes News based out of Nakusp, B.C.