“Words mean more than what is set down on paper,” the poet Maya Angelou observed in her first autobiographical book I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. “It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning.”
With that maxim in mind, the Lost River Trading Post will offer local poets of every stripe and shade an “Open Mic Poetry Reading,” Sunday, March 23, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The Trading Post is located at 295 Main Street, Wardensville.
“The reading is open to everyone from the community — those who wish to read and those who wish to listen,” said Nicole Yurcaba, a Mathias poet and an English instructor at Eastern WV Community and Technical College.
“Eastern students are especially encouraged not only to attend the reading, but to also share their own written work,” said Yurcaba, who will read some of her poems, including from her new book Backwoods and Back Words.
“And students in my classes can receive extra credit if they attend or participate in the reading.”
The “Open Mic” organizers encourage all individuals to read their own poetry aloud at the session, or if they prefer, to read from the works of their favorite poets. Readers may sign up for the open mic when they arrive at the Trading Post.
“Poetry is essentially a cultural experience, and by reading poems aloud, the poet brings his or her poems to life for listeners,” Yurcaba noted. “Listening is one more way for students to experience literature, so by attending the reading and by participating in the reading, they are exposed to the real-life connections and realistic images that often appear in modern poetry.”
The earliest poetry was oral literature that people chanted, sang and recited — as they still do, according to John Timpane, the media editor/writer of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “A big part of poetry is sound and rhythm — and the best way to get the full impact of these important elements is to put them into action by pronouncing them with your own throat, lungs, teeth, lips, and tongue.”