An Evening of Poetry at the Dickinson Poetry Series




We crept in a few minutes late as Sharon Auberle read a poem to a crowd of folks smiling and nodding and uh-huhing along to her words. We found a spot in the back, exhaled.




I love poetry readings. I love the peace and the calm of hearing the sparse words and the small stories poems tell, that moment of reflection after the poet completes a reading.




This was my first opportunity to partake in the Dickinson Poetry Series, hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (UUF) of Door County the second Wednesday of each month. The program features an individual poet and then opens up to anyone who would like to share.




More than half the attending crowd took individual turns reading poems, poems about politics (a favorite topic of the night, in light of the recent elections), about love, about death, about the city of Basil, about telemarketers.




Barabara Larsen read a poem about the ‘town hussy’ of her childhood while Ralph Murre read a poem about war. Nancy Rafal read “To All My Friends,” a poem by the late Frances May, recently named Door County’s first Poet Laureate.




To All My Friends




Poets don’t die.




They go away somewhere to hide




from the pretenders.




The borderline is a circle




of stumps you can see past




if you stand on your toes




and let the grass spring up




between your toes.




The cotton in your head floats away




and lets you see clearly.




I see bluebirds,




minnows in the creek,




and go back to my violin.








[Poem reprinted with permission of Norbert Blei, literary executor for Frances May. This poem appeared in The Rain Barrel (Crossroads Press, 2005).]




The program is welcoming, first and foremost, and encouraging to poets of any skill and/or background. There is no judgment or criticism, though following the readings, poets and attendees may convene in the lobby for wine, cheese, and conversation (an opportunity to discuss the poems).




All and all, the free presentation makes for a lovely evening, for poet and non-poets alike.




The UUF is located 10341 Highway 42 in Ephraim. For more information call 920.854.9360.