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Poetry for the masses

By The Staff

Q: Are there any activities about reading or poetry at ECTC?

A: Yes, there are at least two major activities. One is the monthly poetry series at 7 p.m. starting  Oct. 23 the third Thursday of every month. It will feature J. Steven Rhodes and David Harrity. Rhodes’ volume of poetry, “The Time I Didn’t Know What to Do Next,” recently was published by Wind Publications. Harrity’s work has been published in Ruminate Magazine, Membra Disjecta, New Southerner, The Minnetonka Review and The Xavier Review. A chapbook of his poems recently was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Kentucky Literary Award. Contact Mick Kennedy at (270) 706-8407 for information about the Poetry Series.

ECTC also hosts a Book Club. This fall, the club will read Garrison Keillor’s “Good Poems for Hard Times.” The club is open to faculty, staff, students and the general public.

Q: Why was this book chosen for this month’s Book Club meeting?

A: After talking with many faculty, staff, students and members of the public, I heard comments such as, “These days I don’t have time to read a novel...” and “ I would like to be reading something short and uplifting, like a good poem each day.” And so “Good Poems for Hard Times” seemed a natural selection.

Q: What is this book like?

A: The book jacket says, “Good Poems for Hard Times contains 185 poems selected by Keillor from those he read on public radio. These poems were chosen as poems he might send to a friend whose life had been ... struck by bad news ... not poems about suffering but poems that are ‘bracing’ as bold clear writing can be.”

Q: Where can I get this book?

A: The book can be found in most bookstores. The ECTC bookstore on the Elizabethtown campus has copies for sale and local libraries may have it available for checkout.

Q: When is this book club’s first meeting and what will this club be like?

A: The meeting is Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. in Room 112 of the Administration Building at ECTC. Admission is free. The format may invite each reader to share what it was like to be reading a book of poetry during the final two months of this busy, often stressful 2008. And club members may choose to read aloud one favorite poem that especially touched them.

There is no cost to attend, but readers are to provide their own copies of the book. Registration is required. To register, call (270) 706-8476 or e-mail Charles. spataro@kctcs.edu.   This column is answered by Professor Chuck Spataro, career counselor. To reach Spataro, call (270) 706-8476. “Ask ECTC” answers questions about college commonly asked by high school students and adults. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. If you have a question for this column, send it to maryjo.king@kctcs.edu.