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Georgia’s poet laureate kicks off National Poetry Month celebrations at library
Chelsea Rathburn
Chelsea Rathburn, the Poet Laureate of Georgia, is the first of a series of virtual events celebrating National Poetry Month at the Forsyth County Public Library.

April is National Poetry Month and Forsyth County Public Library is set to host Chelsea Rathburn, the Poet Laureate of Georgia, in the first of a series of virtual events celebrating this often misunderstood art form.

Rathburn’s first full-length collection, 'The Shifting Line,' won the 2005 Richard Wilbur Award, and her second collection, 'A Raft of Grief,' was published by Autumn House Press in 2013. Her latest collection of poetry, 'Still Life with Mother and Knife,' was recognized as a 'New & Noteworthy' book by the New York Times and received the 2020 Eric Hoffer Book Award in Poetry.

Her poems have appeared in the nation’s most esteemed journals, including Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic, The Southern Review, New England Review, and Ploughshares, among others. In a 2019 feature, NPR called Rathburn’s work “arresting” and “a gentle whirlwind.” In 2009, she received a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

An Evening with Chelsea Rathburn will include live poetry readings and discussion with the poet. The event will be held online at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 31 and advance registration is required.

The second event in the series is A Taste of Poetry with Lyn Froehlich at 7 p.m., Monday, April 5.

Like many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic called Froehlich to her kitchen. She perfected her own sourdough bread and spent hours cooking classics while listening to and writing poetry. Focusing on the sensuousness of food and how the sensory aspects of imagery, smell, sight and touch appeal to us, Froehlich will share a collection of original, famous and not-as-famous food-themed poetry.

A Taste of Poetry with Lyn Froehlich will be hosted online and advance registration is required.

If all this talk of food-inspired you to write an ode of your own to your favorite dishes, mark your calendars for 'How to Read a Poem' with Jeremiah Johnson at 7 p.m., Monday, April 19.

“Many of us would like to read more poetry, but we struggle with the ambiguities and difficult grammatical structure we often find in it. Some of us would like to write poetry, but we’re not sure how to develop our skills,” said Programming Manager Tracy Walker.

Johnson, a lecturer of English composition at the University of North Georgia, will explain the poetic process and offer helpful tips for both reading and writing poetry. 

How to Read a Poem with Jeremiah Johnson will be held online and advance registration is required.

In the final event of the library’s National Poetry Month celebrations, guest lecturer Samuel Prestridge will explain how cultural changes have shaped current considerations of what constitutes a poem at 'From Page to Personal: How Poetry Became More Elastic' at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 29.

Prestridge, associate professor of English and creative writing at the University of North Georgia, is currently seeking publication for his first complete book of poetry, 'A Dog’s Job of Work,' and will read selections of his work during the event. From Page to Personal will be hosted online and advance registration is required.

For more information on National Poetry Month and to register for the events, visit www.forsythpl.org

Compiled from a release from the Forsyth County Public Library.