Poets and Playwrights group provides feedback, friendship

Photo by Sue Suchyta. Jim Ahern (left) of Rochester, Pat Barnes of Wyandotte and Leonard Grendel of Taylor listen to other group members' poetry and share feedback during Downriver Poets and Playwrights, which meets 6:30  to 8:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at Bacon Memorial District Library, 45 Vinewood in Wyandotte.

Photo by Sue Suchyta. Jim Ahern (left) of Rochester, Pat Barnes of Wyandotte and Leonard Grendel of Taylor listen to other group members’ poetry and share feedback during Downriver Poets and Playwrights, which meets 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at Bacon Memorial District Library, 45 Vinewood in Wyandotte.

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – Local poets and playwrights gather at 6:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month at Bacon Memorial District Library to read their work and offer feedback and encouragement.

The next meeting of Poets and Playwrights is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4 in the multi-purpose room of the library, 45 Vinewood.

The group began in the early 1980s as a workshop run by teacher Gwen Funston and librarian Louise Heck-Rabi. For many years it met at Wyandotte City Hall before moving to the library.

Dennis White of Carleton, a poet, joined the group in 2005 and now leads it. They currently meet once a month, but may offer two monthly sessions if they continue to grow, so there is more time for individual to share their work and get feedback.

“Everybody likes to have their poetry read,” White said, “and it’s even better when the poet itself reads it and gets feedback.”

He said they operate as a workshop and offer each other friendly suggestions and critiques.

“We grow and become better writers by suggestions and when we continue writing,” White said.

Randy LeBar of Trenton, a social worker, finds expressing himself through poetry a cathartic way to relieve job stress.

“Some of the people I liked were poets,” LeBar said. “And I am a social worker, so a lot of the things that I have experienced in the field and some of the things in my own life influenced my writing.

“I needed an outlet, because a lot of the things in the field of social work, if you let it bottle up inside, then it has nowhere to go, and it consumes you, so I started writing about it.”

Esther Hollan of Southgate said she has written poetry since she was in grade school.

She had a teacher who instilled in her a belief that poetry should not be delivered in a sing song voice.
“We had to read the thoughts in it,” Hollan said.

She said she enjoys getting feedback when she reads a poem she wrote.

Geraldine Hermans of Southgate said she took an evening writing class 20 years ago, looked around for a group to join and has been here ever since.

“I love sharing, and I love to hear people’s ideas written down,” Hermans said.

(Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)

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