Poets Live!: An Evening of Poetry

On April 3rd at 7:00 p.m., to open National Poetry Month, visiting poet, Michael Czarnecki, along with local poets, will read poetry. If you are a poet, bring one or two of your poems to read with the group.

Michael Czarnecki is a poet, publisher, and memorist. Czarnecki, who began writing poetry at seventeen, has been making his living solely from the creative word for nearly two decades. He has had twelve books and chapbooks published and he often goes out on the poetic road across America. This is Czarnecki’s second visit to the Charles Town Library.

Czarnecki is owner and publisher of FootHills Publishing, a family-run business that publishes handcrafted chapbooks and full-length collections. He has been a poet-in-residence in schools, working with thousands of students; and, he conducts writing workshops and programs all over the country. He lives off the grid on fifty acres in a part of western New York which is rural and isolated, surrounded by Amish neighbors. He lives in both the 19th and 21st centuries.

His creative writing comes out of his life. One of Czarnecki’s favorite forms of poetry is the haibun, a Japanese form that combines condensed prose and haiku. He finds it a great form for travel writing as the prose moves the reader along, and the haiku becomes the resting spot. He also writes a lot of haiku as well. Haiku is a spiritual practice of being in the moment, being aware, being totally present right now. It conveys a moment of insight and awareness, giving the poet a compressed lens for seeing things in an expansive way. Czarnecki finds the discipline of writing haiku, three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, to be useful to other kinds of writing. His favorite definition of poetry is “words under pressure.”

Czarnecki identifies himself as an “encourager.” He encourages creativity. The advice he gives for those who are trying to find their own creative voice is, “Listen to the voice inside. Listen to your heart—if we all really listen to what our insides are telling us, we will know what we should be doing.”

More information about Michael can be found at www.foothillspublishing.com/poetguy.

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