The Herald Bulletin

July 22, 2012

Getting Together: Poetry Corner members study their craft

By Emma Bowen Meyer
For The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Sitting on the third floor of the Anderson Public Library, a building filled with books, is the perfect spot for local poets to share their creations.

This is where Anderson Poetry Corner members gather to study their craft and encourage one another.

“I just can’t not write poetry,” said “Glenna Glee” Jenkins, member since 1977. “They just come to me — I probably have 50,000 poems in my house.”

Not simply jottings, her poems are well crafted and many are included in her three books: “As I See It”, “The Green-Eyed Monster”, and “Wrinkled Path”. Consistently meeting with other poets has honed her skills and broadened her perspective.

“We like to share our poetry,” said Alice Couch, who was named poet laureate of Noblesville for 2012. “I go to a critique group in Noblesville, but this is a learning group.”

Each month, the 5-12 members surround the table in the Carnegie Room and study a form of poetry. Between meetings, the poets create a work in the studied form to be shared at the next gathering. After everyone has shared their assigned writing, the floor is opened to reading any type of poetry.

“I use different forms to write my own poetry — a poem demands its own form,” said Jenkins, who has twice been named Indiana poet laureate by the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs. “The national contest will usually have 50 categories, and the state will have 30. I enter 100 percent of them.”

“I just write when something strikes me,” said Gail Brant, member for 12 years. “I enjoy listening to the ladies. They don’t write the same kind of poetry I do. I write about things that happen to me, but they have good imaginations and write about all kinds of things.”

The Anderson Poetry Corner is part of the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs, which, in turn, is part of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Jenkins has served as the president of the state club for more 12 years, not consecutively.

Jenkins is dedicated to continued learning.

“I pride myself in learning most forms of poetry,” she said. “And it stimulates you to hear what others are writing about. You hear their poem and you think: ‘I can write something like that.’”

Getting Together features clubs, organizations and social groups from the area each Monday in The Herald Bulletin.