Poet Laureate Lawson Inada visits EPHS and Eagle Point Library

A standing-room-only crowd packed Eagle Point Library’s Fireside Room on Feb. 21. Friends of the Library provided refreshments for this event at which  patrons met Oregon’s Poet Laureate Lawson Inada who’d earlier visited Eagle Point High School. According to Inada, our state had not had a poet laureate since 1979. Appointed to his post by Oregon’s Governor, Inada described his mission as that of a good will ambassador for poetry. The position bestowed upon him over a year ago requires renewal every two years.  
"I go around doing this-speaking at libraries and schools, promoting appreciation for literature and the arts," he said. The former S. O. U. professor of English currently lives in Medford. An Oregon resident since 1966, he knows the Upper Rogue area well. For years, his wife taught in Little Butte and Glen D. Hale schools.

At 3:30 p.m., library director Charlene Prinsen introduced Inada in
what the honoree dubbed "the best library" he’d ever seen. Prinsen had
invited local dignitaries including District 9 School Board members
Theresa Erickson, and Mary Ann Olsen, also a Friend of the Library.
Inada recognized Upper Rogue resident, County Commissioner  C. W. Smith
seated in the audience.
The genial poet laureate, who
primarily authors free verse, has published volumes of his works
including "Legends from Camp," and "Drawing the Line."
He took the microphone and began with a humorous piece he’d titled, "The Point of Eagle Point."
he asked high school teacher Jay Schroeder to encourage reluctant
volunteers to read their original poems aloud. Several talented writers
Student Daniel Soto drew applause with a powerful love poem he’d penned.
Athlete Chris Wilder read "My First Goal," his vivid, yet amusing tale of an encounter with a hockey puck.
Nicolia Sherlock brought tears to listeners’ eyes with an ode called "A
Couple of Beers," commemorating a pal who’d perished in a car wreck. 
Friends of the Library’s Dora Moore rendered a grateful tribute to her
Creator. Her writing, "This New Day," told of a miraculous deliverance
from a dreadful illness.
Prinsen urged all poets present to locate the library’s blog at jcls.org, and post their favorite poems there.
challenged patrons to try checking out new items. "For a change, get a
C.D. of a song you don’t know. You might be surprised to discover
something you like."         
By F. C. Blake
Of the Independent

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