I am somehow still lost in October. And, here, November is whizzing by. As writers, we often realize that we need to spend time during the holiday season not only with friends and family, but sharing ourselves and our work with our readers. It may be something as simple as having your work displayed where a lot of people gather or giving a poetry reading with a book signing. But, you can also showcase other people’s work, too.
Coming up next weekend, on Sunday, Nov. 25, I will be guest reader at Brewed Awakening coffee shop in Westmont, IL from 12:30 to 2 p.m., 19 W. Quincy St. I will read various forms of my poetry and sign my book, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All. This event is sponsored by Illinois State Poetry Society.
Each time I do a reading, I see faces I know–some whom I haven’t seen in years– and of course, new faces from the immediate area where I am doing the reading. Of course, the holiday time is a great time to sell books–the best time of the year– as most people love to give signed copies to their friends and family.
And, on Friday, Nov. 30, at 4:30 p.m. I will be attending a poets’ and artists’ reception at ArrivaDolce Cafe in Highland Park, IL where my poem “Solitary Thoughts” is on exhibit. (1823 St. Johns Ave.) This event is sponsored by East on Central Association. I will engage with friends and the public there.
However, the holiday season, as we know, isn’t just about ourselves. It’s about giving to others. Many people come up to me after my readings, remember me, and tell me how they appreciated my mentoring them years back on a volunteer basis.
Although I, like other writers, love to showcase my work, I also make time during the holidays and throughout the year, showcasing the work of others. One of my new projects is to showcase the work of others (besides the one in The Daily Haiku on this blog”). A new effort is my poetry column in a local lifestyle magazine. The magazine is “Winnetka Living.” It’s an attractive, glossy, full color magazine.
I run a column called “Creatively Versed,” where I showcase the work of local and neighboring poets. I run their poetry with their bio and photo, along with a photo they’ve submitted that illustrates their poem. I allow both beginning poets and experienced ones of all ages–even seven-year olds–to participate. I don’t get paid for the column. It’s my way of spreading the word about poetry.
You’d be surprised at how many people like to see their poetry showcased in a general-interest magazine. I think it’s the need to be creative that a lot of us have.
I’ve also spent much time during the past eight years mentoring individual poets on a volunteer basis. My point is this: promote and share your work, but also go through life with the gentle soul of a writer, giving to others without being maniacal about self-promotion. Many will recognize your volunteer efforts. Some won’t–they’ll take what they can get– but what the heck!
Life isn’t all about recognition and laurels. It’s about giving. And, if you’re not a terribly giving person, think about doing some giving in 2019.
Copyright 2018 by Charlotte Digregorio.