Library offers forum for lovers of poetry to discuss, analyze

The third Monday of every month the Winter’s room in the James V. Brown library is turned into a Poetry Forum.

This is where like-minded folks come together to share their love and appreciation for poetry.

The forum was started in 2008 when Ani Apelian had brought the idea to the library’s former executive director, Janice Trapp.

Apelian previously participated in a poetry forum out of state and wanted to bring the idea to the Williamsport area. She is now the facilitator for the program.

Shawn Newcomer, the adult programing coordinator at the library, said that the average age of participants in the forum is between 50 and 60 years old but anyone who has a love for poetry is encouraged to attend.

The forum is still slightly small in size, but organizers hope it will continue to grow.

“We hope more people become interested and promote poetry,” said Newcomer.

During an average forum, Apelian will prepare copies of the featured poem for each attendee. The participants will take turns reading the poem and then form a discussion in which they can appreciate and analyze the poetry and poet. Participants also are encouraged to share a favorite poem that they have found that month.

The forum is not considered to be a poetry workshop where attendees create their own poetry; it is merely a platform to discuss the work of published poets.

“We feel the poetry forum is important to have because it promotes all aspects of culture,” Newcomer said.

Participants do not have to have a background in poetry or literature to attend, they just have to have an interest in poetry and a willingness to explore ideas. Participants also can listen to others read.

The poetry forum runs all year long and is free to the public. The next forum will be held at 4 p.m. July 21. Registration is not required.

For more information, call Newcomer at 570-326-0536.