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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Guest Post: Put a Little Library in Your Life: Poet on Board

by Wendy Devilbiss
Emporia Public Library

Dear Reader,

Think of your personal board of directors, those influencers assembled from friends, teachers, Facebook, and Twitter feeds, family, and yes, beloved books. As readers, we mark when a story affected a decision we made, when a book helped determine who we would become, and because authors have authority, as well as access to our thoughts and feelings, they often retain a place of influence in our lives.

Reading can acquaint us with the personal boards of others. Respected venture capitalist Paul Graham referred to poet Donald Hall in one of his essays on work, while Donald Hall's essays on his life work drew heavily from his studies with sculptor Henry Moore. So much so, that Mr. Hall wrote a book about Henry Moore's work. Similarly, poet Marilyn Nelson honored the inventor and scientist George Washington Carver, with an award-winning collection of poems about his life.

This month, consider adding a poet to your personal board of directors. This will force the other voices to adjust, no doubt, and some discord may result; but sometimes you need to upend the status quo. This is something poets enjoy, to be honest. Not only because poets play well with words, meanings, and relationships, but also because a poet on the board is like a prophet in the court of a king: a truth-teller who speaks to the inner life, more than to the image others respect.

This April, shake up your personal board: read a book from our National Poetry Month display. Just look under the haiku sign on the second floor of the Emporia Public Library. Keep reading; keep experiencing poetry!


Wendy Devilbiss writes "Put a Little Library in your Life" for the Flint Hills Shopper and Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas. Wendy is a member of the Kansas Authors Club, and the Poetry Contest Chair for the 2016 KAC Literary Contests.


Meadowlark addendum: We have poets on our bookshelves who would make an excellent addition to your personal board of directors, as well. Consider MoonStain, by Ronda Miller, and the forthcoming book of poems and short stories, Songs of My Father, by Kevin Rabas, coming soon!

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