by Shayne Benowitz
As night descended, tilting in the air,
Mastered the night and portioned out the sea,
Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles,
Arranging, deepening, enchanting night.
–Wallace Stevens, The Idea of Order in Key West
Happy Poetry Month! I was delightedly reminded of the occasion when my dad forwarded me the first poem-a-day from the Academy of American Poets at the start of the month. I love poetry and April is always a great time to reinvigorate my interest by starting with these great e-mailed poems. In Key West, the Robert Frost Poetry Festival is an excellent way to celebrate, as well. With readings, open mics, lectures and workshops, the festival has been going strong since 1994.
The festival is named for Robert Frost who is most widely known for his poem The Road Not Taken. He wintered on our sunny island from 1945-1960 and found Key West a great source for peaceful inspiration just as many poets, artists, and writers did before him and continue today.
The Heritage House & Museum on Caroline Street was home to Frost during his time in Key West and other poets including Thornton Wilder and Wallace Stevens spent time at this house, as well. The historic residence is marked with a lush and meandering garden perfect for a quiet afternoon penning verse or perhaps discussing a new poem. The Heritage House is the location for most of the Poetry Festival’s activities.
The festival kicks off Thursday April 15 with “Smokin’ Poetry,” an open mic event featuring cigars, wine, and of course poetry. It closes Sunday April 19 with a celebration of reading poems that were written during the week. Dr. Michael Wyndham Thomas, poet and Robert Frost scholar, will be a featured speaker as well as other local and nationally recognized poets. Check the calendar of events at www.robertfrostpoetryfestival.com and swing by for some fun.
Shayne Benowitz is a Fury crewmember and freelance writer working on her debut novel. For more travel stories and a daily dose of what’s cool around the globe visit her Wanderlust Website at http://web.me.com/shaynebeth.