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Archive for Thursday, April 23, 1998

S INTEREST IN POETRY

April 23, 1998

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The bookstore has numerous activities planned for National Poetry Month.

April is National Poetry Month, and one Lawrence bookstore is trying to educate readers on the joys of free verse, haiku and limericks.

Borders, 700 N.H., is working with several large publishing companies to introduce poetry to customers who might not necessarily read it on a regular basis.

``This is a way to get authors and books connected to a community,'' Susan DePrenger, community relations coordinator, said.

One major publisher, Harcourt, Brace & Company, has declared this week Children's Poetry Week, and is encouraging all booksellers to promote children's poetry with readings, performances and activities. Borders is making sure that older youths and adults are not left out.

``We do displays, activities, different story hours for children and poetry readings for adults during this time,'' DePrenger said.

For younger children, Saturday's story time will feature a visit from the monster character in Maurice Sendak's book, ``Where the Wild Things Are.'' Bringing in a book's character has proved popular with the preschool crowd.

``Whenever we do a costume character on the weekend we have a large turnout,'' DePrenger said.

Older children will have a chance to pen their own verses and win books for their schools.

Best-selling writer Judith Viorst has written the first line of a poem and the competition calls for middle-school students to finish it.

The winner at the local level advances to a national competition, with the champion receiving several poetry collections for the library at his or her school.

The contest is being held in cooperation with the Lawrence public school district.

At 7 p.m. today Kansas University students, under the direction of KU associate professor of English Luci Tapahonso, will perform original poetry selections. Tapahonso is a poet whose work includes the collection ``Blue Horses Rush In.''

Monday night, Vietnam veteran John Musgrove will read from his book, ``Under a Flare-Lit Sky: Vietnam Poems.''

``Musgrove is a very dynamic speaker and reader,'' DePrenger said. ``We are very happy to have him in.''

-- The Mag's phone message number is 832-7146. Send e-mail to jbiles@ljworld.com.

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