"In 1938, the State of Ohio set the third Friday of every October as Ohio Poetry Day. This was the first poetry day established by a state government in the United States. Tessa Sweazy Webb spent thirteen months lobbying the Ohio General Assembly to create Ohio Poetry Day. She argued, 'For each living reader a living poet, for each living poet a living reader.' After Ohio approved Webb's idea, other states adopted a day dedicated to poetry as well."
- Quotation from Ohio History Central
Laura Grace Weldon has been named Ohio Poet of the Year 2019 by the Ohio
Poetry Day Association on the strength of her second collection, Blackbird (Grayson Books, 2019). Topics in that collection include coyotes, cows, pay disparity, rare disorders, weeping icons, and astrophysics. A journal review called her poems “experiential works of luminous simplicity.”
grew up a voracious reader thanks to public libraries and discovered a
love of poetry early. She incorporated poetry everywhere her career took
her. She developed a poetry project at a nursing home culminating in a
book of poems collaboratively written with residents, shared poetry with
support groups she facilitated as a social worker, used poems to get
across principles while teaching nonviolence workshops, and now offers
poems as prompts for her memoir students. But she didn’t write her own
poems until she was in her late 40’s, brought to it by what she calls
years later over 140 of her poems have been published in journals and
anthologies, Thanks to Lit Youngstown, some of her poems have been
interpreted into sculpture, video, and painting, with one even stamped
into a public sidewalk. In addition to Blackbird she’s published an earlier collection, Tending (Aldrich Press, 2013) as well as a handbook of natural learning titled Free Range Learning (Hohm Press, 2010).
lives on a small farm in Medina County’s Litchfield Township. She works
as an editor and particularly enjoys teaching community-based classes
in memoir, poetry, and creativity. She is still a voracious reader, as
her often-maxed out library card can attest.
Susan F. Glassmeyer has been imagining poems since childhood when her Kentucky Grandfather explained the language and meaning of train whistles. HER AWARD-WINNING BOOK OF POETRY "Invisible Fish" is a poetic chronicle from girlhood to post-middle age.
In a Michigan schoolhouse, a young nun woke her up to the rich world of storytelling. And in Ohio, a wise art teacher taught her how to see. Susan paid attention, took notes, whittled poems out of paragraphs, and along the way came to understand these things are inseparable from the life of her body. In addition to her first full-length collection, Invisible Fish (Dos Madres Press, 2018), publications include two chapbooks: Body Matters (Pudding House Publications, 2010) and Cook’s Luck (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Individual poems have found homes in these and other journals: Rattle, Naugatuck River Review, Sixfold, Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, Dunes Review, The GHAZAL Page, Gratefulness.Org, and Ohio Poetry Association anthologies.
Reading thousands of poems and studying the lives and practices of hundreds of poets has been key to Susan’s education. In a decade-long project, she created “April Gifts” for National Poetry Month, sharing with readers her annotated presentations of select poems by 300 poets who have inspired her. Susan is a longtime member of the Greater Cincinnati Writers League. She serves as co-director of the Holistic Health Center of Cincinnati where she works as a somatic therapist and Feldenkrais® practitioner, helping people restore the poetry of presence and movement in their lives and bodies.
Fish is a
poetic chronicle from girlhood to post-middle age by Midwestern author and
somatic therapist, Susan F. Glassmeyer. These compelling lyrics and merciful
narratives do not shy away from suffering or death, nor from what is poignant
and joyful. The whole realm of the visible—the world as it is—is held together
by what we cannot see. Because the poems in this full-length collection
are grounded in the sensory life of "the body", they ring true to the
reader, inviting mindfulness and evoking curiosity and reverence for what is
Hoover-Price Student Center Mt. Union University, Alliance, OH Friday: 7pm-9pm - poetry prompts and time of fellowship
Saturday: 9am - Registration 10am - Noon - Workshop Noon - 1pm - Lunch 2pm - Ohio Poet of the Year (reading) OPD contest winners (reading) 4pm - Heartfelt goodbyes Check back for contest results soon! Letters concerning details and making reservations will be mailed out in September.
Right now, judges are being lined up for this year's contests. You will notice from past years that many are from out of state. This is done to make our contests more professional, and we are very particular about who we ask to judge. Most of these are past winners in other contests at the state and national levels, and current or past officers of their own states and/or the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.