Who Belongs Here and Why

Hearth Bard is my attempt to widen the circle of poetry readers in our culture. I hope to spur the intellects and imaginations of everyday writers. My prompts guide readers in creating poems that chronicle the moments and magic of life’s grand and mundane moments. Consider this your writing retreat space if you fit any of the following labels:

  • frazzled parent in need of intellectual and creative stimulation
  • closet writer looking for direction and instruction
  • blogger or scrapbooker seeking to accompany her images with meaningful word art
  • professional writer in need of a pressure-free yet meaningful creative outlet
  • photographer who’d like to give words to his images
  • nostalgic grandparent hoping to capture past and present moments in words
  • newlywed wanting to chronicle marital and familial growth from the budding stages
  • harried professional committed to keeping in touch with significant quiet moments
  • student desiring an emotional and mental anchor amid myriad academic and social demands
  • teachers of literature and writing who understand the importance of practicing what they teach
  • teachers and tutors looking for pithy creative writing exercises to use with their students
  • homeschooling families in search of creative writing and literature lessons and enrichment activities
  • anyone who appreciates access to free literary arts instruction from a qualified instructor

The current poetry industry, at least in America, is in some senses closed off. Dedicated readers of poetry and vocational poets make up much of the same populace. Most lay readers don’t have the resources to subscribe to literary journals, so it’s up to educational institutions and libraries to purchase subscriptions. The people exposed to current works of poetry tend to be those matriculating in undergraduate or MFA programs and creative writing courses. The average non-literary type does not spend money or time seeking out word art either in written or spoken form. I think this partly stems from the lack of practical guides for today’s avocational poets.

Too few of us read poems! Certainly we do not collectively buy them. I believe that poetry does not have to wallow in obscurity today. Our culture of interaction and information, of individually designed and informal education, makes now a better time than ever to spread the word!  (Pun intended.)

I believe that we can grow the community of appreciative poetry readers (and, possibly, consumers) by encouraging avocational poetry-craft. People will actively seek out good poems if they are trying to write their own, if they know what to look for. The breathtaking word art on the market today can have a readership if we foster and invite it!

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