The Keystone State is rich with both poets and inspiration. “When you look at the landscape and the beauty of the state, you begin to realize how diverse she is,” explains former Perry County Poet Laureate Melanie Simms. “We’ve got mountains, we’ve got rivers. Aesthetically, it draws the artist’s eye.” For Simms though, it’s Pennsylvania’s history that she finds most intriguing.
Simms is eager to honor Pennsylvania through poetry at an upcoming capitol event, which she hopes can bring a sense of unity and pride. “We can do that reminding each other of our great heritage, and doing that through poetry. I mean we’re going through some divisive times right now.”
Simms’ poem titled “Sunbury” is just one of the works to be shared:SUNBURY
Organizers hope the event will inspire others to try their hand at poetry as well. Bloomsburg University English professor Jerry Wemple has been helping students find their inner-poets for years, and he tells Radio PA that poetry is more accessible than many people think. “Sometimes people are turned away because they’re looking for a secret meaning, but a lot of times it’s just right there. It’s not a puzzle to unlock, it’s something to enjoy.”
You can enjoy Pennsylvania-themed poetry on October 11th, in the State Capitol East Wing Rotunda, from 12 – 1:30pm. The event is free and open to the public.