Appomattox Regional Library holds its first reading this year of original and favored works

PRINCE GEORGE — The sounds of prose, the rhyme of words and the smell of pizza filled the air this week at the Prince George branch of the Appomattox Regional Library as writers and poets gathered for the first “Poetry, Prose & Pizza” event of 2019.

Sponsored by the Hopewell-Prince George Friends of the Library, the night focused on original and favored writings by the participants. The “pizza” part was provided by Luca Italian Restaurant of Prince George.

Leila Holes, a Prince George Public Schools retiree, read an original work, “Why Do String Beans Cry?” She also was actively snapping her fingers and clapping her hands while she read.

“Do you all know the history of snapping during poetry?” host Nathan Richardson asked the gathering. “It is where the term ‘beatniks’ comes from, especially in New York, where people were doing their poetry sets above neighbors. They didn’t want to wake the neighbors, so rather than applauding and yelling, they would snap their fingers so as not to wake the neighbors.”

Holmes said she based her poetry on a Facebook post by Richardson about string beans.

“I made a few comments about washing, cutting, snapping and freezing them. The conversation inspired me to write the poem,” she said

ARL staff also took turns at the front of the room.

Assistant Director Chris Wiegard read aloud three different published “Letters to the Editor” he had written. “Writing letters to editors is a fun hobby for me. I like to see how well and how much I can put into a very limiting 250 words,” Wiegard said.

Richardson requested to borrow one so he could turn it into a “found poem”, which is a composition made by combining fragments of such printed material such as newspapers, graffiti, menus, other poems or anything that speaks to you and rearranging them into the form of a poem.

Community Relations Coordinator Megan Kitchen also participated by reading the children’s book written by Kobi Yamada, “What Do You Do with a Problem?”

Beth Gross recited an original poem she based on life after surviving a rare brain-stem disease.

“My former husband who saw me through it left me,” she said. “So now, it’s just me and my faith.”

A line from the poem reads, “Perhaps the reason God sees us all through so much heartache and pain is so that we can truly appreciate the rainbow he has waiting for us after the rain.”

Richardson admitted to becoming “all discombobulated” after he heard the poem.

The pizza provider opted to let his creations speak for him.

Owner, Luis Pedraza, shared, “Luca’s has become a good partner with the community,” said Luis Pedraza, Luca’s owner. “It’s my pleasure to help Prince George County, because “Poetry, Prose & Pizza” helps people get together and learn something when they listen to others read.”

Falling on National Poetry Month, the next “Poetry, Prose & Pizza” which is held quarterly on the fourth Thursday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. will be April 25. For more information visit arls.org or call (804) 458-6329.

By Kristi K. Higgins, Staff Writer
Kristi K. Higgins may be reached at 804-722-5162 or khiggins@progress-index.com.