“Poetry Café” attendees will have the opportunity to read something by a favorite poet or an original piece Thursday, Sept. 16, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bee County Library Dougherty room. Additional Café meetings will be Oct. 21 and Nov. 18 in the Dougherty room at the same time.
The Cafés are laid back and will include refreshments, Arispe said. She is also planning “Poetry at the Arbor” on the courthouse lawn Oct. 28 from 7 to 8 p.m., complete with a microphone.
Poetry lovers are encouraged to stop by even if busy schedules keep them from staying for the whole hour and a half.
“Last year, Dr. Karole Beasley came during a break and read Emily Dickinson, and it was awesome,” said Natalie Arispe, who organizes the events.
Arispe is an avid reader and writer of poetry. She recently self-published a collection of 100 original poems into a book, titled “Tidbits from a Lady.” She assembled the book and had it bound herself, but did have it copyrighted in Washington, D.C. She hopes to publish it for the public in 2011.
“I would like to show people interested in poetry how to publish their own books,” she said.
Arispe became more actively interested in poetry after her father, whom she was not close to, passed away. Shortly afterward, she learned he had been a poet.
“I was given a composition book with his poetry, I read it, and I became emotional,” said Arispe. “It was the same style I do: poems about life, friends who mean a lot to you, and nature.
“I never got to know him, so poetry opened a whole new world about him. I got to know his soul posthumously.”
Arispe said she was encouraged to bring back Poetry Café by those who attended last year.Some of Arispe’s favorite moments from last year’s Cafés were people expressing emotions in universal ways. These included poems about failed relationships and loss.
“One girl had just broken up with a boy. We all just cried because we could relate. It was expressed through her poetry,” Arispe said. “Another time, a grandmother read a poem her grandson wrote about a friend who was killed in a car crash.”
Arispe said the goal for this year’s meetings is relaxation.
“Everyone needs to relax,” she said. “To me, it’s like group therapy. I saw a need for it.”
Arispe would like to hold a December Café for Christmas poetry. She said last year, she organized an event at CBC where students could get up on stage at random and read poetry and would like to have it again this year. Neither of those events has been finalized.