Poetry event to raise funds for Millvale Library after-school meal program
Millvale Community Library will celebrate National Poetry Month with its second annual poetry fundraiser.
The all-ages event will occur at 5 p.m. April 13 at the library, 213 Grant Ave. Admission is $5, with all proceeds benefiting the library’s after-school meal program serving approximately 12 to 20 children daily, according to Sheena Carroll, outreach and resource development clerk.
The following poets will read for 10 to 12 minutes: Stephen Lin, Shan Soleil, Mattie Hyer, Chelsea Margaret Bodnar, James Croal Jackson and Bob Walicki.
Carroll will host as her alter ego, Miss Macross. The format will share similarities with the Hell’s Lid Reading Series she hosts at Lawrenceville’s Full Pint Wild Side Pub, she said.
“Most of my writing is very personal. So, I will be performing a lot of stuff from the chapbook that I published last year, where I’m talking about growing and changing as a person,” Carroll said of “Miss Macross vs. Batman” (CWP Collective Press).
Carroll, like some of the other poets, will have poetry books and chapbooks for sale.
Hyer will sell Edges, an anthology zine from the writing group, the Goat Farm Poetry Society. Proceeds will benefit Book’Em, an organization that sends reading and educational materials to people in prisons. Hyers’ work explores LGBTQ themes, sex, addiction and memoir.
Hyer praised the Millvale Community Library, noting its collaboration with Girls Write Pittsburgh, which empowers teen girls through writing.
“My poetry centers a lot on blue-collar, working-class experiences. I’ve worked in the labor and plumbing industries my entire life, so my work reflects that aesthetic,” Walicki said. “I’m also interested in finding poetry in the everyday imagery and experiences that we observe and perhaps overlook or take for granted.”
Walicki said Pittsburgh contains a “vibrant literary scene” that is accessible to everyone.
At the reading, Walicki will have copies of his full-length collection, “Black Angels,” and his chapbooks, “A Room Full of Trees,” and “The Almost Sound of Snow Falling.”
Lin started writing poems in middle school, and then it became a way to deal with grief after the death of his father just one month into his freshman year of college.
He thinks his selections for the fundraiser will emphasize his family history and the connections between Guangzhou, China, where much of his family resides, and Pittsburgh, where he has always lived.
Carroll said that, in addition to attending the fundraiser, people may support the after-school meal program by donating grocery store gift cards and purchasing handmade merchandise at the library.