At the Library 11/18/21

At the Library
By LeAnn Kunz

I was recently gifted a well-loved copy of Randall Jarrell’s The Bat Poet, a short piece of fiction published in 1963.  It is about a sweet little bat who cannot sleep during the daytime and decides to start exploring the world and making up poems about the woodland creatures he has never seen or known.  It could certainly serve as a children’s book (this copy has illustrations by Maurice Sendak) however, it truly delivers a universal message.  At one point in the story the bat just wants to share his poems.

            “When he would wake up in the daytime and hang there looking out at the colors of the world, he would say the poems over to himself.  He wanted to say them to the other bats, but then he would remember what had happened when he’d said them before.  There was nobody for him to say the poems to.”

Our Washington Writers’ Workshop at the WPL is the place for writers to share their writing, a place to “say the poems to” or the short stories, the memoirs, the essays, or novels you are writing.  Our season kicked off in September with a tour of the WPL art collection and an exercise in writing using the art as inspiration.  In October our workshop was conducted at Marr Park with a nature walk and writing exercise.  All of these were followed by an hour of sharing written submissions by our participants.  This month we are hosting a poet Tramaine Suubi from the Iowa Writers Workshop on Saturday, November 20 from 10 a.m. to noon.  Tramaine was born and raised in Uganda, but speaks four languages.  She has also lived in twelve neighborhoods throughout four countries.  She earned a double bachelor's degree in Philosophy and French from Wheaton College (IL).  Her poems can be found in the Wheaton Kodon, Kiwi Collective Magazine, Plantin Magazine, and the Protest Thru Poetry anthology.  Tramaine will be visiting us virtually and giving a presentation on craft during the first hour.  Participants can attend virtually or in person.  If you would prefer to attend virtually email and if you are attending in person, masks are recommended.  

The Washington Writers’ Workshop has been one of the most enriching programs I have done throughout my many years at the WPL.  The quality of writers in our community is quite impressive and library is happy to be the place where even a little bat can say his poems and be heard.