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Norwalk, CT 06850
203-899-2780
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South Norwalk Branch
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Norwalk, CT 06854
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Norwalk Poet Laureate - Laurel S. Peterson

April is both Jazz Appreciation Month and National Poetry Month. To celebrate these two art forms, the Norwalk Public Library invites you to a collaborative performance by composer/saxophonist Jim Clark and Norwalk Poet Laureate Laurel Peterson, on Sunday, April 2, at 2:30 p.m., in the Main Auditorium, located at 1 Belden Avenue, Norwalk.

Jim Clark and his rhythm section, Chris Coogan, John Mobilio and Jim Royle, will perform the songs on Jim’s album, Old as New: Songs from the Imaginary Great American Songbook. The concept of the album, as denoted by its subtitle, set the tone for the songs Jim composed for it. “I wanted these songs to seem as if they were written as vocal numbers in the 1940s – 1960s and then used by a jazz quartet as vehicles for improvisation,” he explained.

Every song on Jim’s album has a story, which is shared in the album’s liner notes. To encourage a heightened level of audience engagement with the themes of the instrumental music, Jim collaborated with Norwalk Poet Laureate Laurel Peterson and poets Sally Nacker and Adrianna Rexon to write poems that reflect the themes of each of his compositions. The artists will weave the poems in and around the songs during the concert, creating a fitting, unique tribute to both art forms.

Copies of Old as New  will be available for purchase.

This program is free and open to the public.

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Join Laurel for the fourth annual Norwalk LitCrawl on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 for poetry readings. Laurel will be hosting with Neddy Smith at aji10 Resturant from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Go the LitCrawl page for details on being a reader, where and when events are happening or for tickets to attend this event.

Laurel Peterson - Norwalk Poet Laureate Photo by Ute-Christin Photography
 Laurel S. Peterson is a Professor of English at Norwalk Community College.  Her poetry has been published in many small literary journals. She has published two poetry chapbooks, That’s the Way the Music Sounds, from Finishing Line Press (2009) and Talking to the Mirror from The Last Automat Press (2010). She also co-edited a collection of essays on women’s justice titled (Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women’s Experience (2009). Her mystery novel, Shadow Notes, will be released by Barking Rain Press in May 2016, and a full length collection of poetry, “Do You Expect Your Art to Answer You?” will be released by Futurecycle Press in 2017. She is the poet laureate of Norwalk, CT for the 2016 – 2017 year. 


Anyone interested in volunteering to help plan events this year should contact me via email at


WHAT IS POETRY?
This is a question I begin all my Poetry Workshops with at Norwalk Community College, and I thought it might be a good way to get our discussion going this year. Read on....


Poetry:

Thirteen by Laurel Peterson
 The Literary Nest Vol 2 Issue 4 Winter 2017

GATEWAY TO NORWALK
Sculpture, West Avenue, Norwalk, CT by Laurel S. Peterson

GATEWAY: NORWALK NIGHTS by Jack Powers

OYSTER SHELL PARK
Norwalk, CT  by Laurel S. Peterson

The Garden Shukkei-En - Poem by Carolyn Forché - Poem Hunter

Prairie Dawn by Willa Cather - A Fourth of July Poem
Bus Poems

Blog Posts:

In the Press:
The Sunday Hour - Arts & Life - Pg. C1 & C6 - April 3, 2016
by Frances Carr, Jr., Hour Staff Writer
Photo by Alex von Kleydorff

The Connecticut Post - April 25, 2016
by Christina Hennessy
Photo by Ute-Christin Photography

The Stamford Advocate - June 1, 2016
by Laurel Peterson
Photo by Ute-Christin Photography

Events: Poets in Conversation Series 2016:

September 15, from 5:30 - 7:30 at Artist's Market, Main Ave., Norwalk:  Kevin Pilkington (http://www.kevinpilk.com/#!bio/c1ktj) and Van Hartmann (Van Hartmann is a Professor of English at Manhattanville College, in Purchase, New York.  He received his A.B. in History from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina.  He has published two books of poetry (Shiva Dancing, Texture Press, 2007, and Riptide, Texture Press, 2016) and a chapbook (Between What Is and What Is Not, The Last Automat Press, 2010).  His poetry has been published in numerous literary journals, including Slant, Fourth River, Red Wheelbarrow, and Confluence.)

October 6, 7 - 8:30, at NPL:  Shanna T. Melton http://shatamel.wix.com/poeticsoularts-net#!biography and Jerry T. Johnsonhttps://jtjohnpoet.com/about/ This evening may appeal to those who prefer spoken word poetry. 

November: 3, 7 - 8:30, at NPL: Joseph Fasano https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/joseph-fasano, who has been nominated for a Pulitzer http://josephfasano.net/ ; and Alan Walowitz, another Manhattanville connection (Joe teaches there as well). Register Online

December 1, 7 - 8:30 at NPL: David K. Leff http://davidkleff.typepad.com/home/about-david.html and Marianela Medrano https://marianelamed.wordpress.com/about/. Register Online

January 5, at NPL, 7 - 8:30: Sally Blumis-Dunn http://sallybliumisdunn.com/content/ and Susan Moorhead, She has a chapbook from Finishing Line Press: https://finishinglinepress.com/product_info.php?products_id=2320Register Online

Interesting Poetry Articles:

Kids making the Poet-tree at the Aquarium on Feb. 27, 2017

 Poet-tree

Pictures from the Artist Market Event on Sept. 15, 2016
 poetry
 Laurel_thumb_thumb.jpg
 Laurel S. Peterson 

 Van_thumb_thumb_thumb.jpg
Van Hartmann

 Kevin_thumb_thumb.jpg
Kevin Pilkington

 poets pano_thumb.jpg



Poems from the NICE/Poetry Reading:
IMG_3270_thumb.jpg
I AM
by Louikenson Paul
 
I’m a fast, unbreakable lion;
I feel free most when I’m running or lifting something heavy.
I’m yellow cause I feel freedom from everything;
I am strong because it’s somewhere
I can feel free, think things really deep.
I just don’t like technology that much;
I am Africa because that is where most lions are.
My family is from Haiti;
I am energetic and I love participating in sports.
I’m a watermelon, juicy and hard on the outside, soft on the inside.
I am Thanksgiving because of family, joy, and feelings.
I’m a bicycle because I’m fast and free as a lion.
The reason I chose a lion was that’s the way my family comes together;
it expresses us and how we think and make decisions.
Louikenson Paul: Louikenson is 13 years old, and a 9th grader at Brien McMahon High  School. He grew up in Haiti with his mom. In 2013, Louikenson moved to Norwalk with his  father. He enjoys playing football and soccer in his free time.



Other Works:


 Shadow Notes Shadow Notes: A Clara Montague Mystery

From Amazon:
 Clara Montague didn’t want to go home to Connecticut for Christmas. Her mother Constance never seemed to like her—or her intuitive dreams about the people she loved. Clara tried to warn her mother that her father was about to have a heart attack, but Constance wouldn’t listen—and her father died. 

Now living in Europe, Clara dreams her mother is in terrible danger, and can’t ignore it. Shortly after she returns, her mother’s therapist (and former lover) Hugh Woodward is murdered—and Constance is jailed for the crime.