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Charlestown Residents Use Video Technology to Celebrate Poerty

March 23, 2015

CATONSVILLE, MD -- Members of Charlestown retirement communitys Poets Corner are celebrating April National Poetry Month by using video technology to enhance their written and/or recited poems.

The Poets' Corner, a group of  20 poets and poetry-lovers who meet the first Wednesday of each month, discusses and reads traditional, free verse, prose, and haiku.

The readings are broadcast on Charlestown's in-house television station and focus on themes which include a wide variety of topics like school days, Earth, March Madness, Halloween, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, nature, and humor.

Co-chair Hank Thompson schedules the hosts for upcoming readings, mails invitations, and advertises upcoming Poets' Corner events. Like many of the other members of the Poets' Corner, he loves reading and listening to poetry.

"There are lots of ways to approach poetry, but I like the narrative poems. One of my favorite poets is Robert Service, a British-Canadian poet known as the Bard of the Yukon," says Thompson.

The group adds visual elements to their poetry readings with the help of Charlestown Television Station Manager Tom Moore. Moore videotapes the readings and then superimposes images on the screen that correspond with each poem.

"I enjoy being able to creatively interpret the poems myself," says Moore. "In some of our past productions, I was even able to use images that I collected around Charlestown."

Thompson and the other members of the Poets' Corner are thrilled with Moore's work.

"Tom does such a wonderful job selecting the right images," says Thompson. "He really brings the poetry to life."

One of the longest-running resident-driven groups at Charlestown, the Poets' Corner has hosted well-known poets like Roland Flint, Michael Collier, and Michael S. Glaser -- all three of whom were named Poet Laureate of Maryland.

About National Poetry Month:

National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry's important place in our culture and our lives.

The Academy of American Poets was inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women's History Month (March), and founded National Poetry Month in April 1996 with an aim to:

  • -- highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets,
  • -- encourage the reading of poems,
  • -- assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms,
  • -- increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media,
  • -- encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
  • -- encourage support for poets and poetry.

There are many ways to participate. Here are just a few:

  • Follow the thousands of National Poetry Month celebrations taking place and follow the Academy of American Poets on Twitter @POETSorg.
  • Use the new National Poetry Month logo to promote your events. It can be downloaded here.
  • Order a free National Poetry Month poster designed by Roz Chast and display it proudly.
  • Participate in National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 30, 2015.
  • Share your photos and feedback about your National Poetry Month celebrations with the Academy of American Poets by emailing: