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Residents versed in poetry style

Local authors visit library to share knowledge

Author and professor Mark Wagner spoke along with poets Leila Philip and Brad Davis at the Jacob Edwards Library Thursday night, April 28. The event was part of the Common Threads program that aims to have 10,000 Massachusetts residents read and discuss seven selected poems. Adam T. Silva. (click for larger version)
May 01, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — Three prominent masters of poetry came to the Jacob Edwards Library Thursday night, April 28, as part of Common Threads, an initiative to get Massachusetts more versed in poetry.

Leila Philip, Mark Wagner and Brad Davis recited and dissected a poem each in front of a small, but enthused and vocal crowd.

The goal of Common Threads is to have 10,000 people in the state read seven poems that were selected. The project culminates at the 3rd Annual Massachusetts Poetry Festival in Salem on May 13 and 14.

"There are more than 250 sites for Common Threads in the state, where they are reading and talking about these poems," said Mark Wagner, of Dudley, a professor at Worcester State University and Quinsigamond Community College and a member of the Worcester County Poetry Association. "I proposed the idea to [Library Director] Margaret [Morrissey] and she said, 'Let's do it.' I brought along Leila and Brad and we took three of the seven poems Common Threads has picked out. The committee of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival selected the poems. They asked which poems they wanted the entire state to come together and read to have a common experience. The great thing is that no one is dictating how we do the commentary of these poems."

Davis, who has read his own poetry at the library three times prior to Thursday, is a native of Pomfret, Conn., and is a lecturer at Eastern Connecticut State University in Creative Writing.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

Janines Frostee
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