Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A New "Where I'm From" Poetry Project

George Ella Lyon, the 2015–2016 Kentucky State Poet Laureate, wrote the original "Where I'm From" poem in 1993 after being inspired by a poem in Stories I Ain't Told Nobody Yet.  The idea is to write about the people, places, and things that have influenced you and your life.  As a writing exercise, the idea has continued to inspire others and has been used around the world.  Lyon has said, "Its life beyond my notebook is a testimony to the power of poetry, of roots, and of teachers."

For Saturday Night Genealogy Fun one week in November 2015, Randy Seaver suggested his readers write a poem for the "Where I'm From" contest being held by Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems.  I wrote a poem and posted it on my blog.  I also submitted it to the Genealogy Gems contest (and won a premium subscription).

The exercise of writing a "Where I'm From" poem is still popular with many genealogical societies.  The Santa Clara County (California) Historical and Genealogical Society (SCCHGS) currently has its own project for would-be poets and would love to hear from more people.  It isn't really a contest, as the poems will not be judged.  Everyone who submits a poem will receive a small gift and have their names put into a drawing for prizes, which include cash and a year's subscription to  Those who mention Santa Clara County by name or an identifiable landmark in Santa Clara County in their memory poems will be entered into an additional drawing.

If your interest has been piqued, more details about the project can be found here.  Drawings for prizes will take place at the SCCHGS meeting on October 18.  To be eligible for the drawings, you need to submit your poem by August 31, 2016.

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