Poetry and the Green Castle Day
October 26, 2010
In conjunction with DePauw’s ArtsFest 2010: Art and the Green Castle that starts this week and the Word Hunger Project, Joseph “Joe” W. Heithaus, professor of English and published poet, is leading Poetry and the Green Castle Day this Thursday, Oct. 28. It’s designated as a day for everyone to read, write or share poetry.
“Poetry asks us to slow down momentarily and think,” Heithaus says. “It can make us laugh or cry, or it can simply force us to take a breath and look around. I encourage everyone to write a poem, give a poem as a gift to a friend, or to simply open a book and read a poem.”
A group of DePauw students will walk around town distributing poems – at random. In addition, teachers in Putnam County are invited to share a poem with their classes. Heithaus explains, “The kind of poem you read or share is less important than taking a few moments to read one. It can be anything from Shel Silverstein to William Shakespeare.”
Heithaus wants to call attention to the possibilities of poetry in everyday life, so he decided to incorporate this day into ArtsFest 2010 and the Word Hunger Project.
The goal of Word Hunger is to display poems connected to local food production on barns throughout Indiana. Last week Heithaus helped paint his poem, titled “What Grows Here,” on a barn on West Walnut Street just past the Irwin Bridge in Greencastle.
The design of the poem was created and executed by local farmer and artist Gerald “Jerry” N. Bates, who is also a DePauw woodshop and studio assistant. “He and DePauw fifth-year intern Travis J. LaMothe ’10 did an amazing job conceiving how to put the poem on the barn. Jerry encouraged me to write a longer poem than I might have normally. Travis helped with computer imaging and also found himself up on the barn painting and scraping,” Heithaus says.
Joyce Brinkman, Indiana’s former and first poet laureate, developed the idea for Word Hunger. She has commissioned four other barns in the state and is planning to expand county participation.
Brinkman will be a part of ArtsFest: Art and the Green Castle when she comes to lead a discussion on Monday, Nov. 1, for the Green Bag Lunch Series in the Reading Room at the Roy O. West Library. Brinkman and Heithaus will talk about poetry in public places, including the poems each have displayed in the Indianapolis International Airport (Heithaus poem at left). Participants are asked to bring their lunch. Drinks and dessert will be provided.
Word Hunger is sponsored by Brick Street Poetry Inc. through a grant from the Indiana Humanities Council with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Word Hunger will be part of the 2010 Spirit & Place Festival on Nov. 14 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
ArtsFest 2010: Art and the Green Castle begins Sunday, Oct. 31. All children in the community are invited to Art Attack from 12:30 - 4 p.m. to experience arts, crafts, poetry and music at the Green Center for the Performing Arts.
More information can be found on the ArtsFest 2010 website.