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Nov 5: Poetry and Tea

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

“Poetry and tea: different branches, same tree. Ever have they been entwined, both present to a life refined, both eliciting a clear mind.”- From A Tea Poet’s Journey by Katherine Chantal

A trio of poets will share their varied writings as guests enjoy afternoon tea at the Floyd Center for the Arts on Sunday November 5 at 2 p.m.

Carolyn Grace began writing poetry as a child, and has been completely in love with language ever since. Grace graduated from Berea College with an undergraduate degree in English composition and a minor in music performance. She went on to complete her MFA in creative writing through the Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University. Grace, who is a post Floyd County resident, lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, Grant, and their dog, Fitzwilliam, who appears to be aware that he is named after literary royalty and acts accordingly. Grenadine and Other Love Affairs is her debut book of poetry that she will be reading from.

“This book is a love story, but probably not the one that you expect. Read it for the romance, but also for the math, music, and feminism. Read it if you are interested in using art, science, and history as twisty extended metaphor. Read it for rich language, formal and experimental poetic structure, intimate portraiture, fragmented and interwoven imagery, and surprising callbacks. Or just read it, and then tell me where you found what you needed, Carolyn says.

Colleen Redman is a Floyd County blogger who provided news stories, features and photographs for The Floyd Press from 2006 – 2021. Her poetry has most recently been published in Artemis Journal, Floyd County Moonshine, and Poetica Review. In 2017 her poetry collection Packing a Suitcase for the Afterlife, was published by Finishing Line Press. Her follow-up collections are Objects are Closer Than They Appear (2021) and Poems from the Dark Room. (2022). Her 2003 book The Jim and Dan Stories – a memoir about the deaths of her brothers – was used as curriculum in a Radford University grief and loss class for counselors before it went out of print. She has been a featured reader and workshop leader at Floyd’s Little River Poetry Festival.

“I was initially inspired by the lyrics of the music of my generation (Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan etc.). While working at a hip boutique in Boston in 1969, I distinctly remember hearing Leonard Cohen singing “Suzanne” on the radio and thinking that I wanted to be a poet. More recently, I’ve described writing poetry as taking my psychic blood pressure. I use the pen to get a diagnosis as well as for the treatment. There’s something satisfying in distilling a feeling or thought down to an essence,” says Redman, who will be reading selected poems from her three collections.

Katherine Chantal has been a writer for many years. Observing people and spirit-filled natural creation inspires her vision and passion to write. Her works appear in various magazines and literary editions, including Floyd County Moonshine, Artemis, and Cinch Mountain Review. She has published five books. Four of poetry and one, an exploratory treatise on kindness. Her muse is life being lived, fully, deeply, intensely, inquiringly. Her writings stream from arenas of philosophy, depth psychology, meditations, relationships with people, as well as from an interior landscape. All are expressions of a Soul journey in the guise of poetic memoir. She meets her aging days with kindness and curiosity.

“Aging is a stage of Transcendence, a renewable resource to be enjoyed while we are still alive,” says Katherine, who, as a life passage ceremonialist, officiates weddings and memorials. She, who has been a workshop leader and featured poet at Floyd’s Little River Poetry Festival, will be reading from her poetry collections Poetic Memoir Of a Nascent Senescent: Musings from My Sixties, and her latest book, Streaming From the Inside: Navigating Middle Elder.

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