One very special club in central IL enjoys bringing a little bit of joy and inspiration to those who may stop to listen to some poetry at one of their local readings. The club has been known to read at nursing homes, go out “poetry caroling” on Christmas, and also they do a poetry reading in the late fall to help collect food for area food pantries.
The Hometown Poetry Club was started back in 2004 so that those who enjoy reading and writing poetry could gather together once a month and share the one thing that they all love most: poetry. The club currently consists of twelve members that come from a few different central Illinois towns: Arcola, Arthur, Mattoon, Atwood, Bethany, and Hinsboro. The age group of the club is between 24 and 80+.
Some of the members have even published their own books. They have found lulu.com to be a great outlet to create their own books of poetry. Others have won awards, and even recognitions for their work. Although these members love to write, and may have even had their own works published, being a published poet is not a requirement to be a member of this welcoming club. Anybody who loves to read, listen, or write poetry is welcomed into the club with open arms and an open heart.
In the last year or so, the poetry club has been taking their poetry out to an area nursing home to share with the residents. Residents enjoy listening to the members at least every couple months as they share inspirational, humorous, and seasonal poetry. The club also distributes copies of their poems to the residents so that they can read them again in their own free time. They have become a popular favorite at the nursing home to the residents and are requested frequently for visits.
The Hometown Poetry club does not charge any fees for sharing poetry. They are a non-profit organization that just enjoys sharing poetry and stories to inspire and bring joy to others. Usually at the beginning of every November, they host a public poetry reading to help collect food for area food pantries. They only admission that they ask for is a food item for donation. During the summers, the club enjoys gathering at each other’s homes for lunches and cookouts, and in the winter, they play their board games like Scrabble for fun.
The members gather together once a month, usually on the third Saturday at a local library. At the meetings, they share poetry that they may have written, play writing games, and discuss events that they would like to do for the upcoming meetings. A monthly newsletter is also distributed to the members every month too.
The club is an enjoyable group of people that love meeting new faces and bringing smiles to others. Poetry is a wonderful way to bring people together and also brings inspiration and even laughter. In the future, the group would like to publish a book of poems together to have published. All proceeds would go to area food pantries or other charitable organizations as well.
To find out more information about the club, they have a website at yahoo groups. It can be visited at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hometownpoetryclub/