Just yesterday we celebrated our annual Tea & Poetry event at MONDO – TWC’s sixth consecutive year of marking National Poetry Month with a reading and open mic. This year, we partnered with Tiferet Journal and had a record-breaking audience of some 30+ avid poetry lovers. This is always one of our favorite events, where we celebrate the power of the written and spoken word – and between our fantastic featured readers and our amazing open mic readers, this year felt particularly special.
As always, we served tea and cookies, sipping from good china teacups as we listened to our featured poets – Donna Baier Stein, Priscilla Orr, and Catherine Doty. Each one has ties to both Tiferet and The Writers Circle and each read both new and old poems, ranging from the highly personal to the pointedly political, and everything in between.
Among the open mic readers, we invited Heather Newman to the stage. Heather will be teaching TWC’s first Poetry for Beginners workshop on Tuesday evenings in Summit this spring. Heather surprised and delighted us by reading her newest poem – one she dedicated to The Writers Circle because it centered around her experience getting fingerprinted to teach for TWC. (We should explain that all of our instructors are required to go through this process in order to teach our children and teen classes and our Summer programs.)
We hope you’ll enjoy Heather’s poem as much as we did. It is, she explains, a contemporary sonnet, written in the style of the New York School of Poets.
by Heather Newman
Yesterday I found myself at the counter of the universal
fingerprint agency because to teach kids you need to get
fingerprinted –digitally nowadays –I asked the clerk
if she was familiar with the word adermatoglyphia
then proceeded to tell her about the rare genetic disorder
that causes a person to have no fingerprints only
four known families have this condition –isn’t that crazy?
I figured she’d be excited about it (this being her work
and all) but the conversation didn’t go far– funny
when I first heard that word I was terribly excited
not just because I harbor a fantasy of living a life
of espionage but I also love discovering new words–
she smiled as if amused or perhaps she was fantasizing
about whole cities of persons missing their fingerprints
Happy Poetry Month, everyone!