Poetry celebration will go on

Poet laureate calls in sick, but colleagues will gather for `Little Patuxent Review'

January 18, 2008|By Karen Nitkin | Karen Nitkin,special to the Sun

The poet laureate of Maryland, scheduled to attend a launch party for the third issue of Little Patuxent Review, had to cancel because of a collapsed lung.

But the party will go on. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Howard County Conservancy, poets will read their works as they appear in the magazine, and refreshments will be served.

"It's a lovely and spirited magazine," said Michael S. Glaser, the state's poet laureate since 2004, who said he was disappointed that he will not be able to attend. "It really captures the passion for writing and literature that the editors have. It's always a joy to read. It's a real Maryland product, and I delight that it exists."

The publication, which celebrates local poetry, prose and photography, dates to the 1970s, when it was founded by Columbia poets Ralph and Margot Treitel. But it stopped publishing in the mid-1980s, said Michael J. Clark, the publisher, who started it again in 2006.

"I felt that this would be a good time, since I'm retired, to really put this back together again," said Clark, a former newspaper reporter. "I felt there was a real need for a literary arts magazine in the county."

Other key players include Michael R. Clark, the editor, as well as Anne Bracken, Ann Barney and Brendan Donegan, he said.

Little Patuxent Review is a nonprofit organization that receives grants from the Horizon Foundation, Columbia Foundation and other sources. The work is performed by about a dozen people who volunteer to take care of everything from sifting through contributions to laying out pages and distributing the magazine.

Michael Clark, the editor, said he received about 100 submissions for the current issue and accepted works from 35 contributors. The issue includes an interview with Glaser.

The editor, an English teacher at Centennial High School, said that most, but not all, of the contributors are from Howard County. He has encouraged some of his students to submit poems, and a few have been accepted, though not in the current issue.

Though he spends a fair amount of time on the project, it gets easier with each issue, he said.

"It's something that I've been wanting to do for my whole writing life," he said. "I'm a poet, and I know that poetry doesn't have a huge audience or market. But I think poets are able to make a little more of a name for themselves when they can associate themselves with a publication."

The magazine, which is published twice a year, always has a theme. The first was about writing and healing; the second was about Columbia at 40. The current issue is about art and nature, and the next one will focus on children. The review, about 80 pages, costs $15 and is available at the launch party and at locations including Columbia Art Center, Daedalus Books and Howard County Arts Council. Four hundred copies are being printed, up from 300, because the past two issues sold out, said Michael J. Clark.

The readings will take place at the Gudelsky Environmental Education Center at the Howard County Conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Road, Woodstock. The event is free and open to the public.

Information: Michael J. Clark, clarkmj@comcast.net, or the "Little Patuxent Review" Web site, www.littlepatuxentreview.org.

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