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Great Lakes Poetry Gathering

May 22, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 3:30 pm

Great Lakes Poetry Program Logo

Saturday, May 22 from 10:00 am – 3:30 pm

Join us for the Great Lakes Poetry Gathering, an all day regional poetry program with maritime character, covering historic, geographic, and natural themes of the Great Lakes. Morning writing workshop and reading with Cindy Hunter Morgan, author of Harborless (Wayne State University Press) a 2018 Michigan Notable Book and winner of the 2017 Moveen Prize in Poetry.

Open to the public. Register online via Eventbrite or in person at the library. Deadline is Wednesday, May 19. A $5 donation covers morning and afternoon sessions.

Maximum registration: 25 participants


Workshop Schedule:

❖ 10:00 to Noon: What’s Hiding in a Lake’s History? How Research and History Inspire Poetry Live Virtual Workshop with Cindy Hunter Morgan, discussion and readings from “Harborless”

❖ 1:00 to 3:00: Afternoon Workshops and Readings (Register for One, indicate 1st and 2nd choice)

  • Mining Your Memory for the Maritime: Writing Narrative Poetry with Ray Petersen
  • From the Depths of the Waters: Using Science & Nature to Inspire a Poem with Christie Grimes
  • Message in a Bottle: Discovering How a Reader Completes a Poem poetry appreciation with Dory Sheldon


Silver Bones: A Sense of Place and History Along Lake Ontario Exhibit by Lawrence Barone


St. Marys River

His childhood was edged with fence lines
and planted with hollyhocks,
which his mother sometimes cut
and brought inside to a table
in the kitchen where the floor never
pitched and dishes never slid.
Once a year, his father took him fishing.
He imagined the line as a kind of taproot,
a fish as a kind of tuber.
After he shipped out on the Henry Steinbrenner,
he saw plow furrows in the wake of the boat—
a dark, churned field that did not smell
of the earth. Every day, he looked beyond
that wake for the shade of the maple tree
where he liked to rest at noon with a jug
of buttermilk. He muttered in his sleep,
too wet to plow, too wet to plow,
and woke one night to a violent thump.
Thrown from a horse, he thought,
but the chief engineer was yelling
to put out the fires so the boilers
would not explode. His head
was waterlogged. He shook it, thinking
something would sprinkle out—rain
from his mother’s watering can.
Someone ordered him to pull burning coals
from the fire boxes, which he did
because he had always loved
simple tasks. He piled coals
on the steel deck, carrying them almost gently,
pretending they were newly hatched chicks.


— Cindy Hunter Morgan
    from Harborless, Wayne State University Press

used with permission, from Harborless, by Cindy Hunter Morgan, published by Wayne State University Press


Hay Memorial Library’s Great Lakes Poetry Gathering is supported by The McAndrews Family Foundation and the Town of Hounsfield Committee for the Advancement of Tourism, with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew
Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and administered by the St. Lawrence County Arts Council.


May 22, 2021
10:00 am - 3:30 pm