September Leeds Area Open Circle Poets Meeting.

Dear Open Circle Poetry Fans:

This post includes a number of ideas for writing poetry, so this should keep you busy for months! 

• But first, a couple of announcements about “My Favorite Poem” at the Alabama School of Fine Arts this coming Friday, Sept. 23, at 7:00 pm. 1) The writer and curator of fond memories, Jim Reed, will be the M.C., because Mike Royer has a command performance else ware. 2) Our friend, Charlie Kinnaird, is one of the featured readers. Charlie is a member of our poetry group. He wrote “This Is Where I’m From” and brought us the “I Am From” template.

• On October 27 (a Thursday), our poetry group and the Leeds Arts Council will host the quarterly meeting and reading of the Birmingham Arts Journal. We’ll spend a few minutes at next Monday’s meeting to talk about refreshments, decorations, and hospitality.

Ideas for this month’s poetry meeting, Monday, Sept. 26, at 7:00 pm

1) Cats – – One of our poets suggested this topic months ago. Another member (Jonathan) recently adopted two kittens. There’s plenty to write about.

2) QuatrainA stanza or poem consisting of four lines. In the basic form, Lines 2 and 4 must rhyme while having a similar number of syllables. (The poem can be only 4 lines, or it can have many 4-line stanzas as long as each stanza follows the rhyming and syllable pattern.)

Example from

The wind doth blow today, my love
And a few small drops of rain;
I never had but one true-love
In cold grave she was lain.

Another example, “Unspoken Words,” by Paul Callus:

I often scribble in the sand 
The words I find so hard to say
And hope the wind will come along 
And blow them all your way.

3) Where to get more ideas for poems:  (from

  • Listen to a piece of music and write about the images that it brings into your mind.
  • People-watch, eavesdrop, and write about your observations and imaginings.
  • Sit in a park and close your eyes. Notice all of the sounds and smells. Write about them afterward.
  • Keep a notebook next to your bed and write down your dreams at night to turn them into poems later.
  • Make a list of words you think are unusual, then try to use them in poems.
  • Watch an animal and write a poem about what it looks like and what it does.
  • Smell different spices in your kitchen and write about the memories that they inspire.
  • Look through old family photographs and choose some to write poems about.
  • Go on a “field trip” — a museum, the zoo, a greenhouse — to hunt for poetry ideas.
  • Get inspiration from books on an area of science or history that interests you.

Listeners are welcome and necessary!  We’ll have snacks.

Leeds Area Open Circle Poetry Group
Monday, September 26, 7:00 pm

Leeds Arts Center in Downtown Leeds
8140 Parkway Drive, Leeds, Alabama 35094

 Call or email if you have questions.
Joan Dawson – 401-7077

Leeds Area Open Circle Poets Meeting!

Escape the heat and come to the Open Circle Poetry Group on Monday, July 25, 6:30 (note time change).

Here are suggestions for writing, if you need a jumpstart:

1) Summer heat – It doesn’t necessarily have to be about the weather; there are all kinds of summer heat. Politics?

2) Continue with the “This Is Where I’m From” template and poem.

3) Bring an award-winning selection to read. We are eager to hear Ramey Channell’s two winners from the 2016 Alabama Writers’ Conclave. Congratulations, Ramey. Well done!

4) Bring something that you’re working on. We’re good sounding boards.

“Other Things” – Consider attending these events:

• Thursday, July 28, 6:30 – Birmingham Arts Journal reading and reception (free) at Mountain Brook Emmet O’Neal Library. This is the Hackney Award edition, and Frank Dawson will read his Hackney Award-winning poem. Congratulations, Frank.

Leeds Area Open Circle Poets
Monday, January 26, 6:30 pm – a little earlier than usual

Leeds Arts Center in Downtown Leeds
8140 Parkway Drive, Leeds 35094

Cool refreshments, of course!

Leeds Area Open Circle Poets meeting tomorrow night!

Dear Poetry Fans:

It’s Mardi Gras time! If you plan to attend the Open Circle Poetry Group meeting, you’ve picked a good month to do it. We’ll have beads and refreshments, and we’ll be in a playful mood. The meeting will be Tuesday evening, January 26, at 7:00. (Normally we meet on Monday, but it’s Tuesday this time!)

Some of you may have poems you composed about the holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year – so bring those if you have them. The poetry challenge for this meeting is “Mask” – whatever that means to you. If you have time, see what you can create with that topic. After we hear your poem(s), let’s think about what form you used and how you crafted the final product. And, as always, you don’t have to write/read a poem at all. We love our poetry listeners!

Leeds Area Open Circle Poets meeting.

Monday September 28 at 7:00 pm LAC hosts the Leeds Area Open Circle Poets meeting.  From Joan Dawson:  “Have you been outside to revel in the signs of the change of seasons, the change from flowers to seed dispersal, the visitations from bees, wasps, butterflies? Can you write a poem about the change of the seasons or about the changes in your garden or yard? Or about the signs of preparing for new life next year? Or about your own preparations?
Listen to your muse and just write. You choose the topic if the ones above don’t work for you. Please bring copies of your poems if you can.
In addition to reading our poems and enjoying refreshments, we’ll make plans to host the Birmingham Arts Journal meeting on October 29.. Please think of how you can help with refreshments.”