Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nov. 13 -- Poetry Workshop: Opening the Gates of Imagination

Every fall and late winter I look forward to teaching half-day workshops in the OLLI at CCU program at Litchfield, SC. The next one is less than a month away, and I'm busy working on it now. It's always an engaged, supportive group eager to read, write, and discuss poetry. Here are the details:

Thursday, Nov. 13
OLLI at CCU, Litchfield
"Opening the Gates of Imagination"
Susan Laughter Meyers, instructor
10 a.m - 2 p.m.
$30 (plus $20 OLLI membership)

Opening the Gates of the Imagination   
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart's affections and the truth of the imagination," said John Keats. In this workshop we'll explore how the imagination can evoke emotion in a poem. In-class writing, discussion, class packet. Within two weeks after the workshop, participants have the option of e-mailing a poem to the instructor for feedback. Lunch can be brought or bought nearby.

Nov. 7 - 9 Queens Univ. of Charlotte MFA alumni & students to gather on campus

I'm looking forward to being a part of the inaugural alumni/student-run MFA gathering on the Queens University of Charlotte campus soon. Every other autumn (in odd-numbered years) the MFA program holds an alumni weekend on campus, when it brings in top-notch editors/agents and poets/writers to teach workshops. For the first time, in even-numbered years the alumni/students will be gathering on campus for a weekend of programs that they themselves—we ourselves—have generated and will be offering. So happy to be going and seeing fellow MFAers both familiar and new, as well as taking part in the discussions and readings. Soon!

Nov. 7 - 9
Queens Univ. of Charlotte
MFA alumni & student gathering
Panels & readings by MFAers
1900 Selwyn Avenue
Charlotte, NC

Artist Residency awarded by the SC State Parks System

I am honored to be a recipient of a 2014 SC State Parks System Artist Residency. For a week artists-in-residence have the opportunity to pursue their artistic endeavors staying at one of the state's beautiful state parks. I'll be writing poems, as well as taking field notes while on hikes, at Hickory Knob State Park. My sincere gratitude to the South Carolina State Park System for this opportunity. 

In return, I am to frame a poem I write during the residency and donate it to the Park System for them to display in one of the cabins or elsewhere on the property. As one who loves to write about the natural world, I am looking forward to every moment of my residency!

Week of Oct. 24-31
Hickory Knob State Park
McCormick, SC
Artist residency

Tue., Oct. 21 -- Poems: Bones of the Spirit, a reading in Columbia, SC

Three women poets from the Charleston area will be heading to Columbia, SC, next week to participate in a literary salon founded and facilitated by poet Al Black. Al has long run the weekly Poetry Mind Gravy series, and now he has added this new monthly poetry salon to his schedule. He has named the October 21 event "A Visitation from the Holy City of Charleston." The program offers three poets reading and discussing their work, plus conversation with the poets.Here are the details:

Poems: Bones of the Spirit VI
Barbara G.S. Hagerty, Susan Laughter Meyers, Debbie Lawson Scott
Oct. 21
8 - 10 p.m.
Sun Spirit Yoga Wellness
735 Meeting St., West Columbia, SC 29169
Book signing following the reading
Free & open to the public

  • BARBARA G.S. HAGERTY will read from her book Twinzilla (Word Press, 2014), winner of the Hilary Tham Capital Collection. 
  • SUSAN LAUGHTER MEYERS will read from My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass (2013), winner of the Cider Press Review Editors' Prize. 
  • DEBBIE LAWSON SCOTT is the immediate past-president of The Poetry Society of South Carolina. She'll be reading poems from her manuscript "We'll Go in a Minute." 

Honorable Mention for the Brockman-Campbell Book Award

Congratulations to Charmaine Cadeau, who won this year's Brockman-Campbell Book Award for her collection Placeholder, published by Brick Books. Joseph Bathanti, author of Concertina (Mercer University Press) and I were selected for Honorable Mention. The Brockman-Campbell is awarded by the North Carolina Poetry Society each year to a poet whose book is judged to be the best collection of poetry by a North Carolina resident or native published in the preceding year.This year's judge was Joanna Klink, author of three poetry collections and professor of creative writing at the University of Montana.

On September 20, the winner and finalists were asked to read for the North Carolina Poetry Society at Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities in Southern Pines, NC. Unfortunately Joseph couldn't be there, but I enjoyed hearing Charmaine read from her winning book, and I was honored to read from My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass (Cider Press Review).

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Europe: Aug. 24 - Sept. 16

Blue and I took the trip of a lifetime recently: three weeks in Europe on a Rick Steves tour. A whirlwind adventure that included stops in The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, The Vatican, Switzerland, and France. A warm, energetic group of twenty-eight, plus our fearless guide Dimitri—always on the go, each of us whisking our carry-on bag and day pack from bus to hotel or vice-versa. Lucky us, with gorgeous weather on all but a couple of days.

My favorite country? Italy. Favorite moment? Sitting one night in a church in Venice, on the third row, when it hit me: Vivaldi in Venice! Such a beautiful church, beautiful night—and, of course, beautiful concert.

Having said that, I loved every stop and have many wonderful memories and photos, as well as a few extra pounds to remind me of them all.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Lese Corrigan and her gallery

Whenever I'm in Charleston and in the area of Queen Street, I like to stop by to visit my artist friend Lese Corrigan. I met Lese when she and I worked together as Artist and Writer in Residence at the Gibbes Museum of Art back in 2004-2005, and we've been friends ever since. From the beginning I liked her and admired her talents as an artist, so I was thrilled when she allowed her artwork Cultured Pomegranates, 2001, oil on linen, to be used as the cover art for my book Keep and Give Away, published by the University of South Carolina Press in 2006.

When I dropped by Lese's gallery a week or two ago, she showed me her new studio that she recently added to the back of the gallery. Such a wonderful space for her to work! And she needs it, as she prepares for a show this fall. Her gallery is at 62 Queen Street, just off Meeting Street.You can't miss the charm of its black-and-white striped awnings.

Congratulations, Lese for all your fine accomplishments--and this large new space to make more beautiful art!

Lese in her new studio

NC Writers Conference

This year the NC Writers Conference--a longstanding, loosely organized group of NC writers--met in Asheville for its annual gathering. I loved every minute of the time there, the last weekend in July. I remember when I first attended back in the early 1990s as a guest of my late friend Marie Gilbert, who later nominated me for membership. I was starry eyed at being among so many talented writers, and I loved the warm spirit, the casual fun of the group. I still do love the group's laid-back, yet friendly energy.

This year Margaret Bauer, Programs Chair, asked me to moderate the session on the James Applewhite Poetry Prize, which meant that I got to introduce James Applewhite before he announced the winner of this year's contest sponsored annually by North Carolina Literary Review. I also got to introduce the finalists and honorable mentions for this year. And we all got to hear readings by them--plus a reading by Jim Applewhite from his new book Cosmos. Did I mention that I had a great time? Yes, all weekend!

Next year our gathering will be in "Little" Washington--Washington, NC. Can't wait!

The Blanket Stories anthology has been released

Honored to be in this anthology,
just released by Ragged Sky Press in July.
Richard Jochum & Ruth Zamoyta, editors

Jun 22: NCPS McIntyre's Poetry Reading Series

What a delight to read with Barbara G.S. Hagerty and Deborah Miller at McIntyre's Books in Fearrington Village near Pittsboro, NC, on June 22. NC Poetry Society leader Sara Claytor is in charge of planning the monthly series and does a wonderful job of rounding up poets to read. Barbara is the author of the newly released Twinzilla; Deborah is the author of Remants of Strawberry Blonde; and I read from My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass. We were happy to read to a supportive audience, after which Sara offered a lively drawing from poems and art for those in attendance.

Thanks to the NC Poetry Society and to McIntyre's Books for offering this series.

Deborah, Susan, and Barbara

Fall Lines: Summer issue of Jasper magazine

Fall Lines reception, June 8, 2014
Fall Lines, the summer issue of Jasper: The Word on Columbia Arts, made its debut this summer. It offers a full issue of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction with a prize in poetry and prose. Mary Hutchens Harris won the Saluda Poetry Prize, and Nicola Waldron won the Broad River Prize for Prose. A reception was held on Sunday, June 8, to celebrate Fall Lines, along with its prize winners and contributors. Here are the contributors for Fall Lines 2014. Congratulations to all! I'm happy to be included, among so many talented poets and writers.

Dig and Delve – Nicola Waldron
April, 1965 – Betsy Breen
Soon – Jonathan Butler
Accidentals – Mary Hutchins Harris
Forgotten – Marjory Wentworth
Militants Ban School Bells in a Town in Somalia – Marjory Wentworth
Taste the Sound – Jennifer Bartell
Davy Crockett’s Last Stand – Nancy Brock
Like – Jo Angela Edwins
Island Time – Josephine Humphries
What I wish I had said to Billy Collins – Brandi Perry
Queens – Alexis Stratton
Almost – Angie Zealberg
Ghost Crabs – Hastings Hensel
Lap – Robert Petersen
Like a little bell he trembles III – Matthew Stark
Pilgrimage – Christopher Dickey
Want a ride? – Aïda Rogers
A Bike – Bob Blencowe
Cancer Voodoo II – Melissa Johnson
The Ache of Beekeeping – Tony Tallent
Ruts – Ray McManus
At Congaree Swamp – Nicola Waldron
My Father’s Chest – Jarred Coffin
Jumping into the Abyss of History, A Prologue – Megan Volpert
you burn me – Susan Laughter Meyers
The Gunpowder Craze – Doug Berg
One Quiet Morning – William Claxon
In May’s Blue Box – Linda Lee Harper
What Tassio Fulgrass Thinks of Life – Susan Levi Wallach
Letting You Die – Marlena Impisi
early November – Laura Rashley
Crazing – Lisa Hammond
Mission – Tara Powell
The Ride Back – Jo Ann Hoffman
Open Windows – Matt Mossman
Fishing for Bream – Ivan Young
Through a Glass Darkly – Debra Daniel

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ragged Sky Press: Blanket Stories Project

The Blanket Stories Project is based on the following fable: 
 Five siblings inherit a blanket. They lie beneath it, together, to stay warm.
But arms and legs stick out and the siblings squabble and tug. They do
not realize that they would all fit if they just moved closer together.

The project initially put a call out to poets, artists, and musicians to respond to the fable. The results consist of a gallery of poems and art, as well as a print anthology to be published by Ragged Sky Press. I'm pleased to have a poem in the project. My poem “Blankets, a Childhood” is exhibited in the gallery and will later appear in the anthology.

Here is my poem, displayed in the online gallery.

In June there will be a launch for the project:
Blanket Stories Launch
Friday, June 6 at 5:00pm
Macy Gallery, Teachers College, 525 W 120 Street, NYC

Congratulations, Ragged Sky Press!

Magnolia Gardens Poetry Contest

This spring Magnolia Plantation and Gardens offered its Garden of Romance poetry contest, and one of my poems won second prize. Naturally I'm thrilled. The winning poems are posted on Magnolia's website and Facebook page.

Here are the results for the adult division. The judges selected poems that “best emulated the sensibility of romantic poets and described Magnolia as an idyllic "garden of romance."
  • Pam Stewart, Summerville, "O! Magnolia," first place, $500
  • Susan Laughter Meyers, Summerville, “Morning Meditation,” second place, $300
  • Warren Slesinger, Beaufort, “White Blossoms,” third place, $200
  • Frances J. Pearce, Mount Pleasant, “Magnolia-on-the-Ashley,” honorable mention, $50
  • Liz Rose Dolan, Rehoboth Beach, Del., “Even If It Rains, I Will Wait in the Garden,” honorable mention, $50
  • Davi Walders, Chevy Chase, Md., “May Light,” honorable mention, $50

The results for the youth division are also posted on Magnolia's website.

May 16 - 18: Last weekend's SC Book Festival

Last weekend’s 18th annual SC Book Festival drew its usual crowds, and I was delighted to be a part of it:

May 16-18
Columbia Convention Center
Columbia, SC
Sunday, May 18, 1:30 p.m. panel: "Diverse Verse"
with Gil Allen, Barbara Hagerty, Susan Laughter Meyers & Marjory Wentworth; Ed Madden, moderator
free & open to public

I especially enjoyed hearing Nikki Giovanni talk and read a couple of poems in her session. That session was one of only two poetry events offered at the Festival. So the other events there that I attended featured writers of other genres. Sessions I sat in on included Christopher Buckley, the keynote speaker; novelist Gail Godwin; and a roundtable by Pat Conroy and his siblings.

Those of us on the poetry panel were happy to see the room filled with about 50 poets and friends of poetry. Gil read a couple of poems from his new book Catma; Barbara from Twinzilla; me from My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass; and Marjory from her New and Selected. (Ed will be reading from his new book, Nests, at next year’s Festival.)

Barbara Hagerty and I would like to say a big thank you to the wonderful Hub City Press booth for carrying our books: her Twinzilla (The Word Works, 2014) and my own My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass (Cider Press Review, 2013).

The Poetry Society of SC and LILA shared a booth in the Festival’s exhibit hall—with members taking turns to be at the booth. Among them—Debbie Scott, outgoing president of PSSC; Frances Pearce; Barbara Hagerty; Linda Annas Ferguson; and me. Linda was my guest for the weekend, giving us a chance to catch up on all things poetry and non-poetry. Such a fun-filled weekend!

May 4 reading: Sundry Poets at Quail Ridge Books & Music

The early part of the month gave me another chance to be in my old home state of North Carolina:

Sunday, May 4
3 p.m.
3522 Wade Avenue
Ridgewood Shopping Ctr.
Raleigh, NC
Three poets: Susan Laughter Meyers, Maureen Sherbondy, John York
free & open to public

What a great opportunity, to have been a part of the Sundry Poets series, headed by Jo Taylor. It's a series at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC, offering quarterly readings. Maureen, John, and I had the pleasure of reading from our latest books. Not only did I enjoy reading with them, but I also loved having an opportunity to see new and old NC friends there.

And—yes, there’s more—I got to visit all weekend with my long-time high school/college buddies, Fran and Jeff. How many more reasons could a person think of for a great trip to NC! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Thursday, May 1: Poetry Critique Workshop

Poetry Critique Workshop
Susan Laughter Meyers, instructor
Thur., May 1
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Litchfield Education Ctr.
Bi-Lo Shopping Center, 14427 Ocean Hwy
Litchfield/Pawleys Island, SC
Registration: $30, plus OLLI membership  
For further info: 843-234-3422

Our critique session will give you an opportunity for a close reading of your poem(s) by fellow poets. Our job is not to fix your poem but to help you find ways to re-envision it. Please bring about 6-7 copies of 1-3 poems. Class packet included, with a variety of revision strategies. Within two weeks after the workshop, participants have the option of e-mailing a poem to the instructor for feedback.  

Sunday, April 27, 2014

2014 Sundown Poetry Series

ANNOUNCING. . . [drum roll] . . . 
this year's schedule of superb featured poets. 
Each reading will be followed by
a lovely reception at a nearby art gallery.
Please join us for ten terrific nights of poetry!

2014   P i c c o l o   S p o l e t o   
S U N D O W N   P O E T R Y   S E R I E S   
May 26 – 30;  Jun 2 - 6  •  6:30 p.m.  •  free & open to the public   •  Dock Street Theatre Courtyard, 135 Church St., Charleston, SC

Mon., May 26Richard Garcia, of Charleston, SC, is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Other Odyssey (2014), winner of The American Poetry Journal Book Prize; and The Chair (BOA Editions),  forthcoming. His work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Crazyhorse, Ploughshares, and other journals. Awards include an NEA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. He teaches in the Antioch MFA program and online.  

Tue., May 27Frances Justine Post is the author of Beast (Augury Books, 2014). Her work has also appeared in Kenyon Review, Denver Quarterly, Pleiades, and elsewhere. Her numerous awards include the “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Prize. Originally from Sullivan’s Island, she is currently earning her PhD in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston, where she is a poetry editor for Gulf Coast.

Wed., May 28Vernon Fowlkes, of Mobile, AL, is the author of The Sound of Falling (Negative Capability Press, 2013). His work has also appeared in The Southern Review, JAMA, The Ampersand Review, Birmingham Arts Journal, Elk River Review, and other literary journals. He has been a featured poet in various programs, including Charleston’s MNP&M and the Southern Writers Reading Series in New York.

Thurs., May 29Nancy Dew Taylor, of Greenville, SC, is the author of the chapbook Stepping on Air (Emrys Press, 2008). In 2011 she received the Linda Flowers Literary Award from the NC Humanities Council for her sequence of poems Mill Creek Suite. Her poems have also appeared in journals and anthologies, including Tar River Poetry and The South Carolina Review, as well as The Southern Poetry Anthology.

Fri., May 30Ed Madden, associate professor of English at USC in Columbia, is the author of three books of poetry: Nest (Salmon, 2014); Prodigal: Variations (Lethe, 2011); and Signals (USC, 2008), which won the SC Poetry Book Prize. His work has appeared in Best New Poets 2007, The Book of Irish American Poetry, The Southern Poetry Anthology, and elsewhere. Awards include a fellowship from the SC Arts Commission.

Mon., Jun 2Ray McManus is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Red Dirt Jesus (2011), winner of the Marick Press Poetry Prize; and Punch (Hub City Press), forthcoming. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including Barely South and Hayden’s Ferry Review. He is assistant professor of English at USC Sumter and the creative writing director for the Tri-District Arts Consortium in SC.

Tue., Jun 3Paul Hamill, of Charleston, SC, is the author of four collections of poetry, including his most-recent chapbook, Meeting the Minotaur: Field Guide to the Labyrinth (Split Oak Press, 2010). His work has appeared in numerous journals, including The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, and Cortland Review. He has served as Poet Laureate of Tompkins County, New York, and president of The Poetry Society of SC.

Wed., Jun 4Angela Kelly, of Spartanburg, SC, is the author of Voodoo for the Other Woman (Hub City Press, 2013) and four poetry chapbooks. Her work has also appeared in numerous journals, including North American Review, Rattle, and Nimrod. Her awards include the SC Fellowship of the Arts from the SC Arts Commission and the Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship in Poetry from the SC Academy of Authors.  

Thurs., Jun 5Gilbert Allen is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently Catma (Measure Press, 2014). His honors include a Literary Arts Fellowship from the SC Arts Commission, the Robert Penn Warren Prize in Poetry from The Southern Review, and induction into the SC Academy of Authors. He is the Bennette E. Geer Professor of Literature at Furman University and serves as editor of Ninety-Six Press.

Fri., Jun 6Jim Natal, of Los Angeles, CA, is the author of four poetry collections, most recently 52 Views: The Haibun Variations and Memory and Rain. His work has appeared in New Poets of the American West and other anthologies/journals. Featured readings include the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. He is founder/director of The Literary Southwest series in Prescott, AZ.

Barbara G. S. Hagerty & Susan Laughter Meyers, Coordinators
2015 applications available fall 2014 at

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sat., April 26: LILA workshop -- Complicating the Poem

Saturday, April 26, 2014
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
LILA Write Charleston! workshop: "Complicating the Poem"
Susan Laughter Meyers, instructor
Circular Congregational Church
150 Meeting St., Charleston
Registration: $30; $20 for LILA members/students/seniors
To register: bardowl2[at] (bard+owl+2 . . .) 

Like our contemporary world, some poems are best understood as complexities. This workshop will look at strategies for moving a poem draft from the simple to the complex--from the linear to the braided, the multi-faceted. We'll be looking for a variety of ways to delve into a subject that is better-served by the complications of research, collage, associative leaps, as well as other approaches that can enlarge and enliven the poem. And the ironic thing is this: to complicate a poem is simple! (If you already have a chosen subject for a poem, feel free to bring a draft or some notes/research.)

Why "complicate" a poem, you might ask. Because certain poems--perhaps with a subject that leans toward being unwieldy--cannot contain themselves in a brief, simple, linear fashion. That's when it's time to break the poem open to see where it wants to go, what approaches it wants to take, who it wants to take with it, and how. We'll be exploring some of the possible paths to take.

Please write me with any questions you might have. As I do with all my workshops, I'll provide a class packet with suggested writing activities, pertinent quotes, and resources for participants to take home and turn to later for further investigation of how our topic.

If you're in the area, I hope you can join us!

For more information about Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts (LILA) events, check out the website here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Reading with Elizabeth Swann at Flyleaf Books on April 10

What a treat it was to read with Beth Swann at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill last week. We read at the Second Thursday Poetry & Open Mic Night, a monthly poetry event coordinated by Pam Baggett and Stan Absher. There were about 20-25 people there, including my sister Janice, my college roommate Fran and her husband, as well as good friends Sally and Marylin. It's always fun to travel to a reading when I can combine the poetry experience with visits with friends and family. (The night before the reading three of us ate at Kitchen, a nearby restaurant in the same strip mall, which I highly recommend. Seared salmon over collard greens—yum!)

At Flyleaf I read mostly from My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass; and Beth read from her book Port Desire, published last year by Finishing Line Press. Poet Marjorie Stelmach says this about the approach Beth takes with the book’s poems: “She examines the forces that draw us equally to the safety of harbor and to the hazards of the open ocean, open road, open heart. . . . In addition to a wide-ranging intelligence, there is wisdom in these poems.” Congratulations, Beth!

The open mic following our readings proved what a lot of talent the Chapel Hill area holds. It was a rich, active segment of the program with a lively audience eager to show their support. Thanks to all there for also showing that support to Beth and me. We loved being there!

This year's Press 53 Gathering of Poets

What a great time I had at this year's Gathering of Poets in Winston-Salem, NC, on April 5. It was the fourth year that Press 53 and Jacar Press have cosponsored the event, and my second time attending (this year as faculty). Six of us were on this year's faculty: Jaki Shelton Green, Katherine Soniat, Metta Sama, Keith Flynn, Richard Krawiec, and I. We each taught the same workshop twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. I had the pleasure of sitting in on Katherine's and Metta's workshops, and I'm all the richer for those two experiences. My own workshop was called "Losing (Your) Intention and Finding a Poem," a subject which I thoroughly enjoyed investigating to prepare for the day. When thinking about what to teach in classes and workshops, I always choose a topic that I myself want to spend time on and learn from.

Every workshop that I taught or attended at the Gathering of Poets was filled with 15-20 engaged, inquisitive, knowledgeable poets who had much to offer all the others in the room. The sort of gathering that brings about learning and friendships! If you're in the area next year, it'll be the last weekend in April. Do go if the opportunity arises, and be sure to register early as the day accommodates only 53 registered participants, a small but mighty group.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Thur., Mar. 27: LILA poetry reading at Circular Church

How I'm looking forward to reading with my talented poet friends tomorrow night at an event sponsored by the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts (LILA)! Here are the details:

THURS., Mar. 27
READING by poets

  • Richard Garcia
  • Barbara G. S. Hagerty
  • Susan Laughter Meyers
  • Marjory Wentworth

7 p.m.
Circular Church 
150 Meeting St., Charleston, SC
Book signing to follow
$5 suggested donation

All four of us have new books out or forthcoming shortly:

  • Richard Garcia: The Other Odyssey, winner of the American Poetry Journal Prize (Dream Horse Press)
  • Barbara G.S. Hagerty: Twinzilla, winner of the Hilary Tham Capital Collection Prize (Word Works)
  • Susan Laughter Meyers: My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass, winner of the Cider Press Review Editors Prize
  • Marjory Wentworth: New and Selected Poems (University of South Carolina Press)

 Please join us if you're in the area!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mar. 11: Reading & workshops at The Cooper School

The morning of Tuesday, March 11, was my time at The Cooper School in West Ashley, near Charleston. First I gave a brief reading to a room full of young students seated before me in a semi-circle on the floor. The room was full of windows, so I had the joy of seeing the children's smiling faces and, behind them, the sun shining on the lovely small campus. I read a few of my poems and a couple by other poets.

Afterward I met with two classes for workshops—a 4th- and 5th-grade class and a 2nd-grade class. The first workshop had about 18 students and the other about 14—ideal for a workshop to generate new poems. We wrote a group poem in each workshop and then spent time starting individual poems. Such delightful, enthusiastic students, who are lucky to have such dedicated, caring teachers. Thank you, Cooper School!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

The Columbia Broadside Project celebrates its success

On Friday night the Columbia Broadside Project, directed by Darien Cavanaugh, held a closing reception at Tapp's Arts Center to celebrate its month-long exhibit there. The reception included music, poetry readings, and a panel about the collaboration process. The Project, funded by a Kickstarter campaign, brought about the collaboration of 28 visual artists and poets to result in 14 beautiful broadsides by the participating pairs. Such an imaginative and talented group! I was honored to participate and to collaborate with artist Matt Catoe on our broadside entitled Lately She Falls to Dreaming.

The broadsides, as well as a chapbook of the broadside art and poems, are available for sale. For further information, check at the Columbia Broadside Project page on Facebook.

Monday Night Poetry & Music reading, Feb. 24

What a joy it was to read in the Monday Night Poetry & Music Series last Monday! The Series always has a supportive audience, which includes a lot of talented poets who typically read in the open mic. Thanks to host Jim Lundy for having me—and to all who came to help me continue celebrating the release of My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass.

Poets in the region, this Series is a wonderful place to read. The events are weekly and held at the charming East Bay Meeting House in Charleston, SC. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tomorrow's poetry workshop: "Persistence and the Poem"

I'm looking forward to teaching an OLLI at CCU workshop at the Litchfield Education Center tomorrow. Because it's on "Persistence and the Poem," I've been thinking a lot about digging deeper when writing a poem, not giving up on it too soon. It's hard to sit there and keep at it when you don't know which way to turn, or what's working and what's not, or how much of what you've written you'll have to ditch—but the thing is to keep going. All those matters can be dealt with later. I like the idea of being persistent. It's a good life lesson. And, hey, it's fun—if you consider the discomfort of squirming in your seat fun.

It’ll be my first time teaching in the new Litchfield Education Center. We’re a small class so we’ll happily meet in the conference room around a big table. Nothing beats the camaraderie and imaginative thinking that go on when a bunch of poets get together.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Good News from the Columbia Broadside Project

Congratulations to artist Matt Catoe, my talented partner for the Columbia Broadside Project! The following news has been announced by Darien Cavanaugh, director of the project:

"Congratulations to Matt Catoe and Susan Laughter Meyers for selling the original of "Lately She Falls to Dreaming" on opening night at Tapp's Arts Center. All the other originals are still available at Tapp's through the 28th, and I've just made them available at a new pledge level on our Kickstarter page. I know that serious buyers are looking at at least two others, so if you see one you like. . . ." 

Be sure to check out the beautiful broadsides, including "Lately She Falls to Dreaming," at the Kickstarter page. And I hope to see those of you in the Columbia, SC, area at the closing reception on February 28. Details later.

Friday, February 07, 2014

The Columbia Broadside Project

I am honored to be included in the Columbia Broadside Project, an art-and-poetry collaborative project whose month-long exhibit opened last night at Tapp's Arts Center, Columbia, SC. The project director is Darien Cavanaugh.

For the project, twenty-eight poets and artists from Columbia and other cities throughout South Carolina paired up and collaborated to create 14 original broadsides, each consisting of an image and poem that correspond to one another. Many of the poets and artists were present at the opening. There will be a closing reception on February 28 that will include readings by some of the poets and a panel discussion with some of the poets and artists.

The participating poets and artists are:

Gil Allen and somethingRed
Betsy Breen and Ashley Berendzen
Jonathan Butler and Alejandro Garcia-Lemos
Juan David Cruz and Thomas Crouch
Worthy Evans and Allan Anderson
Will Garland and Alex Coco
Keith Higginbotham and Kristyn Larsen
Julia Koets and Dre Lopez
Ed Madden and Rachel Parker
Ray McManus and Josh Drews!
Susan Laughter Meyers and Matt Catoe
Brandi L. Perry and Michael Krajewski
Nicola Waldron and Lee A. Monts
Susan Levi Wallach and Sammy Lopez

This closing reception is free and open to the public. For more information, visit The Columbia Broadside Project on Facebook or email

Please visit these participants' personal websites:

Ashley Berendzen
Josh Drews
Alejandro Garcia Lemos
Kristyn Larsen
Dre Lopez and Sammy Lopez
Ray McManus
Lee A. Monts
Brandi L. Perry
Susan Levi Wallach

*This project is funded by the Cultural Council of Richland & Lexington Counties and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of SC.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Jasper review of My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass is now online

The review of My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass published in Jasper: The Word on Columbia Art is now available online. The review, written by Jonathan Butler, appears in vol. 3, issue 2, on page 58; and here is the link.

I'm so pleased! Thank you, Jonathan Butler and Jasper.