Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
FAIRFIELD — Whether you enjoy reading poetry or writing your own, the Fairfield Public Library has a club for you.
The library started a poetry club named Poetic License, which has been meeting monthly since April 2021. The group is led by Fairfield Library Director Alecs Schmidt Mickunas and Jon Pearson. Those who are interested in learning more about the club are invited to its next meeting from 5-6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 at the library. The club meets at that time on the last Thursday of the month.
Mickunas said the club’s very first meeting coincided with William Shakespeare’s birthday, which was done on purpose.
“Initially, we wanted to talk about a different poetic form every month,” he said. “We talked about the sonnet for our first meeting, but after that, the group took on its own organic character.”
Mickunas said the group size is usually about 10 people, and has drawn as many as 15. He said that’s a good number to have, because it’s allowed the members to get to know each other. Mickunas said about half the members bring poetry they’ve written, and the other half bring a piece from a poet they like.
“If people submit their poems to us via email, we’ll print them so everyone who attends can have a copy,” he said. “We take turns reading our poems, and if time allows, we give feedback to each other and discuss other poems after they’ve been read.”
Poems can be emailed to email@example.com.
Mickunas said that one of the nice things about the club is that there is a diversity of ages. Half the members are 60 and older, while the other half are under 40.
“It’s great that a lot of the old-timers like to share stories about how they got to Fairfield,” he said. “Sometimes, their poems relate to different periods of their life. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Mickunas said he is indebted to former library staff member Sean Charleston for helping to start the group. Charleston was president of a poetry club in college, and enjoys reading and writing poetry.
Mickunas said he’s taken an interest in 20th century poets such as E.E. Cummings, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Sylvia Plath. While studying Japanese at the University of Iowa and in Japan, Mickunas got into Japanese poetry, too.
Call Andy Hallman at 641-575-0135 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org