In celebration of National Poetry Month, members of the Guilford Poets Guild were invited to share their thoughts about poetry and the life of a poet. Here’s what GPG president and poet Juliana Harris had to say:
How did you come to being a poet?
I think it’s hereditary…my grandmother was a poet, as was my aunt.
Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
Yes…the first poem I remember writing was a class assignment when I was a sophomore in high school. The topic was “Spring” and, unbeknownst to me, my teacher submitted it to a state wide literary contest where it won honorable mention. The only award I’ve ever won for a poem!
What else do you write besides poetry? Do you have other creative pursuits?
I have written ad copy, magazine articles, essays, two novels, one chapbook of poems and am about to release my first mystery, Murder at the Tavern: A Guilford Mystery. I am also an actress and a singer/songwriter.
What has been the defining moment in your life as a poet/writer?
When my poem was purchased and published!
How long have you been a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and what’s that like?
I joined the Guild in 2008 after being introduced to the group by my dear friend, Yvonne Scott. I find our meetings a constant source of inspiration and am grateful for the wonderful friendship.
What inspires your writing today?
Describe your poem-writing process.
I will see or hear something and it will start buzzing at the back of my brain, ultimately making it into words to share at a Guild meeting!
Where do you like to write? With what?
I write at my desk on my laptop.
Who are you favorite poets and authors?
Billy Collins is my favorite poet…too many authors to list!
What book are you currently reading? (poetry or not)
Writers & Lovers by Lily King
Poem in Your Pocket Day is celebrated during National Poetry Month in April. What’s your favorite poem to carry about or share with others?
Life Has Loveliness to Sell by Sara Teasdale
LIFE HAS LOVELINESS TO SELL
Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.
Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.
Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.
Guilford Poets Guild President Juliana Harris remembers writing her first poem when she was a freshman in high school for a school assignment. The poem went on to win a prize in a statewide contest and she has been writing poems and essays ever since. Her work has appeared in publications across the country and her two novels are available on Amazon.com: The Fork in the Road and Pacific Heights. Her third novel, Murder at the Tavern: A Guilford Mystery, comes out later this spring. An award-winning professional actress, she is also a singer/songwriter and is currently at work on her third CD. She receives constant artistic stimulation from her participation in the Guilford Poets Guild and has compiling a chapbook of her poems, Portraits, about her family with the help and support of Guild members. She joined forces with guitarist Stephen Roane to form The Harris/Roane Duo in 2008. The Duo has performed concerts across the state and are recording their third CD.