Area poets celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month at the Wild Bean, and on Friday, Apr. 7, at 6 p.m., there will be a live poetry reading featuring area poets Sarah Elkins, Doug Van Gundy and Neal Krakover and also featuring an open mic for those who wish to share their work. The event is free.

Krakover, staunch defender of poetic justice, resides in Lobelia, a “suburb” of Hillsboro approximately 28 miles from I-64. His recent book, “64 Poems And Worse,” was released in November 2016. A graduate under fellow of the Temple University philosophy department, instead of attending Graduation from Temple he came to Greenbrier County in May 1973 on a whim and to help restore a log cabin on Spring Creek. Krakover’s first memory of Lewisburg was driving into town on I-60 in a blue 1950 Chevrolet pickup, a refrigerator and a mattress tucked in tight, and having a late lunch at Clingman’s Market being greeted by Gwen Clingman herself in an apron and an almost heaven grin.“Need to wash up,” she said, pointing to the back wall, “and I hope you’re hungry!”

Sarah Elkins is a poet living in White Sulphur Springs. In 2014, she won first place in West Virginia’s annual contest for short poetry. Her time teaching poetry to inmates at FCI Beckley, a men’s medium security federal prison, was the subject of her TedX Talk, Poetry & Connection in the Care Bear of Prisons. By day, Elkins is director of marketing operations for PracticeLink, a physician recruiting service.

Van Gundy  teaches in both the BA and MFA writing programs at West Virginia Wesleyan College. His poems, essays and reviews have appeared in many journals, including The Oxford American, Ecotone, Appalachian Heritage, Still and Poetry Salzburg Review. His first collection of poems, “A Life Above Water,” is published by Red Hen Press. He is co-editor of the anthology “Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Writing from West Virginia.”

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