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Berea English Professor, Students Offer Interactive Poetry Event at Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea

Tuesday, 11 12, 2013

Gwen Heffner
Information Specialist
Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Phone: 859 - 985-5448 X 230

Berea College English professor Libby Jones is always looking for innovative teaching ideas and techniques. She found one such method in The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, edited by Kristin Camitta Zimet. Jones and her poetry students will be using this interactive technique to write haiku poems for visitors on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

In this poetry exercise, students come up with a list of five questions, (such as, what lost thing do you miss the most? What is your earliest memory?) They then go out into the community and interface with people at various public locations.  Students sit at a table with a sign saying, “Free Poems!” When anyone stops to see what it is about – they ask the visitors if they would like a poem written about them. If a person says yes, then the student asks a few questions, writes a quick haiku on a card and gives it to the visitor. Poetry in action!

Berea College students participating with Jones in this interactive poetry event are: Jessica Y. Brown, a junior from Cincinnati, OH; Naomi Alix Burke, a junior from Pikeville; Chloe Forsting, a junior from Louisville; Jesse Fowler, a junior from Rutherford, N.C.; Zack Thomas, a sophomore from Summertown, TN; and Elle Wong, a senior from Lexington. Jones’ book of poetry, “Above the Eastern Treetops, Blue,” is available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

Celebrating 10 years in 2013, the center currently features works by more than 700 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. Special exhibits include, “Capturing the Art of Sport: Works by Kentucky Artisans,” on display through Feb 22, 2014; and “The Founding of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea” and “Highlights of the First 10 Years,” on display in the lobby through Nov. 17, 2013. For more information about the center’s events call 859-985-5448, visit us on Facebook at, or go to the center’s website at

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.