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Poetry Out Loud: Gearing Up for Semi-Finals!

Posted on Wed, Feb 28 2018 5:00 pm by Jessie Lee-Bauder

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We are so excited for the Poetry Out Loud state semifinals and finals next week! Minnesota’s contestants have chosen a beautiful range of poetry from authors of all eras, ages, and identities, and we can’t wait to experience them. We are equally thrilled about the local poets, artists, and literary figures judging the competition. They are a passionate and creative group of individuals with strong ties to Minnesota, and they have produced a rich collection of criticism, essays, articles, and poetry.

Among them is Timothy Otte, a poet and critic from Minneapolis. He works at Coffee House Press, was a Loft mentor series winner for 2014-15, and has been widely published. His eerie, beautiful poem, “Feathermucker”, was originally featured by Sundog Lit:

 

Feathermucker

Timothy Otte

Depending on where you stand an ocean
can be above you. Think about that ocean

above you. Think about the water that hangs
in the sky above you. There is no sky

above you, only an ocean above you.

Depending on where you stand
whole armies could be assembling

out of sight, close enough
to strike you down before you can

think about rebellion. Think about rebellion.

Think about the crimes you are condemned for,
the crimes you haven’t committed.

Commit them. Depending on where you sleep
someone can always see you. Sleep

with an eye open to the possibility

that you’re not sleeping, or you can’t sleep,
or you won’t. And if you’re kept awake

by a knot in your chest, stand:
warn others of the ocean above you.

 

The state finals for Poetry Out Loud are free and open to the public. Come join us at the Loft on March 8th to hear the voices of Minnesota’s young people as they share the works of past and present writers.

The Poetry Out Loud state finals are on March 8th, 2018 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Target Performance Hall at Open Book; 1011 S Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55415. Find more information here.


Jessie Lee-Bauder is the Loft’s Poetry Out Loud intern for 2017-18. She is a recent graduate of Macalester College, with a degree in English (Creative Writing), and minors in American Studies and Environmental Studies. In addition to her work at the Loft, Jessie has a show at Macalester’s radio station (“tweenies”, Mondays 2-3pm), serves gyros at a Greek restaurant, and reads and writes quite a bit.