A Place for Poets

“The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea”

said Thomas Mann. A book has to take up residence in the writer’s mind before it can exist in the material world. Writers travel between the world of imagination and the world which we like to call the “real” one. Woven through the tapestry of their stories they transmit messages which we, as cynical readers, have long forgotten…

On Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. Diane’s Books, the reputed Greenwich bookstore, will host Poet Laureate, Mary Ann Hoberman, as she signs copies of her new anthology for fans. Critically acclaimed for her children’s books, Mrs. Hoberman will share a brand new collection of poems especially suitable for learning by heart and saying aloud. As the author herself says “When you learn a poem by heart, it becomes a part of you. You know it in your mind, in your mouth, in your ears, in your whole body. And best of all, you know it forever.” Log onto Dianesbooks.com for more info.

Writers are at the very core of our society and yet they are often given secondary roles. Throughout history, Literature has romanticized the writer as a tortured soul; never content yet deeply alluring. Later, during the Hollywood glamour years the writer was immortalized as a talented but penniless artist toiling away in his writer’s room. These bohemian apartments still have a magical sway over our imaginations as the ideal location for the writer to hone his craft.

Recently, I heard about a place that brings all the glamour of the Hollywood era writer’s room to the modern world. The Writer’s Room at The Betsy Hotel in South Beach is a working studio space for visiting writers. It pays tribute to the writing rooms that existed, once upon a time, in those pre-war hotels where famed guests put their thoughts to paper. Visiting writers have access to the natural beauty of their surroundings as well as the crisp, modern interiors at The Betsy: inspiration shouldn’t be too hard to find! April is National Poetry month and visiting poets will present public readings as well as community outreach.

This is the first time The Betsy will kick off National Poetry Month with six poets in residence, and yet it’s hardly surprising when you consider the history of the hotel…Hyam Plutzik, Pulitzer Prize finalist, is the father of the hotel owner: Jonathan Plutzik. Born into an immigrant family from Brooklyn, Hyam was amongst the first Yale graduate students of Jewish descent. He went on to receive many accolades for his exceptional writing and was most notably finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. With Hyam as muse, the hotel’s devotion to literature manifests itself with poems left on pillows, in-room libraries and poetry collections galore. Log onto Thebetsyhotel.com to learn more.

Robert Frost once said “writing a poem is discovering.” I urge you to heed his words and discover the power of poetry for yourself…

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