Currently viewing the tag: "“Catoctin Voices”"

Poet Tracy Seffers of Charles Town, West Virginia, will read from her latest work, Some Other Life, at the monthly poetry gathering, known as “Catoctin Voices,” on Friday, September 15, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. The event has moved to the historic Collier’s Cabin, located at 12607 Catoctin Furnace Road in Thurmont, home of The Catoctin Furnace Historical Society.

Publisher Finishing Line Press of Kentucky, describes Seffer’s work as bringing “…into view the deep ‘other life’ hidden underneath the commonplace. It is a celebration of the small and unseen lives that reveal deeper truth both divine and deeply human: the poetry sings an incarnational universe.”

  1. Claire Cantwell poet, columnist, and host of “Catoctin Voices” wrote this jacket review: “Tracy Seffers gives us her well-lived poems with an intensity and intimacy that both scores and soothes us, excites and rests, charges and stills. She invites us to float in her world of familiar themes and objects, but what is unfamiliar is her vision, awash in something. Shall I say wisdom? Perhaps it’s more akin to grace.”

The poems demonstrate “a musical ear and fine sensibilities that tap deeply into and from the Appalachian landscape and her own heritage,” writes Dr. Sylvia Baily Shurbutt, professor of English, Shepherd University, senior editor of Anthology of Appalachian Writers, and Director of NEH Voices from the Misty Mountains. “Her poems have an exquisite sense of structure and touch the reader with the quality of language and art. This is a book you will love.”

Tracy Seffers lives with her family on the banks of the Shenandoah River, under the shadow of the Blue Ridge. Her poetry has been featured in reading events throughout the Jefferson County WV Arts Council and in WV Writer’s podcasts; and published in regional literary journals such as the Bluestone Review, Backbone Mountain Review, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel Literary Journal, the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, and in online journals, including Still: The Journal and Assisi: an Online Journal of Arts and Letters.

“Catoctin Voices” is open to the public and features a guest poet from the region, in addition to open readings from anyone who writes poetry or has a favorite poem by another author to share. Approximately forty-five minutes of open reading time precedes the featured poet. Refreshments are always served. For more information, call 301-418-3375.

On July 21, 2017, beginning at 7:00 p.m., Mark Barton will share his poetry at The Creeger House, located at 11 N. Church Street in Thurmont.  Poets and lovers of poetry are welcome to share their original or favorite works during the open mic session. All ages are welcome and refreshments are provided.

Barton is a member of the Pennsylvania Poetry Society’s Keysner Chapter. He is grateful for the group’s poetic insights and for the structure it provides. Mark has also gained from his association with Mituro Music, a collaboration of close friends, who have intermittently cultivated their own compositions and lyrics since the 1970s.

Barton’s poetry has appeared in Encore (National Federation of State Poetry Societies) and Prize Poems (PPS); in Words with Wings (a Keysner Anthology); in Modern Haiku and in Grit, Gravity, and Grace (a compendium released by the College of Physicians of Philadelphia).

Mark Barton lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg. A graduate of Dickinson College and the Pennsylvania State University, he is retired from a career in human services. He reads, writes, gardens, enjoys the natural world, and attempts the in-home study of other languages. Barton says he is sustained by his wife, Bonnie, his daughter, Chelsea, and by Bartlet, the family dog, and also by his friends. Please come enjoy the poetry of this gifted gentleman!

“Catoctin Voices” occurs every third Friday at historic Creeger House and showcases poets from the region. For more information, contact Lisa Cantwell at 301- 418-3375.

On May 19, 2017, at 7:00 p.m., poet Marian Cannon Dornell (pictured right) will share her poetry at The Creeger House, located at 11 N. Church Street in Thurmont.

Poets and lovers of poetry are also welcome to share their original or favorite works during the open mic session that precedes Dornell’s reading.  A retired registered nurse, specializing in psychiatric/mental health nursing and hospice, Dornell lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She regularly gives poetry readings in her community, along with talks about race and society. She will read from her latest work, Unicorn in Captivity, published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press. Other works of poetry have appeared in On the Issues: The Progressive Women’s Quarterly, and in Kinfolks:  a journal of black expression. She won an honorable mention in the 2013 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Contest. Dornell has studied with PSU professor and poet Robin Becker, as well as poets Rebecca Foust, Kimiko Hahn, and Todd Davis.  “Catoctin Voices” has been meeting at The Creeger House for over two years as a venue to showcase poets from around the region. The public is invited.

Poet and novelist, Mark Greathouse, will be the featured writer for “Catoctin Voices” Evening of Poetry at The Creeger House in Thurmont on April 21, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. Open mic precedes his presentation, so poets of all ages are invited to share up to three of their favorite or original poems.

This author and poet continues to express his passion for writing, as he seeks to share a revealing cross-section of his own life through poetry.  His soon-to-be-published Life Unfettered represents his own life catharsis, as he humbly presents his poetry to readers and shares the vulnerability that accompanies such personal offerings. Greathouse regularly offers his original poetry at monthly gatherings of the “Catoctin Voices” in Thurmont, and at First Friday Poetry in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, he had poems published in the Gettysburg Poetry Society’s anthology, Almost Time Enough.

Greathouse created his first “serious” poem in 1957 at age fourteen. At the time, he saw it as an expression of the deep feelings he was having about evil and its repercussions. He has always enjoyed the arts—especially poetry—as an expression of his emotions, invariably cathartic. He sees poetry as an expression of personal vulnerability and thus views poetry as sharing pieces of his very soul.

ARTS--Entertainment---DavidDavid Salner (pictured right) will be the guest poet at “Catoctin Voices” Evening of Poetry on September 16, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. at The Creeger House, located at 11 N. Church Street in Thurmont.

Salner worked for twenty-five years as an iron ore worker, steelworker, and general laborer. His writing has appeared in Threepenny Review, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Salmagundi, River Styx, and many other magazines. His third book, Blue Morning Light (2016, Pond Road Press), features poems on the paintings of American artist, George Bellows. Says Elizabeth Knapp, recent guest poet at “Catoctin Voices” and assistant professor of English at Hood College, “…clear-eyed, luminous poems. Longing permeates this book, the language thrumming with desire…these poems ache their way toward revelation with a startling clarity and brilliance.” Salner holds an MFA degree from the University of Iowa and resides in Frederick, Maryland.

James Rada, Jr.

Many Emmitsburg residents have the soul of a poet that is striving to be released. On the third Friday of each month they gather in the Holy Grounds Café inside St. Philomena’s Catholic Books and Gifts on the square in Emmitsburg. They order a drink and then settle down to read poetry or to simply listen to it being read.

The members of Catoctin Voices, Emmitsburg’s local poetry group, come from all walks of life, but they all share a love for the rhythm of words.

“I am always amazed at the different styles and voices we have reading to us,” said Lisa Cantwell, the group’s founder. “And the more we have, the better it will be.”

Catoctin Voices met for the first time in November 2013, and has been going strong ever since.

“Word is getting out,” Cantwell said. “Poetry needs to be out there in the public eye.”

The meetings begin at 7:00 p.m., and after a few short announcements, members read a couple short pieces to the group. Sometimes it is a poem the member has written, but other times, it’s simply a piece that appealed to the reader. The pieces may be short or long, humorous or serious. Some of the subjects at a recent meeting were seasons, photographs, love, diets, and dead cats. Often there is a guest speaker at the meetings.

“We’ve had Virginia Crawfort, Maryland’s Poet in Residence, come from Baltimore to speak with us, as well as Sis. Ann Higgins, who has been featured twice on National Public Radio (NPR),” said Cantwell.

The guest speaker at the meeting on February 20, 2015, will be Mark Greathouse. Greathouse not only writes poetry, but has published a self-help book and young-adult novel. He is also the president and managing partner of Strategic Capital Partners, LLC, a business that connects early-revenue-stage, technology-based ventures with the private equity capital necessary for growth.

Catoctin Voices is not meant to be a critique group. Some members meet separately to critique each others’ works. The group was set up to give poets an outlet where they can read their work and to allow them to inspire and delight each other through their works. 

“Poetry speaks to the soul,” Cantwell said. “These mountains seem to speak out and tell stories.”

Poetry group 2 - by James Rada, Jr.

Reader is Martin Malone from Mount St. Mary’s University.