CARLSBAD — North County’s literary lovers gathered for the 22nd annual Magee Park Poets Poetry Anthology reading at Carlsbad’s Dove Library on Dec. 8.
Poets included in the annual anthology read their poems at the Ruby G. Schulman Auditorium, treating the audience to a rare look at the back story and inspiration for their pieces.
“It’s a real celebration every year when the Anthology is published,” Carlsbad City Library’s Community Relations Manager Jessica Padilla Bowen said. “They share their work and we follow the reading with dessert and a chance to meet with one another.”
San Diego County residents submitted nearly 600 poems for consideration in the anthology. Editor and poet Shadab Hashmi narrowed the entries down to just more than 60 for the final collection of poems.
“Shadab had the hard task of picking the poems she felt were best to include in the anthology,” Bowen said. “She also put them in a specific order to make sure the poems complement one another.”
Nonprofit volunteer organization Friends of the Carlsbad Library, or FCL, prints the anthology each year. Copies of the 2011 Magee Park Poets Poetry Anthology are available for $5 at Carlsbad City Library branches.
The Magee Park Poets group first started in 1989 when a poet approached the library about teaching a workshop titled “Getting a Poetic License,” Pat Hansen, a past library employee and current FCL member, said at the reading.
“Back then, there was no place to meet in the library so we started writing at Magee Park in Carlsbad,” Hansen said.
She noted that while the group now meets at the library’s facility, the name has stuck.
“There’s a core group of people that still participate but it’s very informal,” Bowen said. “New people come all the time, which makes it fun for everyone.”
Carlsbad resident Marjorie Rosenfeld has been writing with the Magee Park Poets since 1996 and has had several poems published in the anthology since then. She read her poem “Abandon” at the event.
“At first, I didn’t think I could write in a workshop, but the Magee Park Poets has been great for me,” Rosenfeld said. “We’re a family and we support each other; poets bounce off each other and sometimes, someone else’s work is what inspired you.”
The Magee Park Poets host five workshops and five readings each year at the Georgina Cole Library, 1250 Carlsbad Village Drive. For upcoming meeting times, visit www.carlsbadca.gov.