By Andra Kovacs • Of the News-Register • 

Steeped in poetry

Courtesy McMinnville Public LibraryPoets and poetry lovers gather Dec. 5 in the Velvet Monkey Tea Bar, below La Bella Casa in downtown McMinnville. The event, led by poet and author Charles Goodrich, was part of a series of readings organized by the McMinnville Public Library.

Poet, author and gardener Charles Goodrich played a lead role as he read from his published work. But many others signed up to share their own work or favorite pieces from other writers.

Reference librarian Courtney Terry helped organize the series, which was introduced over the summer as part of the library’s adult summer reading program. She said it met with such wide support and success the library decided to keep it going.

“The program started because I had a patron who was a poet and was looking for somewhere in the community where he could read and share his poetry,” Terry said. “After searching, I found that even though there was a really supportive arts community, there wasn’t a poetry reading type of community.”

She said that the success of the three held so far has been both encouraging and exciting for the library, as one of its main focuses is to expand its programs beyond its own walls.

“We wanted to do programs that put the library out into the community more, because everything we do is so community-oriented and community-based,” Terry said. She also noted, “We wanted to find a way to interact and collaborate with local businesses.”

Those who took part often shared raw and personal writing with the group. The emotions, insights, perspectives and muses they invoked were stimulating and even therapeutic, people in attendance said.

Goodrich, who has been writing and sharing poetry for years, said he has found public readings an important aspect in his attempt to connect with others.

“Reading is a separate but related art to writing,” he said. “Writing is a solitary act for the most part, so it’s when you get out and share it with people that (you introduce) the community-building element.”

The library is planning another reading at the tea bar on Feb. 6. For more information, visit



Thank you for the great coverage of our event! And thanks to Velvet Monkey and the community for making it possible. If you're interested in finding out more about local poetry, you should also check out Meadowlake Studios on Youtube, and their "One Poem A Day Won't Kill You" series, featuring local people reading poetry.

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