Local poets speak to the Hoosier heart in new anthology

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“And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana,” edited by Jenny Kander and C.E. Greer,is the first anthology of Indiana poetry to be published in more than 100 years. The 116 poets whose poetry appear in the book live in Indiana or have lived in Indiana long enough to acquire a sense of place. These include contemporary poets such as Jared Carter, Norbert Krapf, Etheridge Knight and Mary Ellen Solt, as well as poets from the past such as James Whitcomb Riley, Jessayman West, William Vaughn Moody and Marguerite Young.

Roger Mitchell states in the forward that even though Americans are a nation of movers, we want to come from somewhere, not just the U.S., and have that place matter.“‘And Know This Place’is a quilt of the state’s mind as it takes shape today,” he says.

Some of my favorite poems are:“Sanctuary” by Joseph Heithaus,which is an ode to the Putnam County Library on its centennial, “The Piankashaw in the Sycamore” by Norbert Krapf, about an Indian lying on a branch up in a sycamore tree over the river his people used to live along, Mary Solt’s concrete poem “Forsythia” and “Washington Street, Indianapolis at Dusk 1892-1895” by Dick Pflum, which is nostalgic for a time gone by.

April is National Poetry Month. It’s a monthlong national celebration of poetry that promotes living poets and our poetic heritage.

Copies of “And Know This Place”are available at Black Dog Books.

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