Blacktip Island Literary Society Will Offer Individualized New Year’s Poetry Readings

BI lit society

Members of the Blacktip Island Literary Society will recite poems about any suggested topic Saturday evening at the Sandy Bottoms Beach Resort’s New Year’s Eve party as part of what the Society is calling ‘Rhyme in the New Year.’ (photo courtesy of Ernestine Bass)

Members of the Blacktip Island Literary Society will recite poems-on-request at this year’s New Year’s Eve extravaganza at Sandy Bottoms Beach Resort Saturday night in what society members are calling ‘Rhyme in the New Year.’

“We thought we’d make poetry relatable to everyone,” BILS president Doris Blenny said. “Poetry shouldn’t be some stuffy, unapproachable mystery. It’s part of our everyday lives, what with song lyrics and limericks and such. Our goal is to emphasize that.

“We’ll have members wandering through the party crowd offering to recite short poems—say, a Shakespeare sonnet—on any requested subject for anyone, or any group, for $5,” Blenny said. “We’ll be wearing bright orange shirts so people know who we are. Any theme is fair game, though we urge partygoers to avoid the more risqué topics until later in the evening. All the money we raise will go to charity. Mostly.”

Society members have been reviewing a wide variety of poems to prepare for the evening.

“Anything for Chaucer to Amanda Gorman’s fair game, and we’re ready for anything,” Ernestine Bass said. “It’s mostly in English, though some members specialize in other languages. Payne Hanover’s got a thing for Baudelaire and Rimbaud. And ‘Tonio Fletcher does love his Basho in the original Japanese.

“There’s also the option of requesting longer poems for an upcharge,” Bass said. Anything longer than an alexandrine’ll be $10, and even longer works’ll be $15. Jessie Catahoula’s been busy memorizing ‘The Wasteland’ just in case.”

Residents were looking forward to the event.

“It’s something different, isn’t it?” Chrissy Graysby said. “It’ll be lovely to start the new year with a bit of culture. It’ll set the tone for the year, I should say. Though who one chooses to recite is key. Lee Helm has such a beautiful speaking voice, but Dermott Bottoms, bless him, has a monotone drone. And mumbles. Though that may be beneficial with some of the more avant-garde selections.”

The BILS is also staging a raffle, with the randomly-chosen winner earning the role of a character in an upcoming Society member’s work.

“It may seem like a minor thing, but it makes art a bit more accessible if someone you know is in it,” Blenny said. “We’ve had a good bit of positive feedback on the concept and expect a lot of participation.”

Literary-themed snacks will be served at the party. Proceeds will, for the most part, go to the establishment of the Blacktip Island public library.

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