Poetry Renaissance held third Thursdays at TASI

When Dorothy Sells Clover decided to write poetry, she didn’t just sit in the corner of her home and write.

Cornucopia - Dorothy Sells Clover

She published a book of her work and took to the street fairs to spread the word.

As she developed a network of fellow writers she looked for a place where they could share their work and discuss the poetry.

Dorothy turned to The Studio and now hosts Poetry Renaissance, held the third Thursday of every month, where poets and poetry lovers can meet and discuss everything poetic.

“Our format is really just getting started,” she said. “We are trying to make it different from ones I have been to before.”

Dorothy said they used to do it in the round, where each person did one poem each.

“It just kept going round, but with more people it gets complicated,” she said.

She said that people sign up to do a poem and they work it out from there.

The reading starts at 7 p.m., but Dorothy said people trickle in throughout the evening. The event lasts until 10 p.m. with an intermission.

“We’ve got some pretty good poets in Beaumont,” she said. “Out-of-town poets are more spoken word, in-your-face kind of poets.”

Dorothy said the feedback is an important part of the group.

“I like the fact that we have discussions,” she said. “I want audience participation, to get in their heads — ‘How did you write that?’”

It is important for people to have a comforting place to read, as poetry is really personal. Dorothy started writing seriously in 2010.

“All my friends were starting their lives and I was in a rut — I had one child, no grandkids and I had been in the same job for 25 years.”

She said she decided that she needed to find something creative to occupy her time.

“The next night I started to write,” she said. “It sparked me. My friend, Derek Toussaint, read me some of his poetry and I thought, ‘I can do that.’”

Dorothy, who works for a school district, said she shared her poems with some of the teachers. She heard one had written a book and decided to do the same. The result was her self-published book, “Cornucopia.”

“When you don’t know, you don’t know,” she said, with a smile.

She sells her books at street events such as First Thursdays at the Mildred Building. Dorothy also believes in being proactive and does readings at schools.

The idea for Poetry Renaissance came from discussions with friends.

“I like the back-and-forth banter,” she said.

Friends suggested The Studio would be the perfect place to host a reading.

“I called (director Greg Busceme), and he said he would get back to me,” she said. “I didn’t hear from him for several months, and then one day he called and said, ‘Dorothy, come on down.’”

Content is not limited, but Dorothy prefers her poetry “tastefully done.”

“I try to gauge my audience,” she said.

Participants may read their own poetry or other people’s. It is all about the opportunity to discuss the craft, she said.

“We had one girl who sat and wrote a poem during the meeting, and shared,” she said.

Attendees are not required to read if they don’t want to.

“People can just come and listen,” she said. “We need an audience.”

Cost is $5.

For information, call 409-363-3444.