Sawyer Free April 8 | John Ronan reads from his first new book of poetry in 8 years, and shares one here for National Poem in Pocket Day April 27, 2017

John Ronan presents Taking the Train of Singularity South From Midtown on Saturday, April 8, 2:00-3:00pm in the Friend Room. It’s Sponsored by the Gloucester Lyceum and Friends of the Sawyer Free Library.

John Ronan a poet, playwright, journalist and a National Endowment for the
Arts Fellow in Literature has done so much in Gloucester! Here’s a throwback article from 1978 about the Gloucester Broadside, a monthly 10 cent one sheet of quality poetry.

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Ronan developed the website resource dedicated to Gloucester poets, Gloucester Poet Laureate, also for Salt and Light: An Anthology of Gloucester Poetry, published spring 2010. He is the host of the Cape Ann TV program, The Writer’s Block.  He was pivotal in establishing the library’s annual Poetry without Paper Contest and poetry columns in the Gloucester Daily Times.

Students are encouraged to submit poems to the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library’s annual Poetry without Paper contest by April 30th!

April 27 2017 | POEM IN POCKET DAY: It’s free and simple to participate. Carry a Poem. Share a Poem. For more information, search for Poem in Your Pocket Day (PIYP Day) Academy of American Poets (www.poets.org) or New York City’s excellent web site, http://www.NYC.gov/poem. PIYP Day started in NYC in 2002 inspired by the Favorite Poem Project established in 1997 (first events April 1998) by Robert Pinsky, former 3x Poet Laureate of the United States. East Gloucester Elementary School initiated Poem in Pocket Day in 2011 (PTO enrichment).

The Ride of My Life

The signs say sixty

miles an hour, sixty

degree angles, eight

bucks for two minutes,

and Don’t Stand Up!

We pay the eight,

climb in the car.

The Big Guy who draws

down the lap bar

tight as a tourniquet,

says:  “Stash the glasses,

the pen in your pocket.

Stuff flies out.”

Cogs catch.  The cars

quake, start awkwardly

forward as my wife waves,

safe on West 10th

and others stroll Surf,

Coney Island tourists

not thinking about The Cyclone,

or the comic fate that leads

in the first place to Astroland,

no way not to be

in a roller coaster seat

at the top of the first drop and…

Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod!

Up plummet of guts

plunging down, fist

full of fear in the heart-

sick final mind:

I am not on a metaphor,

I am going to die.

Followed by a slow coast,

an arc of confident calm,

balm of Brooklyn below and…

Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod!

Death drop and keister

clench!  The easy scream!

…and the balm of Brooklyn below.

Ohmygod! horror, and hope…

Ohmygod! horror, and hope…

Slowly, slack in the lickety split.

Speed evens out

and the sine curve dies,

finally flat

in a fan turn to the ramp.

The Big Guy hovers

above the cars, smiling:

“Second ride’s five.”

-John J. Ronan

Cape Ann TV filmed John Ronan reading this poem, The Ride of My Life

I LOVED the Cyclone and I lost my prescription eyeglasses…and a shoe!

harry Shokler Coney island 1943 original color silkscreen.jpg

Harry Shokler 1943 Coney Island original screenprint

John Ronan’s New Book: Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown

Taking the Train of Singularity South From Midtown

The Poetry Society of America recently featured  John Ronan’s wonderful civic poetry creed essay January 2017. Book tour events listed http://www.theronan.org/

POET LAUREATE: In Gloucester, MA, the Poet Laureate is dedicated to building community through poetry and encouraging a love of poetry among people of all ages. The honorary post for the City of Gloucester was created in 1998. There have been 4 Poet Laureates: Vincent Ferrini was the City’s first, then John Ronan served from 2008-10, Ruthanne Collinson served 2010-14, and Peter Todd served 2014-15. The Committee for the Arts helps to select a new Poet Laureate.

 

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