Monday, March 12, 2012

Missouri Festival Features Storm Country: The Anthology

Linda Fisher 
The March 6, 2012, Governor’s Annual Verses and Voices Festival which celebrates Missouri’s poetry, music, and art featured readings from Storm Country: The Anthology published by Mozark Press for the Missouri Writers’ Guild. The program was performed in the rotunda at the State Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri. The theme was “Remembering the people of Joplin in their time of pain and loss in the storm. Commemorating the help and hope that followed.”

Choirs from Benton High School, Jefferson City High School, Savannah High School, Missouri Western State University, and Joplin High School performed poetry set to music. Joplin High School premiered “Storm Country” by Susan LaBarr, Missouri’s Composer Laureate.

The “Storm Country” lyrics were adapted from “My Foundation” written by Bill Cairns and published in Storm Country: The Anthology. All choirs joined their voices for the ending to commemorate those who helped Joplin after the devastating May 22, 2011, tornado. The moving performance received a standing ovation.

David Clewell and Walter Bargen
Missouri Poet Laureate David Clewell read a poem he wrote for Joplin. He later read “Supercell” from Storm Country: The Anthology for Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Poet Laureate of Kansas, who was unable to attend due to illness. Walter Bargen, Missouri’s first Poet Laureate, read a new poem and “Harmony Tornado” from Storm Country. Claudia Mundell, President of Joplin Writers’ Guild read her poem “Weather Tantrum” from Storm Country.

Missouri Writers’ Guild President, Deborah Marshall, recognized Ms. Mundell for first proposing the idea of an anthology to benefit Joplin Schools. Ms. Marshall also recognized the Humanities Council for their support and Mozark Press for donating publishing and editing for the project.