Old friends will know that I'm a hoarder of words.
In April of 2016, I took up a challenge to write a poem a day (see 30/30) and share it on a public platform. Terrified is too small of a word to describe the tremors in my hand every time I hit "Post"; but somehow, thirty days passed, and I was still here. I emerged with a more thoughtful identity as a poet and a place in the CUPSI (College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational) community. I had hoped for less, but in doing so, surprised myself with the good that so often comes from doing something that scares me every day.
This summer, the town of Whitesburg, Kentucky has been sharing its sweet dogs, dancing music, striking views, and good company with me. This will be my sixth week working with Appalshop; my fingerprints can be found on social media posts for the Seedtime Festival, across the WMMT 88.7 soundboard, and all over the tea mugs in the kitchen. I've also been seen heading to play rehearsal with the Cowan Theatre Group (last show is tonight!), tracking down local poets for a potential radio documentary, and working on a ghost story set in a region much like Appalachia. As per my Community Summer obligations with the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program, I will be exploring community - this community - for another two and a half weeks.
This place won't let me leave, though. Recently, I switched my plane ticket such that I'll be here a voluntary extra ninth week and there's no good way to explain why to those who find it strange that a city mouse could fall so hard in love with the mountains. As an outsider, I didn't expect to find home in the places that I have. I've found that poetry does well at teaching me about inexplicable things both in and outside of myself, so, starting today, I'll let it speak instead. Follow this poemblog for a daily poem if you'd like to walk with me as I search for the words to explain why.