On Thursday, Oct. 14, Director of the Writing Center Jeanne Griggs hosted a poetry reading outside the Kenyon Bookstore for her recently published book, Postcard Poems. Eager to lend their ears to Griggs’ poetry, a group of 20 or so students gathered around the Bookstore at 4 p.m. in anticipation.
Written with the intention of accessibility, Postcard Poems had been in the works for three years before Griggs sent it off to Broadstone Books in the spring of 2020. Griggs noted that she took inspiration from Billy Collins, keeping poet Nick Coultright’s advice in the back of her mind: to write “a poem that is friendly, but thought-provoking.”
After a brief introduction by Professor of Biology Joan Slonczewski, Griggs introduced her book and began reading an assortment of poems from the collection. The poems are all in the format of short notes that could be written on the back of postcards. The cards Griggs wrote on were from places she’s visited, including Cape Cod, Niagara Falls, the Santa Monica Pier and even the Bookstore itself.
At the end of her reading, Griggs’ allowed the audience to ask questions about the book itself, as well as her writing process and her sources of inspiration. In addition to the readings, she had a bulletin board displaying duplicates of the postcards she used in the making of her book, which she invited people to come up and admire.
Griggs thoroughly enjoyed the event, finding that the mix of students, faculty and staff added to the sense of community at Kenyon. “[The group] laughed in all the right places,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I love sharing these poems and telling some of the stories that go along with them.”
Griggs’ book is available for purchase at the Kenyon Bookstore as well as on Amazon.