The Thomas Crane Public Library, Quincy’s main library, will offer a workshop titled “Poetry of Remembering” for people aged 50 and older.
Poet Gloria Monaghan of Braintree, a Wentworth Institute of Technology professor and the author of five books of poetry, invites those desiring “to begin writing poems or return to poems they may have been working on previously” to take part in the in-person workshop, which will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 7.
“All levels of experience are welcome” to take part in the workshop, according to the library’s published description. “You will emerge with ideas, poems, and goals for your future work.”
Theresa Tangney, the library’s head of information and outreach services, said programs are planned for every quarter of the year. “Gloria stopped by the library in late October, reaching out to us to set up a workshop,” she said. “We try to have a full program schedule for adults of all ages.”
In view of the need for caution given the ongoing pandemic, Tangney said the capacity for the workshop will be limited and masks are recommended. No registration is required. Doors will open 15 minutes before the event’s 7 p.m. start. The Crane library is located at 40 Washington St.
Monaghan said she planned the “Poetry of Remembering” workshop with seniors’ recent experiences in mind.
“I think during COVID a lot of older people felt really isolated,” she said. “This will be a nice way to come together and share our thoughts. Maybe write some poems from the last couple of years, or from childhood, or some time closer.”
“I hope they bring work,” Monaghan said of participants. “We’ll do exercises. We always share each other’s work and comment on it and criticize each other’s works.”
Among Monaghan’s five poetry books are the recent volumes “False Spring” and “Hydrangea,” with a sixth book scheduled for publication next year. Her work has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, a prestigious award for work published by literary journals, and for the Massachusetts Book Award, a program of the Massachusetts Center for the Book.
“I have a long history of teaching workshops,” Monaghan said.
A fully tenured professor in the School of Sciences and Humanities at Wentworth, Monaghan works with young people every day.
“The engineering students love it,” Monaghan said. “They want to get away from the rigid engineering programs into a creative space. More now in the COVID time than ever.”
Her students write to poetry “prompts” — a brief passage that provides a starting point — which is an increasingly popular practice in the poetry world. They also keep journals.
Sometimes, however, she said, “It seems that older adults don’t get that support.”
Monaghan said she is seeking to develop an active poetry community on the South Shore, particularly in the Quincy, Weymouth, and Braintree area.
She promotes poetry events such as the upcoming “Queen of Our Hearts” reading, featuring local poets at the Open Doors Yoga Studios, located at 65 Washington St. in Weymouth, at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12. The free event features four women poets. (You must be fully vaccinated to attend.)
Taking an old-school, hands-on approach to publicizing poetry readings, Monaghan said, “I print up fliers and I walk around and post them” on real bulletin boards, rather than electronic ones.
Tangney said people are “excited about our programs,” and Crane Library plans to take some adult programs outdoors “as soon as the weather gets nice. We try to meet people where they are.”
For the library’s full event calendar, visit thomascranelibrary.org.
Robert Knox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.