A year ago this month Perry County’s only monthly poetry reading was first held in downtown Hazard, and now organizers of the Treehouse Poets Series are ready to celebrate its anniversary.
The first reading was held at Treehouse Café on Oct. 6, 2012, after poet Travis Stidham came up with the idea to begin a regular reading here in Hazard.
“The idea to start a poetry reading has always been on my mind ever since I moved back to Hyden from Richmond,” Stidham told the Herald last year. “I lived in Richmond for three years while I was a student at EKU and during that time I could go to three or four poetry readings a month. In Hazard there is only one a year. Besides the Evening with the Poets at HCTC, anyone interested in the written arts will have to drive at least an hour and a half to find an event like this.”
Treehouse owner Jennifer Noble had hoped to use her café as a portal for the arts, and began offering wall space for local artists. The poets series also fit with line of thinking. Since that first reading, the series has blossomed into a monthly event in downtown Hazard, held the first Saturday of each month, attracting both local writers and others from as far away as Lexington and Georgetown.
The series’ anniversary reading is planned for this coming weekend, with poet Connie Murray being one of two featured readers. Murray, a resident of Fayette County, recently published a new chapbook and has read before at Treehouse, as well as the annual Evening with Poets event at Hazard Community and Technical College.
Also slated to read on Saturday is Sosha Pinson, a 24-year-old native of Pikeville currently living in Fairfax, Va., while working on a master’s degree in fine arts. Her poetry has appeared in the online journal Still and Pluck! Journal of Affrilachian Arts and Culture.
The Treehouse Poets Series anniversary reading will take place Saturday at 6:30 p.m.