Kathy Leonard, a new Hot Springs resident, will be this week's feature for Wednesday Night Poetry at Kollective Coffee+Tea, 110 Central Ave.
The regular open mic for all poets begins at 6:30 p.m. and Leonard will perform at 7 p.m., followed by a second round of open mic. Admission is free and open to all ages.
Leonard moved to Hot Springs after her father and stepmother died this past spring, a news release said. Prior to that, she was a middle school English teacher in central California for 18 years. She is a graduate of Loma Linda University and the University of La Verne.
Before moving to Hot Springs she was active in the Raven's Poetry Group in Claremont and Valley Poets in Glendora, Calif. Leonard's poems have been published in numerous journals, including California Quarterly, Alta Dena Poetry Review and Pegasus. In 2012, her poem "Cadaver Bone" took second place in the annual Lois J. Dalton Memorial California Federation of Chaparral Poets Contest.
Leonard wrote her first poem when she was 7 years old but quit when she was 28. "I got married and had two sons," she said. "For the next 21 years, instead of writing poetry, I devoted myself totally to my marriage and raising my sons." She began writing again after her husband left her, the release said. "When he moved out I went into his closet and found that he had left all of his neckties behind. Every one of them that he had collected over those 21 years were still hanging there. Suddenly the poetry started pouring out of me. His leaving brought back my voice."
Leonard sees poetry as an agent of transformation, empowerment and social justice. "I believe that when you're a creative person, part of you dies when you don't express yourself. It's important to nurture your art."
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about Wednesday Night Poetry.Entertainment on 09/11/2018
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