Springfield, Missouri, poet, author and certified applied poetry facilitator Dottie Joslyn will be featured during Wednesday Night Poetry at Kollective Coffee + Tea, 110 Central Ave.
The regular open mic session for all poets, musicians and storytellers will begin at 6:30 p.m. today. Joslyn will begin her feature set at 7:15 p.m., followed by another round of open mic. Admission is free and open to all ages. All are welcome.
Born in "farm-country" Illinois near the capital, Springfield, Joslyn is a retired bookkeeper/human resources/payroll person who earned her degree in Creative Writing at 50 years old.
"Right out of high school I attended college planning to become an English teacher, but dropped out to marry a man I met there and went to Germany with him when he joined the Air Force. It was a great experience living in a foreign country for three years, so I have no regrets, but it took me quite a few years to finally get a degree in what I really wanted to have, in creative writing. I divorced after 41 years of marriage to become who I wanted to become, and I live happily alone with many friends who keep me occupied and in line! I had a son who died by suicide 15 years ago, and about whom I have written many poems. I also had a wonderful cat, Olivia, who died a few years ago. I miss her still," she said in a news release.
"I have written poetry since I was young -- very bad poetry back then -- but stopped for a while when I was working and raising my son. I began again when I joined a poetry group in Estes Park, Colorado, when I lived there. I am inspired by current events, women doing wonderful things, my spiritual side, nature, and my experiences in just living my life," she said.
"I have a book of poems, 'Just Show Up,' that was published in 2018. I will be bringing some with me to sell if anyone is interested. I have done readings in the various places I have lived, especially when I was in Colorado and part of a poetry group. I've also been published in American Tanka, Buffalo Bones, Poetry from the Trail Ridge Writers, Wellness & Writing Connections Newsletter, Beginning Again: Creative Responses to Poetry of Presence, and Gyroscope Review. I have a website, joslynpoems.com, that includes a blog and writing prompts. People can also buy my book there, as well as on Amazon and Barnes & Noble," Joslyn said.
"I call my poetry accessible poetry, because it's fairly straightforward, readable and understandable, although I love it when someone interprets something I've written in an entirely different way than I intended because it spoke to them based on their own experiences. I have always said that once you put a poem out there in the world, it no longer belongs to you but to each reader who brings his/her interpretation of your words into the mix. My favorite poets are Mary Oliver, William Stafford, Ellen Bass, Billy Collins, Carolyn Forche, Joy Harjo, Naomi Shihab Nye, Wislawa Szymborska, David Whyte -- just a few of my favorites," she said.
"Every year I am a poetry judge for a local writing competition among school kids. I learn a lot about where high school kids are in their lives and minds by reading their poetry, and it is often profound. One year I wrote a poem about that experience, and the next year the committee printed an excerpt of it on the back of T-shirts that were distributed. It was almost as exciting as publishing my book! I became certified in the field of poetry therapy as a certified applied poetry facilitator (CAPF). I'm not a therapist, but I worked as a CAPF in a drop-in center for chronically mentally ill people for several years, one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. I am also a certified journaling facilitator and a journal to the self instructor," Joslyn said.
"I love what you're doing with WNP. I found it during the pandemic online, but I don't remember how. I must have come across it accidentally somehow. I was intrigued by its longevity and how you put it all together during the pandemic, a labor of love," she said.
"It is always exciting when someone from the virtual Wednesday Night Poetry sphere makes the journey from out of state to feature for us in person, such a merging of worlds! Dottie is a delightful and warm poet, writing about experiences that many listeners can relate to. I have always enjoyed her video submissions, and I know that our WNP crowd will enjoy hearing her in person. It's been a great few weeks with many exciting features and a packed house. This week should be no different! We are also celebrating the completion of the incredibly vibrant and beautiful mural on the side of Kollective Coffee + Tea, painted by international artist Danaé Brissonnett. If you haven't seen this mural yet, come celebrate it at 5:45 (p.m.) on Wednesday, and stay for dinner, coffee and poetry," WNP Host Kai Coggin said in the release.
This week marks 1,739 consecutive Wednesdays of open mic poetry in downtown Hot Springs since Feb. 1, 1989. "WNP is the longest-running consecutive weekly open mic series in the country, now recently in partnership with Arkansas Learning Through the Arts, to share in the mission to spread arts awareness in our local community," the release said.
Email [email protected] for more information.