Recent Book Brings Together Poets from the First Coast

Article excerpt

Byline: LOIS FIORELLI

"Flags are flying all over the world

On houses, on buildings, on trucks, on cars

On bikes, in yards, on schools, in bars

Warmth comes over me, when I see these things

This picture of unity, oh let it be ..."

From Awaken to Terror, by Angela Buchanan

Buchanan, of Northeast Florida, is one of 33 area poets whose works made it into the recently published Word Trips: Poems from the First Coast. Jacksonville's Hidden Owl Books published the collection, which features 68 poems in three categories: reflections, declarations and destinations.

Publisher Richard Levine, who lives in Riverside, said putting the book together "was fun for me because it was different. I'm a small publisher and filmmaker. This is about community."

Poems were selected on their quality, he said.

"Every poet published gets a free copy of the book," he said, noting that some publishers charge poets a fee to buy a book containing a poem the writer entered into a contest.

The 33 writers received their copy of Word Trips at a recent reception at The Haskell Co. building on Riverside Avenue. During the reception, the book's editor, Westside resident and freelance writer Lynn Skapyak Harlin, told poets she was proud of their work.

"One of the things I enjoyed was meeting such fine poets," she said. "I spoke with many of you in editing the poetry and I enjoyed your companionship and your camaraderie."

Westside resident Charles Beyer was one of the writers Harlin worked with during the editing process. Beyer, an environmental consultant, wrote a poem titled A Dream of Being.

He said he was "ecstatic" when he learned his work was selected for publication. …