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Best turnout yet for Pat Pincus Poetry Fest in Brentwood

Gil Roscoe reads his poem about his high school days in his high school jersey as moderator Pat Olson looks on.
Gil Roscoe reads his poem about his high school days in his high school jersey as moderator Pat Olson looks on.

The 27th Annual Pat Pincus Poetry Fest once again celebrated the art of poetry and allowed local poets a public venue to share their works on Sunday, Aug. 17 at the Kaufman Brentwood Branch Library.

The Friends of Kaufman Brentwood Branch Library hosted the lovely, leisurely afternoon of poetry reading as well as a reception that followed the program.

Moderated by Pat Olson and Flo Chotiner, respectively the chairman and co-chairman of this year’s Poetry Fest Committee, the poetry reading was comprised of 35 local poets who shared a glimpse of their lives with an audience of 60 to 70 people through a minute or two of their writing.

The second floor of the library was jam-packed with people of all ages, with hardly any empty seats left for latecomers.

“This is probably the best turnout yet,” Olson said.

From experienced orators to first-time speakers, the lineup of 35 talented poets were all from different walks of life.

“I’ve never been before an audience like this before,” Elsie Wu, a writer and former elementary school teacher, said. “I was very nervous, but I just took a deep breath and went for it! I had already had a collection of poetry written, so I thought to myself: ‘why not?’“

Wu’s poem, “Aged to Perfection,” took on a clever, humorous perspective on the concept of aging and evoked much laughter through the audience.

All of the poems ranged in topic, keeping the subject matter consistently interesting.

Some reminisced on childhood and school days, others paid tribute to parents, and a handful kept a theme of animal/pet appreciation. Light-hearted, relaxing imagery like autumn leaves and peach trees were described eloquently, but more serious, existential themes were addressed as well. The versatility of such topics only serves to illustrate how diverse the lives of the poets are and how widely expressive poetry can be.

This celebration of poetry was initially the brainchild of Pat Pincus, whom the annual poetry reading is named after.

“[Pat Pincus] organized a number of programs for the library,” Chotiner added. “She started this 27 years ago and kept it going for about 21 years. She was a very literate, gregarious person who loved poetry.”

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