Wednesday, December 2, 2009

PSGA Christmas party

You are invited to our Christmas party!

It will be held on December 11th at 7pm at the Gordonston cottage. A secluded cottage on a wooded acreage with a roaring fire in the fireplace! Bring up to three of your own poems, or your favorites of others, to share with everyone! Refreshments and snacks will be provided but if you have a dish you'd like to share please feel free. So mark it on your calendar for an evening of good friends, good food and great poems.

The Gordonston cottage is located at the intersection of Edgewood Rd and Pierpont Ave just off Henry and Skidaway. Please email us with any questions - and bring a friend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Osing Reading

Great thanks to all who attended Gordon Osing's reading. It was a wonderful evening and the poetry took us from our seats to far off places including India and China! The Society will not be hosting a reader for December because we will be hosting our annual Christmas party where we invite members to read their own work or some of their favorites. Details to come, but save the date of December 11th for that event. Our great gratitude once more for all your support and we look forward to seeing you in December.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Just a reminder to come to Gordon Osing's reading this Tuesday the 17th at the Telfair Academy. 6:30pm if you are a PSGA member and 7pm if you're not. We hope to see you there and hope you will spread the word and invite someone new!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November's Poet

Gordon Osing will be reading his poetry for us on November 17th. Gordon grew up in central Illinois and Western Missouri. He taught elementary school in suburban St. Louis and Indepencence, Missouri and High Schools in Chicago and Missouri for ten years before heading back to campus at the University of Arkansas, for an MFA in Poetry in 1973. Inspired by writers such as David Wagoner, Karl Shapiro, Nancy Willard, Gwendolyn Brooks, Howard Nemerov and Richard Wilbur, he discovered that poetry could be a way to keep private matters by making them inot poetic artifacts. A very successful poet both in publications and awards we hope you will join us for an evening of inspiring entertainment. Members only reception with Gordon at 6:30pm and the reading, open to members and non- members begins at 7pm. Admission is $10.00 and readings are held at the Telfair Academy at 121 Barnard St. Savannah GA. please contact us with any questions at

This poetry reading series is supported in part by the Grassroots Arts Program in conjunction with the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly and administered by the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the arts.

Events are made possible in part by the following sponsors:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October Reading

We hope to see all of you at our reading on October 20th at the Telfair Academy.

Angela Ball (10/20/09) - Ball’s thought-provoking poetry has brought her personal satisfaction as well as numerous awards and recognition by other poets. Ball was born on July 6, 1952, in Athens, Ohio, and went on to college to get her B. A. from Ohio University, her M. F. A. from The University of Iowa, and her Ph.D. from the University of Denver. Ball has published several works of poetry, including Recombinant Lives (1987), Vixie (1988), Kneeling Between Parked Cars (1990), Quartet (1995), and Possession (1995). Her poems have appeared in Grand Street, Partisan Review Poetry, the Mississippi Review, Mademoiselle, Kenyon Review and others. She is presently working on a long poem collage called The Museum of the Revolution. Reading begins at 7pm, any questions:

This poetry reading series is supported in part by the Grassroots Arts Program in conjunction with the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly and administered by the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the arts.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Exciting stuff is in the air this fall!!! New venues that reach back into our history, a special edition yearbook coming to all members soon and a fantastic line up of poets for the next reading series. The board members are giddy with all that is to come and hope you will join us with your support for an even better year this year. Stay tuned and keep in touch!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Visiting Alona

Visiting Alona

In my freshman year at the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, I had a professor of poetry who was one of those you never forget and inspires you in a way that has affected your life ever since. Her name was Alona Thaxton Shepard. She came from Georgia and was a true southern belle. I only had one class with her, but she became a good friend during some hard times of mine and everyone missed her when she moved back to Toccoa GA in my sophomore year. Then in my junior year I found out that she had commited suicide. She had a condition in which her pain receptors were twice as sensitive as they should be and she spent her life in a lot of pain. She had gone to a dentist in Georgia that had done a shoddy job and she couldn’t take it anymore. I never got to say goodbye to her, and I realized that I was also cut short of reading and knowing her poetry. So two years later when I moved to Savannah because my husband got a job at SCAD, I knew I would take the opportunity to visit her grave, read more of her work and share it with the poets here. So this is my trip to Toccoa with all it’s failures and successes and as it has turned out, a “to be continued” ending.

I left Savannah on May 30 early in the morning and headed out with my Google map to Athens. My plan was to stop at the UGA Library and copy Alona’s dissertation as she never published her poetry in any other venue. At 9:30 am I stopped for breakfast in the Huddle House in Harlem GA and made these notes: Things most often seen on the roadside: Churches, road kill and auto body repair shops.

So far I’ve learned that 65 miles an hour is too fast to stop and take pictures of the mist covered pond. It will be quite a hike back to the pond from where you finally stopped your car and the pond will be so mosquito ridden that the romance of the misty water will be lost.

I got into Athens, found my hotel, and went straight to the Library. I had the call number already, emaied to me by a friendly librarian so that I wouldn’t waste any time looking for her dissertation once I got there. 

Her’s started with LXC and as far as I could determine the L section ended at LF and then there were lots of empty shelves, not a good sign. I asked the reference Librarian and she informed me that the dissertations were kept at on off campus site but could be ordered in a couple days. Informing her of my time limits she said there was another copy in a particular room on the third floor. 

The gentleman there informed me that no, there were no extra copies there but he could order it for me and have there on Monday. I told him of my trip and its purpose, he felt badly for me and tried to compensate by expounding on other things they had that might be of interest. This list included a book bound in human skin.

 Accepting defeat I decided to look around Athens and get lunch. I would order her thesis through interlibrary loan when I got home. 

In honor of Sharjah, the city where I met Alona, I decided to eat at an Indian restaurant. I ordered a sweet lassie to drink, butter chicken, garlic Nan and rice. It was fantastic. My waiter was a timid Indian gentleman. The skin on his hands was like supple paper and he could see the disappointment in my face when I requested Gulab Jamun for desert and he had to inform me that they only had it on Fridays. I wondered if he misses India and I wondered what brought him to Athens of all places.


The next morning I got up early, did my Tai Chi and headed to Toccoa. 

Once I was there I found Roselane cemetery quite easily. I was assuming that this was the “city cemetery” as noted in Alona’s obituary because it was the only one I could find on-line. It was not a large cemetery but there was no one at the office, so I decide to hike it and check every tombstone. After an hour or so in the full sun and the occasionally interesting grave markers of racecar drivers, I had to accept that if she was buried there it was an unmarked grave. I decided to go check into the hotel and drive through the town.

The thought of her grave not being marked stirred up disappointment in me, and then I thought of how silly that is, why should the presence of a large rock make any difference? Then I realized that my expectation of closure was tied into the size and grandeur of her tombstone, like somehow if she has a big elaborate one it would make me feel better than if it was one of those little plastic signs with the sliding letters. But that’s what we do with tombstones isn’t it? They are an attempt at immortality, and the larger and more complicated they are, the better we feel about the loss of the physical person, to the point where we build mausoleums or life size sculptures of the dead, when all this journey of closure actually needs is a stillness from the visitor. A moment of remembrance. Perhaps this is what my trip really was, me creating a space in my time to remember Alona.

            I asked the gentleman with the round soft belly and the eyes of a doe at the hotel desk if there was another cemetery in town. “Yes,” he said “and Roselane cemetery is not the city cemetery.” He gave me directions to the Toccoa City Cemetery, but warned me that is was quite big and there was no office to ask for the specific location of a grave, in fact he used the old cliché of haystacks and needles. I found the cemetery. It had several entrances and I missed the first two but turned into the third. I seemed to have entered into the older part of the cemetery and figured she probably wasn’t buried there, so my plan was to just drive around the newer parts and see if I could find her. I drove over the first hill, looked to my left and there she was on the crest of a hill overlooking a small valley! I got out of the car and walked down to her. “Well, there you are,” I said “And here I am.” 

I sat down and told her about the trip. I told her about my kids, I told her she was missed, I promised to get her poetry online. I videoed one minute of silence at her grave, and then I told her goodbye which I realized is why I had come.

            I poked around Toccoa took some pictures of old buildings and then returned to my hotel room for a horrible pizza dinner and a hot bath in a very small tub. After the bath I watched TV and the movie The Da vinci Code came on, I’d seen it before but enjoyed it so I decided to watch it again. At one point in the movie a specific reference to a quote from the book of Job was made, realizing I was in a hotel, I opened the bedside drawer and took the bible out to check the quote. I noticed someone had written something in the back of the cover, it said “Mickey Spinks, Rockmart GA Timothy 7,8.” I looked this up and read “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day and not to me only but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 

I said my goodbyes and headed back to Savannah. I plan to get a copy of her thesis and post it to share with anyone who is interested. Stay tuned and thank you for taking the time to read this.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We have "Poetry knows" bumper stickers! Send $5.00 to P.O. Box 15625 Savannah GA 31416 and let Savannah know you support poetry.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Member's reading

PSGA  hosted its last reading of the season yesterday. Several members came and shared their work with each other in the elegant and complimentary surroundings of the Books on Bay Bookstore (224 W Bay street) . How wonderful to be a part of this process. Thank you to everyone who came, what a great way to wrap up this series. Great photos Carol! 

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Our logo was designed by one of the five founding members, Laura Palmer Bell. In an article from 1963 in the Savannah Morning News, Bell is quoted as describing it as "a sailing ship of picturesque design with a sail blown out by the wind against a windy sky in which a crescent moon rides ...a pictorial reminder of John Masefield's 'Sea-Fever,' in which the British Poet Laureate expresses the emotions of all lovers of the water spaces of the world."


I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

John Masefield (1878-1967).
(English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.)