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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

County's first poet laureate hosts open mic

By Margaret Bruetsch - reporter/photographer

By: Margaret Bruetsch | Democrat
Mark Blackford reads original poetry at his first event as Sullivan County Poet Laureate. Blackford will be holding events around the county to share and inspire a love for poetry.
WURTSBORO — Sullivan County's first poet laureate, Mark Blackford kicked off the first of many poetry-centered events with a reading and open mic at the Mamakating Library on Friday August 9th.
“Tonight it's going to be an evening of poetry since it's my job to bring poetry to the area,” Blackford said. The 30 year-old Monticello native currently works for the USPS and lives in Woodridge with his wife Amanda, and two children - four-year-old Leland and six-year-old Virginia.
“What I write from is my life and my own experiences,” Blackford said in an interview before the event, “My writing is me trying to make sense of simple moments that refuse to escape my mind.”
Blackford shared 14 poems, before starting the open mic with Mike Jurkovic, co-founder of Calling All Poets in the Hudson Valley. Nine local poets shared works of their own as part of the open mic.

Blackford will be reading this weekend on Sunday August 18th at the Callicoon Porchfest, and currently has pop-up readings as well as school and library visits in the works.

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