April may be National Poetry Month, but Carol Ludwig thinks that’s not enough time to celebrate the literary form.
“We’re arbitrarily declaring that it won’t end this year until mid-May, when Vero’s biggest poetry series of the year comes to an end,” Ludwig says. Ludwig is director of the Center for Spiritual Care in Vero Beach, which will kickstart that series with a face-off between North Dakota cowboy poet, Shadd Piehl, and Vero Beach poet laureate Sean Sexton May 12.
“Shadd and Sean will recreate what went on around a campfire in the old days when the cowboys would sit around swapping stories and telling lies,” she says. “What everyone really waited for were the poems, believe it or not. Cowboys were a lot more sentimental than the movies would have us believe.”
Both Sexton and Piehl are regular performers at the annual national gathering of cowboy poets in Elko, NV. Their Vero Beach encounter will be held at the Garden Club of Indian River County, 2526 17th Ave. at 7 p.m. Entry is free, but a $10 donation will be welcomed, according to Ludwig. Seating is limited, so reservations will be necessary. They can be made by calling 772-567-1233.
Later in the week, Piehl and Sexton will join forces with Andy Wilkinson from Texas and Jerry Brooks from Arizona for the 11th annual Poetry and Barbecue Festival and other activities organized by the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation and the Community Church of Vero Beach.