Alan Birkelbach PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JESUP MEMORIAL LIBRARY

Poets inspired by national parks



BAR HARBOR — Texas Poets Laureate Karla K. Morton and Alan Birkelbach will bring their Words of Preservation: A Poets Laureate National Parks Tour to the Jesup Memorial Library on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m.

Karla K. Morton. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JESUP MEMORIAL LIBRARY

Morton and Birkelbach are visiting more than 50 national parks across the country as they continue to celebrate last year’s 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Morton and Birkelbach will read selections of their poetry and talk about their poetry and their tour, the goal of which is to accentuate the beauty of nature using the gift of words.

Morton, the 2010 Texas poet laureate and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, is poet, author, speaker and photographer. Described as “one of the more adventurous voices in American poetry,” she has been featured on NPR, ABC News, CBS News, “Good Morning Texas” and in newspapers, blogs and magazines. Morton is a Betsy Colquitt Award winner, Eric Hoffer Award winner, Montaigne Medal finalist, two-time Indie Book Award winner, Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit Poetry Contest winner, Green Book Festival Award winner, North Texas Book Festival Award winner, nominee for the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She has been widely published in literary journals and is the author of 12 books of poetry.

Birkelbach, the 2005 Texas poet laureate and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, is an award-winning poet and a frequent guest speaker at book festivals, poetry readings and more. His writing awards include the Spur Award for Best Western Poem, the Pat Stodghill Book Publication and the 2010 Edwin M. Eakin Memorial Book Publication Award. His children’s book “Smurglets are Everywhere” was a finalist for the 2011 Texas Institute of Letter’s Children’s Book of the Year, and he was an Indie Book Award Finalist in 2011 and 2015. Additionally, Birkelbach is the recipient of a fellowship grant from the Writers League of Texas, is a Pushcart Prize nominee and has been named a distinguished poet of Dallas.

Morton and Birkelbach blog about their tour at poetsparktour.blogspot.com. Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or kchagnon@jesuplibrary.org.

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