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Finding poets in our midst

One of the great things about poetry is that there are plenty of poets. One of the problems is that we are not always aware they are among us. There is too often isolation -- a group here, a group there, an individual here, an individual there.

One of the goals of this column is to introduce some of these talented folks to the rest of us with the hope that the poetry community can become more the community that it should be.

One of those who bears introduction, is Jules Gibbs. Some of you reading this are saying "I know her -- why is he introducing her?" My point exactly. Until a week or so ago, I didn't know her or of her work (though it seems that I should have) and am enlightened by the fact that now I do. This introduction came about through her efforts to have student poetry published in this column.

It turns out that Jules is active in trying to bring poetry to the young students of our community and create more poets among us. The efforts of the young poets she works with at Franklin Magnet School will be featured here in the near future. Today, after brief introduction, we will feature some of her work.

Jules came to poetry via the circuitous route that many of us have traveled, saying that "I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I was an English/Creative Writing major, women's studies minor. I wrote fiction back then, never poetry. Lots of life lived in the in-between, writing for magazines and editing for newspapers in Kingston, NY, paving driveways in the Catskills, selling glass in Boston."

She says that she really entered the world of poetry when "I began the MFA program (at New England College) in 2004, and realized I knew absolutely nothing about poetry: not how to read it, and certainly not how to write it. But you know... one learns; that's what we're built to do."

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