Palace poetry group to celebrate founding member

Martin Willitts will preside over the next meeting of the Palace Poetry Group on Thursday, March 4, at 7p.m. at the Books And Memory bookstore, 2600 James Street, Syracuse, New York. The featured reader will be founding poet Linda Griggs.

"There would not be this writer's support group without her. She created the Palace Poetry Group as a vehicle for writers to read and share poetry," Willitts said. "She decided to have the idea of a featured reader followed by an "open mic" to allow other writers in the audience to share their poems."

Linda Griggs has a Bachelor's Degree and permanent NYS certificate in art education and a Master's Degree in the applied work of the humanistic psychologists. She was a private mental health counselor in New Paltz, as well as a mentor and teacher for Empire State College in Highland, New York, for many years.

She left her secure teaching position and private practice to come to Syracuse to work with At-Risk children. She worked at the North Area Gym and Education Center as an art teacher, and the City of Syracuse School District as a teacher in an experimental program for at-risk students. She works currently as an adjunct professor for Empire State College in Syracuse.

Her chapbook, "Love Poems of the Universe" are simple, short poems, inspired by her insatiable curiosity, and her Quaker belief system in the "centerness" of the spirit. She has been a featured reader at many poetry presentations at places such as the Mud Puddle Caf (c) in New Paltz, The Muddy Cup in Poughkeepsie, The Veela Festival celebrating women through song, art, and poetry in New Paltz, and the Strathsmore Art Festival in Syracuse.

She started the Palace Poetry Group as a way to encourage both the beginning writer as well as the published writer, that both had an equal voice. She has invited many of us to be the "featured reader" placing everyone else first before herself. She encourages us all to participate in the "open mic" afterwards. When she was wondering who to have as a featured reader for this program, I suggested herself. She fought against the idea, trying to think of other readers. She brings joy into the meaning of her words, with the uplifting of spirits.

Books And Memory Bookstore is located on 2600 James Street. It is the large bookstore on a corner. The readings take place in the corner behind the Children's book area.

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