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Local poet reads from new book at Creekside

— "Wisdom is always born out of the wearing of time," said poet Mark Povinelli while reading the title poem to his book, "Hunting for Box Turtles," at Creekside Books and Coffee on Thursday, July 28.

Seated in a cushioned chair, bespectacled, and listened to by about 15 audience members, Povinelli read around 15 poems from his book in a straightforward voice, without bombast, in between explaining the origins of each piece.

Povinelli was born in Buffalo and grew up in Louisiana. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Houston and his master's degree from Syracuse University. He has lived in Camillus since 1998 and works as an electrical engineer in Syracuse.

He also was a founding member of the art collective F.A.S.T. (Free Art Society Trend) and was an artist-in-residence at Syracuse University in 2006.

Povinelli's "Hunting for Box Turtles," collection was originally written and compiled during the 1980s, Povinelli said, and many of the poems were about childhood experiences, nature, and life and death.

He recalled living as a young child at the end of a dead-end street surrounded by a pine forest in "Backyard toads;" looking for trilobite fossils in "Hunting for Box Turtles;" and discovering red fire ants as a five-year-old child in "Movin' in the south."

Taking questions from the audience after his reading, Povinelli discussed his creative process. "I'm a scribbler. I write in notebooks, on pieces of paper, anything I can use," he said, while explaining that he never composes on a computer. "I don't do the online poetry thing."

He also does not have cable TV. "I think that is one of the most misused inventions in history," he said.

Povinelli's next book of verse, "Disconnections," to be released this fall, contains poems written as an older person and dealing more with issues of love and loss and how people connect to each other, he said.

Creekside Books owner Erika Davis said she will invite Povinelli back for another reading when "Disconnections" is published.

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