Participants unlock their poetry skills…

…at the One Book, One Community Read program honoring Maya Angelou

by Kathy Garfinkle

Approximately 25 to 30 members and guests assembled from 7:00 to 8:30 PM on Monday, May 4 at the Fremont Main Library for the One Book, One Community Read (OBOCR) program honoring Maya Angelou. Florence Silver graciously welcomed everyone and spoke briefly about the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Mission and programs. She also told the audience about the rich and varied history of the Fremont Branch OBOCR programs. Linda Pearson invited guests to join AAUW. Two new members joined that evening! Welcome to Ronda Jones and Mara (Mary) Williams.


OBOCR co-chair Margery Leonard with guitarist Don Christian

Margery Leonard enthusiastically explained the audience participation writing experience-Found Poems. “You will have so much fun with Found Poems that you will never again look at a piece of text in the same way. You will be hunting for words and phrases that you can turn into poetry,” exclaimed Margery. Participants were asked to choose a few inspiring lines of text from Maya Angelou’s writing and rewrite it in the form of a poem. Maya Angelou’s books were available at every table and everyone worked for 25 to 30 minutes creating their own personal poems and sharing their work with those at their table. Live guitar music supplied by Don Christian helped to inspire the poets as they wrote. Everyone then had an opportunity to share their poetry with all of the participants. Kris Sandoe began by reading a Found Poem that she had written previously. The poems were humorous, poignant and very personal. They spoke of joy, motherhood, phenomenal women and strength in adversity.


OBOCR committee and supporters

Kris Sandoe invited everyone to enjoy treats from Maya Angelou’s recipe book entitled, Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories With Recipes. Kris Sandoe made Caramel Cake, Florence Silver made bread pudding and Margery Leonard made meringue pies. A technical difficulty prevented the showing of a brief video of Maya reading some of her favorite poetry. However, everyone agreed that the evening offered a remarkable experience of writing and listening to all the fascinating Found Poems.