Emerging young creatives in this area are invited to wax poetic about their hometown of Brooksville and to see their work published and spotlighted in the form of a beautifully bound, professionally published book, becoming a part of local history in the process.
For this unique literary endeavor, Brooksville Main Street issued a Call to Authors, encouraging parents to share historical tales with their children and encouraging them to reflect by writing a poem about their hometown for inclusion in the first-ever Brooksville Poetry Book.
To seek inspiration for their poetic works, students are encouraged to visit www.TourBVL.com, a website with “a mission to document the history of downtown Brooksville and to provide a resource where people can learn about and explore the historic homes and buildings located in our city.” TourBVL.com is coordinated by a small group of volunteers committed to making the history of Brooksville easily accessible to all.
Using this website as their resource, kid authors can select a place or a person showcased on the website for their subject. The Main Street Promotion Committee created this project, which is a part of this year’s annual Founders’ Day event. The poetry book, titled Facing History to Create Tomorrow, will be posted for sale at the Founders’ Day event, with proceeds returning to Brooksville Main Street to support future projects, events, and initiatives.
Open to children 18 years and younger, submissions must come in the form of poems limited to 200 words, with all poets required to fill out the form found at https://www.welovebvl.org/childrens-poetry-book. Poems then must be emailed in Word or PDF format to [email protected].
“The idea for the poetry book came out of our Design Committee’s brainstorming about what we should do for Founders’ Week,” said Natalie Kahler, executive director of Brooksville Main Street. “We had hosted a street festival over the last couple years and wanted to try something different. We will be unveiling our newest mural, a partnership with the Florida Wildlife Corridor, on City Hall, and thought a poetry book would pair well with that.”
Kahler feels that this project is very much in line with Brooksville Main Street’s ongoing mission to include residents of all ages in the Brooksville experience.
“BMS is always looking for ways to involve every generation of Brooksvillians, and the committee decided to have children write poems about the history they can read on TourBVL.com,” Kahler shared. “One of our newest Design Committee volunteers, Larry Jaffe, is a published poet, and he volunteered to compile the poems for publication. We want this project to strengthen our community’s love for Brooksville, both past and present. One of the foundational aims of Brooksville Main Street is to cultivate community and foster love and connection to it, and this book fits perfectly into that goal.”
Jaffe’s aim and objective were to create a poetry book in honor of the community in which it was composed. “We were sitting in a meeting and talking about Founder’s Day and what we would do this year that would be meaningful. Shelley (my wife) and I had just moved to Brooksville and appreciated being included in the discussion. Being a poet, editor, and organizer of poetry events over the years, I naturally thought of a poetry reading to honor the city, but I thought it would be great to do something more than that,” he said. “Something that would help celebrate Brooksville beyond just one day. When we lived in Clearwater, we created an anthology of poetry to celebrate National Poetry Month, and it was a great success, filled with poetry about the city.”
And for this particular poetic work, Jaffe wanted to feature and focus on the work of younger authors. “For Founder’s Day, I thought how great it would be for the children of Brooksville to contribute their words. The future of our community depends on children growing up educated and caring,” he said. “The title ‘Brooksville: Facing History To Create Tomorrow’ came to mind as a great motif for our students to engage our history and create a vibrant future.”
The deadline to submit is September 15th. For questions, email [email protected].