Carrying the Voices of N.J. Poetry
Poetry has become somewhat lost as a commonly practiced art. A poet is just a musician without a tune these days, and most well-known poets are locked up in the ivory towers of higher education. But like Norman Rosen, who put aside his lawyer hat to pick up a paintbrush, Annmarie Lockhart, editor-in-chief of Vox Poetica, has put aside her medical writer hat to pick up her pen. The website she manages has become a showcase for poetic practice both in and out of N.J., and acts as a wellspring to both whet the palate, and wet the feet.
Offering a number of different highlights, Vox Poetica’s features host regular content in varied rotation: Today’s Word is for a new daily poem chosen by Annmarie, the poetic apple of the day, whereas Words to Linger On changes biweekly, giving readers the option to meditate on a specific piece and soak it up completely rather than shallowly absorb the verses. The Poem Blog is inevitable resting place of all work found in the favor of Vox Poetica, a repository boasting close to (and most likely over) 1000 poems.
For those writers seeking a push, the Prompts page offers an opportunity to jumpstart the creative process. Some work of art, a photograph or perhaps a painting, is posted on the page, offering an image for prospective poets to muse over. The site encourages people to submit the work of their musing so that the community-at-large can appreciate the spectrum of inspiration derived from the art. Annmarie, herself, is a fan of collaborative art, combining poetry and other media to, in the words of Ezra Pound, “make it new.”
As the front page states, “poetry is written to be spoken,” and in keeping true to that axiom, Annmarie also maintains 15 Minutes of Poetry, a weekly discussion on wordcraft. Typically with a guest poet, the show broadcasts at 1 p.m. on Thursdays. The show offers a great introduction to poetic discourse, and for those who missed past episodes, they are available here and on iTunes as a podcast.
Taking the concept of community full circle, as a member of Duotrope, Vox Poetica also suggests that poets get involved with a number of literary magazines, paving the way for those interested in the art to fully immerse themselves. Though the website is not exclusive to N.J. writers, there are many involved since Annmarie, a resident of Bergen County, is an active open-mic attendee.