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Poetry Rendezvous has rich tradition
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Special to the Tribune


Twenty-two years ago, a small group of people gathered in Great Bend to read and share their poetry. Twenty-two years later, it’s still happening, although every other year the gathering may roam to the home city of one of the poets, be that Savannah, Ga., or St. Augustine, Fla., or somewhere in Colorado or Texas or …

This year brings Poetry Rendezvous back to Great Bend, Sept. 17 through 19. Hosted by the Barton County Arts Council and Chiron Review & Friends, all poets and poetry lovers are invited to attend this poetry presentation, where words and wit will fill the air of the Barton County Arts Center, 1401 Main Street, Great Bend. Admission and participation is free, but donations are always welcome.

Events will begin Friday evening at 7 p.m., with "Tony Moffeit Live!" accompanied by Rick Terlep on guitar.

Saturday, the doors will open at 9 a.m., and sessions will begin at 10 a.m. with a welcome address by Michael Hathaway and the first workshop, "Words and Language," presented by Carol Hamilton of Midwest City, Okla. Lunch is "on your own," to be followed by another workshop and round-robin readings beginning at 2:15 p.m. From 5 to 7 p.m., attendees may take a dinner break or enjoy sweet and savory appetizers and birthday cake while conversing with friends and fellow poets. At 7 p.m., a tribute to the late "Outlaw" poet Todd Moore will be featured, with readings from one of his last works, "Gunfighter Elegies," presented by George Martin, Karen Neuforth, Ruth Moon Kempher, Marilyn Coffey, Kyle Laws and Tony Moffeit. The evening will close with another series of round-robin readings.

Sunday will begin with a brunch from 10 to 11:30 a.m., followed by a little work compiling Rendezvous anthologies. Festivities will continue from noon until the last poem is read, with a literary soiree on "Poetry in Protest: Political & Personal" hosted by George and Karen Kline-Martin and a final series of round-robin readings.

This program is presented in part by the Kansas Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Barton County, the City of Great Bend and CPI Qualified Plan Consultants provide additional support for the Arts Council.