Still features work from three poets who are actively involved in a central Kentucky writing community, the Poezia Writing Group. The poems—by members Jay McCoy, Avery M. Guess and Katerina Stoykova-Klemer—were first born and revised at Poezia writing group meetings. A brief statement of the history of Poezia was provided by co-founder Katerina Stoykova-Klemer; the poems follow:
"Poezia is a Lexington, Kentucky-based writers’ group. The initial meeting took place on February 8, 2007. I had just started writing again, after an eleven year writing pause. I looked for a poetry group to join because I felt that interacting with other writers would be my creative lifeline. I was unable to find an open group, and that’s when I decided to start Poezia, together with a friend of mine, Colin Watkins. I was pleased to find many other writers who were also looking for the same thing. The group took off quickly and soon grew large enough that we had to divide it by genre. From the very beginning, the philosophy of Poezia has been “to be free and open to anyone committed to the art of writing.” Both the poetry and prose groups are still meeting weekly. These are workshop-style meetings, where you can expect to get constructive feedback from your peers, reading recommendations, and perhaps most importantly, a lot of support and encouragement. I cannot imagine my creative life or my writing career without the Poezia writing group. Nearly every poem that I have written over the last four years has been workshopped by the talented and uncompromising poets of Poezia. The group has been a reliable source of inspiration, friendship and learning and has enriched my life beyond measure." -Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, co-founder
Jay McCoy was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky. He holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Biology from Transylvania University, and an M.A.Ed. from The University of Akron. For several years, Jay has taken writing classes at the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning. He has spent two summers at the Appalachian Writers Workshop. Jay is a member of the Poezia poetry group and often reads during the Holler Poet monthly open mic sessions in Lexington.
traveling south on route 31 just north of Kokomo
between frontier fur trading outposts,
we count churches and crucifixes, repeating
aloud town names chosen from exotic locales –
LaPaz, Argos, Warsaw, Peru –
electing not to follow an oversized arrow
announcing two miles to Mexico
primeval stands of scarlet, blackjack, and chestnut oaks
hold their ground between disturbed parcels
clinging to empty memories
and fingerling potatoes
grasping winter’s first solid freeze
tightly-wound hay bales and swayback mares litter
closely-cropped cattle pastures left barren –
only crows cross our path,
diving from injury attorney billboards,
feasting upon abandoned deer carcass, possum corpse,
random roadkill remaining on the edge
of desolate backyards
white-washed primitive trinities observe
our steady progress past season-drained picking fields
stripped of blueberries,
root cellars and bomb shelters readied
for futures unknown
monotonous Roebuck row homes
in shades of pale yellow and mulled brown
or some prismatic intersection of cold gray sky
with dirty white clapboard chipped, exposing
rusted siding and releasing the lingering
stench of a festering skunk – life lost
defending kit and kin against surfeit
Avery M. Guess teaches developmental reading at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. Her poems can be found in Boston Literary Magazine and Tipton Poetry Journal. She is the recipient of a 2010 Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and a member of the Poezia writing group in Lexington.
On the Way Home from Lexington
to Frankfort via Leestown Road
A sign proclaims
justice for sale.
There are four white
open mailboxes, waiting.
A turtle, the size
of a dinner plate, is crossing.
and cows are grazing.
At the pumpkin patch,
someone’s selling strawberries.
Katerina Stoykova-Klemer is the author of the bilingual poetry book, The Air around the Butterfly (Fakel Express, 2009), which won the 2010 Pencho’s Oak award, given annually to recognize literary contribution to contemporary Bulgarian culture. Her English language chapbook, The Most was published by Finishing Line Press in 2010 and received a Pushcart nomination. Katerina’s poems have appeared in publications throughout the U.S. and Europe, including The Louisville Review, Margie, Adirondack Review and others. Katerina hosts “Accents”– a radio show for literature, art and culture on WRFL, 88.1 FM, Lexington and is the founder and senior editor of Accents Publishing.
One should exercise caution
when kissing a daffodil.
Somebody could get hurt.
It helps to have dabbled in botany.
To reach the Sweet of Hearts
without splitting apart her innermost
petals is a high art. While the kiss lasts
you’ll share her crown.
You’ll shimmer in the sun for days
after you drift apart.