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Poetry festival finding a home in Oxford


OXFORD, N.S. – Rose-welled-words, disperse, then, like petals, settle among the streets of Oxford until another dawn.

The second annual Poetry at Large celebration in Oxford recently ended, but not before poets from throughout Cumberland County, and beyond, had a chance to share their poetry with the public.

“We were floored at how many people came forward,” said Ruthie Patriquin, Poetry at Large committee member, and, also, the community economic development officer for the Town of Oxford. “People want their poetry heard and are quite willing to share it even though they might have a hard time reading in public.”

Unlike last year, so many people came forward this year that they had to turn some away and put them on a list for next year.

Also, unlike last year, this year’s festival also included folk music and ancestral poetry, where people shared poetry of their parents and grandparents.

“I shared one of my fathers, Ivan Ripley, and I saw things in him that I didn’t know about from when he was living,” said Patriquin. “So, this is a way for people to share parts of their family members lives and for us to remember the past in Oxford and area.”

About 40 people attended this year’s celebration, which was about the same as last year.

“We didn’t have the beautiful sunny days we had last year, which will always be an issue in April during poetry month.”

Patriquin says they plan to have Poetry at Large again in 2020.

“I don’t think a poetry festival is easy to get off the ground, especially in an area where we haven’t had poetry readings,” said Patriquin. “So, we’re all thrilled at the response we’ve had both these years. We believe it is something that will grow gradually."

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