Lahaska: Monthly Poetry Series with Bucks County Poet Laureate Carly Volpe

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August 22nd - 6:30 pm at the Lahaska Bookshop.
Join us in welcoming our featured poet, CARLY VOLPE, current Bucks County Poet Laureate, to the Lahaska Bookshop for August's meeting of Poetry is Not a Dirty Word.  An open mic segment will follow our featured poet's reading.
About the Poet:  2019 Bucks County Poet Laureate Carly Volpe has been writing since she was a child. Her first published pieces can be found in her junior high literary magazines and punk zines published by other kids. She continued to write and has studied and work shopped in her local vibrant community of artists and poets. In addition to her laureateship, Ms. Volpe has taken 1st Place in the adult division of the 2019 Main Street Voices Poetry Contest and is a past winner of the Stan Heim Poetry Award. A Bucks County native, where she currently lives with her two children, she teaches poetry workshops to adults with intellectual disabilities.

Company Picnic by Carly Volpe

We are river rats;
white gleaming wet bodies slipping wet off rocks,
cutting the soles of our feet on errant glass shards.

We are river rats;
wading through oil rainbows
that cling to stained sodden white undershirts

these boys and me,
thighs slick with pollution
nine years old.

We awkwardly pose and posture,
brought together once a year
behind the printing factory

that stains my father’s fingertips and ego.
And when he smiles, he hides the side of his mouth
not wide; tooth missing now.

We watch as tents are hoisted for the union picnic,
they roll in kegs and burn fat hot dogs
to be tucked into soggy buns.

When the sun hits just so
between the dark blue tips of trees,
and when our parents smell like honeysuckle sweat

my mom’s lips taste white wine sweet
and her gingham dress strap drops to three o’clock
on her sunburned shoulder.

We self-consciously float toward other kids
other small bodies to ritualistically dare
to sneak off and worship muddy river gods

splash near drainage pipes and catch crayfish
silhouetted by sterile plant towers
and our loud rat laughter.

Who should come?:  Those who write poetry, those who read poetry, those who listen to poetry, those who don't think poetry is some sort of dirty, scary word, those who love poetry, those who merely like poetry, and those who are under the misguided impression they don't like poetry. So pretty much everyone.
Interested in being a featured reader? For those looking to read, we're looking for a wide range of styles, genres, themes, from a wide range of people, so whether it's odes, epics, slam, haiku, some style of poetry that is your own creation, etc etc etc we are excited to hear your voice. If you're interested, please email

Poetry Night | Lahaska Bookshop | Monthly | Fourth Thursday | 6:30 pm