Sunday, September 20, 2020

Join Theresa Rodriguez on Zoom—Thursday, October 1st, 2020 at 6 pm.


Join Theresa Rodriguez on Zoom!

When: Thursday, October 1st, 2020 at 6 pm

Where: to reach us on Zoom

If required, please enter the Meeting ID 759 062 6042

And below is a sample poem from our featured poet: 


My Journal

Within my world there is a sacred place,
Where I can hide and then reveal my heart;
Where thoughts and feelings go, and become art;
It is a sanctuary, hallowed space.
Creating something new and touched with grace,
I put my mind to pen, and then impart
My soul's outpourings through my mind, to start,
Then show my whole raw self with open face.

And when complete, I then perfect my words,
And get them ready for the world to see;
I take them from these pages, then display
Them out for those who read, and hear. This girds
Me up for naked vulnerability.
Indeed, I offer all I am this way. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

Friends Helping Friends Fundraiser via Boscov's for Local Nonprofits, Including Berks Bards.

Every year, Berks Bards is a part of Friends Helping Friends, a fundraising event hosted by Boscov's across communities where stores are located. Customers who participate during one day or both days of this two-day event are able to support the nonprofit of their choice during their shopping because 5% of total sales are donated to the ones you note wanting to benefit from your purchase. There is also a 20% off discount on a wide variety of products for sale, as a perk.

Shopping in-person and online will all count toward this fundraising offered by Boscov's.

This year, Boscov's simplified the process in a new approach due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so instead of those of us helping to run nonprofits selling tickets for the perks, how the rules have worked in the past, all you have to do is note what participating nonprofit you want your purchases to benefit if you're at a register, and if you shop online, you choose the nonprofit you'd like to support at the checkout before finalizing your order.

With state arts grant funding impacts due to the pandemic meaning funding we normally apply for and receive may not be offered at all in 2021 as a usual part of our support in keeping our programs in local communities, this fundraising is an incredibly useful opportunity for Berks Bards and many other vital nonprofits. 

We ask that if you have any shopping to do at Boscov's in-person or online flexibly by mid-October, please mark your calendar, and help to support our efforts as you shop. We are so grateful for the support we receive and how it helps us to stay active in communities in a time when poetry is showing its deep value even more at the surfaces of daily living in a far from easy world we're all sharing nowadays. Thank you, and please pass word of this along if you know of anyone who may have some shopping plans in mind in mid-October!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Remembering Berks County Poet Doug Arnold, Former Host of Our BCTV Show Called, ''Poets' Pause.''

In late August, Doug Arnold, a local poet who hosted our show Poets' Pause on BCTV before it was in the hands of Berks Bards to manage—passed away at the age of 73. Here is his obituary.

Marilyn Klimcho, as a part of our team of volunteers for Berks Bards for decades, took the proverbial baton of hosting Poets' Pause on from Doug a few years ago; she puts an incredible amount of time into scheduling local and regional poets in Pennsylvania as well as some from out of state, reading their books, and preparing for interviews with them. Seeing the work she does has taught us a lot about the television-specific dedication and investment Doug handled on behalf of the community, and for poetry, before her.
As a tribute to Doug, we wanted to share a poem by him, and this one, we feel, is ultimately a phenomenal example of how language has the unique ability to keep flowing onward and to help others by way of a certain writer's mind and heart through inspiration, relating, chipping away at the often complex art of healing in our hard world, and needed understanding. When we save and also share a poet's words, both the poet and the poem continue to teach us. We are honored to bring you this poem by Doug, now, and encourage you to pass it onward, if its impact stirs you enough to want it to keep floating along in our world.
The Travels
of Dangerous Thoughts
By Doug Arnold

Most thoughts pass casually through,
zephyrs, barely ruffling our meadows,
without enough presence to seize or shape
any finite space. Don't call them back;
they're all part of what was never meant to be.

However, once in a while, a solemn figure strides
from the tall grass, and at first glance we believe
it to be just another discredited unicorn. But,
the prudent eye sees that it is a substantive thought,
a real one with the symmetry of two horns,
and enough gravitas to anchor its hooves. Why else
except that it knew that time was in heat,
would it have now emerged? Eventually it'll be driven
into the herd where even this thought
will also be milked and then slaughtered,
Yet, unlike the others, it is not barren, so
                   its offspring bears watching.

This poem was written by Doug Arnold on the 22nd of May in 2011.