How can one best answer that enduring question: where are you from? How is Northeast Texas unique? Does where we live even matter?
These and other questions will be at stake at the Seventh Annual Northeast Texas Poetry Reading on Friday, Sept. 5 at 11 a.m. in the foyer of the Whatley Center for the Performing Arts at Northeast Texas Community College. The public is welcome to attend this free event.
The Reading will feature readings from the six winners of the 2014 Northeast Texas Poetry competition. There will be two adult winners, winning prizes of $200 and $50; and four student winners, with prizes of $400, $300, $200 and $100. Winners will be announced at the reading. Poets must be in attendance in order to receive a prize.
This year’s poetry reading will also feature an international perspective on Northeast Texas, including two speakers who live in Mount Pleasant, but who spent the formative years of their youth in other countries. Maryna Otero (pictured), a foreign-language teacher at Mount Pleasant High School, is fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, and French, and hails from the global hotspot, Ukraine. Nigel Christopher, a manufacturer and branch manager of PDI Products, is from England, another rare nativity for our region.
Professor Jim Swann, the NTCC foreign language Division Director and contest judge, will present the awards. Dr. Chuck Hamilton and Anna Ingram were also judges.
Local writers competed in this contest to “enhance and enliven our sense of the surroundings, the people, the culture, and/or the history of Northeast Texas.”