Poet Laureate Activity Photos Part Seven

April - June 2010

Click on the thumbnails for larger versions.

On April 1, as kickoff for National Poetry Month, the Poetry on Brick Street series in Zionsville (at Simone’s), hosted by Barry Harris and Susan Johnson, featured contributors to From the Edge of the Prairie, the annual publication of the Prairie Writers Guild based in Rensselaer. The co-editors are Connie Kingman and John Groppe, Norbert’s former professor at St. Joseph ’s College. Norbert helped line up this reading to promote the excellent work of this writers collective.

Barry Harris and Susan Johnson, the hosts. 

Susan introduces the evening while Connie Kingman waits (with Connie Wachala) to introduce the six readers and read the first poem.
John Groppe reads while Connie W. and Sally Nalbor listen.

Norbert listens while the ever reflective John also listens behind him.

Connie Wachala reads.
Norbert reads.
Everybody enjoys the company during the intermission.
Copies of the current and back issues were available at reduced prices.
The six who read from From the Edge (Sally Nalbor, Norbert, Pat Kopanda, Cnnie Wachala, Connie Kingman, John Groppe ).

Norbert, Jared Carter, and John Groppe during intermission.

JL Kato reads during the open mic.

On Tues., April 6 at 6:00 p.m., the Asante Children’s Theater, founded by Deborah Asante twenty years ago, kicked off the annual National Poetry Month at the Artsgarden. Norbert loved the idea of having children lead us into Poetry Month. It was stimulating and heartwarming to see that some of the young adults have been in the program for years and are now mentoring younger actors. The ACT youth and adults presented a variety of types of poetry readings and performances, from straight readings, performance poetry, and haiku recitation to hip hop and rap and sometimes a blend of different kinds of poetry and presentation styles including spoken word performance with musical backing.


Diane Lewis, Executive Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator for the ACT for the past ten years, was awarded a 2010 Robert E. Beckmann Emerging Artist Fellow for the Arts Council of Indianapolis for poetry. She served as M.C. for the evening’s poetry performance.

A sizeable audience is ready for the performance to begin.

Diane Lewis introduces the program.

Diane reads a poem, “Spring Trilogy.”

Prep4Life  facilitators Jocque Carey, Claudia Rosa-Artis, Ryan Bennett
The ACT Prep4Life  group performs “Dawn” by Paul Lawrence Dunbar.

Freddie Kincaid Jr. recites “What Did I Learn?

 Janiece Fleming sings a song.

Diane Introduces the Haiku Workshop writing process and has Kennedy and Daezare speak about what they learned during the workshop and the characteristics of a haiku.
Philip Hughes performs “Rise Up.”
Daezare Fifer recites “If” by Rudyard Kipling.
Jocque Carey recites “First Love.”

Cleo House recites “The Sequel.”

Deborah Asante reads “Whole.”
The Asante Touring Company presents excerpts from Martin Luther King in a Hip Hop Word: “Intro.,” “Mind of a Young Man,” and “Bombingham.”
Norbert with Diane after the show.
On April 7, Norbert read in the Hancock County Public Library, in Greenfield, the hometown of James Whitcomb Riley. Norbert focused on Sweet Sister Moon, but read some poems also from Bloodroot and passages from the prose memoir The Ripest Moments. Jackie Osting organized the event.

The IPL reading from up close.

Norbert seen reading from the audience’s perspective.

Norbert signs books after the reading.

Gwen Betor of the Riley Home Museum has Norbert sign her copy of Bloodroot because it includes a poem about his mother reading Riley’s poetry in the branches of a sugar maple tree in front of the Schmitt farmhouse when she was a girl.
On Saturday, April 10 at 2:00, Norbert, Monika Herzig, and Peter Kienle presented a poetry and jazz performance with an Indiana focus in the Tippecanoe County Public Library, Downtown, Lafayette. There was a full house and the audience was most informed, receptive and perceptive, one of our best ever, and such a receptive audience always lifts the level of the performance.  Everybody seemed to appreciate the benefits and pleasures of combining poetry and music. Amy Paget did a great job of organizing and promoting the event, the kind of effort and persistence that always pays off.

Early bird Katherine checks out the attractive program for possible untruths.

The books are ready to go.

A National Poetry Month poster about TCPL contests.

Another National Poetry Month TCPL activities poster.
Amy Paget introduces the Terrific Trio.
Monika and Peter catch their rhythm in the opening instrumental.

Norbert joins in on the action. Peter is using a new fretless bass.

Monika, Purdue poet Don Platt, and Norbert chat during the intermission.

People check out the books during the break.
A light moment between numbers in the second set.
Norbert reads solo in the middle of each set.
Talking after the show.

On Monday, April 12, Allyson Horton and Terry Kirts read their poems in the National Poetry Month series in the Indy Artsgarden.  Terry directs the Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series at IUPUI and writes witty and appetizing poems as well as columns about food; Allyson, who works with musicians, has a fondness for haiku and self-definition and an oral speaking voice with a rhythm and concerns that connect well with the Hip Hop Generation.

Poet colleagues and friends at IUPUI Karen Kovacik and Terry Kirts before the reading.

Friends catch up.

Allyson begins her reading.
Allyson up close.

Listening to Allyson.

Allyson up close again.

Terry begins his reading with Washington Street details behind and below.

Terry up close.

Terry seen from the back.

Terry mid-word.
Poet JL Kato (l.), to read next week, visits after the reading.

After serving as M.C. at the April 12 lunch-hour Artsgarden poetry reading, Norbert walked to the Indiana Dept. of Education on West Ohio Street to be filmed reading level-appropriate poems for the schools. The recording will be made available via a podcast and also on the DOE’s website, The Learning Connection. The taping was arranged by Alex Damron of the DOE. Norbert plans to complete other taping sessions before ending his term as IPL and wishes he would have had the opportunity to do so earlier. The law making the Indiana poet laureateship an ongoing position stipulates that the DOE will coordinate the IPL’s visits in the schools, something that has not happened.

DOE staff members Emily, Alex, Garin, and Brett after the recording session.

Norbert in the studio ready to record.
Close-up of Norbert after reading poems by Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson,  Robert Frost, William Stafford, Naomi Shihab Nye, and two of his own poems.
After reading poems the next day in a Holocaust Remembrance event in the Rotunda of the Statehouse, on the way home Norbert showed Katherine the DOE office and introduced her to Connie, the secretary. Anybody with experience knows that secretaries run everything.
On April 13 at noon, Norbert was the featured speaker-reader at a Holocaust Day of Remembrance, “Honoring the Past, Remembering the Future,” beginning at noon in the State House Rotunda, Indianapolis. For twenty minutes, Norbert read selections from his Holocaust poems about Klara Krapf from the last section of Blue-Eyed Grass: Poems of Germany, “Stones for the Dead.”This event was sponsored by the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Indiana Holiday Commission.  As Norbert said, he was honored to be included as Indiana Poet Laureate so that poetry could be part of our dialogue with one another and ourselves on such an important issue. Of the almost two hundred events Norbert will have been part of in his two years as IPL, from his point of view this was probably the most important one.

Approaching the State House from Market Street on a spring day

The stage before the audience assembles.
The event program. On the back is listed the order of the speakers.
The effect of seeing the programs on the chairs was of feeling the presence of many people (victims) in the open space even before the crowd gathered in place.
A van of Franklin College students from a Science and Religion class attended with their professors.
German students of Prof. Daniel Nuetzel, Director of the Max Kade German-American Center, IUPUI, also attended.
Fox 59 filmed parts of the program and public access TV 26 filmed the hour-long event and will broadcast it within a week and may make the film available on the Internet.

Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock spoke eloquently about the Holocaust and introduced Norbert.

Norbert reading the Klara Krapf poems. Klara was a native of the village of Wonfurt, Lower Franconia, about two miles across the fields from where Norbert’s Catholic ancestors lived in the hamlet of Tugendorf. Klara was deported from a Jewish nursing home in Wűrzburg  to Theresienstadt, where she died Jan. 18, 1943.

Cantor Janice Roger, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, sang.

Phil Lande, son of Auschwitz survivor Alex Lande, lit candles.

Michael Wallach, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council, made the closing remarks.

Norbert with Cantor Rogers. 

Norbert, Cantor Rogers, and Marcia Goldstone (l.), Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, who invited Norbert to read.
People stayed to talk after the moving event.
On Monday, April 20, Dan Carpenter and JL Kato, both journalists and poets, read at noon together in the National Poetry Month Series in the Indy Artsgarden. This was the third poetry reading of the month in this beautiful public venue operated by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and attached to the Circle Centre Mall, suspended over the intersection of Washington St. (the Old National Road) and Illinois Street. Dan has written about poets such as Etheridge Knight and Felix Stefanile in his Indianapolis Star column and JL runs JL Kato’s Poetry Notebook.
The Artsgarden crowd is ready to hear the poets.

Poets Dan Carpenter, JL Kato, and Tom Stock visit before the reading. All three publish with local publisher Restoration Press.

Dan Carpenter reads from More Than I Could See.

JL Kato seen reading from the back of the Artsgarden space.

JL reads from the forthcoming Shadows Set in Concrete.
Poets talk after the reading.

On April 23, Norbert read his poetry at the joint meeting of the Indiana German Heritage Society and the Society for German American Studies in historic New Harmony, IN. [http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/kade/newharmony/home.html] Norbert has been a member of both societies since the 1980s but had not attended the SGAS annual meeting since moving back to Indiana in 2004, because April, both National Poetry and Jazz Appreciation Month, is so busy.


The conference was organized by IGHS President Greg Redding, Chair of Modern Languages at Wabash College. Greg gave a talk on “Spirit of Place, Language of Place: Norbert Krapf’s Genius loci” before Norbert’s reading. Greg and Norbert first met at the SGAS conference held at University of Loyola, Baltimore when the SGAS conference was held there in April 2003.At that time, Greg told Norbert that his graduate professor at Univ. of Cincinnati, Jerry Glenn, former book review editor of The Yearbook of German American Studies, had given him a copy of Norbert’s Somewhere in Southern Indiana. Jerry and his Franconian (Aschaffenburg) wife Renate were present for Greg’s talk and Norbert’s reading. This year’s conference began with a social gathering Thursday evening, April 22, included papers delivered for two days, with an optional guided walking tour of New Harmony and a banquet and awards ceremony, and concluded late Saturday afternoon, April 24. About 90 people attended.

The New Harmony Conference Center.

A New Harmony Street scene.

 Wisteria on the walkway between the New Harmony Inn and the NH Conference Center.

A view of the second-floor walkway connector with wisteria.

.Inside the restored granary before the keynote address by historian and “community” specialist Donald Pitzer.

German instructor Andrea Fieler of the University of Northern Kentucky, who heard Norbert read at the German Heritage Society Museum, Cincinnati, in August 2009. See photos from that event above.

Ruth Reichmann, co-founder of IGHS, with Don Pitzer before the keynote address.

Greg Redding gives his paper on Norbert’s work.

The topic of Greg’s paper is visible on the screen.

Greg included visual images as background for the texts of Norbert’s poem—here “Tulip Poplar.”
Norbert begins his reading, with Greg seated to the left.
Norbert from up close.
Norbert reading, as seen from the back of the Bayou Room, a name that Katherine the Cajun liked.

The book lady has books ready to purchase and have signed.

Giles Hoyt (standing) makes a point during the IGHS annual business meeting before the banquet and awards ceremony in the restored Granary.
Greg & Norbert at the Granary banquet.
End of a good day and night, after a poetry reading, listening to papers, and the banquet in the Granary. Fred Luebke, whom Norbert met at a conference in Hamburg, Germany in 1981, won the award in German American Studies.
On April 26, Lylanne Musselman and Jim Walker gave the last of this year’s National Poetry Month readings in the Indy Artsgarden. Both Lylanne and Jim teach writing, both are supporters of poetry and art and collaborations between artists in different media, and both support the work of other writers and artists. Norbert thanks Mike Prussa, Jessica Warner, and technician Jeff of the Arts Council of Indianapolis for their help in making this series an ongoing success. We believe it has been going on for five years, perhaps more.

The poets’ corner before the reading begins.

Lylanne reads, with buildings on Washington Street (the Old National Road to the West) behind  her.

Jim’s family listens to Lylanne read.

Lylanne reading at the lectern.
Lylanne listens to Jim read.
Jim at the lectern.

Jim’s son sketches while his father reads a poem.

A view of the proceedings from the back of the Artsgarden.
On May 6, Norbert read at DePauw University in Greencastle. Fellow member of the “Airpoets” group Joseph Heithaus, former Chair of the English Dept., organized the reading. DePauw photographer Richard Fields, a friend of Norbert’s collaborator Darryl Jones, came for the second half of the reading after photographing an honors banquet on campus. Norbert passed out copies of the new issue of Branches, which includes his new poem “Beneath the Stones,” which Joe Heithaus helped him revise at a monthly meeting of the Airpoets.
Norbert and Joe Heithaus before the reading with English Dept. Chair Debby Geis.
Some DePauw students waiting to hear poems read.
Fellow “Airpoet” Joe Heithaus introduces Norbert.
Norbert begins to read from Bloodroot. He also read poems from the recent Sweet Sister Moon.
Norbert reads passages from his Ripest Moments prose memoir about childhood.
After DePauw photographer arrived from a campus banquet, Norbert read poems from his Invisible Presence collaboration with Indiana photographer Darryl Jones.
During the question and answer, Norbert talked about the influence of Black Elk Speaks on his work and here illustrates the difference between BE’s “circular” world view and Alexander Pope’s dependence on the hierarchical “The Great Chain of Being” in his “An Essay on Main.”
Norbert with Joe Heithaus and Richard Fields after the reading.
On Mother’s Day, May 9, Norbert introduced young poet Kelsea Habecker at the Writers’ Center of Indiana ’s An Evening with the Muse series coordinated for years by Rohana McCormack and Richard Pflum. Norbert explained that last November when he participated in a Spirit & Place Festival event at the Indy Art Center, which includes the Writers’ Center office in the Cultural Complex, Katherine told him he must go outside in the hallway to look at an Emily Dickinson collage installment that was part of a Day of the Dead exhibit. Norbert loved the tribute piece, discovered the name of Kelsea Habecker, and Googled her name later that night and discovered that she is also a poet whose first book, Hollow Out, poems set in Alaska, won a prize from New Rivers Press judged by former U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic, whose Dismantling the Silence (1971) was an important discovery for Norbert in the year he began to write poetry.

After contacting Kelsea through her Facebook page and exchanging books with her, Norbert contacted Richard and Rohana to suggest that they invite Kelsea to read in their series. Norbert said in his introduction, which he claimed was more of a “true story than an introduction,” he has never read a book of poems which triggered so many new poems for him. He observed that the poems in Hollow Out are “quiet, reflective, intense, internal, very spiritual. They tell of an inner journey set in a remote place, Alaska, but which takes place mostly within...There is a strong sense of the sacred in these poems…” He also said that one of the wonderful perks of serving as Indiana Poet Laureate is the opportunity to help welcome a fine young poet like Kelsea into the Indiana writing community. Kelsea moved to Indianapolis last fall.
Katherine meets Kelsea’s parents Marilyn and Marvin, who drove from Illinois to hear their daughter read for the first time.
Katherine catches up with poet Jeff Pearson, who comes often from Muncie to Indy poetry events.
Rohana introduces Norbert, who introduced Kelsea. Rohana also recited from memory several poems during the open mic that followed Kelsea’s reading and a break during which she signed books.
Kelsea introduces a poem.
Mike Brockley, who bought Hollow Out before the reading began, followed the texts of Kelsea’s poems.
It was obvious to all that Kelsea enjoyed the chance to share her poems.
Like her presentation, Kelsea’s poems display many nuances of feeling and tone.
During the open mic, some ten poets read two or three poems each. Gaar Scott followed Rohana. A few others are included below.
Mike Brockley.
Steve Roberts.
Richard Pflum.
Jeff Pearson.
Kelsea and Norbert with Richard and Rohana.
Kelsea and Norbert.
On May 12, Norbert read to the Indianapolis Woman’s Department Club, which has been in existence for almost one hundred years, at their annual luncheon. They gave out three scholarships to women students, including one from the School for the Blind, one at Ivy Tech,  and one to a junior at the Univ. of Indianapolis, Stephanie Kennedy, who was present, with her parents, to accept the award. Stephanie will be doing two semesters of student teaching next year as a senior, the second semester with special ed students. Anna Marie Witt organized the reading. The event, including the business meeting that preceded the luncheon, took place at Hillcrest Country Club.
At the book table (right) is Jean Jose, President, who served as m.c. for the luncheon. She commented that she knows Somewhere in Southern Indiana well and “loves every poem.”  Pictured with her is member, Alice Pollert.
Norbert with Anna Marie Witt,  Second Vice President, before lunch was served. 
The luncheon room.
Scholarship winner Stephanie Kennedy of U of I.

On May 13, Norbert read in two morning junior American Lit classes at Forest Park High School in Ferdinand taught by Rock Emmert. Rock also organizes and promotes the monthly Spoken Word events at Boundless Grounds  down the hill from FPHS and at Sozo Coffee Café in Jasper, where Norbert read in the evening (see below). In addition, with help from Kris Lasher, Rock also hosts the Queen Anne House Concert series in his historic home in the hills and is involved in planning the first Ferdinand Folk Festival Sept. 16.


Norbert’s usual program for school visits is to read 5 or 6 poems, with commentary about his process of writing, answer questions from students, and then, with help from the teacher, encourage students to read their poems or other kinds of writing. A number of students read poems of theirs that were published in the literary magazine of Vincennes University. One young woman soulfully sang, acappella, a song she wrote. Norbert was impressed by the high quality of the poems the students read and compliments Rock Emmert on his fine job of bringing out the best in his students and leading by example. It is a testimony to their teacher’s positive influence that some of the students drove to Jasper in the evening to read in the monthly Spoken Word event at Sozo.


Norbert pointed out to the students that in 1848 his Krapf family, which left Germany in 1846, were charter members of St. Ferdinand Parish, as proved by a list he found in the parish archives while doing research on town founder Fr. Joseph Kundek for his 1996 Finding the Grain collection of pioneer German journals and letters from Dubois County. He told the students not to let anyone make them believe that the education they are receiving is inferior to what students at Jasper, Indianapolis, Muncie, Ft. Wayne, Evansville, or South Bend receive. Good and great things can and do come out of small places, he insisted. This principle is relevant to the details of the poem that begins his classroom visits, “Somewhere in Southern Indiana,” as well as the poem “St. Meinrad Archabbey,” which he also read.

Forest Park High School.
Norbert reads “Somewhere” from Bloodroot, with a photo by David Pierini visible on the right page.

Norbert answers a question.

In one class Norbert read “Return to a Mighty Fortress,” set in Jasper’s landmark St. Joseph Church. The central character in the poem is his mentor and former high school English teacher his senior year, Jack London Leas. Norbert’s stillborn sister Marilyn’s tomb—he read a poem about her, from a cycle of nine in Sweet Sister Moon—is in this cemetery. A picture of her tomb is included in the Sozo entries below.
Rock Emmert with Norbert at Boundless Grounds for lunch

Ann Wahl, a Desert Storm vet seen reading in the evening at Sozo in Jasper, runs Boundless Grounds in Ferdinand.

A desk that fine furniture maker Keith Fritz, owner of the Ferdinand Antique Emporium, which includes Boundless Grounds, made when he was in high school. A recent Washington Post feature describes Keith’s demand as the hand-maker of exquisite pieces made of wood. As Hoosiers know, Jasper and Ferdinand, both part of Croatian missionary Joseph Kundek’s self-described “German Catholic colony in the wilderness,” have distinguished themselves in the making of home and office furniture. Norbert’s father worked in a Jasper desk factory for 25 years before becoming part of The Krapf Insurance Agency with his brother Cornelius.
A table made by Keith.

In the evening, Norbert was the featured reader in the monthly Spoken Word event at Sozo Coffee Café in Jasper, owned by Rosalie Ruell. When Norbert told Rock Emmert and his host Michael Hicks, an organic gardener and proprietor of Center for Community Empowerment that he would like to find a guitarist to collaborate with on a couple of poems, they both recommended Eddie Rasche and left phone messages about this for him.


Norbert and Eddie collaborated on two poems, “Goodnight, Irene” and “Angel Sister Song,” about Marilyn, Norbert’s stillborn sister.  Some of Rock Emmert’s students made the drive from Ferdinand to participate, there were many fine readers and singers, and everyone agreed this was maybe the best Spoken Word evening ever. Amber Coulter’s May 14 front page feature in The Herald about Norbert’s visit to Dubois Co. included a large picture of him and Eddie performing together. A circle of friends met at Michael’s house after the Spoken Word to share their joy and talk about prospects for future collaborations, always the sign of a successful artistic event. Special thanks to Rosalie for hosting us. Many good writers other than those included in the photos below contributed their talents to the marvelous evening. Norbert suggested to Rock that a Best of Sozo collection be produced, plenty of work for somebody!
Sozo seen from the outside.
The building audience ready to read, sing, and listen.

A student, Anthony Begle, drafts a poem to read before long

Norbert reads some poems.
Eddie and Norbert, who planned their collaboration minutes earlier at a table outside the café, perform the recent poem “Goodnight, Irene,” about the poet hearing his mother sing the song made famous by Leadbelly and The Weavers. Norbert invited Eddie to collaborate again with him at his last official IPL appearance at the Dubois County Museum June 27. Eddie will work up backing for a third poem he selects from Sweet Sister Moon and also sing two songs, as he did tonight. Norbert swapped a copy of his Imagine CD with Monika Herzig for Eddie’s Whiskey Angels CD.
The small tombstone of Norbert’s stillborn sister Marilyn. See the cycle of nine poems about her in Sweet Sister Moon, “The Sister in the Circle.” Norbert, who visits her tomb every time he’s in Jasper,  has written more poems about her since his latest book came out last summer.
Kris Lasher provides vocal support for Jasper writer Scott Saalman's essay about lullabies.Kris also read a strong piece about the recent burning down of the Blue River Café in Milltown, an important cultural and artistic regional center. Organizer Rock Emmert read a powerful poem about his memories of BRC.
Sarah Baldwin read two poems, one about gardening. Norbert passed out copies of Branches, which includes the new poem he read “Beneath the Stones” from the current Walking issue and told everybody to submit relevant writing for the next issue, In the Garden.
Carol Hanemann followed Sarah and read a fine essay about St. Francis and how we must put into practice his way of seeing and treating nature. Just before Carol walked by to read, Katherine heard Carol say quietly “and I have to follow my daughter,” which was Norbert and Katherine’s first realization that the two were mother and daughter. It was a “duh moment,” but beautiful in every way.

Eddie Rasche plays good harmonica as well as singing and playing excellent guitar.

Jeanne Melchior, whose work has appeared in Branches many times, read a poem that describes hearing Norbert read at an earlier reading elsewhere.
Poet and singer-songwriter Paul Ash, whose Passages CD Norbert admires, also read a brand new short tribute to Norbert.
Organic gardener Michael Hicks reads a Whitmanesque list and litany of plants he composed earlier in the event, after a day of intensive gardening during this important season.
A sample of Michael’s Riverside Drive garden.
A Forest Park HS student read part of her essay on the significance of fairy tales.
Rock’s colleague Ed Walston, who is retiring in a week, read his last essay for the FPHS student newspaper, which he has sponsored since it started some thirty years ago. The essay was about how sad it is that the next issue will be the last one ever printed, as the magazine will now go online.  Ed quoted Thomas Jefferson, to much applause, on how important it is to have a free but objective press.

Katherine and Rock relax and celebrate at Michael’s house at a post-Sozo gathering. Michael’s apple mead was a big hit.

Mother and daughter Carol and Sarah.
Sarah and Michael on the couch after a long but good day and night. Norbert left them with many poems to read to one another.
On June 3, Norbert was interviewed live by Tracy Forner on Indy Style, a new morning show of WISH TV in Indianapolis. This appearance came about as promotion for Norbert’s IPL Farewell Party sent out by Indiana Humanities Council Communications Director, Kristen Fuhs Wells. Both Kristen and her intern, Meg Peterson, who last summer was an intern at WISH TV, came to the station for the interview. The five-minute interview may be seen at http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/indy_style/in_indy_now/indiana's-poet-laureate-norbert-krapf.
Norbert was delighted to find that Alpha Blackburn, CEO of Blackburn Architectural Associates, was also a guest, to talk about her fundraiser for scholarships to send mainly minority students to study communications at the university level. Blackburn Associates coordinated the public art project at the new Indianapolis International Airport and Alpha hosted, in her home, an elegant party for the poets and artists involved.

Peggy, the producer of Indy Style, explains some details to Alpha and some models who appeared with her.

The studio where WISH TV news and weather are filmed and where Norbert, Kristen, and Meg waited.

Kristen and Meg.

Norbert and his books wait with Meg.

Norbert as seen on the flat-screen monitor in the green room.

Norbert reads “Love Song in the Kitchen” live on air. Tracy Forner listens.

After the WISH TV interview, Norbert met photographer DeAnne Roth in the Meredith Nicholson House, headquarters of the Indiana Humanities Council, to participate in the hanging of her b/w photos of the Chatterbox Jazz Tavern, where Norbert and Monika Herzig first performed their poetry and jazz combination, some of DeAnne’s downtown Indy photos, and Norbert’s illustrated poetry broadsides, cards, and reading posters. The IPL Party was the next evening, June 4.

DeAnne finishes hanging five of the Chatterbox photos.
DeAnne’s photo of the Band Tip Can at the Box. She makes the frames herself to keep her prices reasonable for Chatterbox and art lovers. The exhibit of her work will remain up until the end of June.

Some of DeAnne’s downtown photos.

IHC Pres. and CEO Keira Amstutz and Kristen discuss business.
Some Krapf poem postcards of the 1970s with Katherine’s silkscreen illustrations.
Norbert’s “Walnut” letterpress broadside with original wood engraving by John De Pol. Subscribers to Norbert’s letterpress edition collection of poems about trees, Heartwood, from The Stone House Press, received a complimentary copy of this letterpress broadside. This book and Norbert’s collection of writings about William Cullen Bryant by 20 contemporary American poets, Under Open Sky,  were published and hand-printed by the late Morris Gelfand in the basement of The Stone House, built by William Cullen Bryant on his property in Roslyn Harbor, Long Island. Norbert and Katherine owned an historic house in Roslyn village for thirteen years.
Norbert’s “Sister” Postcard from the Bellevue Press from the 1970s. This was the first in an ongoing series of poems Norbert has written about Marilyn. Nine such poems are included in Sweet Sister Moon.

Norbert’s “Squirrel at the Birdfeeder” broadside, with illustrations by Alfred Van Loen, also from Stone House Press. This broadside was part of a portfolio of 10 from SHP that included poems by Robert Bly, May Swenson, Louis Simpson, William Heyen, Vince Clemente, and Joyce Carol Oates, all illustrated by different artists. Norbert and Alfred collaborated on Circus Songs.

Norbert’s poetry posters.
DeAnne, Norbert, Keira, et al after the “hangings.”

On June 4, the Indiana Humanities Council hosted an IPL Farewell Party for Norbert at their elegant headquarters (1500 N. Delaware, Indy) in the Meredith Nicholson House, named after the novelist who owned it. Norbert performed about 30 minutes of poetry and jazz with Monika Herzig and Carolyn Dutton, and “Airpoets  Joyce Brinkman, Norbert’s predecessor as IPL, and Joe Heithaus read two poems each. Books and CDs were for sale, and free food and beverages were served. Carrie Abbot of Full Plate catering provided complimentary desserts. Before he recited the finale, “Someone Who Misses New Orleans,” Norbert announced he included the poem for Katherine in honor of their soon-coming 40th anniversary.

The Meredith Nicholson House, site of the party.

The welcoming sign.

 A plaque giving info about the MN House.

The library before guests arrive.

Monika’s daughters Jasmin and Melody set up in the library with Madeline, Carrie Abbot’s daughter.

Friend D’Aine Greene and neighbor Jacque Maher serve themselves food.
Norbert with Alexandria and Daniel Krapf and Joe and Jennie Heithaus.
Joe and Jennie know what’s good!
Neighbors Julie and Ted Meek and Jacque Maher.

Julie Roe Lach with Carrie Abbott and her daughter Madeline.

Diane Lewis, the poet who served as emcee for the April reading by the Asante Children’s Theater  evening in the Artsgarden series that Norbert directed for Nat’l Poetry Month series, enjoys food before the performance begins.

Behind Diane stand Dolores and Giles Hoyt. Norbert’s ongoing e-mail interview with Giles was recently expanded to include a discussion of when negative performance criticism is valid or specious. Check it out (last question) at the end and see if you agree, especially if you attended the Hoosier Dylan show at the Indy Athenaeum: 

Keira Amstutz, IAC Pres. and CEO, introduces Norbert, Monika, and Carolyn for some poetry and jazz.

The audience listens to Keira’s intro, ready for the performance. On the right is poet JL Kato ; next to him, in red shirt, is author Nelson Price, host of the radio program “Hoosier History Live” on WICR.

Monika, Carolyn, and Norbert perform in the classy living room.
Norbert recites a poem.
Joyce Brinkman reads her airport window poem. She also recited a poem by Ruthelen Burns, who was MIA.

Joe Heithaus recites a poem. He also recited Ruthelen Burns’ window poem.

After the performance, DeAnne Roth, whose photos were featured on the walls (see previous entry), and Carolyn Dutton chat.

Norbert signs books (here for Wanda Foster) and CDs after the performance.

Kevin Walzer (pictured) and Lori Jareo, the husband and wife team who published Sweet Sister Moon (WordTech Editions), came from Cincinnati for the IPL farewell party.

On June 25, poets who had been paired to write poems inspired by the work of sculptors read their works in Lincoln Park, Zionsville, as part of a Gallery Walk evening. The works of the sculptors were on display. Norbert was paired with Chris Quigley, who was an apprentice under Native American sculptor Presley LaFontain in Santa Fe 1994-97. Chris sent Norbert images of four sculptures, Genesis, Disconnecting, Eagle, and Soul Searching (a female figure). First Norbert wrote poems about Genesis and Disconnecting, later he wrote about the other two, found that the poems made a meditative sequence, and titled the whole “Four Internal Movements.” Chris’ reaction when he heard the poem was, “You nailed it! You got inside my head.” Norbert could connect so well with Chris’ work because of their love of things Native and their concern with the process of birth, inner growth, death, and rebirth.
People are ready to read and listen to poems in Lincoln Park, where Abe Lincoln spoke in 1861.

Susan Miller served as the emcee for the reading.

JL Kato wrote the poem “Slow Burn” in response to the dragon piece by Greg Knipe, but could not be present to read his poem.

John Sherman also read his poem about the dragon piece.

Phoenix Cole and Barry Harris read poems in response to a sculpture by Nick Gehlhausen. Here, Barry introduces his poem.
Phoenix Cole reads.

Norbert read his poem “Four Internal Movements” inspired by Greg Quigley pieces in stone. On this table are “Genesis” and “Disconnecting” (2nd and 3rd from left) and “Eagle” (2nd from right). Chris is in the middle and his wife to his right.

Norbert reads.

Chris and Norbert speak after the reading.

Mary Brown and James Murdock wrote poems about this red piece by Jim Merz.

Mary Brown reads.
James Murdock reads.
Joyce Brinkman, wrote a poem about this metal sculpture by Chaz Kaiser.
Joyce Brinkman reads.
Joe Heithaus wrote a poem about this Gary Rittenhouse dancer.

Joe Heithaus reads his poem.

Daniel and Alexandria Krapf with Daniel’s IUPUI logic professor Louise, who collects Chris Quigley.

On Sunday, June 27 at 2:00, Norbert gave his last official reading as IPL at the Dubois County Museum in Jasper. He felt it appropriate to end the laureateship in his hometown and the area where so many of his poems are set. He and Katherine came to Jasper the afternoon before, and that night he rehearsed with guitarist, singer-songwriter Eddie Rasche, who backed him on two songs at the Sozo Coffee Café Spoken Word evening on May 13. Eddie picked a third poem to back Norbert on this time, from Sweet Sister Moon, “New Old Tongue” from the cycle “Beyond Dark Eyes,” about his former student Navajo Christie Cooke. After the Sunday afternoon reading at the DCM, Norbert also read a few poems at the house of organic gardener and farmer Michael Hicks, director of The Center for Community Empowerment, following a meeting there to organize a chapter of a Local Growers Guild based in Bloomington.
Eddie Rasche and Norbert rehearse Sat. before and after a meal mainly of vegetables from Michael Hicks ’ organic garden.
A squash dish that was part of the meal.

Katherine’s smothered okra

Eddie rehearses one of the two songs he was to sing Sunday at the DCM.
Display(s) of newspaper articles and book covers on the way into the Banquet Room at the DCM, where the Sunday afternoon reading was held.

A display mainly from Norbert’s books.

DCM president Bernie Vogler introduces Norbert.
Norbert reads poems.
Eddie and Norbert perform.
Eddie sings a “Broken Roads” song about his parents.
Norbert after the reading with Carol Hanneman (l) and Jeanne Melchior, friends and colleagues for years at Vincennes Univ. Jasper Center.
JHS classmates Dave & Lou Eckerle with Gloria Fierst and daughter-in-law and Bernie Vogler.

Laureate cake. When Norbert saw the photo in the icing, he thought it signified that he had died, but he concluded that he was still breathing.

The Schmitt-Hoffman table (mother’s side).
Norbert signs books for relative Annie Alles, one of his most loyal supporters. High school friend Alice Buechlein looks on.
As stated above, after the DCM reading, there was a gathering at Michael Hicks’ house. After a communal meal (what other kind is there?) from Michael’s garden, Norbert read a few poems on the porch, under a tremendous selection of garlic clusters hanging from the ceiling, and a powerful and deep discussion followed. To view some superb photos of this impromptu evening event by young Jasper photographer Jaime Fleming, with whom Norbert hopes one day to collaborate, go to http://mymessykids.weebly.com/blog.html. To view responses from some of the participants, and/or to add a response, click on “responses” top right.
The garlic listened well to the poems and the discussion that followed. Seated are Kris and Michael.

The giant hibiscus plant in the garden listened in. The spirit of Georgia O’Keefe was in the air.

Carol and Kris listen to Jeanne make some comments after Norbert read several poems relating to farm life and gardening.
Jeanne listens and reflects.
Rock also listens thoughtfully to the discussion.
Outside in the garden, tomatoes and squash applauded from their box seats.


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