So writes Alabama Poet Laureate Dr. Sue Brannan Walker in her poem “Three Husbands, A Needle and Thread.” The poem is from her collection “She Said,” in which Walker centers on historical women and captures a slice of their life in brief capsules.
“Betsy ‘sewed’ and so she reaped,” Walker summed up the flagmaker’s life in a telephone interview this week, adding that Ross, who was a wife, breadwinner and grandmother in her day, still deserves accolades.
With an approach like this to history and verse, the writer’s time with an audience next Thursday evening at Houston Cole Library should be entertaining and fun.
The Friends of Houston Cole Library will feature Walker as the organization’s guest writer at 7 p.m. on the library’s 11th floor. The event is free and open to the public.
As the state’s official poet, Walker serves as an ambassador for poetry in Alabama; she conducts workshops and speaks to groups and classrooms throughout the state. The Mobile writer’s finished work “Whatever Remembers: An Anthology of Alabama Poetry” is one of several contributions she has brought to her place of eminence in poetry. Her work also includes eight published books of poetry.
Walker is professor of English at the University of South Alabama where she teaches courses in creative writing. She is vice president of the Alabama Writer’s Conclave, the letters chairperson for the National League of American Pen Women and is on the board of the Alabama Writer’s Forum. A critical book “James Dickey and the Environment” is forthcoming with Mellen Press, she said. Dickey was an American poet and novelist born in the Atlanta area.
Walker’s poetry is vital and deeply human, and often laced with humor. “Gliderman,” which she will read Thursday, is a letter of appreciation to her late grandfather Lewis Webster Brennan, who “would be there always, swinging in his glider, waiting for me,” she wrote. It was her first published poem. She will also read other poems from her collection.
Walker also won the Alabama Writer’s Conclave Play-Writing competition for her one-woman play based on the life of Mobile’s 19th century socialite and writer, Madame Octavia LeVert, granddaughter of George Walton, the Georgia signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Dr. Joanne Gates, professor of English at Jacksonville State University, has heard Walker read her poetry on two occasions.
“I am impressed with Sue Walker’s poetry,” Gates said. “She encourages student poets with very clever exercises and gives great inspiration to others in the way she composes a poem about everyday circumstances.” What it’s like to sit in a dentist’s chair is an example of her verse on routine happenings, Dr. Gates said. The poet’s verse that imagines a friendship with American novelist Carson McCullers is in a more serious vein.
Walker’s books will be available for purchase and signing Thursday evening. Refreshments will be served.
CAST Kidz Drama
“The Trial of Mother Goose,” a play with familiar characters will be presented at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 11, at McClellan Theatre. Seventeen children ranging from ages 4-17 will deliver the story of Mother Goose and her desperate problem: She is accused of bringing harm to the characters in her stories so she can gain profit and fame from the retelling of their tale. Finally, the characters become more sympathetic and plead her case, but in the end, Ole King Cole makes the judgment call.
Not only have the CAST Kidz learned how to act out roles such as Little Miss Muffet, a soldier, a cook, a queen, and Felix, Freddy and Fritz, known as the Three Fiddlers, they have allso written original rap songs for the show and assembled their costumes. The play is directed by Kim Dobbs.
There is no admittance fee. A $5 donation to CAST Kidz is suggested, but not required.