It goes without saying that Massachusetts is a breeding ground for art and culture. One particular type of art that deserves the spotlight is poetry as live spoken word poetry events are scattered throughout the state including Northampton, Holyoke, Berkshire County, Greenfield, Turners Falls, Orange, Boston, and many other towns, cities, and communities throughout the Commonwealth.

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Meet the 2023-2025 Beat Poet Laureate of Massachusetts

One specific type of poetry that we're focusing on today is Beat Poetry as we have recently spoken with the new 2023-2025 Beat Poet Laureate of Massachusetts, Berkshire County native Linda Bratcher Wlodyka. We asked Linda in a recent interview what Beat Poetry is and how it differs from traditional poetry. Linda said that Beat Poets write about topics that cover humanity, environmental issues, social injustice, equality, respect, and humanity among others. She stated that Beat Poets tend to be rhetorical. Sometimes they will read with rhythm and rhyme but sometimes they don't. Linda is part of the new generation of Beat Poets. There are subgenres of beat poetry which you can hear more about in the interview below.

The 2023-2025 Beat Poet Laureate of Massachusetts Recently Released Her First Full-Length Poetry Collection

In addition to receiving the Beat Poet Laureate Award, Linda recently released her first full-length collection of poems entitled "If Brambles Were Bookends" which is available on Amazon and at The Bookloft in Great Barrington. Linda is a member of the Florence Poet's Society.

Hear All About The Journey, Award, Book, and More of the New Beat Poet Laureate of Massachusetts

We recently conducted an interview with Linda on Townsquare Media Station WSBS in Great Barrington. In the interview, Linda discusses her love for poetry at an early age, her early years of reading poetry in front of audiences, the history of beat poetry, becoming the 2023-2025 Beat Poet Laureate of Massachusetts, her new book, and advice to young up and coming poets. You can check out the entire interview below which has been divided up into three segments. Below the segments we have included a poem by Linda.

"In This Wild Existence" by Linda Bratcher Wlodyka

In this wild existence where we take claim

a life where wonder keeps us tidy inside our cocoons,

where dreamers shed tears then rebound,

where I proclaim more magic then mysticism.

Yet flowers bloom, children play, guardians loom,

lend safe haven, my own abilities evolve constantly.

Where your hand and mine cross miles

between mountains, valleys, longing for touch;

more desire than can breach a dam.

Where heart-blush looks good on paper valentines,

where the stick crosses a path, not a hindrance,

more than wind- swept.

My own two feet continue, I am in search of

the light, not at the end of a tunnel, instead

where solar rays find cracks, crevices, perforations-

seepage for their light. Where imperfections improve

like a quality controller gone manic.

Where flow not ebb sends forth currents, spirits thirst.

Where Luna’s phantasm surrounds full pink moons,

exacting each poet’s words- hieroglyphics, perpetual.

Where future inhabitants, peel off their facade,

mutter philosophies of sages; the poems we wrote.

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