Poet’s Link To Property/Juneteenth Reading – Poetry News Roundup June 16th

Today in our news round-up, we take a look at the restorations that have begun on a property linked to a poet. We also take a look at a poetry reading for Juneteenth.

Renovations on Poets Former Home Begin

A year after it was marked for demolition Stone House, the property linked to the poet Theodore Roethke is the site of a recently begun restoration project.

The work is being carried out by the Friends of Theodore Roethke Foundation.

Renovations begin at Roethke-linked Stone House a year after being slated for demolition

The house is named as a result of its structure which is created with fieldstone and is located next to the poet’s childhood home which is now the Theodore Roethke Museum; this building was his uncle’s home. The museum is very well known. However, the two houses share some common history and the Stone House is believed to be equally important to the history of the poet’s family. The Roethke’s ran a large greenhouse operation from both properties and preserving the second home will help to show the historical context that the poet grew up in.

The Stone House was built in 1904 and is currently on the

National Register of Historic Sites

as a landmark. In February 2019 the Trustees on the board of Friends of Theodore Roethke had voted on whether to go ahead with demolishment of the house rather than continue paying the mortgage for it; something that they had been doing since they purchased the property in 1998. They had been unable to open the property to the public as they had wanted due to the state that it was in and the amount of repair work that needed to be carried out.

Shortly after the vote, they began fundraising and were, with a fund of $50,000, able to begin on the project which will also include renovation work to the adjoining museum and is expected to cost around $1 million. It is hoped that once the work is completed both properties will be able to be opened to the public.

Juneteenth Celebrated with Virtual Reading

June 19th  is commonly known as Juneteenth or Juneteenth Independence Day (Freedom Day) and is a holiday that is celebrated in America to commemorate the announcement that was made on that day in 1865 that in the state of Texas, slavery was to be abolished. This year in the wake of the Black Lives Matters protests that have swept first America and then the world the day takes on extra importance.

Murphy Writing which is located at Stockton University is hosting a special reading to mark the occasion via zoom. Starting at 7pm, Yusef Komunyakaa, a Pulitzer Prize winner will be reading some of his poetry.

Komunyakaa was the first African American to be awarded a poetry-related Pulitzer. He won the award in 1994. He has written a number of collections of poetry collections and also several plays, libretti and performance art pieces, which have been performed all over the country.

He currently teaches at New York University.

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