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Local poetry night a success in Pulaski

By WILLIAM PAINE

william.paine@southwesttimes.com

The Coffee Grinder coffee house had a literary event recently, as Pulaski County poets gathered for a poetry reading.

Amanda Hash is the owner of the little coffee house at 51 East Main Street.

“I was approached and asked if I would be interested in a poetry reading and I said, ‘Absolutely, free entertainment for me’,” she said. “I’m an avid reader and I write poetry myself, just not on the level as these guys.”

The organizer of the poetry reading was Kevin McDaniel, who has taught English at both RU and NRCC and currently teaches at Bluefield College. He and his wife Erin McDaniel live in Pulaski County.

“I’m from Staunton, Virginia,” said McDaniel. “My wife Erin is from Virginia Beach. We both went to college in this area. I always knew I wanted to move back here. It’s not too far away from home but far enough where I can live my own life.”

McDaniel read from his latest book of poetry entitled “At the Foot of the Mountain,” which was recently published by Old Seventy Creek Press.

“Many poems in my latest collection deal with moments in our lives when it feels like an entire mountain is ready to come down on top of you,” said McDaniel.

McDaniel read several poems from his new book including “Down the Road,” which is based on interactions between himself and an old high school football coach. McDaniel also read “Blessings of Country Living” and “Newspaper Sailboat,” the meanings of which are open for interpretation.

The poetry reading featuring McDaniel’s latest work also had an open mic segment where two other published Pulaski Poets read selections of their work.

Parks Lanier read from his book of poetry entitled “Appalachian Georgics and Collected Poems,” while fellow poet Clyde Kessler read excerpts from “Fiddling at Midnight’s Farmhouse.”

McDaniels has now published two books of poems, the first being “Family Talks” which centers around familial relations. His third book of poems titled “Rubbernecking” is set to be published sometime next year.

Hash made her poetry reading debut by reading two poems that she penned herself entitled “Guarded” and “Unlikely.”

The poems were intriguing but one wonders how business goes in the town of Pulaski’s only coffee house.

“Business is great,” said Hash. “Especially now that it’s gotten a little bit colder and everyone realizes how much they need coffee in their life.”

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