One of the topics that my gender counselor, Amy, and I often spoke about was how, throughout my life, I always “showed up,” no matter how much my head may be hurting or how depressed I was. The two years that I spent with Amy were probably the most productive years of my life as far as my mental health is concerned. I dedicated the poem “Cognitive Dissonance” in If There’s No Heaven to Amy. I really would like to be able to talk with her now, but I just do not know what happened to her. She just disappeared from my life.
This week, I need to “show up” again for all the events that I will be involved in.
On Wednesday, August 3rd at 7:00 PM at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion Street, Youngstown, Ohio, I will be co-hosting Literary Youngstown’s First Wednesday Reader Series, which will be presenting poets Debbie Allen, Rochelle Hurt, and Alynn Mahle. We will also be celebrating National Watermelon Day.
Ohio Poetry Showcase At The Ohio State Fair
On Thursday, August 4th, at 3:10 PM, I am extremely excited to be reading as part of the Ohio Poetry Showcase at the Ohio State Fair. The Poetry Showcase will take place in the Cox Fine Arts Center. I am extremely grateful to Kari Gunter-Seymour, Ohio’s Poet Laureate, for inviting me to take part in this important event with so many other amazing poets. I have a brand-new poem about growing up in Cadiz, Ohio, which I will be debuting at this reading.
Shelf Life Lit Fest
This is an overly exciting event. On Saturday, August 6th from 12:00 to 4:00 PM at the Pavilion and Amphitheater in Downtown Cuyahoga Falls, I will be participating in the Shelf Life Books Lit Fest. There will be book signings by many local authors, and copies of their books, including my own If There’s No Heaven and the Poetic Memoir Chapbook Challenge, will be available for purchase. There will be raffles, readings, book-centric merchandise, and other vendors. Come out and support a local independent bookstore and local authors.
Autumn Art & Poetry On The River
Finally, on Sunday, August 7th, I will be attending Autumn Art & Poetry On The River, which will also be held at the Pavilion and Amphitheater in Downtown Cuyahoga Falls from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. This event is organized by No Frames Between Friends and Poetry Is Life Publishing.
Barbara Marie Minney is a transgender woman, poet, writer, speaker, and quiet activist. She is a retired attorney and originally from West Virginia. Now based in Tallmadge, Ohio, her first collection of poetry entitled “If There’s No Heaven” was the winner of the 2020 Poetry Is Life Book Award and the Akron Beacon Journal Best Northeast Ohio Books 2020. It is available at www.poetryislifepublishig.com. Follow her at www.barbaramarieminneypoetry.com.