Saturday Oct 21

HopenthalerYear5 It seems only fitting that I write these few words to preface the year’s first Congeries from West Virginia, a place where, most Julys, one could find Shann Palmer. She’d be in Morgantown, attending the West Virginia Writers Workshop, a writing conference she loved and the place, I think, I first met her, years ago, and became her friend. She was like a busy bee, cross-pollinating, introducing folks to one another, making it all honey.

shann-palmer Shann was the embodiment of what keeps creative writing going, what keeps writers like myself employed in the act for which we live. She attended conferences, bought books, and went to readings, of course, but she also wrote and published, she actively spread the good word about writing to whomever would listen, and she was a formidable force for writing and the arts in her Richmond, VA community and on social media. Just last year, for example, I participated in a reading she curated at the Virginia Fine Arts Museum in Richmond. You can see from the photo how much fun we had. She was also the organist and choir director at her church. If not for good people like Shann, where would the likes of those such as I—(such as you?)—be? They are our audience and our support system; they read and listen and find value in what we do, they make writing a necessary, human thing, and so I dedicate this month’s Congeries to Shann, and to those like her out there. Rest in peace, Shann, and I’ll see you on the other side.
 
shann palmer poet