MY ART STORY by

Ken Bolinsky

Brookhaven
Mississippi

For the past seven years I've been involved in Poetry Out Loud in my state and, this morning, had just settled into the dentist's chair for my annual visit when the hygienist reached into my mouth and began to monologue:

"You're into art, right? Well, a couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were watching TV—PBS, maybe—and we saw this program with kids reciting poems—Mississippi kids, and REAL poems, not ones they'd made up themselves—and it was amazing! They were so calm and so serious and they spoke so beautifully—they weren't like any kids I know. I could really understand what they were saying—well, not, I mean, the words, I mean what the poems were really about! The kids really knew what they were talking about and so I got it, too, you know what I mean? They were just awesome!"