A Rainy April Night

Sometimes I wish I could just sit down and write poetry, instead of setting up all this social media stuff—poems are much more fun!  Ah, well, it’s for a good cause if it gets the word out there.  So much wonderful poetry and writing information, and so many events!  I love that I am getting to meet new people who have such interesting and diverse points of view! 🙂

Hanover Poet Laureate

I am incredibly excited to be named as the new Poet Laureate for Hanover, PA.  What an opportunity!  I will be able to share my poetry with the community in so many new ways!  I can hardly wait to begin my tenure, sharing not only through this blog, but through a variety of public appearances and workshops.  A copy of the press release and my acceptance speech appear below:

HANOVER, PA:  JoAnne Diodato will be appointed as the new Poet Laureate for the Hanover, PA area at the regular Hanover Borough Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Hanover Municipal building.  The Poet Laureate position was established to promote, encourage, and seek ways to share poetry with the citizens of the Hanover area.

The Poet Laureate is charged with specific duties, including:
Penning poems to commemorate public events and community traditions
Encouraging and educating young people to produce poetry,
Rhetorical recitations before public gatherings as required, and
Encouraging community enthusiasm for poetry.

Ms. Diodato brings to the position her unique combination of skills and background, with degrees in both Nuclear Engineering and Education, as well as several technical publications, to her credit.  One of the first members of Hanover Poets, she has garnered various poetry awards, and her poems have been featured in a number of anthologies.  She participates in regional poetry readings, critiques, and juried shows, and she has appeared in “Culture and Main” on WRCT-TV.  Her work blends whimsicality with science and everyday observations to give voice to a rational yet touching view of the world around us.

Ms. Diodato hosts the Hanover Young Adult Writers Group at the Guthrie Memorial Library in Hanover. She is active in community choral and theatre groups, and she also performs as a festival musician/vocalist.


I would like to say thank you to the former Poets Laureate and to the Poet Laureate Selection Committee for choosing me for this honor. I would also like to thank Mayor Adams and the Hanover Borough Council for supporting the establishment and continuation of the Hanover Poet Laureate position.

This is my goal:  to gather poetry from the people of the community, to provide a forum for their voices as well as mine. The skills of writing poetry are part mechanics and part art, and they are skills that can be learned and honed like any craft. To this end I am pleased to announce that, as my first endeavor, and in celebration of National Poetry Month this April, The Teen Advisory Group at the Guthrie Memorial Library – Hanover’s Public Library and I are organizing a Teen Poetry Contest for students in the Hanover area.  I hope that this activity, and many more, will help make poetry a dialogue and shared experience for us all.

In today’s world, we sometimes forget that poetry is a form of communication, and as such it demands a dialogue, a two-way street, in order to mean anything. It can’t just be written for people and read to people, it must come from the people themselves.  This is what I hope to achieve during my two-year tenure.

Musings: The First Line…

Writing, for me, can be messy.  In fact, it can be downright painful.  I have almost wrecked the car on more than one occasion when ideas come to me and demand to be written while I am driving.  Of course, the flip side to that is the torture, especially with poetry, of not being able to find the right word or phrase that will fit, no matter how much I beat my head against a wall.

I want this site to be a place of shared ideas and experiences, of information exchange and helpful tips, of discussions that provoke thought and creativity.  So please send your ideas, events, poems, comments, and questions!

Welcome to my world!

It Don’t Come Easy

Write, write, and write again.
Iambic, romantic, aesthetic . . .
Should it rhyme or should it not?
Does it matter if sounds

like a John Philip Sousa march
stomping through my head?
You make it look as easy as
Pillsbury Dough Boy rolls,

poke a finger in his tummy
and pull out a poppin’ fresh poem.
My thoughts are racing, whirling,
tumbling like Brownian molecules

escaping from my brain
faster than I can write.
My feelings, writhe, scream,
wrenched from my pen

at three a.m.
in an agony of creation.
Somehow they never sound
the same on paper.

© 1997 JD