Longtime WyoPoets member and Past Wyoming Poet Laureate Pat Frolander was presented with the Emmie Mygatt Award at the Wyoming Writers conference banquet June 7. The Emmie Mygatt is the organization's highest honor, given for exemplary service to the organization.
Other WyoPoets members receiving awards were Art Elser's Horizon Award for his first major publication, his poetry chapbook titled We Leave the Safety of the Sea, and Gayle Mansfield Irwin's Milestone Award
Although the award left her speechless at the conference, Pat has shared a few of her thoughts on her selection for this year's award:
"I was dumbstruck to receive Emmie Mygatt Award; no easy thing to hush me up! Wyoming Writers, Inc. is an organization of writers whom I hold in high esteem for their dedication to craft. Accepting the Emmie is tantamount to winning the Grand Prix, World Cup, Indy 500, Super Bowl, and Wimbledon all in one. It is truly an honor and privilege to be included with the many wonderful recipients of the past and by far, one of the most humbling experiences of life. Heartfelt thanks to all who have included me in their circle of fellowship."
Katie Smith nominated Pat for the Emmie Mygatt Award. The following was taken from her nomination letter:
"All members in Wyoming Writers, Inc., bring gifts to the organization, and they bring their writing careers, hoping to learn from others and grow individually. In over 40 years we’ve had many careers advance and in turn make major literary contributions. Patricia has been one of those authors making outstanding contributions to our organization and Wyoming’s writing community.
"In Pat’s membership years, she has developed a love and knowledge of writers who have gathered to make our group. She has taken time to learn what each member writes, learned about their dreams, home and family, and if they are interested in sharing their time and talent to serve Wyoming Writers as a board or committee member. In 2012 during her dual role as board president and treasurer it became apparent the organization needed a membership drive. By the time conference convened in Laramie over 60 plus new members were added to the rolls of Wyoming’s oldest writing organization. This recruiting effort was invaluable to move the organization forward. During this same year, with Pat as president, Wyoming Writers hired its first administrative assistant to design a website and newsletter to benefit the organization’s members.
"What makes Patricia Frolander so unique is that she makes every person feel special. Before this conference is over, many members of Wyoming Writers will have been greeted by her. She will have shared her riches of friendship, that she is a lover of dogs, horses, family, and a good laugh! She will offer to each person she meets in some small way a bit of her most impressive asset—her most gifted quality, her time and knowledge given freely, by doing for others from the bottom of her heart."
Congratulations Pat, Art and Gayle!
Vicki Windle, who lives in Casper, is this month’s featured member. She joined us at the WyoPoets’ open mic April 18, 2014, in Casper. When her name was called, she bounded to the stage with such excitement to be a part of this event. Remember the joy of sharing a new poem or finding a fellow poet’s work that captures a moment or a place? Read on to see her response to “What are your writing rituals?” You’ll see how that exuberance manifests itself in her poetry.
As a teen, I wove poetry from ribbons of longing, bound with angst. Then I became “an adult”. I succeeded after decades of working, studying, parenting, teaching, and struggling to ascend the escarpment of being a solid member of society. I retired in 2013 after 32 years of teaching elementary school and with a master’s degree in early childhood.
I discovered that putting my head down and pushing was a good way to reach my goals, but I missed some scenery. In 2006, I started traveling to Peru, Italy, the Caribbean, the Galapagos Islands, London, and Hawaii.
A writing class at Casper College in 2010 set me on fire. The writer in me had been cocooned for too long and burst forth -- whole. Although I’ve been writing for only these last four years, I have a deep well of experiences from which to draw.
I belong to the Casper Writers’ Group and WyoPoets, I have read at the Metro Coffee House, The Art of Coffee, and the Nicolaysen Art Museum all in Casper, Wyoming, and at the Patris Art Studio in Sacramento, California. Two of my poems, “October” and “Timeless” were recently published in the WyoPoets’ Weather Watch; Poems of Wyoming. My friend Cory McDaniel and I performed for ArtCore’s Music and Poetry series in 2011. Cory and I will again perform at 7:30 p.m. on July 21, 2014 at the Metro Coffee House in Casper.
I enjoy reading poetry because I find its brevity and directness transcendent. Writing poetry is the only way I can put words magical and profound enough to describe the feelings I have for what I see in the world.
I don’t know if random writings at 3:00 a.m. or leaping from the shower to scribe with an eyebrow pencil on the bathroom mirror qualify as rituals. The poem below came from one of these profound moments.
Sometimes I Wax
Warm clay pearls fall
from an undone chain of random thought,
rolling, scattering, pooling
in my heart,
with point of pen
and thread of ink
upon a page
Here, WyoPoets asks its members to summarize their writing lives, poetry backgrounds and inspirations. We hope that if you are not a member you will think about joining. If you are a member, this is a chance to learn how other WyoPoets’ members get their poetry onto paper. Submissions receive only minor edits. Each poet’s voice clearly shines through. If you would like to share your poetry experiences, email Myra L. Peak for details.