Brenda Smith’s “Every Seventh Word” after Brian Lackey

The next Art of Poetry tour through Hickory Museum of Art will be September 16, 2017 beginning at 2 pm. All exhibits are up except ENDANGERD: Joel Sartore Retrospective which will debut on the tour date in the Coe Gallery. A binder to peruse for inspiration is available at the 2nd Floor Reception Desk . Submissions for the September Art of Poetry are due September 2, 2017.

Art of Poetry is very excited for one of our contributors, Douglas McHargue, to be releasing her first book of poetry in November from Finishing Line Press. To pre-order “The Woman In Happy Dollar” go to this link:

imageArt of Poetry’s Betty O’Hearn is photographed sharing Brenda Smith’s poem inspired by Brian Lackey at the June 17, 2017 event at Hickory Museum of Art.

Brenda Smith
After “Past Lives” by Brian Lackey

Blessed, blameless, steadfast Lord
Seek nothing
Lie down obedient without shame
rabbits to spring from hands
and sugar-bowl lids as hats
Breasts and bees do adorn your being
Geometry in your cheeks
Holy collar covers
a necklace of blue bruises
and your hips swirl
into legless wonder.

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Doug McHargue’s “How Does It All Shake Out” after Brian Lackey

Doug McHargue

Doug McHargue shares her poem inspired by the Brian Lackey collage at Art of Poetry on June 17, 2017 at Hickory Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Gin Hurley.

Doug McHargue
After “Past Lives” by Brian Lackey

I always heard the book of life
held everything you said and did,
and here it is, ruler included,
talk about precise.

Parts you’d rather forget
painted brown,
maybe they’ll flake off,
just swish them away
with this brush fine ladies
swept their cutwork cloths,
got rid of crumbs,
little sins loitering.

There are darker sins.
Use this knife quick,
before the ledger maestro
sees, cuts them out,
you know the kind,
when you stole blind
Willie’s money, or took
your sister’s man,
or the day you shot
an arrow straight
through a robin heart.

And what about those shelters
where you mopped all the floors
or the boy with no feet
you swirled around the prom
or those dying desert babies
you held all night long,
these are in orange
like every fine sun.


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Beth King’s “Full Moon in the Leaves” after Brian Lackey

imageBeth King photographed June 17, 2017 at Hickory Museum of Art for Art of Poetry as she shares her poem inspired by the Brian Lackey collage sculpture. Photo courtesy of Gin Hurley.

Beth King
After “Past Lives” by Brian Lackey

Full Budding Moon in the Leaves; A Spring
Primrose and Trillium Conscience; Still
A Forecast of a Heartfelt Summer;
Prayers in Easter’s Evening of Restoration.

Sometimes, I Confess, I Do Just Sit
And Think; Sometimes, I Do Just Sit;
But, I Risk Reprisal and Reprimand
Being Labeled Libelously Indolent.

I Persist in My Being Me; Resolute;
Twine of Red Yarn; Tangled Within
A Bride-To-Be’s Endless Reverie;
The Absent Groom’s Undoing.

It’s the Witch Moss That Betrays Me;
I Know Inside Me, I Could Never Be That
Fluffy-Haired Girl Living Inside the Box;
Poetry, Like Jesus, Has Freed Me.

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Details for September Art of Poetry Submissions

imageFollowing are details for the next Art of Poetry at the Hickory Museum of Art:

The submission deadline is September 2, 2017 and the reading will be September 16 at 2 pm.

To submit, simply go to the museum and write poems about the works on exhibit. Please note the dates of eligible exhibits below. Submissions should:
-include name of the artist and the title of the inspiring work
-be typed in the body of an email (do not send attachments)
-be sent to Kelly DeMaegd at
-Art of Poetry will use no more than 3 poems per individual poet
-Art of Poetry reserves the right to decline work that may not be appropriate in content, or of literary quality as determined by its panel of judges. Poems that are overtly political or religious in nature, or poems that are not appropriate for all ages, will not be considered for this program.

Approximately 20 poems will be selected to be displayed at the museum and to be read by the author (or selected substitute reader) at the reading. The reading is free and open to the public. Audiences have ranged from 15 to 45 people. After the reading, with permission of the poet and artist, poems will be posted on the Art of Poetry website at

Eligible exhibits are as follows:

ENDANGERED: Joel Sartore Retrospective
Binder at the 2nd floor Floor Reception Desk – Available July 18)**** Exhibit opens September 16,
PAST LIVES: Brian Lackey Installation (Through September 17, 1st floor Shuford, Regal & Gifford Galleries)
MICKEY & PAUL: The Early Days (July 22 – January, 1st floor Whitener Gallery)
BEER TYPE LOGOS: Matt Everley (Through September 17, 1st floor Entrance gallery
Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection (Ongoing, 2nd floor Windows Gallery
ANIMAL MENAGERIE: Sam Passantino (Ongoing, 2nd floor Objects Gallery)
Glass from the Permanent Collection (Ongoing, 2nd floor Objects Gallery)
DISCOVER FOLK ART (Ongoing, 3rd floor)

Reminder: If you have not signed up for the William Wright workshop on September 23, 2017, please contact Betty O’Hearn at for the registration form.

Hope to have your poetry in the next Art of Poetry event!

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Gene DeMaegd’s “Radio Head” after Brian Lackey


Gene DeMaegd evolved from an Art of Poetry supporter to a participant when this collage by Brian Lackey inspired him to put pen to paper. Stop by Hickory Museum of Art and see what moves you! Photo courtesy of Gin Hurley, taken at the June 17, 2017 Art of Poetry event.

Gene DeMaegd
After “Past Lives” by Brian Lackey

cruising the back roads of Indiana
in a sweet ’66 Chevy van
wearing my black bandana
hoping not to run into the man
slamming in a cassette,
feeling no regret,
cranking up the volume,
only to hear a grinding sound
radio’s eating up the tape

I thought I was listening to Magic Bus,
but, to my dismay, I hear
Another One Bites The Dust

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Tracy Hawkins’s “Hanging Balls With Sticks” after Jonathan Brilliant

imageTracy Hawkins photographed with the whimsical sculpture that inspired her at the June 17, 2017 Art of Poetry event at Hickory Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Gin Hurley.

Tracy Hawkins
After “Building a Smaller Universe” by Jonathan Brilliant

Wrapped in your love
You got me tightly wrapped
The three of us holding it together
We being so uniquely made
We being of different shapes and shades
Not so easily broken
We shall not be divided
We are connected to each other as one
We are knitted ever so delicately
It took time
To weave this union ever so perfectly
The bond we share
Nothing will ever compare
We shall never again be in despair
Cause what keeps me close to you
Has nothing to do with tape or glue
We are flowing together with so much love
Floating in the air like doves
Watching everyone from above
It is just the three of us
GOD, me and you

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Melissa Hager’s “Musical Madness Menagerie” after Brian Lackey

imageArt of Poetry explored Brian Lackey’s Past Lives exhibit at Hickory Museum of Art on June 17, 2017. Melissa Hager was inspired to write about this piece. Photo courtesy of Gin Hurley.

Melissa Hager
After “Past Lives” by Brian Lackey

Big move forces one to declutter,
declassify contents collected.
From a life defined by music,
a box of ticket stubs floods floor,
memories, and tear ducts.
Concerts attended, some not remembered,
the extraordinary rendered tears.
A few made me scratch my head,
rub my wallet wishing the money would come back.
Glass Spider tour experienced Bowie, Peter Frampton on lead;
Boston, singing the words to every song;
Genesis tickets procured after four freezing
nights camping around the Dean Dome.
Billy Joel with Momma and Sister,
jostling for front row with my daughter at many more.
Two decades worth of Merlefest wristbands
represents the best in Americana:
sobs as Jerry Douglas, Victor Krauss and Omar Hakim
unveiled musical genius; witnessing the young son
of a Steep Canyon Ranger pretending
to play bass on the shoestrings of his Keds.
Screaming YES, YES, YES for my favorite band, Yes.
Electric tingles at #1 show, Sir Elton John,
as the haunting strains of “Funeral For A Friend”
fills the cool evening air.
The waste basket beckons.

imageThe Art of Poetry gang behind one of Brian Lackey’s creations at the June 17 event.

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