A group of Franklin County poets has published its first chapbook, featuring the work of eight area authors.
“Three Rivers Reflections,” a 40-page soft cover book, will be distributed to all area libraries.
Pacific resident Jo Schaper designed and produced the book and is one of the featured poets, offering her musings on “Cairns,” “Weird Older Brother,” “Snowbound” and “Our Lady of the Ozarks.”
Shaper also took the photo of the Bourbeuse River that is featured on the cover.
The Franklin County Poetry Club was formed in April 2016 after Missouri Poet Laureate William Trowbridge visited the Union Scenic Regional Library in April 2016.
Schaper and fellow poetry lover Tony Reed were present for the visit and began an email exchange that evolved into a weekly poetry club at the Union library. The group meets on non-holiday Monday evenings and welcomes new members.
“This is non-academic and simply for fun and for people to get better,” Schaper said.
All of the members are over 60 years old and all are partly or totally retired, including former schoolteachers, computer workers, printers and other occupations.
The group has members in Pacific, Union, St. Clair, Washington and Marthasville.
Some of the members write poems, which are read at the Monday meetings, and some members just enjoy listening.
It is an eclectic group, Shaper notes. Some members, like Schaper, have been writing their entire lives, while others wrote their first poem after retiring.
“We’re not necessarily solely senior-oriented and poem styles vary widely,” Schaper said. “We’ve attended some of the poetry events at East Central, but really haven’t caught fire with young people — too much gray hair, probably.”
By publishing their work in a chapbook, the local poets join a host of poetry scribblers who strive to have their poems read.
The group chose the name Three Rivers to identify its work because of the three rivers in Franklin County — the Missouri and Meramec rivers on the north and the Bourbeuse Rivers running through it.
Poets whose work is included in the chapbook are Brenda J. Stemmler, Jo Schaper, Jim Draves, Kevin Duncil, James Hartzke, Mike Hopkins, Ron Howard and Tony Reed.