Chipola College Poetry Society
The idea for a poetry society and publication grew out of a road-trip conversation between future curators, Kurtis Neil McInnis and Shaun O. Smith, in April 2019. It was National Poetry Month, and a number of local poets were about to celebrate by reading their original works at the inaugural Chipola Poetry Café. Desiring to capitalize on what seemed to be a burgeoning poetry scene in Marianna, McInnis and Smith solicited other like-minded literature enthusiasts, and, in pretty short order, Grass Routes was born.
The name “Grass Routes” was chosen because of the group’s grassroots art philosophy: bottom-up, not top-down (i.e. grassroots). A quick play on words later ended up at “Grass Routes.” The society meetings are democratic events. The members sit in a circle and read new material to each other. The aim is to hearten and affirm without critique. It is not a poetry class; it is an artists’ collective whose purpose is to facilitate, encourage, and inspire its members as they hone their individual craft. More good poetry is needed in the world, and the ambition of Grass Routes is to cultivate the fertile soil that will serve as its seedbed. The physical form of the quarterly publication borrows its homemade aesthetic from fanzine culture’s do-it-yourself ethos. Everything here—from poetry to design—comes from the artistic minds of the group. For more information or to participate, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.