In 1982, Frank Schier arrived from Seattle to Rockford and literally at my doorstep with the question, So whats the literary scene around here? That was the beginning of a special literary friendship that would continue for more than two decades. It included creating The Writers Theater, giving readings throughout the citys ever-changing venues, having a home base in the old Post Office, creating the Rock River Poetry Contest, and my own first chapbook of poetry. And that was just the first year…
Since then, Frank took over The North End Times, now The Rock River Times, and I continued doggedly to pursue writing. Through it all, the need to teach, share, mentor, grow and develop other writers has been a real thread in the tapestry of our literary friendship. Thus, we begin 2006 with the resolve to provide a weekly column on all things literary. We hope this short but sweet column will provide that literary hook to the local community as well as the larger community of writers throughout the country.
Our vision for this column includes the following: announcements, previews and reviews of local literary events; book reviews of local and national books and literary magazines; practical advice on the business of writing; the newly expanded Rock River Poetry and Prose Contest; announcements and guidelines (when available) for reputable literary contests; reflections on the writing life; information about organizations useful to writers; profiles of writers; and questions and answers as they arise in this column. Stay tuned for more each week!
Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet who has written several books of poetry and formerly wrote a column called The Writers Garret for this newspaper.
From the Jan. 11-17, 2006, issue