At the Ohioana awards luncheon on Saturday I was fortunate to share a table with Michael J. Rosen, who won an award for his terrific book The Cuckoo’s Haiku. My good friend Michelle, who also sat at our table, confided that the book had inspired her and her husband to write some bird-related haiku.
I thought I would try my hand at some bird-related haiku — but what bird? When I walked around the golf course today, the answer quickly became apparent, because on one hole the tee featured the signature calling card of the Canadian goose, Branta canadensis. It is a noble looking bird, but it must be the messiest, loudest, most obnoxious bird found anywhere in the world. What better subject for a haiku?
James McCormac, Dan Chaon, Sharon Draper, Rita Dove, and Michael J. Rosen (left to right) discuss the creative impulse
The weekend began with a bang last night with a reception to honor the award winners. The evening featured a welcoming speech by Ohio’s gracious First Lady Frances Strickland — who has been a true and faithful friend to the Ohioana Library — good food, a fine selection of Ohio wines from Valley Vineyards, a fascinating and spirited panel discussion by some of the award winners, poetry readings, and a wonderful, moving performance of a song by Jorma Kaukonen, who has won this year’s Ohioana citation for music.
Jorma Kaukonen performs
I love Ohioana Day. It makes me feel good that my home state has produced such creative people and fostered such talent. I always come away with a deep respect for the thoughtfulness, humor, and discipline of the writers and artists who are recognized. I also always learn something new about my state — whether it is about the humble insects humorously described by writer James McCormac during last night’s panel discussion, the deep Ohio roots still felt by Rita Dove, or the fact that Jorma Kaukonen, one of the founding members of the Jefferson Airplane and a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, helps to teach guitar to aspiring musicians at the Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp, located on 125 acres in Meigs County. Who knew?
Congratulations to the Ohioana Library and all of the award winners on this special day!