On Sept. 9, 2020 from 6 to 8 p.m., the Kentucky Derby Museum will host a virtual reading for the Second Annual Poetry Derby, organized by the University of Louisville Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society.
This year’s theme was “The Starting Line.” Writers from Louisville and beyond were asked to compose poems engaging lines from the work of Kentucky poets Frank X Walker, Nickole Brown, Maurice Manning, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Wendell Berry, and Kentucky transplant Ada Limón.
I am thrilled to be included in this year’s reading. My poem, “Dad was born on Derby Day” was named a finalist and will be published in the accompanying chapbook.
The poem touches on my relationship with Dad, the unseen injuries members of the military face and parental loss. The Poetry Derby’s theme had special meaning to me this year. Dad was raised in Kentucky. Though I only became a resident of Louisville a few years ago, I’ve always felt a strong connection to the state. In fact, I was born on Derby Day. My poem’s title is derived from my birthday: the day Dad became a father. It engages lines from Rebecca Gayle Howell’s “No One Was Born Here.”