Creative word celebrated at NE Texas poetry contest in Mount Pleasant

Creative word celebrated at NE Texas poetry contest in Mount Pleasant

LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Businessman Nigel Christopher chose East Texas over his native Great Britain.

His decision seemed as natural as a sweet gum tree changing color.

"Some time in the first part of November, it will turn a brilliant red color," Christopher says.

Christopher writes what his eyes see. So does Maryna Otero, who grew up in Ukraine.

They were among several speakers at today's 7th annual poetry contest at northeast Texas Community College.

"There is war in Ukraine," Otero says.

Otero teaches foreign language at Mount Pleasant.

She wrote of how her kindergarten-aged daughter likens Ukraine to the color red, for war and suffering, and Texas with green.

"I asked her, 'Why is Texas green.?' She said, 'That's easy. Everywhere we go, everything we see is green grass.'"

Otero and Christopher were among dozens of people, all from different backgrounds, celebrating their love of creative word this morning.

"Texas was able to become a global state. It was able to embrace differences. It was able to embrace the ethnic richness of each culture and become one."

"Is Shelby Blevins here today? Right here, you are."

Organizers wanted poems in this year's contest to reflect different viewpoints of Northeast Texas.

Poets say writing captures their thoughts and relieves stress.

"It helps me express myself, release my thoughts, release my emotions sometimes," Otero says.

Otero keeps her iPad and smart phone handy for inspiration.

"It's a quick thing, a couple of seconds to put my pen in my iPad and start recording what I'm thinking," she says.

So when East Texas inspires this poet, it's not lost, and the creative word lives.


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