Thursday, April 05, 2007

LIT: Thom the World Poet

Thom the World Poet is a phenomenal improv poet from Austin, Texas. He is a founder of the Austin International Poetry Festival, and a longtime host , purveyor, and encourager of poets young and old. More than anything else he is a giver – giving freely of his many chapbooks, CDs, DVDs, graciousness, empowerment, intelligence, his very words and, most of all, his heart. He is a giver of himself. By that he has made my world, and that of countless others, a better place. I get poems in my mail every single day from Thom. Little reminders that there are folks alive who think like i do, who know that words speak truth, who know that all we can do is mend one heart at a time – only Thom’s “time” is mending one heart every second, while the rest of us plod along at one mending a decade or a lifetime.

I hope that by these little films i can help spread his word, and offer them up as some small token of my appreciation for his years of mentoring, ranting, problem-solving – all that giving, giving, giving. If you find yourself in Austin, let me know, and i’ll see if i can’t direct you to a Thom venue; because somewhere, sometime, every night, Thom is healing the world.

Watch here as Thom and Andrew perform You Call Yourself Poets and Every Voice Shall Sing.

The Texas Heritage Music Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Kathleen Hudson and dedicated to preserving and blaring to the world the unique wordsworks of Texas writers. In conjunction with Schreiner University, the foundation offers thematic coffeehouses at the University during the school year. In celebration of National Poetry Month (April), Thom was invited to be the featured performer (along with talented young guitarist Andrew Stone). He wowed a new generation of young writers, and emceed the annual student slam – with students from both Schreiner and Bandera High School competing. It was a fulfilling night.

In addition to the Coffeehouse Series, the foundation puts on an annual Texas Living History Day, celebrates the birthday of the Father of Country Music, Jimmie Rodgers, and provides a scholarship for a promising student musician to attend college. Check them out here:

filmed by tony gallucci at Schreiner University, 4 March 2007; produced by milk river film; Holly Riedel, Executive Producer; special thanks to Kathleen Hudson & Prari Blair, our hosts; and to Joshua Rose

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