Guest Speakers



About our Guest Speakers
We occasionally have guest speakers at our meetings so we can enjoy poetry and find out more about writing, publishing, and poetry.

A Texas Poet: Gentle breeze or blended storm?
By: Shirley A. Hammond

Image: John Wilhite

John Wilhite entered the Poetry in Progress group somewhat like a gentle breeze. He presented during his inaugural meeting like a blended storm. He filtered out the doors at the end of that June 1st meeting like a ghost. His pockets were a bit heavier, thanks to the sales of his book, "Texas for Newcomers: Snapshot of Heroes," with illustrations credited to his wife, Magda Wilhite.

The native of the Lone Star State displayed his patriotic passion in the poems and accompanying snapshots in the book, and then gave PIP members a wealth of information when he spoke of Texas history and read some poems from the book. He sprinkled a motley mix of fact, insight, themed poetry and a valuable cache of knowledge into his presentation.

Two things can be said of him – he loves the state of his birth, and he is a word master of the highest order. He knows all too well how to explain concepts and poetry types in such a way that audiences grasp his meaning and become enlightened about things that were previously hard to grip; such as iambic pentameters and the different type of poems and the meters or rhythmic structures couched therein.

A great command of the English language comes in handy, and he has that in spades. In fact, his book, self-published through print-on-demand company, IUniverse, has eloquence all throughout its pages. In the book's introduction, he shares a scintillating distillation of Texas history. He uses words like adulation and abrogated. Others may have gone with the more popularly known words like admired and abolished.

Wilhite helped PIP members to "see" what he meant. His explanations about Texas history would put many history teachers to shame. His knowledge of poetry would make some members in the great hall of poets blush. His love of history became a contagion in the room. His artistry with words is legend. Poets who write about their state often become famed ambassadors of those states in a special way.

The teacher/instructor, poet and historian hats – he wore them all well. When he answered our bevyof questions, we were further awed by his expanse of knowledge. He answered one question about his early start with poetry by explaining how it was common for teachers during his early education to make children memorize poetry. Seems like this stood him in good stead.

So, to sum up the evening, the occasion, the person and the book – by any measure, all top tier.

[Editor's note: My thanks to our PIP member and writer par excellence, Shirley Hammond for this excellent article on John Wilhite who was guest speaker in our June 1, 2015 meeting. Please see our piece on Shirley's publications.]




Guest Speaker: Pamela Michelle at March 4, 2013 PIP meeting
Poet and author, Pamela Michelle, has been writing poetry for over 30 years. She has recited heImage: Pamela Micheller works at local poetry shows and at New Mexico State University, where she performed various works for the student body with great reviews. Her poetry has also been used in a local stage play production. The Limo, Reflections from the Road, is her first published book of selected poems. She currently resides in Desoto, Texas.

At the Poetry in Progress meeting Pamela gave an inspirational talk about her journey as a person and a writer. She read some of her poems, discussed the concept of her new book,The Limo: Reflections from the Road, and shared insights on the creative process, self publishing and copyrighting. Her presentation was warmly received and one of the participants present said: "Not only was the information she shared very helpful, but she inspired me to begin thinking about compiling and publishing my poems."

Past Guest SpeakerImage: Janet Boyanton
Janet Boyanton, Esq.

Janet Boyanton spoke at our June 6, 2011 meeting. Her topic: "Copyright Laws for Poets and Writers." Janet is a writer, an attorney, and has also written poetry, some of which she shares at our meeting. Her recent book is: Alone and Alive: A practical guide for dealing with the death of your husband.









Charlie Morgan    Please see this page for announcement of Charlie's death and a poem

Charlie R. Morgan spoke to Poetry In Progress on March 7, 2011. He shared several of his poems as well as his writing process. He answered many questions with verve. He was very supportive and understandImage: Poet and novelist Charlie Morganing of our groups members.

Charlie Morgan is an internationally known poet and novelist. His poetry is rich with imagery and proceeds from a remarkable imagination and ability with word play.

According to the information accompanying hisnovel, See Through, Charlie is a native of East Texas and a product of the 1950s. His stories are about people from that era and area. He lives with his bride of more than 40 years, Pat, in Garland, Texas. His proudest creation, daughter Page lives with her husband much too far away. As you can see from the photo to the right, Charlie is also proud of his grandson who is mentioned in several of his poems.

You may see what a prolific poet Charlie is and find much of his poetry at In his poetry he turns the ordinary vicissitudes and vagaries of daily living into profound lessons and questions about life and the lifecycle.

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