A locally written, published and supported book is making a difference.
In January, The Carthage Press reported Claudia Mundell, president of the Joplin chapter of the Missouri Writer's Guild, happily handed over a copy of “Storm Country” to Jennifer Seaton, director of the Carthage Public Library. The book was published in 2011 as a way to contribute to the Joplin tornado relief.
“When people buy 'Storm Country,' they are basically making a donation to help rebuild school libraries damaged by the Joplin tornado,” Mundell said. “Since writing, editing and publishing were all donated to the project by everyone involved, all proceeds are donated to the school libraries for rebuilding and restocking shelves.”
The book was also used in an honoring event earlier this month. The Joplin Choir sang in the state capitol building's rotunda on March 6 as part of the Verses and Voices project sponsored by Missouri First Lady Georganne Nixon. This project brings together Missouri poets and Missouri composers with both readings and music. This year’s poems were taken from “Storm Country,” and the Joplin Choir sang the premier performance of the Bill Cairns poem set to music also from the book.
“It was so moving,” Mundell said. “The most beautiful event imaginable – the voices were angelic … I attended at the invitation of David Benz, the artistic director of Verses and Voices. He asked me to read my poem 'Weather Tantrum' at that night’s program.”