ITINERARY Country Fried Panda Fest
7 pm Poetry & Music @ Lewis Mathis Music
522 Washington St, Shelbyville
622 Main St, Shelbyville
20% off to-go orders for Fried Pandas Only @ The Bell House
dining in but you need to make a reservation NOW
6pm Poetry & Music @ Lewis Mathis Music
522 Washington St, Shelbyville
@ Chandler Ridge Cabin 9771 Vigo Rd. Bagdad
Event for Waddy Sign & Emergency Fund
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3/23/23
Bree Bodnar (616)216-4715
2982 Waddy Rd. #2 40076
Equidistant from Louisville and Lexington, smack-dab in the middle between Shelbyville and Frankfort, Waddy, KY is truly the heart of it all. Self-proclaimed ‘Waddy Bodies’ take great pride in their town and sense of community. A former resident made and kept up a sign welcoming folks to Waddy located near the train tracks on 395 (Waddy Road). In his absence, it became weather-beaten. With splintered wood and peeling paint it no longer reflected hometown pride, and was removed. Bree Bodnar began to solicit donations to make a new sign durable enough to withstand heavy storms. She knew having a slogan could come in handy in many ways. For example, shirts, hats, bags, keychains and other merchandise that read ‘Waddy the Heart (symbol) of It All’ could be sold at street fairs or in local shops, and monies could go towards an Emergency Fund: a handful of Waddy residents could review an application, and decide, for example, whether to pay a resident’s electric bill.
Local Sign-maker Geoff Tomes’ company Liberty Metalworks makes signs from solid sheets of steel with a plasma cutter, and powder coats at the end to make his signs durable and long-lasting. He is donating his labor for a sign, only charging for materials. Homeowners Joshua and Megan Tucker-Manly are happy to have the new sign on their property where the original stood. Many residents would like to see an additional sign near the truck stops, so folks driving by who never heard of the town might see it. Resident R.T. McKinley has given his permission to place a sign on his land at the corner of Bardstown and Waddy Road, across from Loves filling station, should enough monies be raised to cover the cost. Bodnar raised enough money for the first sign by selling T-shirts, tote bags, and mugs with the new slogan at www.bonfire.com/store/bree-shirts-and-more . She has also made bumper stickers available for $5 at 6th & Main Coffeehouse, The Barrel Room, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
To determine what the sign would look like Bodnar made half a dozen mock-ups using various fonts and placements of the words Waddy the Heart (symbol) of It All. She posted the examples on Facebook group Waddy 3,000 and over 200 residents voted. There were two overwhelming favorites she and Tomes are using as a basis from which to create the final design.
The day the first sign goes in, Tina Glosson, minister at the Waddy Christian Church, is hosting the first family-friendly, non-church-related fun-day which she hopes to repeat each warm month of the year. Saturday, May 20 at 12 noon just after the first sign is put up, there will be a community gathering, with live music by local talent Lil Jimmy Ritchie from 1-3 p.m. plus free pulled pork sandwiches, sides, and drinks provided by the church. Shaved ice is a possibility! Local business sponsors are invited to send their logo to email@example.com for it to appear on the program for the event in exchange for a minimum donation of $40 towards the second sign and emergency fund. If you would like to make a donation send monies to Waddy Sign Project c/o Waddy Christian Church PO Box 2 waddy, ky 40076.
UPDATED Official Country Fried Poets, ZOOM, Tentative
THE FOLLOWING ARE COUNTRY FRIED PANDA FEST POETS
who will join us for the first-ever poetry fest in Shelbyville, KY
this June 9-11 ~ Stay tuned! 6 events in 3 days!
Eric Scott Sutherland
Jonathan S Baker
Joshua Lew Mcdermott
Kerry Jensen Trautman
Ryn Ann Griseto
Steven B. Smith
William Taylor Jr.
Steven B. Smith
IN BOOK IF NOT IN PERSON
Kerry Jensen Trautman
This Blue August ~ Two Books in A Single Volume
my book This Blue August (Green Panda Press 2023) arrived and i have plenty of copies if you would like to get one. i can sell it for a lucky $13 shipped to your door, or you can get it at Amazon for a lot more.
paypal as friend/family to firstname.lastname@example.org cash.app/$TheArtistBree check/cash to 2982 Waddy rd. #2 Waddy, KY 40076
Proceeds go towards Country Fried Panda Poetry Festival in Shelbyville, KY
Country Fried Panda Fest – its poetry y’all
Country Fried Panda Fest June 9-11 2023
there is a luxury cabin sleeps 28+ its 1200 divided by however many people stay there. poets or folks just coming to hear a bunch of poets – please let me know whether you want to stay in the cabin – thanks
here is a list of participating poets, several tentative at this point, as it is so far into the future…..
Upcycle The Book and The Learning Curve
Operation Care had placed my book Upcycle on their shelves for sale. All sales were to go to the transitional housing program for women and children, which needed costly maintenance. A volunteer who helps man the store sometimes was offended by something in the book and removed all copies from the reach of customers.
We had a meeting- the director and two staff of Operation Care, and myself, regarding the book, the flyer i made for the benefit event, and how we ought proceed.
as you can see i put two hope poems on the flyer which would serve as the program for the benefit event July 23. i wrote one poem about God and perseverance, and beside it went a poem which is among just a tiny handful i have written that i believe anyone in the world could identify with, since it is about being ‘eachother’- just the same. no more. no less. brother and sister.
however, not only did the org members at the meeting not identify with the poem, it rather offended them. they do not believe we are ‘alone together’- they believe we are with God. my poem does not exclude God, rather i dont use the word so that my words could apply to each of us. the word God could put some people off from the poem – they might not read it. i wanted to reach every person with this poem. my idea of us just being ‘eachother’ was interpreted as me saying we are alone together without God – which of course my poem does not say.
the poem meant we are in this together- whether we go to church, pray, atone, have faith in a God or serve a master, whether we are surgeons or clowns, northern, southern, red, white, brown…
in addition to the poem, the director pointed out words that may offend the reader, should they not have read the accompanying text, which explains the lines of a song in the Upcycle book, which contains all the lyrics to my 40+ songs.
i said, the words of this song are the reason i became a poet who would serve her community, as i am here, serving you. i asked whether anyone in the room had read my book? had they read my essay about how i came to be a poet or write songs in the first place? how they healed me, and enabled me to thrive despite trials and abuse?
they admitted they had only read some parts of the book.
this being said, i have art on my blog which is political in nature they did not think their donors would care for, and so they wanted no further association with me as an artist. they would not be selling the book in their brick and mortar.
truly, they hadnt done their due diligence. only at the 11th hour had they discovered art on my blog that disagreed with the points of view of their patrons, and so forth. anything i did i had passed along for approval, but at this point they wanted me to put out the flyer as it was- except make the part that mentions proceeds go to Operation Care really small.
it was a learning lesson. i learned along the way that the library was going to have yoga lessons until members of the community complained that there must be separation of church and state. i knew where to tread, and how lightly. i also learned who my allies were and who i will work with in the future, to spread community in this town which seems to be just now burgeoning with culture.
i said you still want me to do the event? you want the money?
they laughed and said of course. the following day i gave the first Upcycle workshop. i felt extra inspired and full of mojo. i began by explaining how i spread Gods love through poetry. being a poet is not all about writing. it is the way one carries herself, the way she responds, her POV. that to reach the widest audience, i leave words like God and Jesus out of my books, not wishing to lose a percent of the audience straight away. that each poem means whatever you get out of it when you read it. that you could read it years later and it could mean something else entirely.
i reached a few of the women- in our hearts we have the same stories. the same struggles and achievements. the striving for balance. the belief in ourselves. this was all that mattered to me in the first place, when i conceived of this vast project Upcycle.
i didnt try to sell my book at all. i was afraid who i may offend- it says in there- you are a vacuum /and i am a witch /who got carried away by her broom …
some people would take that literally. there are witches, ive been told, who lived right there in the town. and since i would rather move on to my next project here without being cast off – i did not release the album on the day of the benefit event as planned. i sure didnt want anyone offended by my lyrics to think Operation Care stood behind them or me as an artist.
i am grateful to Operation Care, their many volunteers who gave plenty of time to the Upcycle cause- plenty of work hours for the workshops and benefit event. the zest and zeal and dedication to make the workshops and benefit great as possible was never lost on me. with plenty of moral support, it was not a struggle to keep my ego and pride out of it, and complete what i set out to do as well as i possibly could, being me, rather than being the artist Bree.
i am utterly grateful as well, to the women i met- in particular Melissa Jesse, Rose Maggard and Sheila Fow- who sat and had tea with me repeatedly, and worked always with such brilliance and enthusiasm, through the very last minute of the event.. your passions humble me as i write this- and continue to give me much strength- i was able to rely on you while our shared faiths emboldened each other.
New Check Out My Album Upcycle New
The album costs $10, but if you pay $20 or more i will send you a copy of the book Upcycle: Art-Making to Break Cycles of Trauma and Create Something Valuable
the book contains the lyrics to my songs with anecdotes and info on their origins, plus an essay about how song-writing and poetry enabled me to know myself, and what i wanted to be doing. In the process of living mindfully and meaningfully, creating when i could, i healed old wounds and now have 44 songs to show for it. (altho i wrote a 45th since the book came out- The Suicide Hotline Blues)
(cover art made from a photograph of a rubbish bin taken in Graefenberg, KY)
Announcing the Release of My First Album Upcycle
i suffer migraines continuously, 24 hrs a day. i generally wake feeling my best, and by 3 pm or so i seriously decline. but i wake early, so i get almost a full shift feeling well and highly-functioning. then i cook and eat and tidy things and typically recline the rest of the night in front of the tube, where i will ultimately sleep.
recording Upcycle, there was an air freshener in every outlet, probably at least 30 of them visible to me, just walking through the studio. they are my number one trigger, and once i have a migraine from air fresheners, i will be sick for days. the taste of the chemicals will adhere to my tongue- i could brush my teethe multiple times but still taste them. i get sea sick and nauseated, often with vertigo, and the most awful shooting pains.
but this was our one shot at making the album, and there was just under two weeks to accomplish it. i took a lot of medications, drank double the water i normally might, and just buckled in for the ride.
another common migraine trigger is called ‘let down from stress.’ this means, once the body completes a 70 hr work week, or came home from a beach vacation, the migraine may wreak havoc.
meanwhile, rain, and quick changes in the barometric pressure of the atmosphere is a next major trigger. and so is pms.
so when the adrenaline wore off a few hours after the Upcycle event July 23rd, one mighty migraine set in, and there it stayed put until September 9.
i was beginning to wonder whether it wasnt permanent. i had lived two and a half years at the level 8 of 10 pain, never to come down to a seven or six. i had done it with a spouse and caretaker- and yet here i was, by myself and doing ok. i was ready for this to be a next phase in my life.
but Labor Day weekend the migraine pain was scattershot. and finally, my routine of waking up well and doing what i can until i cant resumed.
and the first thing i did when i felt well enough was to release the album Upcycle-
13 songs (two are bonus tracks) they are a diverse sampling of my 4 dozen songs.
i fancy myself a song-writer, poet, and artist more than a singer. the songs and poems i wrote told me who i was and what i ought to be doing. they showed me the sides of myself others might not generally see- and demonstrated to me how to reveal those sides, along with the rest.
In the book Upcycle, i explain how and when and why i began writing songs. All of my lyrics are in the book as well…with some anecdotes and info on the song origins. I invite to to listen and read and see what all has shaped me via song.
The Upcycle Event – and Afterwards
The Upcycle event at the Stargazer Plaza on Main in Shelbyville raised $2015, which is amazing because it was near 100 degrees. This was why almost all of the action took place between 11 am and 12:30 pm. Monies were raised through sales of upcycled art and furniture, raffle tickets, books, locally baked goods, musical performance, and various tip jars situated near the food donated by Chef Brent at The Bell House, and at the demonstration booths run by Sheila Fow and Melissa Jesse.
There was a page and a half article about the event and my vision for it that ran twice in The Sentinel News – once for subscribers, and a second time for every country resident. This was the reason many attendees cited when i asked what brought them to the event. One woman said she wanted to make art, and another had brought a broken bird house she wanted help mending, and upcycling. Some came for the raffle, and most all said they were in support of Operation Care, and the women in their transitional housing program. Folks of all ages lent a hand- one 9 year old girl raised $21 for Operation Care by making and selling lemonade.
I am satisfied with the monies and awareness raised- considering that being outside in the heat was the last thing most bodies desired. Had it been a more temperate climate, many more people would have come along to see what we were doing. The notion of upcycling as art-making to break cycles of trauma and make something valuable and empowering was imparted to the public by the artisans and other volunteers, and I was able to meet many allies from the greater community.