Poet says libraries help people better their lives

The poet said his work is shaped by history and his experience.
POLAND -- Presenting his work to benefit a public library system is a significant event for poet Michael Mott.
Mott, of Williamsburg, Va., will read selections from his works at 7 p.m. Thursday at Poland Library as a guest of the Literary Society of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.
"Libraries are certainly vital to me as a writer," Mott said Tuesday from his home. People can, of course, read his works at public libraries, but he also knows writers who were self-taught by reading public library materials.
He said his wife, Emma Lou Powers, grew up in rural western Virginia and earned admission to The College of William and Mary because she "read everything she could get her hands on" from local libraries.
Born in London in 1930, Mott was living on the outskirts of London when the city was being bombed during World War II. Mott vividly recalls that when he was a 13-year-old, adults "put shovels in our hands and told us to start digging" -- to help try to find people buried under the rubble of their homes.
Mott said he first began writing poetry at 7. History and his own life experience shape his work. He studied history at Oxford University and is fascinated by history that doesn't make it into history books.
The American Civil War and the French Revolution are some history topics of his poems. An artist in Victorian England who brutally murdered his father is the subject of his most recent published work, "The World of Richard Dadd."
Students can attend Mott's presentation for $5. Other admission prices are $15 for the general public and $10 for Literary Society members.

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