COLUMBUS – Local poet and songwriter Tom Adamson not only recited his poems but he also sang them to his audience during a poetry-reading event held Saturday afternoon.

The Columbus Public Library hosted the event for the first time this year as part of its adult programming.

Despite the event being an adult program, attendees were free to bring their families and children, said Kelli Keyes, customer service librarian for Columbus Public Library.

Keyes received an overwhelming amount of entries during a poetry contest last year. She then realized that there’s a hefty number of community members who enjoy poetry and hoped to attract that particular audience through the poetry reading.

During the poetry session, Adamson and his partner took turns reciting the poems from his books. The floor was opened to audience members on multiple occasions for them to ask questions and provide feedback.

Adamson recited his poems with emotions like sadness and anger followed by different hand gestures and facial expressions as his audience followed along.

Most of Adamson’s poems – if not all – were based on the people and things around him. There were poems about his mother, father and even about a quote he happened to come across one day.

“When I have a thought that keeps me awake, I’ll keep it,” Adamson said.

The poems Adamson writes have musical influences and can be made into songs, he said. 

Adomson's audience was engaged when he started singing his poems. There are poems where “he sees Johnny Cash singing it.”

Adamson read from three books. His upcoming story will be available at the library in July.

Towards the end of his presentation, Adamson advised his audience that “the rhyming has got to be dynamite” when it comes to writing poems.

Adamson, who is also an associate professor of business at Midland University, has written upward of 1,400 songs and poems that have been published in 21 different books. He's held poetry readings in Omaha, Lincoln, Hastings, Fremont and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In the audience, David Scharff said poetry isn't his “cup of tea” but the event sparked his interest. He enjoyed the poems and found them exciting because of their unexpected endings.

“Once I got here, I really enjoyed it,” Scharff said.


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