Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Lifestyles

August 8, 2007

Breakthrough book

Former Blazer teacher gets collection of poetry published

Huntington — While some rarely read poetry, Laura Treacy Bentley gets a daily dose.

“Poetry should be every day, not just at births and deaths and weddings and sentimental occasions,” she said. “People shouldn’t be afraid of it.”

Bentley, a Huntington resident, is the author of the book “Lake Effect,” a collection of poetry published by Bird Dog Publishing, a division of Bottom Dog Press in Huron, Ohio.

One of the first pages of the book acknowledges where many of the poems have already been published and includes such prestigious periodicals as Poetry Ireland Review, Antietam Review, Eureka Literary Magazine and The Prairie Home Companion web site. More locally, she has had poetry published by Wind and the Jesse Stuart Foundation accepted one of her works in a collection of Appalachian love stories.

However, what’s on the cover represents one of the highlights of her writing career: a cover line written by author Ray Bradbury: “Everywhere I look these days no poetry is being written. There is a lot of pretend poetry, but nothing really fine. With this book it makes it very easy for me to say: Laura Bentley, I dub thee poet supreme,” Bradbury writes.

Bentley said she first made contact with Bradbury, author of “The Martian Chronicles,” “Fahrenheit 451” and a host of short stories, anthologies and poetry, by writing him a fan letter.

“He wrote back” she said, adding that he often answers fan letters and maintains correspondence with readers.

A highlight of her career was his asking her to come to California to join him for a reading.

Like many writers, Bentley grew up being an avid reader, coming home with 10 library books at a time as a child.

She majored in English and speech at Marshall University and later earned a master’s degree from the same institution.

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