A Passion for Poetry: Flagler College staff member Chris Bodor gives back to the St. Augustine community through words

Chris Bodor with City of St. Augustine Commission
June 16, 2022
"Poetic words are flowers Vulgar words are weeds Pull a poem from your pocket Give the Earth what it needs" - Excerpt of Plant Poem Seeds, by Chris Bodor

Not only is Chris Bodor a dedicated and talented member of the Flagler College groundskeeping staff, he's also an internationally published poet that has made his mark in the St. Augustine poetry community. 

Having been in the poetry "game" since 1996, Chris got his start in the New York City poetry community when "a few people believed in me and gave me a chance to host open mic events and publish my words. Bodor further shared, "my first five years were a time of great growth and opportunity... and all these years later, I am awarding similar opportunities to the youth of today and those new to poetry, spoken word performing, and creative writing in St. Augustine."

April was National Poetry Month, and Chris celebrated by showcasing the creativity, expression, and charm of poetry to the Flagler College campus and the greater St. Augustine community.

Driven by his desire to give back what has been given to him by the poetry community, Bodor devoted his lunch breaks and after-work hours to coordinating the inaugural St. Augustine Poetfest on Flagler's campus. The festival took place on April 8th-9th with help from the College's English Department, St. Johns Cultural Council, and Ancient City Poets.

Inspired by the gifted poet Henry Rollins' visit to St. Augustine for his spoken word tour in April, Bodor instantly knew what day to pick to bring Poetfest to life in St. Augustine.

"In September, the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall announced that Henry would bring his spoken word tour to town on Friday, April 8th," Bodor stated. "The next day, I started announcing that a whole day of poetry events would happen on the following day. This way, fans could stay in town on Friday night and spend the next day celebrating spoken word and all things poetic."

Hosted on the Flagler College campus, Poetfest celebrated creative writing and reciting for all ages to enjoy. The fun-filled day included a dramatic play reading with A Classic Theatre, a story-telling hour for children with Tale Tellers of St. Augustine, book talks, panel discussions, an open mic marathon, and a reading to spotlight three influential poets.

In addition to his work with Poetfest, Chris is the founding member of Ancient City Poets, which publishes a Florida Literary Magazine that features 75 contributors, poems, essays, and images of the sunshine state. This year's issue, AC PAPA Literary Magazine Issue Three, was strategically released in April to coincide with National Poetry Month.

Chris' work and passion for poetry in the Ancient City didn't stop there. He continued to support the poetry community by attending a recent City of St. Augustine Commission meeting. It was there Chris, and the Ancient City Poets were presented with a proclamation to recognize National Poetry Month in St. Augustine. Soon after, the St. Johns County Commission followed suit and recognized April as National Poetry Month by proclamation.