The Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry, founded in 2012, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity organization that works to ensure that people can have an enlightening, educational and often life-changing experience of poetry.
ROMP does this in a variety of ways:
- ROMPfest & Wonder City Wordfest: An annual free festival of poetry that celebrates the form in our lives and invites people from all walks of life to experience the joys of poetry
- Poetry Contests: ROMP conducts an annual Oklahoma Poem Contest with cash prizes and other contests for specific events, such as the Pryor Creek Comic-Con where ROMP conducts an annual Hero Poem Contest and Founder’s Day with a Locust Grove poem. Other seasonal contests are also offered. These contests have no entry fee and always have cash prizes.
- Chalk Art Contest: ROMP sponsors a chalk art contest at Locust Grove’s Founder’s Day Celebration with medals awarded as prizes
- Workshops & Appearances: ROMP director Shaun Perkins appears free of charge or for reduced fees to spread the word of poetry at conferences, workshops and festivals throughout the state and region. ROMP also puts on free workshops for people of all ages and backgrounds.
- Museum: The museum is a free, interactive place for people of all ages. People can engage in the experience of poetry inside the museum with the exhibit and also outside with the Poems in the Pasture labyrinth.
- Poet’s Retreat: ROMP runs a Poet’s Retreat in a small house next to the museum. The retreat is available for nightly rental at an economical price for writers and others wanting to relax and explore their creativity.
- ROMP Rummage Store: The rummage store in downtown Locust Grove opened in February 2016 and survives on donations. It helps fund the museum while also serving as a low-cost place for local people to get clothes, dishes, bedding and more.
The museum particularly needs funding for the following:
- Rent, insurance, property tax, and utility bills at both the museum and the rummage store
- Prize monies, medals, and certificates for poem and art contests that ROMP sponsors
- Funding to pay for guest speakers, poets, lecturers, etc. at ROMP events
- Advertising: The museum is 6 years-old and is still working to ensure that people know it exists
- Director Travel Expenses: ROMP Director Shaun Perkins travels the state and region when possible to promote ROMP at conferences, festivals and more.
In addition, the museum and poet’s retreat are both in need of fencing around the property. Funds for that project were diverted recently to the replacement of the entire well system at the retreat/museum. The museum also needs a fresh coat of driveway gravel.
GRANTS: ROMP has applied for and received grants in the past from the Northeast OK Area Electric Cooperative (poetry labyrinth signs and benches) and the Oklahoma Humanities Council (funding for two events), but grants are harder to find and attain nowadays.
The last Wonder City Wordfest was paid for solely from the proceeds of the ROMP Rummage Store and Poet’s Retreat. The expenses, over $1,000, included a guest speaker’s fee, print advertising, poetry and art money awards (given to 25 different people of all ages), medals, posters/flyers, and supplies.
The 2020 exhibit that ROMP has planned is a celebration of the centennial of the 19th amendment, securing women’s right to vote. This exhibit will be interactive, educational and fun and will allow people from rural Oklahoma and all over to experience this bit of history in a poetic way. The cost of the exhibit, including artist fees and materials, is something ROMP is also needing funds for.
Donate to ROMP
Donations can be sent to ROMP at PO Box 1243, Locust Grove OK 74352. A tax receipt will be sent in return. You can also donate with a credit card or Pay Pal by using the button below:
If you cannot donate, please consider booking a stay at the Poet’s Retreat or do some shopping at ROMP Rummage Store!
THANK YOU for helping bring poetry to people across Oklahoma and beyond.
Thank you for doing what you do, spreading the love of poetry and creating this retreat. I’m inspired by your story about creating the museum to pass down through generations, and even after 3 hours there, I felt like there was still so much to uncover, new details with every examination. The secrets of the place are abundant, and finding them was a true pleasure. It reminded me of the joy of artistic creation and provided a place of safety in a world that doesn’t always support the artist’s life. For a brief moment, I felt like a true artist. I only wish I had come sooner, so I could go back more often.–Cheryl Kutcher