Hudson man's poetry book benefits Akron theater program

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
Sean Giannetti of Hudson stands near the display created at The Learned Owl for his book of poems.

HUDSON – The proceeds sales of a poetry book written by a Hudson man will go to benefit an Akron theater company that works with adults with disabilities.

Sean Giannetti, a graduate of Hudson High School, said that he started writing poetry about 10 years ago, when he was 18, at the encouragement of a friend.

Giannetti, who is visually impaired and is on the autism spectrum, recently published a collection of those poems in a book titled “On My Own.”

“If I receive something, or after I go to a special event, the first thing I do when I get home is go to the drawing board and write a poem about it,” Giannetti said. “For my birthday, I actually had a poetry party.”

The proceeds from the sale will go to the Center for Applied Drama and Autism in Akron. Copies of Giannetti’s book can be found at The Learned Owl in Hudson and cost $10. Giannetti added that the illustrations in the book “were done by my aunt’s niece.”

Sean's mother Paige said that The Learned Owl has sold 26 books, plus other donations for CADA, so about $400 was raised for the theater program 

Some of Giannetti’s favorite poets include Shel Silverstein, Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman and Robert Frost. In addition, he said he liked the movie "Dead Poet’s Society."

Giannetti works for The Brew Kettle in Hudson as a server. In addition, he has been taking online classes at The University of Iowa and at The Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Illinois.

As well as participating with the Applied Drama and Autism program, Giannetti has also appeared on stage with Young Actors Studio, Hudson Players and Weathervane. He also enjoys participating in poetry readings.

Wendy Duke, the company manager of CADA, said that the theater will have a poetry reading featuring Giannetti's poems on Oct. 12 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The event will be livestreamed on Facebook. Serving as masters of ceremonies for the event are J.T. "Styles" Toomer of Theatre on the Spectrum and Sharetta Howze of Hidden Tr3sures.

"We love Sean's poetry," Duke said. "He is very passionate about the things that give him joy and delight, such as Snoopy and the TV show "Friends". He also loves musical theatre and he is our go-to singer when we are working on creating performances. Sean dreams of becoming an acting coach and is very helpful in giving support to our other company members."

Duke said the members of CADA thought that having a reading of Giannetti's poetry "would be a wonderful way of saying thank you for his very kind donation of proceeds from the sale of his book."

"We are dedicating his donation to provide scholarships to adults with disabilities," Duke said. "CADA is currently offering evening classes in acting, comedy, improvisation, Shakespeare and script writing."

For information on CADA's programs, visit  www.centerforada.org or email   info@centerforada.org.

For details on the book sale, visit https://www.learnedowl.com/.

April Helms can be reached at ahelms@recordpub.com