Events 2024

Poets House, New York, NY
April 3, 2024

 

Westchester Poetry Festival, Dobbs Ferry, NY
April 6, 2024

 

Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA
April 9, 2024

 

Birdhouse Theater, Milledgeville, GA (with Alice Friman)
May 14, 2024

 

Normal’s Books & Records, Baltimore, MD (with Dustin Junkert & Shane Moritz)
June 1, 2024

 

Reinhardt University, Waleska, GA
June 19, 2024

February 2024

BROOKS & HECHT

It grows harder, while teaching, to sink into something I’m not reading for a class. But this month and last, as my graduate class read poems by T.S. Eliot and then Gwendolyn Brooks, I read the first part of Brooks’s autobiography: Report From Part One. Here are notes on her childhood, her children. On teaching; on her trip to East Africa. On her poems, early ones, and on poems to come. Unsurprisingly her prose is rich and warm and sometimes bubbling and always exacting—”…even in writing prose I find myself weighing the possibilities of every word just as I do in a poem,” she tells an interviewer. (“I’m a black poet,” she tells the same interviewer, in 1969, “and I write about what I see, what interests me, and I’m seeing new things.”) From an early section:

Dreamed a lot. As a little girl I dreamed freely, often on the top step of the back porch—morning, noon, sunset, deep twilight. I loved clouds, I loved red streaks in the sky. I loved the gold worlds I saw in the sky. Gods and little girls, angels and heroes and future lovers labored there, in misty glory or sharp grandeur.

Also, poems from a very old copy of Anthony Hecht’s The Hard Hours (1968). The page-paper so thick the pages feel almost like sailcloth. A favorite is “Behold the Lilies of the Field,” as well as a sonnet (after Du Bellay) about voyaging home that contains this line:

But slate is my true stone, slate is my blue.