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Dodge Poetry Festival 2014: Four Days in One Post

Wow! My head is spinning from the Dodge Poetry Festival this past weekend. So many incredibly brilliant poets who kept us thinking, moving, teary-eyed, inspired and falling even more deeply in love with the art of poetry.

Alice Oswald

The poet Alice Oswald who lives in Devon, England recited her poems from memory. She spoke about living in the English countryside where “there is the almost rude energy of the natural world.” She made buttercups seem erotic. Hmm. She also said that she is “taken by the moon and water because they both know how to change their form.” I have been devouring her book, Spacecraft Voyager 1.


Tracy K Smith

And then there were poets whom I have been following and reading for years.  Life on Mars  by Tracy K. Smith is one of my favorite books of poetry ever. We were treated to new poems by Tracy too.


Conversation: Mirror, Blossom, Urn, Collage.  Cathy Park Hong, Yusef Komunyakaa, Patrick Rosal, Brenda Shaughnessy

I went to three panels with Brenda Shaughnessy and took notes ferociously.  And there was Jan Beatty, who spoke so kindly to a woman in the audience who in her later years had just began writing poetry that audience began to cry.  Marie Howe is always a treat to hear read and speak. She has this miraculous ability to make a thousand people think that she is talking to each one of them individually. Her conversation about her metaphysical poems was perfectly suited for the old church that housed the lecture. Please read her poem, “Annunciation” if you would like to hear one of the best poems ever written in the English language. Don’t take my word for it. Let these images be your guide and get to a bookstore immediately.

Namaste.


Jan Beatty


Marie Howe

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