Reading Recap & Poetry

Oh, the reading last night with Pat & Tim was just great. Tim was so genial & at ease as he read, his commentary spare, the verbal equivalent of white space on the page for me, gave his poems air to breathe. And Pat reads with this little smile on her face, like she can’t wait for us to hear what’s next, mischievous & delighted. And rightfully so: “roly-poly cross-eyed baby” indeed! I’ve been a fan of Pat’s poetry for a long time, but I never knew how funny she is!

After, we walked across the bridge to the West End Pub, who kindly feeds our poets each month, where we interspersed poetry conversation with movie talk. For the record: I know it was revolutionary when it was made, some men in my life consider it one of the best films ever, but “2001” is the most tedious & long-winded & self-indulgent film in creation, and could’ve begun & ended in 20 minutes to no ill-effect. Seriously.

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The March issue of Poetry came in the mail the other day. A new feature this month: after each selection of poems by a poet, there’s a Q & A with the poet regarding those poems. Interesting in theory, but I haven’t read it yet.

I’m actually happy that Poetry has expanded its prose section, even if sometimes the reviews feel more snarky than substantive. But I could do without the letters section. This month, a few folks wrote to disagree with Clive James’s piece on Ezra Pound from a previous issue– I enjoyed it, but I’m not a big Pound fan — and I thought they were very thoughtful responses. Then, there was the obligatory retort by James — and I was disappointed. I found his tone disrespectful and slightly offensive. Completely unnecessary and jarring after the considered quality of the letters.

Reviewers/Critics: unless there’s a point of fact to be made, resist the urge to respond to those who criticize you — let your piece stand as its own defense, it’s far better equipped for the job.

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That’s plenty of grandstanding for one evening. Get thee to Ross White’s for some lol poet hilarity!

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