Friday, June 06, 2008

Small Worlds: The Dodge, The Earth

The Dodge line-up is slowly reaching completion, and it's pretty exciting. As usual, I'm a bit more excited about the poets whose performances will be away from the main stage, which this year include several current and old friends of the Spoken Word Series (Renee Ashley, Kate Greenstreet, BJ Ward). Of the Main Stage evening programs, I think Thursday and Friday are more interesting than either Saturday or Sunday - which suits me, as I usually run out of energy and/or free time somewhere around 8PM Saturday night. I enjoy being at the festival Thursday, when the programs are intended for students, because that's when the conversation is more about craft and less about "Oh, Mr. Poet, read this one!"

Looking forward to hearing Beth Ann Fennelly, whose book Tender Hooks I've had on my shelf for years; it was one of the first books that started me thinking there was a bit of a market for collections with a young child at the center. Since then, I've seen a few of them by poet mothers; no memorable ones from fathers. You reading this, publishers?

Anyway, here's a bit from Fennelly's "A Study of Writing Habits":

4. Why We Don't Want Our Children to Be Poets

Think about Stephen Dunn
washing his clean laundry at the laundromat
because he wanted to write a poem
about the laundromat.

Think about yourself
thinking about Stephen Dunn.

Here's a bit of trivia about me, just for you, my six loyal readers: Did you see the news about Dwight White? He and I worked at the same company for a short time. White was quite a successful investment banker after he retired from the Steelers, and was an officer at the small (and now defunct) Daniels and Bell, where I was employed during college as (among other things) a generator of mathematical stock price analyses. We only met once, I think in 1986, but I do remember thinking was just what I expected a smart ex-NFL player to be: an impressive, formidable presence. Hearing his name on the radio, aside from saddening me at his passing so young, reminded me that it's really not as big a world as we give it credit for.

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