On Friday, May 14th, I and several amazing poets from the Midwest are taking part in the Poetry Society’s “ Centennial Event, A Celebration of Midwestern Poetry, co-sponsored by Rain Taxi Review of Books:
THE FUTURE OF MIDWESTERN POETRY
Dobby Gibson, Sarah Fox, G.E. Patterson, Sun Yung Shin, Michael Walsh, and Bryan Thao Worra, with Robert N. Casper
This will be a panel discussion, featuring emerging Twin Cities poets, on Midwestern poetry in the 21st Century. Admission is free. It will be at the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts Gallery,Open Book, 1101 Washington Avenue S. in Minneapolis.
I'm not reading poetry this time around, but will be engaged in a discussion with these poets and the audience regarding a few key questions:
What are some of the general attributes (thematic, aesthetic, philosophical) of Midwestern poetry? and how do we think our generation of poets are continuing and contributing to the Midwestern poetic voice, or challenging them? And is it useful in our work?
For me in particular, I look forward to these questions, even as I know it's a sprawling one. Having grown up in Michigan, learned most of what I know of poetry while in Ohio, and applied it in Minnesota and now around the world, when they ask me, are such categorizations useful, and do I feel connected to other poets in the region or the Twin Cities, this isn't as easy as you might think.
Lol. I'm planning on being VERY frank for this panel. Well, not Frank Chin-level Frank, but still... Don't miss out on this one. It ought to be a hoot.
You can visit the Poetry Society of America at http://www.poetrysociety.org.
The Poetry Society of America, the nation's oldest poetry organization, was founded in 1910 for the purpose of creating a public forum for the advancement, enjoyment, and understanding of poetry. Through a diverse array of programs, initiatives, contests, and awards, the Poetry Society of America works to build a larger audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the art, and to place poetry at the crossroads of American life.