My week has been heavily poetry themed, even more-so than usual. On Wednesday I saw the very funny and engaging Ron Padgett read at the Beinecke Library. He read some of his older works as well as some new poems which will be appearing in a book in September. Padgett also recently edited Kenneth Koch: Selected Poems for the Library of America's American Poets Project. Padgett has a wonderful sense of humor and is great at working crowds but doesn't this pic make him look like the skull of death?
And yesterday I attended For the Love of Reading: A Celebration of Poetry, featuring J.D. McClatchy, Elizabeth Alexander, Margaret Gibson, and Connecticut State Poet Laureate John Hollander. This event kicked of the International Festival of Arts and Ideas and New Haven’s Big Read of To Kill a Mockingbird.
From April 13, 2007 to June 10th 2007, residents of New Haven will come together to read Harper Lee's classic novel and the city will be buzzing with a series of book discussions, performances, screenings, and literary events. This initiative is taking place all over America and is a great way to encourage literacy, providing communities with the opportunity to read and discuss a single book.
After the reading, I made my way back to my apartment and stopped into Atticus Bookstore and Chabasco Bakery and got a loaf of bread for free! Well, not entirely free. You see, in celebration of National Poetry month, Atticus & Chabasco have been promoting the quote by El Salvadorian poet, Roque Dalton, "Poetry, like bread, is for everyone" and have been giving a free loaf of bread to anyone who comes in on Fridays in April and reads a poem out loud. I stood in front a podium, rang a little bell to get the store's attention, and read a poem from David Lehman's book, The Daily Mirror and received a fresh loaf of garlic ciabatta bread for my troubles. Who knew poetry would have me raking in the dough?
How are you going to celebrate National Poetry Month? If your mind is coming up blank, here are 30 suggestions from the Academy of American Poets.