Thursday, August 03, 2006

Poets in Vermont: Jane Shore, Galway Kinnell

Jane Shore, teaching for a second time this summer at the Advanced Placement Teachers' Institute in St. Johnsbury, gave generous recommendations to her note-taking listeners: Use Tony Hoagland's collection DONKEY GOSPEL to provide a "masculist" voice in the classroom, balancing today's feminist emphasis, she suggested. And for a wonderful refreshment, offer the student's Joe Brainard's lively little volume of poetic provocation, I REMEMBER. She also endorsed Sharon Olds as a poet whose work unlocks resistance in teens.

Shore emphasized the necessary undertow of her own poems: "That's what's in it for me: that sort of tug that takes you someplace else."

Galway Kinnell read from early and current work last night as the finale to the summer poetry series offered by the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum. Sweltering heat and a failing voice worked against him, yet he still drew the capacity audience into the affection and endless questioning of his work, responding to their care with two encores. STRONG IS YOUR HOLD is his new collection, with release anticipated in October. The post-9/11 volume elevates his lifelong anti-war stance, and also offers tender and delicate exploration of his love for his wife Bobbie Bristol. We recommend that readers pre-order copies of the first edition of this volume, which is sure to be in high demand.

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