I've spent much of this week commuting to the evening poetry readings at The Frost Place in Franconia, NH, where the 28th Annual Festival and Conference of Poetry is about to conclude (the final reading is tonight at 8, by Jane Hirshfield). Here are two short gems from the "talk between poems":
From David Keller, at the point in the evening where one acknowledges the muse: "I'm indebted to both Bill Matthews and to a poet named Chase Twichell, whom I've never met, who showed me how you get dirty jokes into a poem -- I owe her!"
And from Tony Hoagland, as he moved into reading a pair of "summer poems" that he'd brought: "When I was a younger poet I never in a million years would have considered description interesting, but I guess we get used to it. I guess I just couldn't tolerate the stillness!"
Hoagland, by the way, dipped into politics, shopping malls, Musak, and love, as he addressed about 60 people in Robert Frost's barn, with the ridge of mountains darkening behind them. One of the first to step up to him after the reading, to have books signed, was fellow guest poet Kimiko Hahn; Hirshfield, who arrived just as the reading began, clearly enjoyed it too, and Wyn Cooper, Ellen Dudley, Meg Kearney, and Martha Rhodes were among the other poets I noticed in the gathering.