Friday, September 28, 2007

Poetry This Weekend: Brattleboro, Vermont

Whew! First the Jewish holidays swept through all schedules here, followed by an unbelievable surge of editing assignments, topped off by a massive set of thunderstorms this week that knocked out our power and then our Internet service. It feels GREAT to be coming back toward normal (or at least, as much so as Kingdom Books ever aspires to reach).

If your calendar allows, this weekend is the one to tag for the Brattleboo Literary Festival ( It launches tonight with Augusten Burroughs (Running With Scissors) and Haven Kimmel (A Girl Named Zippy), but the poetry doesn't start until Galway Kinnell's reading Saturday morning at 11 in the Centre Congregational Church. After this week's scenes, I've been thinking of his epic work "The Fundamental Project of Technology" -- but he's actually more likely to read from STRONG IS YOUR HOLD, his latest collection. It's a great opportunity to hear this magnificent Pulitzer Prize-winning poet offer the tenderness, gentle humor, and wisdom of these meticulously crafted late-life poems.

Other poetry readings scheduled:

Saturday, September 29
2:00-3:15 Laure-Anne Bosselaar and Ellen Dudley Hooker-Dunham Theater

Sunday, September 30
2:00-3:15 Martha Rhodes and Kurt Brown Hooker-Dunham Theater

Bosselaar has treasured US Poet Laureate Charles Simic's teaching; Dudley offers the passion and freedom of a wild-woman-grown-deep; and Rhodes, whose schedule as editor/publisher at Four Way Books doesn't allow her on the road all that often, is a treasure to hear. Her latest work tackles the emotions around her mother's illness.

I confess I don't yet know Brown's work, so here's the blurb from the festival web site:
Kurt Brown has published four collections of poetry: Return of the Prodigals, More Things in Heaven and Earth, Future Ship, and Fables from the Ark, which won the 2003 Custom Words Prize. He was the founding director of the Aspen Writer’s Conference 30 years ago, and was recently the Bruce McEver Visiting Chair in Writing at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

No authors of mystery at the festival this year -- but tomorrow I'll be posting a review of Archer Mayor's tightly plotted new police procedural, CHAT. Stay tuned.

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