When the Frost Place opens for the season at Memorial Day weekend, two weekends away, my calendar turns heavily to poetry. Sure, it's my turn on the board, so that first weekend, I'll probably be at the house where Frost lived while he wrote his most noted poems ... except I'll be sweeping, raking, fetching trash bags, whatever the site stewardship team needs. Although I hope to take a few minutes to sit on that inspiring front porch and overlook the mountains in Franconia Notch, I won't be writing poetry just then -- or even reading it.
But the poetry unfolds from there. Here's the action-crammed schedule of free public poetry readings that executive director Jim Schley has planned, with an amazing group of top contemporary poets. I'll try to post reminders on the blog now and then, with some samples of their poetry.
And when do I write my own? Usually after one of these readings. They're so provocative that it makes my fingers itch to shape my own lines and stanzas. I figure it's a lot like going to church or synagogue: I disagree at least half the time with the sermon, which pushes me to realizing and putting into words what I really do believe. In the same way, once the elation of listening to strong poets mellows to plain ordinary joy, I find I want to get my own style working again on paper.
So in case you have the same pattern -- or just like to know what's hot in the poetry evenings coming up -- here's that list of dates. Hope to see you on the hill at The Frost Place this summer.
Frost Place READING SCHEDULE FOR SUMMER 2008
During the Conference on Poetry and Teaching
June 30 – July 4, 2008
Readings at 7:30 pm:
Monday, June 30: Shara McCallum
Tuesday, July 1: Mekeel McBride
Wednesday, July 2: Alice B. Fogel
Thursday, July 3: J. D. Scrimgeour
Sunday, July 6, at 2:00 pm: James Hoch and Sydney Lea reading,
and a celebration of Dave Schaffer, founder of The Frost Place
During the Festival and Conference on Poetry
July 27 – August 2, 2008
Readings at 8:00 pm:
Sunday, July 27: James Hoch and Cook Fellow from Dartmouth (to be announced)
Monday, July 28: David Wojahn and Linda Susan Jackson
Tuesday, July 29: Jean Valentine and Jim Schley
Wednesday, July 30: Festival Participants Reading
Thursday, August 1: Susan Howe and Ilya Kaminsky
Friday, August 2: Chase Twichell and Patrick Donnelly
Saturday, August 3: Cornelius Eady and Ellen Doré Watson
[at left, poet Cornelius Eady, co-founder of Cave Canem, and at right, Frost Place board member and poet Major Jackson]