Wednesday, April 02, 2003

I tried to post yesterday morning about the reading I was giving Tuesday evening, but Blogger ate it. April Fool. Anyhow, it went well. I read as part of the "Lounge Hour" series that the Cornell English Department has for its grad students; it's generally an MFA-student affair but they occasionally invite scholars who write to participate, and I'm very glad they did. I was quite nervous beforehand; it had been a long time since I'd given a reading, even a short one like this (twenty minutes). There's a moment of indecision when you first get up in front of the podium: should I just muddle through this or should I belt it? I belted it. I startred out with three poems from Selah, then four newer poems from the ongoing series Severance Songs, then closed with another poem from Selah. People said very complimentary things afterwards. I love to read, actually, I'm a total ham—I learned that the first day I walked into a classroom as a teacher at the University of Montana. I can't act, I can't sing, but I can stand up in front of students or an audience and crack jokes or even declaim in a reasonably vatic manner. That's probably one of the reasons I remember my days at Montana as nigh-magical ones, because I was discovering how much greater my capabilities were than I had imagined.

Speaking of Montana, Sandra Simonds' blog has been added to the links at left. She's been posting some terrific poems by favorite poets of mine—Paul Celan, Laura Riding—along with her own work and the occasional "interview." Today it's beanie babies.

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