(Pictured, left to right: Larissa Szporluk, Aurthur Sze, Rachel McKibbens, Terrance Hayes)
Description from the 2012 Festival’s guide:
Adrienne Rich wrote there is no such thing as an “American Poetry.” Instead, there are American Poetries, so many divergent schools that no single style or aesthetic can be singled out as the definitively “American” one. Festival Poets consider what we might gain from this diversity and by listening more closely to each other.
What actually happened:
I arrived a tad late, so I (and you, vicariously) missed the first poem read by Terrance Hayes. Most poets thereafter read one poem of their own and one from an international author. This set the tone for discussing the influence of international authors on American poetry, which led to points on the safety experienced by writers in America and what that means for their writing. Other talking points included the breakdown of the Academic wall’s standardized style and the rise of new voices. Most of the panel kept coming back to influences, and most of the influences mentioned were foreign, thus why I asked the last question in the Q&A about which qualities of American writing the panelists would consider valuable to the rest of the world. You don’t want to miss any of this discussion, so check out its entirety below*. It’s well worth the listen! Then maybe, if you think more discussions like this should take place, go donate a few bucks to the Foundation that made it possible.
Know your voices:
First speaker – Terrance Hayes
Second speaker – Rachel McKibbens
Third speaker – Arthur Sze
Fourth speaker – Larissa Szporluk
*This recording is not sanctioned by the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival or its associated Foundation and is solely offered in faith that 1) no-one reads this blog anyway, 2) it was for the benefit of poetry and those who appreciate poetry that the event took place, and 3) supposedly the Foundation’s own YouTube channel will soon offer coverage of this event anyhoo. In short: please don’t sue. Email me, and I will remove the link permanently as well as delete the files in question from their source.