Posts Tagged ‘Henri Cole’


(Pictured, left to right: Jane Hirshfield, Henri Cole, Arthur Sze)

Description from the 2012 Festival’s guide:

There is a quality of mindfulness, of staying present in the present, that poetry can foster in us, can sometimes require of us. Even a four hundred year old poem requires this kind of presence from us. This may have been what Mark Strand had in mind when he wrote that we must “slow down for poetry.” Festival Poets explore how this slowing down, this quality of presence and attentiveness, is essential to poetry, and also seems deeply connected to how we remain alive in the world with open eyes, ears, heart and mind.

What actually happened:
Due to a missed train, we join in progress a Conversation between audience and poets that wanders between presence of poet in poet, of poet in their writing, of poet in world and vice-versa. How do the inclinations of introverts reflect something essential enough to the outside world as to reap an effect from those who give their presence to it? Why does it seem lyric poems epitomize presence? The most wonderful aspect of this panel was the degree of influence the poets seemed to have on each other, often leaving the next to speak dumbfounded for having exposed a greater truth…like reading a poem. Give a 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 – Henri Cole
Second speaker – Jane Hirshfield
Third speaker – Arthur Sze

*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.


(Pictured, left to right: Timothy Liu, Henri Cole, Dan Bellm)

Description from the 2012 Festival’s guide:

“From Sappho to Whitman to Ginsberg to Rich, poetry as we know it would not exist without the contributions of the gay community. No doubt members of the gay community, like those of many other minorities, have found and forged some of their sense of community through the shared experiences and feelings communicated through poetry. How personal pride is discovered and fostered through poetry and the poetry community will be part of this conversation.”

What actually happened:
Not to harp on what wasn’t, but one of the scheduled panelists, Nikky Finney (pictured right), could not make it. This made the discussion rather lopsided in terms of which sex had its say, or as Henri Cole put it, a “matterhorn of cock.” Despite the panel being comprised entirely of males, there was a great diversity in personal experience and perspective … especially when the audience Q&A got rolling. Going in alphabetical order, each poet took turns revealing which poets/poems spoke to them initially, providing comfort in an openness and community which they had yet to know. One of the highlights of the discussion was Timothy Liu likening homosexuality to poetry in that both are something undefinable and affective but not necessarily without reason, a force that brings together the spiritual and the sexual. Another rather fascinating point was brought up by Dan Bellm, when he said the sense of community he’s experienced has existed less in flesh and blood than on the page, referring to a camaraderie he’s felt with poetry written by and reflecting the gay perspective rather than with most people in the world-at-large. Questions from the audience also brought up a lot of good talking points, so go ahead and check out the entirety of the discussion and Q&A 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 this possible.

Know your voices:
First speaker – Dan Bellm
Second speaker – Henri Cole
Third speaker – Timothy Liu

*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.


(Pictured, left to right: Henri Cole, Fanny Howe, Terrance Hayes, Larissa Szporluk)

Description from the 2012 Festival’s guide:

“Is poetry’s purpose ‘to hold the mirror up to nature’ or ‘to teach and delight?’ Should a poem be an organic form that grows naturally out of the poet’s attempts at self-expression or a ‘well-wrought urn’ we admire as much for its construction as for its content? Is it a clearly told story or a collage of images linked by dream logic? This conversation will explore how our assumptions about poetry and form influence our sense of what a poem is or what is possible in poetry.”

What actually happened:
Focusing more on the effects of form than differences between truth vs. fiction, the panel began with each poet reading aloud poems that audibly illustrate the difference in sounds that come from different types of lines. Poets discussed long vs. short lines, the rhythm and direction of sentences, structure as afterthought or compliment to original ideas, and form as corrective or saving grace to original ideas. Questions then arose as to whether constrictions serve as a prohibitive force or one that fosters creativity by coercing abnormal contortions. There’s so much more offered up with so much more eloquence than I’ve offered up here, so check out the entirety of the discussion 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 this possible.

Know your voices:
First speaker – Fanny Howe
Second speaker – Terrance Hayes
Third speaker – Henri Cole
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.