Posts Tagged ‘malena morling’

Panelists: Nancy Morejón, Dunya Mikhail, Kwame Dawes, Malena Mörling

What could’ve been a very insightful banter between four poets whose nationalities differed as much as their relation to the United States did turned into more of a reading than discussion. In this all too short session, the poets, with the exception of Kwame Dawes, spent most of their time reciting poems instead of articulating their points. Of course, one could argue that, being from other countries originally, the poets felt more comfortable reciting what amounted to the passive haven of scripted lines as opposed to the daunting task of taking part in unpredictable banter. One could also argue that, hell, these are poets. They speak through their work, so why not let the work speak? I’ll answer the latter: because audible ingestion of poetry takes a quick wit and unflinching concentration. In short, speaking in poetry, while a wonderful exercise, does not make an accessible argument. It’s reflective rather than provoking. It ended up that Dawes read one poem to kick things off, and then the effect snowballed thereafter, with one poet reading as many as 5 poems. I believe Kwame’s heart was in the right place, and truly set a stage for great discussion, but his setup was foiled by the egos and anxieties every poet shares.

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