Posts Tagged ‘Nikky Finney’


(Pictured, left to right: Fanny Howe, Juan Philipe Herrera, Raúl Zurita, Daniel Borzutsky, Nikky Finney, moderator)

Description from the 2012 Festival’s guide:

Some poets take the position that poetry must address the political and social issues of its time. Others believe political debate has no place in poetry. Most, even those who don’t write political poems themselves, agree that if a political matter is of personal importance to a particular poet, it is a valid topic for their poetry. Festival Poets consider how and when poetry might/might not be called upon to bear witness.

What actually happened:
To paraphrase Juan Felipe Herrera, “Tenderness encouraging tenderness, making things that haven’t been said come to light.” If ever there was a panel that could bring about tears from sympathy and thumps of the heart drum from inspiration, this was it. The discussion was so enthralling, I completely forgot to take notes! The urgency behind Zurita’s reading in Spanish, the call to stop being polite in writing (literature having been defined as “polite writing”) to affect positively one’s local community, and to further that and take back the entire world. Large aspirations for such small groups words as poems, but the way the panelists spoke and read and bantered could be enough to sway any borderline heart to compassion (and hopefully action based upon that compassion). Don’t let me tell you how you should b affected. Listen* for yourself and get affected! 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 – moderator
Second speaker – Raúl Zurita
Third speaker – Daniel Borzutsky (translating for Raúl Zurita)
Fourth speaker – Nikky Finney
Fifth speaker – Fanny Howe
Sixth Speaker – Juan Felipe Herrera

*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.

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(Pictured, left to right: Narubi Selah, Nikky Finney, Joseph Millar, Gregory Orr)

Description from the 2012 Festival’s guide:

“Can poetry matter?” would not be asked by anyone who has ever attended, performed in, produced or organized any of the open mikes, poetry jams or slams that have sprung up in community centers, church basements, libraries, bookstores and coffee shops all across the country. At these events it is immediately, powerfully obvious how crucial this avenue for self-expression and self-discovery is for many of our young people. This conversation will explore how and where poetry matters for individuals and societies.

What actually happened:
A brief apology: this Conversation was recorded* in a different (very echo-prone) venue with a heavy breather leaning over my recorder. The sound is a bit softer than the other recordings posted thus far and picked up a lot of creaking pews, knocks, and restlessness. That said, it’s worth your while to listen closely. You’ll hear Nikky Finney talk about poetry as witness to all that is happening around us, as force that helps us build alongside others. You’ll hear Joseph Millar talk about influencing and enabling a community’s curiosity. After a quote from Kunitz, Gregor Orr intimately expounds on how poetry is a safe place to mold secrets as well as experience them. Narubi Selah will extend poetry’s realm of pertinent influence to empowerment via self-fulfillment, conscience, and consciousness. And then, all four start honing in on a metaphor that brings everyone’s views together. After you listen, if you think more discussions like this should take place, maybe go and donate a few bucks to the Foundation that made it possible.

Know your voices:
First speaker – Nikky Finney
Second speaker – Joseph Millar
Third speaker – Gregory Orr
Fourth speaker – Narubi Selah

*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.