I had a blast reading at the Wilkes University Maslow Reading Series the other night, as part of alumni night. I was especially happy to share the stage with fellow alums Jennifer Diskin, Taylor Polites, Chris Bullard, and Laura Baudo, not to mention award-winning writers William Heyen and William Kennedy.
Everyone did a good job reading, I thought, and the poets were well represented! I’m glad I got the chance to read a few poems from my chapbook Front Man, considering most of those poems were drafted and revised while I was in the MFA program at Wilkes. But reading a few new poems was even more refreshing. I also enjoyed hearing Heyen read, especially his last poem of the night, a new poem that addresses how print is used less and less. Before he started reading, he handed out small postcards to folks in the audience with one of his poems. Long live print!
I also picked up a slew of books at a sale held by the Osterhout Free Library in Wilkes Barre. During the $3 bag day, I managed to pick up Elizabeth Bishop’s complete poetry collection, as well as works by Russian poet Joseph Brodsky, Randall Jarrell, Robert Lowell, Marvin Bell, Robert Bly, and a slew of other stuff. But I’m most excited to read a memoir by Eileen Simpson called Poets in Their Youth. She was married to John Berryman for a while, and her memoir also includes accounts that feature other big-named mid-20th Century American poets, including Robert Lowell, Delmore Schwartz, and Randal Jarrell. Should be a great read.