Friday, May 15, 2015

We've been harvesting fiddleheads, dandelion greens, chives, scallions, sorrel, and chervil. This weekend the nettles should be ready, and conceivably I can start thinning radish, lettuce, arugula, and spinach sprouts. Yesterday I planted parsley, cilantro, beets, and carrots and wrote two short speeches about Frost Place guest faculty. Tom reconstructed our mailbox post (it was smashed by a snowplow) and saw a yellow-rumped warbler. James telephoned us twice to dither over his exciting summer internship plans, and Paul ran his first-ever 400-meter race in stellar fashion.

The Frost Place conference is approaching rapidly, and suddenly I've received a spate of good news about our faculty. Associate director Teresa Carson's most recent book, My Crooked House, was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize. If I tell you that the winners were B. H. Fairchild and Ted Kooser, you'll understand why her head is spinning. Moreover, guest faculty member Gibson Fay-LeBlanc was just named poet laureate of Portland, Maine--a great honor in a city renowned for its commitment to the arts.

We do have a few openings left at the conference, and I do hope you'll consider attending. When I say you, I mean you, dear regular reader and commenter; dear emailer of reading recommendations and sharer of posts on Facebook; dear friend of poetry who does not write poems but needs them in his heart; dear friend of poetry who does not teach but wants to make poetry a more intense part of her workaday life; dear teacher who loves poems, or is afraid of poems, or can't figure out how to open his students' eyes to them, or is obsessed with opening her students' eyes to them.

You are the people who will stand on that hillside, gazing out into the complicated skies over Mount Lafayette--blue, mist, cloud, rainbow--watching the eagles shift on their thermals, watching the wet granite shine like a dragon's hoard, and know that this is the place where you need to be.

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