Sunday, June 27, 2021

Our first conference session went well, I think. The poem under discussion was Frost's "The Line-Gang," an odd little truncated sonnet about stringing telegraph and telephone wires through rural New Hampshire at the turn of the 20th century . . . plenty to talk about as regards communication, both within the poem itself and among the linking notions that arise from imagined stories or lived experiences. 

Today I'm moving myself off the front burner, as the participants will take over the morning with their presentations and then our guest poet, BJ Ward, will fill the afternoon. BJ will also be reading tonight at 7 p.m.: here's his bio and a link to the Facebook Live stream.

BJ Ward is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Jackleg Opera (North Atlantic Books), which received the Paterson Award for Literary ExcellenceHis poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, the New York Times, and the Sun, among others, and have been featured on NPR’s “The Writer’s Almanac,” NJTV’s “State of the Arts,” and websites such as Poetry Daily and Vox Populi. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and two Distinguished Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He works at Warren Community College and has recently been a guest lecturer in Creative Writing at Lafayette College and DeSales University.

Link to BJ's reading--

After four days of silence, the adventure boys checked in last night. They'd been well off the grid, backpacking into Glacier National Park, and their text was exactly what any mother with a tolerance for grubbiness might want to hear.

Paul: We have returned only slightly worse for wear. We are very smelly and have sore feet but are in high spirits.

That, combined with our neighbors' big party--a wedding reception with hours of pulsing African dance music, lots of happy people dressed in white, a big chair for the bride set up in front of the garage, little kids racing around nonstop, and and some kind of after-dark cheering and shouting ritual that I loved but couldn't see--has put me into a pretty good mood. 

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