This is in reply to Scott Holstad's post. Famous poets I've read and met. You won't find me swooning over film stars or politicians, but poets! The poets
There was time when our Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation had an active poetry reading program. Lequita Vance-Watkins, herself a poet, was a genius in finding the money to host the readings, but she has since moved to Vermont. I didn't realize until recent the incredible loss to our community. I hope when I am "retired," I'll be able to fill the void and resurrect the readings to bring young poets like Evie Shockley, Susan Browne and Cheryl Snell. (The best way to introduce the young and relatively unknown would be to pair them with those of renown as openers and ask the latter to read several of the young poet's work.) The Tor House and Lequita brought--to name just a handful--Rita Dove, Jane Hirshfield, Galway Kinnell, Robert Bly and James Wright's widow, Annie Wright.
The photos below were snapped when I was neither wild about poetry nor particulary aware of the stature of these makers but simply joined in the fun. It was probably better that way as I wasn't nervous/silly in awe when I was at dinner with them. LeQuita took me under her wings and invited me to have a meal with the poets before their evening appearance at the Sunset Center. I have since read the visiting poets with intent and in amazement.
Below, Carolyn Kizer and Belle, 1994. Oh, to think I was with the poet of "Pro Femina"! She had a lifelong connection to Asian culture.
1994 with hot Li-Young Lee. You must read "Rose"!
1995 Lunch with Adrienne Rich (far right). Swoon.
I know it was with Lequita's encouragement and influence in my 30s that I have developed my yen for verse.
If a society does not cherish its poets, it earns leadership like the current President Bush. I pray the poetry of the future President Obama will not be dulled over time by the iniquity of politics.
Causes Belle Yang Supports
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