Sunday, May 23, 2010

Had a great time at the Skagit River Poetry Festival yesterday. I was not a presenter this year, so could just enjoy as audience. Such a relaxing day!

Some of the highlights for me:

La Conner itself: such a great little town, with one main street, the Swinomish Channel running by, and lovely old homes with gardens.

Running in to all sorts of poetry friends old and new. The whole town seemed to be populated by poetry people!

Alicia Ostricker saying, in response to a question about poetry as therapy: "Poetry is not therapy; it's diagnosis." I love that notion!

Molly Tenenbaum reading her poems about colors in the art museum, surrounded by paintings.

Mary Cornish's wonderful poem about Chinese footbinding.

Patrick Lane's poem "Details" about the political prisoner in South America, kept standing in a 30x30 foot cell for six weeks, memorizing the details of the wood on the cell door.

Michael Dickman reading so softly and powerfully from End of the West at Maple Hall.

Alberto Rios reading "Refugio's Hair." I have heard it many times before, but it still works.

Lunch at Kirsten's with Kathryn. Amazing heart of romaine salad, tomato bisque soup, and fresh halibut fish tacos. Wonderful light pouring in the window. Scintillating conversation.

Robert Wrigley's poem about being a conscientious objector in Vietnam, and comtemplating the piece of lettuce stuck in his commanding officer's teeth.

Susan Rich's wonderful poem about the death of her mother: "Breathe~!" -- and Lorraine Ferra's beautiful short poems, also about the death of her mother -- read at Methodist Church, the last session of the day.

A lovely drive home, until I got to around Northgate, and the traffic wound up in a knot. Arrrggghhh. I just had to remind myself to remember the poetry, and breathe.

PS: a pic just sent to me by Kelli (from her iphone). I'm sitting on the porch of the Quilt Museum, on a break between sessions, reading Elizabeth Austen's new chapbook: The Girl Who Goes Alone.


Jeannine said...

Sounds marvellous, Peter!

Oliver de la Paz said...

Ah! I wish I could've made it down. Next year, perhaps.

Peter said...

Hi J-9 and ODLP
Though I was there for only one day, I thought it was a good conference.

See you Tuesday at your Open Books reading Oliver!

Oliver de la Paz said...

I would've only been able to make it for the Saturday, had I not had daddy duties. Oh well. I've seen Kelli's pictures and it looks like fun!