Sunday, April 10, 2011

Poetry Panel Arkansas Literary Festival

72º ~ cloud-covered skies, a threat of storms, cooler temps after today

I took a wee break from grading yesterday to attend the poetry panel at the Arkansas Literary Festival.  So glad that I did!  I got to hear amazing poems from four wonderful women:  Angie Macri, Mary Angelino, Shin Yu Pai, and Laura Newbern. I wish I had time to write about the poems, but grading duties call.  I'll give you a picture and brief note for each.  Also, many kudos to these poets for persevering under some serious noise conflict with the bands playing in the street outside and no mic until the 2nd half of the time slot.

Angie Macri is one of my colleagues at Pulaski Tech, and it's wonderful to have a fellow poet across the hall.  Also, Angie graduated from the U of Arkansas's MFA program a few years before my arrival.

Mary Angelino came down and read with Angie at PTC last month.  Mary is carrying on the U of A tradition and will graduate this semester.  Based on the poems I've heard her read (and she thoughtfully added new poems for yesterday's reading), I'd say she's going to represent our program well.

Shin Yu Pai works with the Hendrix Murphy Foundation at Hendrix College just down the road in Conway, AR.  I've posted about her work in the past.  It was great to get to focus on her latest book, Adamantine, yesterday.

Laura Newbern's name had been nagging at me to try and place how I "knew" her.  She does have an Arkansas connection, but when I read her bio it finally clicked.  She is the poetry editor for Arts & Letters, and I've seen her name in correspondence about submissions.  It was great to get to shake her hand and finally put a name to a face.  And the real treat was listening to the poems, of course.

I hope you will google at will and look for poems by these poets.

Finally, send good thoughts to the folks up in Iowa affected by yesterday's string of 11 tornadoes.  Wicked doesn't even begin to cover that wind.

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