Proof of Our Active Active Lives:

Vincent & Lily & Cinnamon the Horse
Vincent & Lily & Cinnamon the Horse

Last weekend was incredibly full:  fun and hijinks with Galway Kinnell and Cinnamon the Horse within days of each other!  Can you see how frighteningly fearless Vincent is and why I lay awake at night?

The pictures below are of the Collected Poets Series reading with Galway.  Directly below, his grandchildren perform with him.  Then, there’s Lea Banks, CPS’s founder & impresario, with Tim Mayo, poet, previous CPS reader, and committee member.  Finally, there’s me, Lea, and poet Susie Patlove.  All of the pictures were taken by Laura Rodley, who is a wonderful poet in her own right, and whose chapbook is now available for pre-order at Finishing Line Press!  But more on that later…

Galway & Grandkids
Galway & Grandkids
Lea Banks & Tim Mayo
Lea Banks & Tim Mayo
Me & Lea & Susie Patlove
Me & Lea & Susie Patlove

Galway Kinnell & Mark Helprin.

Bookslut has a wonderful commentary up on one of my favorite books of all-time: A Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin. Besides being a magical story gorgeously told, this book seriously altered the trajectory of my life. The article on Bookslut by Barbara J. King is far more articulate than I’ll ever be.


Galway’s reading last night was indeed packed, and in fact we had to turn people away at the door because we’d reached our maximum capacity. Some folks had wisely come very early to stand in line, but the tardy were out of luck. The Collected Poets Series committee works really hard to present these free poetry readings, so while we’re sad anybody missed out, I think it’s great when an overflow crowd shows up for poetry!

Galway read wonderfully, of course, and shared the “stage” with his 2 grandchildren for one poem as they provided the refrain — “Ha ha! Ha ha!” I think it was. They did a great job. He took a break about halfway through to take questions, preferring that a reading end on poetry, not poetry chatter. He was funny, self-deprecating, and once again displayed his proclivity for endless revision: as he read one poem, he stopped, trying to decide which version to read, the one on the page or the one in the margins. He decided, when he was done, that he probably had read us the lesser “revisioning.” I can’t imagine many writers confessing that!

He closed, as I will this post, with this short poem:


Whatever happens. Whatever
what is is what
I want. Only that. But that.

Collected Poets Series: Galway Kinnell!

Exciting news!

This Sunday, July 6th, at 7:00pm, the Collected Poets Series is sponsoring a special reading with the poet Galway Kinnell. He will read from his work at Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge Street, Shelburne Falls, MA.

Galway Kinnell has received the Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Frost Medal, and a MacArthur Fellowship. In the nomination for the 2003 National Book Award, the judges called Kinnell “America’s preeminent visionary” whose work “greets each new age with rapture and abundance [and] sets him at the table with his mentors: Rilke, Whitman, Frost.”

Kinnell’s volumes of poetry include Strong Is Your Hold; Imperfect Thirst; When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone, Selected Poems; The Past; Mortal Acts, Mortal Words; The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New World: Poems 1946-64; The Book of Nightmares; Body Rags; Flower Herding on Mount Monadnock; What a Kingdom It Was; and many others. He is the editor of The Essential Whitman. He has also published translations of works by Yves Bonnefoy, Yvan Goll, and François Villon, and Rainer Maria Rilke.

He is renowned as an especially sensuous poet and moving reader. By giving public readings since 1960, Kinnell has been influential in making the poetry reading a part of our cultural life. Galway Kinnell has served as the State Poet of Vermont, and was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University for 25 years. He is currently a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. He lives in Vermont.

I’ve heard Galway read twice before, and he is simply tremendous, and so generous with his time. This is sure to be a standing-room-only event, so get there early!