Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Poetry Cheerleading

Whew! It's been a busy National Poetry Month! Attending readings, reading & buying poetry books, writing poems and reviews, and doing what I can as the unofficial (and official, for Prick of the Spindle), Poetry Cheerleader! Just up in my Poetry Cheerleader column is a review of I LOVE SCIENCE! by Shanny Jean Maney. Read the review here, and buy the book here! Shanny is THE BEST, and I think she teaches at U-High here in town unless she's up and moved to Chicago, where she helped found The Encyclopedia Show, a fantastic performance thing. (I do love science.)

Monday night my mom and I went to hear Ricardo Cruz read fiction and Tim Hunt read poems, and now I am enjoying Hunt's Thirteen Ways of Talking to a Blackbird, a bunch of riffs on famous, frequently-taught poems by the likes of Wallace Stevens, T.S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound. I love the cover, by John Hunt, Tim's son. And I love this particular riff on the wheelbarrow poem:

but if you
want more

than biscuits,
get me

a chicken, that

one by
the fence.

Earlier in April, I attended the second annual SRPR Lucia Getsi Reading of Spoon River Poetry Review at the gorgeous Ewing Manor, also the home now of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Lucia herself wasn't in town yet, but she was able to attend Monday's reading, and I'll see her today at a memorial service for Jim McGowan, a beloved poet, translator, and Illinois Wesleyan professor who died in March. At the reading, Jim's wife, Ann, delightedly showed me the Jens Jensen rendering of the Ewing grounds and gardens. And we both giggled at the coincidence of a poster for the film Noah's Ark, showing opposite Honky-Tonk, with Sophie Tucker, at the rival theatre, with the remake of Noah's Ark also just out!

Wait! I've gone astray. I was supposed to be poetry cheerleading. Well, it's a Random Coinciday. It's also poetry Wednesday at Escape Into Life, where you can read the press release for the upcoming News That Stays News poetry event on April 22, at 7:00 p.m., at First United Methodist Church in Normal, sponsored by The Parret Endowment for Religion, Culture & the Arts. And, for the Hump of the Week, here's Sophie Tucker, "The Last of the Red Hot Mamas."


seana graham said...

Man, you have been busy! But in a much better way than I have, submerged in issues of taxes and California health care coverage.

I liked that chicken poem.

Kathleen said...

Ah, we were submerged in that earlier in the year.

I like the chicken poem, too, and I should clarify that that's just an excerpt from a longer Tim Hunt riff!

Maureen said...

Oh, I love that Tim Hunt poem.

And that Noah's Ark cover makes me laugh.

You deserve some R&R, Kathleen.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Maureen! And thanks for Paul Sierra at Escape Into Life!!

Collagemama said...

I am having my usual random coincidinks reading your post and feeling the need to read about Sophie Tucker and the Red Hot Mama.

Have a nice Easter.

Kathleen said...

I thought you might be interested in that Red Hot Mama, Collagemama!!

Hannah Stephenson said...

April and October seem to be the busiest months for everyone...I'm not sure why, but they are!

Lots of fantastic stuff that you've been involved in--you go, girl :).

Enjoy the rest of poetry month!

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Hannah. You, too!