Robert Bly at the Swedish Institute, spring 2013. Star Tribune photo by Jerry Holt.

April is poetry month, and St. Paul Poet Laureate Carol Connolly is pulling out all the stops with her monthly Readings by Writers. Robert Bly, Thomas R. Smith, Freya Manfred and Louis Jenkins will read at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (April 15) at the University Club on Summit Avenue in St. Paul. I've attended four or five Bly events in the last couple of years, and each time, frankly, have wondered if it would be his last. The venerable National Award Winning poet is 87 years old, his memory is beginning to fade, he has nothing left to prove. But in October, when he launched his latest book, “Stealing Sugar from the Castle,” he rose to the occasion on stage, telling stories, cracking gentle jokes, reciting some of the poems rather than reading them. 

Thomas R. Smith is the author of six books of poetry and is the editor of "Airmail: The Letters of Robert Bly and Tomas Transtromer," published by Graywolf Press.

Freya Manfred is the author of "Swimming with a Hundred Year Old Snapping Turtle," "The Blue Dress," and many other works of poetry. She is also the author of "Frederick Manfred: A Daughter Remembers."

Louis Jenkins is the author of "Tin Flag," and other books, and co-wrote with Mark Rylance the stage production "Nice Fish," which premiered at the Guthrie Theater last spring.


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