What do Robert Bly, Mary Oliver, Allen Ginsberg and Conrad Aiken have in common? Besides being poets, I mean. And besides being recipients of the National Book Award.
That commonality -- if there is one -- will be the topic of a panel discussion at 7 p.m. April 13 at Open Book, moderated by Eric Lorberer of Rain Taxi and including local poets, publishers and others connected to the world of literature.
The conversation, "Lineage: American Poetry Since 1950," is one of three events co-sponsored by the National Book Foundation as part of its retrospective on the past 61 years of American poetry. (The other two events are in New York and Oregon.)
Panelists include poet and Gustavus Adolphus professor Philip S. Bryant; poet Arleta Little of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature; poet and Macalester faculty member Kristin Naca; Daniel Slager, publisher of Milkweed Editions, and Hans Weyandt, co-owner of Micawber's Books in St. Paul. It's free, and bound to be fascinating.
In other poetry news ...
• Leanne O'Sullivan of Beara, West Cork, Ireland, is this year's winner of the Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Award for Poetry, given every year by the University of St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies. O'Sullivan is the author of "Waiting for My Clothes" and "Cailleach: The Hag of Beara." Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including "Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry," compiled by Billy Collins. She will be in conversation with St. Paul poet Katrina Vandenberg at 7 p.m. April 11 at the Hamline Midway Branch Library, 1558 W. Minnehaha Av., St. Paul.
• Duluth poet Louis Jenkins will read at 4 p.m. April 12 for the second annual Pankake Poetry Series (named for retired librarian Marcia Pankake) in the Elmer L. Andersen Library at the University of Minnesota. His work has been anthologized in "The Best American Poetry." Registration is required at 612-624-9339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• "What Music Remains," poems by St. Paul poet Greg Watson, has been published by Nodin Press. Watson's work has appeared in the Seattle Review and Poetry East. His publication party will be at 7 p.m. April 28 at Barnes & Noble, HarMar Mall, Roseville.
• California poet Carol Muske-Dukes has placed her latest collection squarely in the Upper Midwest. "Twin Cities" will be published in late May by Penguin as part of the Penguin Poets Series. Minneapolis and St. Paul are the jumping-off-point for her poems, which explore parallels and dualities in life.
• Garrison Keillor's latest book is "Good Poems, American Places," a collection of poems read by Keillor on American Public Media's "The Writers' Almanac" radio program. It will be published in mid-April by Viking.
• "Pretend the World," by St. Paul poet Kathryn Kysar, has been published by Holy Cow! Press. Kysar will read, with memoirist Sarah Stonich, at 7 p.m. April 14 at Micawber's Books in St. Paul.