Luminary poets light up Twin Cities for a special weekend
- Blog Post by: Rohan Preston
- May 21, 2012 - 9:49 AM
Poet Tracy K. Smith. Photo by Rohan Preston.
Tracy K. Smith, who won this year's Pulitzer Prize for poetry for "Life on Mars," capped a weekend poetry conference in the Twin Cities with a Sunday brunch reading.
The intimate closing event took place at the Wayzata home of book maven Gail See, former owner of The Bookcase bookstore in Wayzata and former president of the American Booksellers' Association.
In the presence of an august group that included Margaret Wurtele, Joanne Von Blon and Reatha Clark King, Smith shared selections from her prize-winning third volume on Graywolf Press.
She closed with "When Your Small Form Tumbled Into Me," a poem addressed to a child:
"You must have watched
For what felt like forever, wanting to be
What we passed back and forth between us like fire.
Wanting weight, desiring desire, dying
To descend into flesh, fault, the brief ecstasy of being.
From what dream of world did you wriggle free?
What soared—and what grieved—when you aimed your will
At the yes of my body alive like that on the sheets?"
Smith, who teaches poetry at Princeton University, was in town for a poetry conference at the Loft Literary Center, where she read to an overflow crowd Friday night. Saturday's reading was headlined by National Book Award winner Mark Doty.
The poetry festival continues 7 p.m. Monday, when acclaimed writer Marilyn Nelson (below), former poet laureate of Connecticut and winner of the Frost Medal, reads in the Witness literary series at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Av., Minneapolis.
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