The Guilford Poets Guild will be presenting poet Marilyn Nelson for their Second Thursday Poetry Series event on Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m. at the Greene Art Gallery, 29 Whitfield in Guilford. The reading will be preceded by an open mic from 7 to 7:30 p.m.
Marilyn Nelson is the author or translator of fourteen books, including The Homeplace (1990) and The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems (1997), both of which were finalists for the National Book Award. Her numerous children’s books include, Carver: A Life in Poems (2001 ) which received the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award. It was also a National Book Award finalist, and was designated as both a Newbery Honor Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Her young adult book, A Wreath For Emmett Till, also won the 2005 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and was also designated a 2006 Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a 2006 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and a 2006 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book. Her honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, an A.C.L.S. Contemplative Practices Fellowship, the Department of the Army’s Commander’s Award for Public Service, and a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Nelson is a professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut; was founder/director and host of Soul Mountain Retreat, a small non-profit writers’ colony (2004-2010) and held the office of Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut from 2001-2006. In 2012 she was awarded the Frost Medal—the Poetry Society of America’s most prestigious award, for a “distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry.”
The reading is free and open to the public. Refreshments are served. For more information call 453-8836.
The Country School in Madison, Connecticut has an annual event entitled The Lois MacLane Poetry Recitation. One of the participants chose as his poem to recite a work by our Guild member Jane Muir. Their online blog told the story of the meeting of these two poets, here is what they said:
Paying Attention: 5th Grader meets his poet. Posted 02/07/2013 10:07AM
Most of the students reciting poems for the Lois MacLane Poetry Recitation will never meet their poets. That’s not the case for one 5th Grader.
When Dan G. was looking for a poem for this year’s annual recitation, The Country School’s oldest tradition, he decided to check out the Guilford Poet’s Guild anthology, and he came across one he particularly liked called “The Zen of Blueberry Picking at Bishop’s” by Jane Muir. Dan contacted Ms. Muir and arranged to meet with her at the Guilford Library, where they talked about poetry and shared a blueberry treat, in keeping with the poem he would be reciting.
In turn, Ms. Muir shared a poem she thought Dan might appreciate. Called “Pay Attention” (and reprinted below), it speaks to the special attributes a poet must possess.
Poets pay attention to the chickadee’s morning song.
No longer the winter call of chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee
This clear whistle fee-bee announces spring
Poets pay attention to the whispers in the woods
Where secrets are as fleeting as last night’s dream.
Poets pay attention to closed doors,
To remembrance of the lost key
A memory that breeds anxiety.
Poets do not sleepwalk through life.
They are awake to this moment and the next
And to every heartbeat in between.
Dan also invited Ms. Muir to attend the 5th and 6th Grade recitation on Tuesday, and she was in the audience as Dan recited “The Zen of Blueberry Picking at Bishop’s.”