NauenThen

Giant night

April 28, 2017

Tags: Poetry Project, Anne Waldman

50th-anniversary logo, projected
The Poetry Project's first-ever gala was last night, honoring Anne Waldman. Performances by Laurie Anderson (who told a story while playing a tiny electric violin), LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs (sound poem: singing & reciting to a track), Yoshiko Chuma (her muscular, humorous dance). Toasts from Eleni Siklianos (Anne's niece) & Ron Padgett.

What a wonderful night. Flowers, food, atmosphere—all fantastic. We raised $100,000 to sustain the Project in the lean times ahead.

I never appreciated more how tireless Anne has been on behalf of poetry. Many poets are tireless on behalf of themselves (& their pet issues, maybe), but she has done the hard organizing work, without complaint.

Rosemary Carroll & I were co-chairs (or she was the chair & I was the co-chair). We did the cake presentation (seriously, is that a thing?) & I realized—& said—that I don't know where, or who, I would be without the Poetry Project. It's where I met lifelong friends, my community, my tribe—& my husband. I have been richly rewarded for being a part of that incredible place for 40 years.

I danced till midnight, & there was cake.