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NauenThen

Appreciated

Look what got delivered! It's a thank-you from the Poetry Project's staff & board for my 22 years on the board, which concluded last week. That's almost half of the Project's 50-year existence, & now that there's term limits, I may well be the longest-serving board member ever.

I helped choose two directors & raised a lot of money this our 50th year. I signed checks, entirely because I live the closest to the Project office. I was Treasurer & not only avoided ever once making a (required annual) report, was so nervous that I mostly didn't open the statements from the financial people. I was the bad cop when we negotiated a contentious lease. I was the first person in years to vote against a motion, which impressed Steve Hamilton no end.

I'm sad/glad glad/sad to be finished.  Read More 
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Giant night

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  Read More 
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The Double Yews

Here we are—me, Annabel, Randy (harmonica), Ellen (toy piano)—at the 42nd Annual Poetry Project New Year's Day Benefit Marathon (& I feel like it might have more words in its name). I have never before cut loose singing like I did at that mike. I was channeling my inner Aretha!  Read More 
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The Double Yews at the Poetry Project

I'm looking forward to January 1, 2016, when the Double Yews (me, Annabel Lee, plus Randy Weinstein on harmonica and Ellen Waterscheid on piano and vocals) will perform two short poems, by Susie Timmons & Frank O'Hara, set to music, as part of the Poetry Project's 42nd annual New Year's Day 12-hour marathon. This is the most fun day on the poetry calendar,  Read More 
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In love

Whenever I go to lots of events, I fall in love all over again with New York. Most of these events would not occur outside of New York and a couple of other places, the way that people from Detroit grew up hearing a lot more Motown, non-hits, than the rest of us. I'm grateful to be in a nexus.

In the last week or so, I went to these literary events:
* A Prose Pros celebration of excerpts from Martha King's memoir  Read More 
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