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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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Joel O

Happy to have been present at the Poetry Project for the launch of Lessons: selected poems by the late Joel Oppenheimer (1930–88). He was underappreciated in his day & is neglected now, with most or all of his books out of print, so it's particularly wonderful to have his substantial collection.

Joel was a big reason I moved to New York. I was living in Maine, at loose ends, while he summered there. He famously didn't drive & I was a car guy, so somehow I ended up driving him around. He was more than 20 years my senior (to the day!) & I see now was amused by my being  Read More 
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