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Dispatch from the 2010 Key West Literary Seminar

By Catherine Halley

Greetings from the 28th annual Key West Literary Seminar, which is dedicated to poetry this year and honors Richard Wilbur. I’m filing this post from a mobile device that tried to auto-correct the words “Key West” into “awestruck.” It’s as if my smartphone knows how I feel about being in the midst of so many gifted poets.

My status update on Facebook last night said that I was stalking famous poets. Friends asked “Poets? Dead or alive?I responded by saying something like, “Alive–and they spin me right round baby, like a record baby…” And indeed, they are alive! See, here they are:

Key West

I know it’s blurry, so you’ll have to trust me when I say that’s the VIP section, for very important poets–if you click on the image it’ll get bigger and you can try to identify people. Kay Ryan is here saying things like, “Poetry liberates language from the torment of usefulness.” Jane Hirshfield is too, mesmerizing us with analogies like this one: “Poetry is to our narrow minds, as origami is to a sheet of paper.” There are seven poets laureate here in all. And lots of other amazing poets known and unknown. Find a full list and more coverage at KWLS.org. I’m going to try to videotape the poets if I can, so if you have questions you want me to ask them, let me know.

In closing, I bring you the legendary sound of laughter at a James Tate reading I attended yesterday afternoon.

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You can listen to a Poetry off the Shelf podcast of James Tate reading at a previous Key West seminar.

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Posted in Uncategorized on Saturday, January 9th, 2010 by Catherine Halley.