Poetry News

George Kalamaras's A Gray Barn Rising

By Harriet Staff

George Kalamaras

A few months back we reported on George Kalamaras's appointment as the poet laureate to the great state of Indiana. This week we found out that as part of his laureateship, he has launched a video series called A Gray Barn Rising. Each week Kalamaras introduces a different poet, from the old standards to poets the general reader may not know about. All in a casual, and inviting atmosphere. This past week, the featured poet was none other than one of our own all-time favorites, Jack Spicer. Head to A Gray Barn Rising to check out all the videos, and tune in for future videos. But before that, here are a few words by Kalamaras about the series:

As Poet Laureate of Indiana, I felt I needed to reach out to people in a very tangible way, to come into "conversation" with them more directly, putting a face on poetry. It's sort of a way to bring people into my literal home each week--with my hound dog and cup of tea--and into my "metaphorical" home, that is, the "home of poetry and favorite poets" that I inhabit daily. I've spent decades in conversation with poets in reading them to myself, and in my teaching, but I wanted to broaden that conversation, with a particular emphasis on poets who have fallen through the cracks. There are so many wonderful poets--especially those from countries outside the borders of the United States--who unfortunately remain relatively unknown. I've always been drawn to their work especially. While I feature even well-known poets on my video blog, I also want to offer a healthy mix and bring back to life those poets who are not as widely read as they should be. As Poet Laureate, I construct my position as one of "service" to the poetry community and to others. It feels like important service to me to bring to life the work of poets who ought to be more widely read.

Here, here!!

Originally Published: June 26th, 2014