Poetry Club Talks…
Poetry Club Talks…Rita Dove Part 1

Poetry Club Talks…Rita Dove Part 1

July 27, 2021

Topic: Rita Dove
Host: Shannon
Poem: "Rusks"
Recorded: July 24, 2021

Rita Dove - Poems Discussed

Shannon hosts the discussion on the well-known modern American poet Rita Dove.  Playing "devil's advocate," Shannon asks, "Do award-winning poets write amazing poetry---consistently?"  Perhaps you've wondered this yourself while reading a famous poem? If you remove the famous name from the poem, is it still a "good" poem?  Dove's poem "Rusks" appears on all the top ten list of her best poems.  Poetry Club tackles it line by line.  Does it hold up or fizzle?  Listen to find out.

 

BIO

Rita Frances Dove (b. August 28, 1952) Born in Akron, Ohio, U.S., as an American poet and essayist. From 1993 to 1995, she served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She has the distinct honor of being the first African American and the youngest person to serve as poet laureate of the United States (1993–95).  In 2018 she was named poetry editor of The New York Times Magazine.

President Bill Clinton bestowed upon her the 1996 National Humanities Medal, and President Barack Obama presented her with the 2011 National Medal of Arts, making her the only poet who has received both medals.

“There are so many casual pleasures in Ms. Dove’s poetry that the precision and dexterity in her work — the darkness, too — can catch you unawares.    

Ms. Dove’s poems have earthiness, originality, power, and range. Despair and loss are among her central themes, but so is the hunt for bedrock human pleasures.”

-Dwight Garner, for the New York Times, May 31, 2016

 

All poems copyright by Rita Dove.
Please visit her webpage at the UVA to learn more: https://uva.theopenscholar.com/rita-dove

Poetry Club Talks... is produced by Chickadee Productions

Poetry Club Talks…with Rena Priest

Poetry Club Talks…with Rena Priest

July 6, 2021

Topic: Rena Priest, Washington State Poet Laureate 2021-23
Host/Interviewer: Ron
Recorded: July 3, 2021

 

Special guest poet Rena Priest joins Poetry Club for a discussion today!  Ron asks Rena about her composition process, how does narrative defines the poetic impulse for her and helps shape her poems, what the Washington Poet Laureate interview was like, and more.  Afterward, the discussion opens up to the group for a short Q & A.  Please join us!

Poetry Club would like to thank Humanities Washington and Rena for helping to organize this event. 

 

The role of the Poet Laureate of Washington is to "build awareness and appreciation of poetry — including the state’s legacy of poetry — through public readings, workshops, lectures and presentations in communities, schools, colleges, universities, and other public settings in geographically diverse areas of the state."  Poets Laureate of Washington are appointed for a two-year term by the Governor of Washington acting on the recommendation of the Washington Arts Commission, an independent agency of the Washington state government, from a list of self-nominated candidates. 

 

BIO

Rena's first book of poetry "Patriarchy Blues" won the American Book Award. She is a Lummi tribal member.  She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and makes her home in Bellingham, Washington.

All poems copyright by Rena Priest.
Please visit her website to learn more:  https://www.renapriest.com/

Poetry Club Talks... is produced by Chickadee Productions

Poetry Club Talks…Rena Priest Part 2

Poetry Club Talks…Rena Priest Part 2

May 26, 2021

Topic: Rena Priest, Washington State Poet Laureate 2021-23
Host: Ron
Poems: "Toward a Beautiful Flare of Ruin" and "The Perils of Flight"
Recorded: May 23, 2021

Rena Priest_Select Poems

In our discussions, we admire, among many strengths, how thoughtfully Rena's poems are structured and crafted. The poems in her first book focus on the culture of toxic masculinity she encountered in New York, and the poems in her second reflect her rediscovery of herself in poetry. 

Priest was chosen as state poet laureate, says ArtsWA Director, Karen Haman, “for the compelling nature of her poetry and work. She was also chosen for the depth and breadth of her connections to communities and her capacity to further extend these connections through her role as State Poet Laureate.” Priest adds, “My focus will be on visiting tribes, bringing poetry out into the natural world to celebrate beautiful places in Washington, and writing poems based on ecology and environmental restoration and preservation.”

 

BIO

Rena's first book of poetry "Patriarchy Blues" won the American Book Award.  She is a Lummi tribal member.  She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and makes her home in Bellingham, Washington.

All poems copyright by Rena Priest.
Please visit her website to learn more:  https://www.renapriest.com/

Poetry Club Talks... is produced by Chickadee Productions

Poetry Club Talks…Rena Priest Part 1

Poetry Club Talks…Rena Priest Part 1

May 19, 2021

Topic: Rena Priest, Washington State Poet Laureate 2021-23
Host: Ron
Poems: Various (see below)
Recorded: May 15, 2021

Rena Priest_Select Poems

This week Poetry Club discusses three poems by Rena Priest, the 2021-23 Washington State Poet Laureate.  Her work draws on history, scientific ephemera, and pop culture to tell stories and seek truths.  Her word choice is intriguing, defiantly worth conversation. 

 

BIO

Rena's first book of poetry "Patriarchy Blues" won the American Book Award.  She is a Lummi tribal member.  She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and makes her home in Bellingham, Washington.

All poems copyright by Rena Priest

Poetry Club Talks... is produced by Chickadee Productions

Poetry Club Talks…Rhyme

Poetry Club Talks…Rhyme

May 11, 2021

Topic: Rhyme, The Authors Fancy
Host: Ron
Poems: Various (see attached)
Recorded: May 8, 2021

Selected Poems on Rhyme

Why do some poets rhyme and others do not?  Ron hosts this detailed look into the use of rhyme by famous poets such as Poe, Frost, Atwood, Browning, Dickinson, Marvell, and MacLeish.

Rons shares, I suggest that in reading the poems, many of which we have discussed previously, we focus on a few issues (there is overlap in the issues):

  • what is the purpose and/or appeal of rhyme for many poets?
  • what added value does rhyme provide?
  • with individual poems, does the rhyme enhance the poem’s quality or effectiveness, and how?
  • how well do the poet’s choices, as well as we can define them, serve the poem?

Ron is the host of the Poetry Club in Bellingham, Washington.  He is a retired poetry professor who taught poetry for 52 years from 1965 to 2017.  You'll enjoy his sense of humor and intelligent insight into classic and contemporary poetry.

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All poems are the copyrighted material of each poet listed respectively.

Poetry Club Talks is produced by Chickadee Productions.  

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