Faculty & Area Poets
Once again SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury, NY hosted a reading by community poets & a featured reading by equally community poet Joseph Bruchac. Kathleen McCoy served as our coordinator & host. This is an inter-national event initiated by West Coast poet Michael Rothenberg, intended to engage poets in the larger world of social justice issues promoting peace & sustainability. A number of us had read here last year, & this was the 4th year that Kathleen had organized the event.
I was first on the list & read yet again “When Donald Trump Farts.” Carol Graser was less confrontational with a tender tribute to her recently deceased mother. Tina Garvin Curtis read 3 short poems, “Apotheosis of a Carthusian Monk,” “Grasshopper” (to her son?), & “Bush Meat 2016.”
Joseph Bruchac Reading
Joe Bruchac is well-know in the area as a poet, activist for the environment & native peoples, & a prolific author. In addition, his readings are a model for young performers about connecting to an audience, with warmth, & information & feeling; one can learn a lot about native history, culture & language from a Bruchac reading. He began with a melody from his cedar flute, then read poems from recent anthologies that had included his poems, offering (i.e., tossing) the books to members of the audience.
Joe’ newest book of poems is Four Directions from Mongrel Empire Press in Norman, OK & he read 4 poems from that. Then on to some new, unpublished poems, “Black Hills,” “Wind Thanks,” “Old Caller” (at a square dance), “Carolina Walking Bird,” & a compelling eco-poem with audience participation (“water is life”) about the pipeline opposition in Standing Rock. Then he returned to the new book for 2 more, “Deer Pond” & “South Branch.”
He left some time for questions, even a request for another poem, from the audience, then ended as he began with the rich, resonant tones of the cedar flute.