Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another Sign o' the Times: Poetry Series Stumbling to an End?

“A poetry reading, which takes time and requires that a person sit in one place for at least an hour, focusing every fiber of their being, isn’t something we’re used to doing much anymore.  You can’t multitask and listen to poetry.” --Leisha Douglas, Katonah Poetry Series director.

Link to September 9 New York Times article, "Even Poetry is Undergoing Cutbacks".

Excerpt: The series was started in 1967 by Robert Phillips, a local resident, adman and poet. He inveigled distinguished poets, most of whom he knew, to come to Katonah, paid them maybe $100, and brought a few jugs of low-grade wine and cheese and crackers for each reading. Back then poetry wasn’t a slam or an exercise in grantsmanship, and many poets were just grateful to have someplace to read. Participants over the years have included Joyce Carol Oates, Erica Jong, Stanley Kunitz, Howard Moss, James Merrill, Edward Hirsch, Adrienne Rich, Mark Strand, David Ignatow, Sharon Olds and Tony Hoagland.

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