Saturday, October 16, 2021
In 100 Poems to Break Your Heart, poet and advocate Edward Hirsch selects 100 poems, from the nineteenth century to the present, and illuminates them, unpacking context and references to help the reader fully experience the range of emotion and wisdom within these poems. For anyone trying to process grief, loneliness, or fear, this collection of poetry will be your guide in trying times.
Jane Hirshfield’s collection Ledger holds some of her most important and masterly work yet. From the already much-quoted opening lines of despair and defiance ("Let them not say: we did not see it. / We saw"), Hirshfield's poems inscribe a registry, both personal and communal, of our present-day predicaments. They call us to deepened dimensions of thought, feeling, and action. They summon our responsibility to sustain one another and the earth while pondering, acutely and tenderly, the crises of refugees, justice, and climate.
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Are We Having a Moment? Writing poetry in the time of the pandemic and poetry’s resurgence in the culture
Poetry has famously flourished in times of crisis—including pandemics past—thanks to poets and writers galvanized by suffering and confusion, from Boccacio’s Decameron in the 14th century to Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague in 1912 to Camus’ 1947 The Plague to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera in 1985. And certainly the electrifying effect of Amanda Gorman’s reading at the Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20. Within hours of delivering her poem, the young poet went viral, and in a single day Gorman attracted more than two million Instagram followers.
Poetry has enjoyed phenomenal success the last few years…from the rise of youth poets to online audiences. Poets Shanta Lee Gander, Jane Hirshfield, Vijay Seshadri, and Diana Whitney will discuss resurgence and how the pandemic has affected their writing. Moderated by Chard deNiord, this panel promises to be lively and illuminating.
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