Brattleboro Literary Festival Brattleboro Literary Festival

Saturday, October 16, 2021

- EDT
Telling Stories With Poetry
Vijay Seshadri
Vijay Seshadri
That Was Now, This Is Then
Kerrin McCadden
Kerrin McCadden
American Wake

In his fourth collection, That Was Now, This Is Then: Poems, Vijay Seshadri affirms his place as one of America’s greatest living poets. The essence of Seshadri’s writing is conversation and he is fluent in an unusually wide range of forms — he ranges here from rhymed quatrains to fat blocks of prose — and his voice is typically chatty.

A New England poet equally at home in Ireland, Kerrin McCadden explores family, death and grief, apologies, and all manner of departures in her new collection American Wake. An “American wake” is what the Irish call a farewell to those emigrating to the United States. This collection by a writer of extraordinary gifts will appeal to readers who believe in the potential of carefully hewn words to unveil our world and our deepest feelings to ourselves.

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Sunday, October 17, 2021

- EDT
Are We Having a Moment? Writing poetry in the time of the pandemic and poetry’s resurgence in the culture
Vijay Seshadri
Vijay Seshadri
That Was Now, This Is Then
Shanta Lee Gander
Shanta Lee Gander
GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA
Diana Whitney
Diana Whitney
You Don’t Have to be Everything
Chard deNiord
Chard deNiord
In My Unknowing

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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