I've been nose-deep in non-fiction to varying degrees of quality (Zadie Smith's essays, David Plouffe's account of the Obama campaign, and now Ted Kennedy's memoir).
It sounds terribly corny. Is poetry ever not with me? It's exciting though to find a reading that connects.
I read Nick Flynn's Some Ether in a workshop over 8 years ago and was into it and all the "bee poems" in Blind Huber.
His work is very musical, seemingly effortless, rhythmic and driving but somehow, low-key.
Here's his poem "fire"
I also appreciated and deeply admired Jason Schneiderman. His poems are so tightly controlled yet so energetic and passionate.
Here is his "Elegy VII (Metaphors for Grief)"
The other excellent readers were Diego Baez & Joseph Fasano. I had not heard of them before and I look forward to reading more of their work. Here's Diego's "Midnight on Lake Michigan" and Joseph Fasano's "Mahler in New York."
I love Zach's series. It's unique and original--a projection screen shows the text of the poem behind the reader. I'm grateful Zach has given this option for a fresh format. And I also appreciated sitting on pep rally bleachers.
And I admire that he could get a good-sized crowd out to a poetry reading in the cold.
The next one will be February 4th, 2010 with four major greats: Mark Bibbins, David Levithan, Katie Ford, & Meghan O'Rourke
In the meantime, I will be reminding fellow New Yorkers to seek it out.