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Poetry & Poets in Rags of Inauguration Day

Poetry & Poets in Rags of Inauguration Day
By rus bowden on 01/20/2009
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Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags:

The big news this week is Elizabeth Alexander''s inauguration poem. With this, we have a few stories leading up to the occasion. That''s just in News at Eleven. Many of our Great Regulars have either published poetry by Alexander, poetry about the inauguration, or articles on inaugural poetry. Already today, David Ulin and Adam Kirsch have critiqued her reading.

Never before, has a poem received this much attention in the years I have been bringing this column to you. The poem and her performance is being panned, while it is also being called dazzling and stirring elsewhere. My take, is that I enjoyed it. However, I will restate as I did in the the December 13th forum announcement, that it should have been the Poet Laureate of the United States, Kay Ryan, reading at the inauguration. I am appreciative that for the fourth time, we have had a poem read at the event. Hopefully this goes far to establishing an important tradition. And I appreciate the art that Barack Obama brought to the occasion. But we need to get this right. This is what our poet laureate is for.

But, it is not just Alexander''s poem that the inauguration inspired. We have several other poems from around the world for the occasion, including one from the Poet Laureate of Wales, Gillian Clarke. But watch for the articles throughout both News at Eleven and Great Regulars from Great Regular E. Ethelbert Miller and Foreign Policy in Focus'' Fiesta! section. And there are others.

So what did this poetic inaugural event upstage? Bad news. The Dodge Poetry Festival has been cancelled for 2010. Read all about it on our back page. As we came together in our homes and workplaces today to watch the inauguration, we will not be coming together in person in Stanhope, New Jersey in a year and a half. I hope there''s some money out there that can turn this bit of news around. The Dodge is important.

I''ve said so much, I need to leave all else to your discovery.

Thanks for clicking in.


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© By rus bowden On 1/20/2009 9:59:43 PM
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