Sunday, June 25, 2006

Robert Pinsky Reading The Life of David

Poet Robert Pinsky was the first author today on the Live @ Your Library stage at the ALA conference in New Orleans. He began by reciting his 26-word poem "ABC" and talking about some of his other works, including "Library Scene," which says that the library is an aperture for information. He followed with a discussion of and reading from The Life of David.

Pinsky talked about the Poetry Project that he started as U.S. Poet Laureate. Tens of thousands of people sent him letters saying why specific poems had been so important to them. He has included a DVD of a few of the people reading their favorite poems in the anthology Invitation to Poetry.

He told about his drive through damaged parts of New Orleans, and suggested that film is the medium to communicate how badly lives have been disrupted. He ended with a recitation of "Samuri Song" from his collection Jersey Rain.

I was most impressed with his presense, as he fielded questions about his work and often had us laughing. He was an excellent choice for the stage.

This year's Live @ the Library stage was better in that I was able to hear the speakers better than last year when there were many competing sounds all around. Being more isolated, however, meant fewer librarians found the stage. It was a great find for those who did. It was well advertised, I think, and I was grateful for the better sound.

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