By Peter Rousmaniere
Special To The Standard
Seven poetry events, including readings by some of the most prized poets in the United States take the stage at Bookstock on Saturday, July 27.
Poetry readings have served as one of the most endearing offerings at Bookstock. It attracts a large and intensely committed group of attendees, many of whom purchase books by the poets from a table situated at the entrance of the event room.
All poetry events, like virtually all Bookstock events, are free and open to the public. Details are posted on its website, www.bookstockvt.org.
The 2013 Presidential Inaugural poet, Richard Blanco, will read Saturday, 3 to 3:40 p.m., Town Hall Theatre. He says that he was “made in Cuba, assembled in Spain, and imported to the United States” thanks to the odyssey of his parents after they left Cuba. He currently lives in Maine.
Blanco was selected by President Obama to be the inaugural poet, joining the ranks of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.
Poet Donald Hall will be with us on Saturday, July 27, 4 p.m. (tentative time) in The Town Hall Theatre. The 14th United States Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2007, and a Caldecott Medal winner for children’s books, Hall was born in New Haven, Conn., in 1928. For the past 30 years he has lived on Eagle Pond Farm in rural New Hampshire, in the house where his grandmother and mother were born. He was married for 23 years to the poet Jane Kenyon, who died in 1995.
Hall has published 16 books of poetry, beginning with Exiles and Marriages in 1955. In 2006, he published White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Selected Poems 1946–2006, a volume of his essential life’s work. Among his books for children, Ox-Cart Man won the Caldecott Medal. He has written extensively about life in New Hampshire in his memoirs.
Pulitzer Prize winner Galway Kinnell, called “America’s preeminent visionary,” will read on Saturday, 1 – 1:40 p.m., at the St. James Social Hall. Kinnell was born in Providence, R.I., in 1927. During his career in poetry that spans five decades and 12 collections, Kinnell has also received the National Book Award, the Frost Medal, The Wallace Stevens Prize, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He cites has his mentors “Rilke, Whitman and Frost.” He lives in Vermont.
Born to a Filipino mother and Malayali Indian father, Aimee Nezhukumatathil (neh-ZOO / koo-mah / tah-TILL) will read on Saturday, 2 – 2:40 p.m., at the St. James Social Hall.
Nezhukumatathil, who has written three books of poetry, is Associate Professor of English at State University of New York-Fredonia. Her books are widely adopted for high schools, colleges, and universities as part of contemporary poetry, women’s studies, and Asian-American literature classes, and she has been a featured reader at over a hundred venues all over the world.
Jeff Friedman, who lives in West Lebanon, is the author of five collections of poetry he will read on Saturday, noon to 12:40 p.m., at the St. James Social Hall. His poems and translations have been published widely in national and international literary journals and anthologies. Since 1994, he has taught at Keene State College.
As in past Bookstocks, a poetry jam will take place on Friday, July 26, at 8 p.m., at Artistree. These jams are invariably well attended and emceed by a prominent local poet.
For Robert Frost lovers, the National Historical Park has posted along one of its paths poems by the great poet. On Saturday, 2 p.m., the Park invites Bookstock attendees to gather at the crosswalk near the entrance of the park across from Billings Farm.
Secondhand poetry books can be found at the secondhand book sale on the Green.