May 21, 2019
by Paul Nelson

Linda Nemec Foster, Tami Haaland, Lauren Camp, Shirley Camia (I interviewed all of these poets, except Tami.)

Isa Genzken Rose II

Isa Genzken Rose II

I have been running since about May 7 and no rest in sight as I write this from Brooklyn, in the city that does not sleep because jackhammers start at 7am and people are never afraid to use their car horn. Ever.

While I visit my daughter the journalist, I do NYC things like go to MOMA & select carefully from many other world class cultural offerings. (Village Vanguard tonight! Joe Lovano & Marilyn Crispell!!)

I also fill out reports for various granting agencies that supported the recent Cascadia Poetry Festival (reviews are trickling in: https://cascadiapoetryfestival.org/cpf-anacortes-2019-reviews/)


Paul E Nelson at MOMA 5.20.2019

Nicole Yurcaba & peN

BIPF Assistant Director Nicole Yurcaba and Your Humble Narrator

This after attending the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, a folksy affair that had me doing a workshop on interviewing, a reading and three on stage interviews! The poets I interviewed were Lauren Camp from New Mexico, Shirley Camia of Manitoba via Denmark and Linda Nemec Foster of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I also deepened my friendship with Tami Haaland or Billings, Montana and met some cool poets, including Lyman Grant, once of Austin, TX, now of Harrisonburg, VA. I had a feeling we’d get along when I spotted his Black Mountain College bag. (Visiting the BMC Museum is on my list.) Linda’s reading of the only Czarnina Sestina I have ever heard was a highlight, as was Lauren’s evocative poems to Mabel Dodge Luhan, the legendary Taos writer/arts supporter/community builder.

Bridgewater College was founded by The Bretheren, a spiritual community that has long advocated pacifism and coordinated the conscientious objector camps in WWII, one of which (Camp Angell) I have been writing about in the latest chapter of my Pig War serial poem. So, to experience a small bit of what the Bretheren started in the Shenandoah Valley via the college they founded was memorable.

Stan Galloway FIst

Stan Galloway, BIPF Director

BIPF Director Stan Galloway, who graciously invited me out and treated me with first-class hospitality was not afraid to give poets “the fist” when their time was up.

All this is to say that I have not been blogging about the recent change in registration for the annual August Poetry Postcard Fest, which now has 133 poets signed up to participate starting July 4. We’re nearing the halfway mark to match last year’s level of participation and registration is here.



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