Saturday, January 14, 2017
Back in 1989, Rod Smith hosted the first of what came to be known in time as the MLA Off-Site Readings. I have not always been on hand, and in some years there hasn't been one, but this year we were back in Philadelphia, where the poetry community has come through again and again and put together some of the best of these events. I've always likened them to the New Music festivals I attended as a young man, where people would bring wine and snacks, and wander in and out -- a tremendous marathon event celebrating poetry and our communities. This year's was brought together by Davy Knittle and Anna Strong, with additional hosting by Lily Applebaum, Zack Arrington and Mel Bentley. We were back in The Rotunda, where we'd been once before.
One lesson drawn from obvservations at this year's reading: when you see somebody bent over their smart phone, they may just be writing and reading poetry.
As in the past, keep an eye on Penn Sound, where a recording of this powerful event will appear in due course.