The morning after my late night arrival in Wuhan I was scheduled to deliver a 90 minute lecture. My talk was another episode in my continuing engagement with the works of Amiri Baraka, so of course I went dangerously over time.
The following two days were given over to the International Ethnic Literature Symposium, where I gave a keynote and about which I posted a previous blog.
This year, my graduate seminar was titled "American Poets in the Political Moment." Our texts were all drawn from the Resist Much anthology, making this the most contemporary poetry class I have ever offered. I'll be writing more about the experience of teaching this material shortly in another venue. For now, just let me report the question one student asked at the close of our first meeting: "Is this book banned in the United States?"
The students were, as in past years, an eager and appreciative group. One of them was brave enough to make my own poem in the anthology the subject of his class presentation. He'd quickly discovered the poem's inspiration in Taj Mahal's recording of "Leaving Trunk." Pretty good source hunting.
My hosts paid me the honor of asking me to address the Foreign Language School's graduation ceremony. In past year's I've always enjoyed the way graduating students would recruit me as I walked by to pose in photos with them. This year I got to be in the graduating photos of an entire school.