Friday, March 15, 2013

Why Poetry?

This is a rare poetry weekend for me. I will be attending the biennial Princeton Poetry Festival in the Richardson Auditorium,  Alexander Hall on the campus of Princeton University. Eight poets will take the stage to read from their work and to discuss the theme of poetry and difficulty. Preceding the event will be the New Jersey state finals of Poetry Out Loud, a high school national recital competition. 

Another well known biennial event is the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, presented in even-numbered years. This program runs over four days, features many more poets, and includes a teacher day, allowing free admittance to teachers to encourage poetry in the classroom.

If slam poetry is more your speed (I think it's great), then check out
Nuyorican Poets Cafe, where it all began. Head southwest from there, at the tip of Manhattan, and you'll be in Poet's House, a  building dedicated to poetry with a library of over 50,000 volumes and weekly readings and discussions on the craft. 

These events are welcomed reminders that poetry is still relevant in the United States, especially in the New York City area. At its best, poetry communicates the essence of human experience succinctly and powerfully, so reading poetry and attending poetry readings are excellent ways of reflecting not only on  the human condition but on unique uses of language.Two of my favorite poets are Billy Collins and Stephen Dunn

Poetry can be hard to grasp, but its rewards are limitless for developing writers.  You can start by reading poetry by Collins and Dunn.