I love that, in Peter Campion's introduction of these two poets, he discussed both the intelligence and the companionability of the work. Certainly carry-around-in-your-pocket material.
I'm not familiar with Joshua Weiner, but I've known Daisy Fried virtually for a good while--since Maya was maybe six months old--and I have come to deeply admire her as a poet and as a person. When I realized she was being brought to the U of MN for a reading on my birthday, I was thrilled.
I should say, too, that I love photographing Peter, who was my thesis advisor. He gestures with his hands so very nicely and makes the best expressions. He's also incredibly kind and gentle and his poems feel like woodworking: strong, not vastly adorned, solid, reliable. I mean all of this in the best of ways.
I think of poetry and words often in these terms: textures and colors. I think it's a touch of synesthesia. I can say that I thought Carolyn Forche's book The Angel of History felt like doily-like lace. There's woolly writing and lake ice writing and all else. This post isn't about my strange-brain fevers.
This post is really about a beautiful reading. I was lucky many times this birthday of mine: I was able to spend my morning with two beautiful children (mine) and then was taken out for Thai with one of my best friends (Meryl) and went to the U to meet a poet I've had a poet-crush on for a while.
And she didn't disappoint: she was funny and smart and I wish we lived closer so I could soak up her charm more often. I also look forward to one day meeting her daughter Maisie, who is featured on Daisy's Facebook updates on occasion and seems to have inherited her mother's view of the world.
At the close of the reading, Daisy arranged a kind of collective reading of her sequence of letters to "The Poetess." In it, she imagines would-be writers and readers of poetry asking her myriad questions and The Poetess responds with well-thought humor. You can read part of it here or a little squiggle here.
I apologize for the quality of this video. I'm feeling more and more confident about photography, but I've only recently discovered the beauty of cell phone documenting, so right now, I'm just grateful I can do it. Later, I'll regret I didn't know how. This is OK.
Thank you, Daisy. Thank you, U of MN creative writing dept. Thank you, Peter. Thank you, Holly. Thank you, Meryl. Thank you, poetry.