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The Dark Room Collective, a community of black writers founded twenty-five years ago in Boston by poets Thomas Sayers Ellis and Sharan Strange and musician Janice Lowe, regroups this year for the Nothing Personal reunion tour. This slideshow offers a look at the early days of the DRC as well as a glimpse of the poets today.
Albert Flynn DeSilver, the inaugural poet laureate of Marin County, California, has created a public project that invites the community to sit down with poetry.
Carol Ann Duffy has been nominated for appointment by Queen Elizabeth as the next poet laureate of Great Britain.
by Henry Stimpson
The three former poets laureate who read at the Boston Public Library last month appeared in inverse proportion to their age. Donald Hall, the youngest at seventy-nine, seemed the oldest, moving slowly, almost fragilely to the podium. Maxine Kumin, at eighty-two, a little bent over, but otherwise in good form, nevertheless looked older than Richard Wilbur, a robust eighty-six, unbent, brown hair, strong voice.
by Denise Hart
During the past year, poets laureate have been the unlikely recipients of national media attention. New Jersey's Amiri Baraka was excoriated for reading a poem that some labeled anti-Semitic, and California's Quincy Troupe resigned after inaccuracies were discovered on his resumé. With their public profiles growing, the role of poets laureate is being called into question. In April the nation's first conference for state poets laureate will convene in Manchester, New Hampshire, where they will discuss poetry and their responsibilities as public representatives of their art.
by Ethan Gilsdorf
W. S. Merwin made his first appearance at the Village Voice bookstore on May 27, the same evening a hailstorm hit Paris. Merwin is the author of 20 books of poems, four books of prose, and nearly 20 books of translations, including one of the Middle English Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which is scheduled for publication in October by Knopf.
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