In the last few weeks, I've had the pleasure (god, who says that. And how else do you say that.) of meeting both Peter Gizzi and John Hennessy--in fact, it's been a year so far of little glimpses into what it would be like if I ever sucked it up and moved back to America, and subsequently into an MFA program because what else would I do--glimpses into that meeting thing that happens in the world's company of poets (and writers) and that so rarely happens here. Thanks, mostly, to those four weird days in Denver at AWP. But next week I might just run down CK Williams in Rotterdam, for the heck of it, but not literally run down of course.
Peter (and I think I am safely on a first-name basis with him because we have a secret handshake now) read at Perdu from, among other things, The Outernationale. I don't have a copy of the book yet because I'm broke, so I haven't seen the poems on the page, but the title piece is, if memory serves, variously interrupted by strings of suffixes which both stress and calm. Peter also read "Vincent, Homesick For The Land Of Pictures", which he said he had not before read aloud, but which was (and I don't really know how else to put it right now, and this word is either misspelled or does not exist) utterly transportative; for a moment I remember feeling as though I were in church (in a good way)--an experience I also recently had at a Jonsi show,
so maybe really it's just me, and maybe I should go to church?
If you have read Peter's work then you may nod when I say that his attention to place (perhaps especially in The Outernationale) piqued my interest immediately--and John, similarly, is busy with it, though in different ways. In particular, John's the Poetry Editor of Amherst College's new and upcoming journal The Common, which aims to publish work that "[embodies] particular times and places both real and imagined: art powerful enough to reach from there to here."
I am excited by these recent crossings with these poets, who are busy with questions similar to my own, and I hope AWP accepts our cool panel idea on the subject, too.