Sunday, November 19, 2006
Here is a fine letter by poet Afaa Michael Weaver regarding the Somerville News Writers Festival held Nov. 12 2006... a festival not without controversy...
Hi Doug, Tam, and everyone else here,
I did stay for the second half, and it was fine. David Godine
was visibly pleased.
Overall, I would say the festival was a success, having
organized a few such things in the past. It is impossible to please
everyone. There are things that could be improved, but one of the
major factors for success as I see it was the venue. Jimmy Tingle's
is the perfect place.
If you think it was a wild time, we should reflect on some
wilder times the poetry scene historically has had, and I must
admit that lately I have been a little concerned about a growing
sense of what I call "Wall Street Careerism in Poetry". It is nice
to see a little of what some think is unevenness...or perhaps
the "great growl of a roughened poetry." Call it whatever...
Baltimore's poetry renaissance of the early eighties made the
Somerville festival look tame. & don't forget Ginsberg's unveiling
of his metaphor in San Francisco where Phyllis Diller (sp) was one
of the poets in black.
I am glad there is so much energy, and although I live
on one of the hills here in the town, it is not because I think there
is a place for looking down or looking up.....just looking out over
the landscape of things. I like to curb the Poet Ego whenever
I can....need it as we do...let us not let it bite us in the caesura.
So I say look forward to next year. Give much thanks
to Jimmy Tingle...give much thanks to Doug.
& thanks to Tam and everyone else who wants to add to
all of the "great growling."
--Afaa the Cave Canem Elder Who Lives in a Cave