Sunday, September 09, 2007

Lyn Lifshin on Jack Powers

I got this statement from the acclaimed small press poet Lyn Lifshin. There is a birthday party for Jack Powers Sat Sept 15 30 Gordon Street Allston 5PM Reading Potluck dinner more info:

From the time I met Jack Powers, I think in the mid seventies when he invited me to do one of several poetry readings to go along with the Boston Marathon, I never stopped being incredibly amazed at his generosity and gentleness. I had published a handful of chapbooks and books when we first met. Before that I had heard of Stone Soup and I think on my trip to Boston to Beacon Press, just as my first anthology, TANGLED VINES, was accepted, the writer I came to Boston with tried to find Jack but we couldn’t.

But from that first meeting and reading, I’ve rarely had so considerate and generous and supportive a host. He was so kind at all the readings. I know he paid me when he did not have the money and could not afford to. There was always a feeling of vibrancy and fun and excitement reading for Jack and talking with him. There was always an idealistic feeling that anything could be accomplished with poetry. I always felt he was a leader and in the little time I spent in Boston, always saw his gracious generosity and kindness with people from all backgrounds.

Not only did he pay me for reading when he couldn’t I’m sure afford to, at my last reading in Boston Jack refused to let me pay to ship my books back. I insisted and I’m sure it was not easy for him to box and mail the books I hadn’t sold but he simply would not take my check. I think I sent it and he tore it up.

Jack is unique. He has helped so many poets, been so sensitive. In a time when poetry has become so careerist, Jack’s passion, community concern and sweetness is very special. He towers over many poets, literally and metaphorically ...

Lyn Lifshin has written more than 100 books and edited 4 anthologies of women writers. Her poems have appeared in most poetry and literary magazines in the U.S.A., and her work has been included in virtually every major anthology of recent writing by women. She has given more than 700 readings across the U.S.A. and has appeared at Dartmouth and Skidmore colleges, Cornell University, the Shakespeare Library, Whitney Museum, and Huntington Library. Lyn Lifshin has also taught poetry and prose writing for many years at universities, colleges and high schools, and has been Poet in Residence at the University of Rochester, Antioch, and Colorado Mountain College. Winner of numerous awards including the Jack Kerouac Award for her book Kiss The Skin Off, Lyn is the subject of the documentary film Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass. For her absolute dedication to the small presses which first published her, and for managing to survive on her own apart from any major publishing house or academic institution, Lifshin has earned the distinction "Queen of the Small Presses." She has been praised by Robert Frost, Ken Kesey and Richard Eberhart, and Ed Sanders has seen her as "a modern Emily Dickinson."

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