Monthly Archives: August 2007

Reflecting On the Death of Liam Rector

In the unsettled aftermath of Liam’s suicide, I am reminded of Kendra Tenecea’s January 2007 graduate lecture on the poetry of Ruth Stone and his comments on Stone’s inability to get over her husband’s suicide. Liam spoke with such negativity of Stone in this regard that his own suicide has come as more than a little shock to most of us in that graduating class.

My own thoughts go to Tree Swenson and his daughter Victoria as they process his decision over time. One can only suppose how Swenson’s future poetry will be impacted, even as those poems begin to be written within her being, if not on paper, in the now.

While we process this active passing in our various ways–writing poems of our own, celebrating Liam’s life, remembering the complex man who dominated every room where he was present, watching (or swearing never again to watch) that “brass balls” scene from Glengarry Glen Ross)–we cannot help but wonder about the future of the Writing Seminars at Bennington College.

The January and June 2007 graduating classes are Rector’s final legacy. How will that legacy be lived out into the future?

To view his obituary, click on http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/17/arts/17rector.html.

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Canandaigua Poetry Marathon

I have been invited to read as part of the second annual Canandaigua Poetry Marathon organized by Marie Starr. The first marathon, held last September, drew publicity from Poets & Writers magazine, http://www.pw.org/mag/0609/newsmantzaris.htm. This is a major finger lakes event in our little but literary-rich corner of the north east. Poets John Roche, Anita J. Augesen and Pat Schwartz will also be reading in addition to many others. It is a marathon, after all!

Readings will be ongoing from noon until 6:30 pm on Saturday, September 8, 2007. A musical open mic will follow the poetry marathon. For more information, check out the festival web site at http://www.poetryfestival.downtowncanandaigua.com/.

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Benefit Reading for RochesterInk

A Poetry Chain reading to benefit the RochesterInk Poetry Festival, www.rochesterink.net, and Writers & Books will be held at Writers & Books at 7:00pm Wednesday, September 5, 2007. The Poetry Chain, as well as RochesterInk itself, is the brainchild of Wanda Schubmehl. In the Poetry Chain, seed poems are sent out to participants who then respond to those poems or write poems inspired by them. The resulting poems are then forwarded to other participants, forming a poetic chain. Wanda has overseen this process in the past, much to the delight of the participants, escpecially with the surprising results. I am one of the many poet participants who will be reading. I hope to see you there!

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