The Hermit Poet

July 25, 2005

Final Thoughts on Idyllwild

Filed under: General — Neil Aitken @ 10:27 am

View of the Idyllwild sky

A few final impressions from Idyllwild:

1. I think Natasha Trethewey’s work is breathtaking — there’s something amazing about how she works with history and elegy in her poetry. I loved the way each poem delivers a moment and person of history, reveals and explores the yearning and emotion of each recovered identity, place, and time. Hearing her read is really a treat — her voice has a very nice resonance and hush.

2. Jen from Imagine That! Bookstore in Riverside was selling books at Idyllwild. I swear she’s the equivalent of my own personal drug-dealer. Everytime I promise myself that I’m done buying books, she lays more enticing books on the table. What money I might have saved by staying on campus with free housing, was easily spent on the books. I think I’ve purchased enough from her over this past year that I should expect a Christmas card!

3. I was able to plant copies of CRATE with various poets and gave out lots of flyers for the upcoming submission period. I’m looking forward this fall — between Kundiman and Idyllwild, I hope to be seeing a lot of excellent poetry.

4. I wrote my first ghazal — why didn’t I realize before that this is the perfect form for a manuscript about loss and longing?

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