A wealth of literary ability abounded at the Banquet reading series on Saturday in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. These poets are making big, innovative strides on the page, which is all the more impressive, considering their legs are so puny and ineffectual off the page. One needs little proof of their credentials, although plenty exists. Among the readers’ accolades, we stumble upon – in a daze, a stuporous miasma of awe and excitement – residencies at the Millay Colony, grants from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, profiles in Poets & Writers magazine, and Pushcart Prizes. Egads! I shudder, even now, at the feeling of brushing against such formidable endorsements.
And that is not all. After the deceptively wry Luke Bloomfield, we heard from Wendy Xu, who, as it turns out, is one of this year’s Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship winners. That is not something to shake a stick at, humans! The mind-bending, sonically-inventive stanzas of Spencer Everett followed, which caused the room to lean forward in eagerness. Such complex, imaginative writing should be hallowed. Hallowed, I say! Last, but not least, the audience was graced with the introspective, yet lively poetry of the acclaimed Kim Addonizio. This National Book Award Finalist and former Guggenheim fellow has a new story collection due out this fall, called Palace of Illusions. Purchase her poetry collection, Lucifer At Starlight, on Amazon. The Banquet reading series returns next month. Stay tuned to @City_Sasquatch and #banquetreading for updates.
Is there room for a monster like me among such writerly behemoths? Lo, they tower above me. I must redouble my efforts to impress Lorin Stein, of the Paris Review, and Penguin Books. Did you know their publications are not meant exclusively for arctic fowl? Gods above, I had no idea.