Later in the afternoon, we went to the Longfellow House in Cambridge, MA, to hear Mark Strand read with the New England Poetry Club as the recipient of their Golden Rose Award for lifetime achievement.
More than 120 people came to hear Strand read on the lawn on a very warm July afternoon. He read a few older pieces but quite a few new, unpublished prose poems. When talking about his newer work, he quipped, "When you get older, it makes less sense to beat your head against a tiny, little poem." But we could tell he was testing these poems with the crowd, and finding patterns he didn't realize existed until reading them aloud.
Strand is still handsome, still as charming as I have always thought him to be. This was the first time I had met him, and he said, "Nice to meet you. You are the first January I have met." (I get that a lot!)
Hearing Mark Strand's words was the perfect way to end our writing weekend. I will write the revision process in a separate post.