I managed to get some time with Chris McCabe, the librarian of the poetry library, and a great poet himself, to explain the world record project and some of things the poet’s have been asked to do as part of Poetry Parnassus.
There have been some great events over the last few days. Sasha Dugdale eloquently led a wonderful event with Italian speaking poets down in the white room this afternoon, yesterday’s much discussed New World Order reading was said to be exceptional, featuring some incredible European poets like Valzhyna Mort and Jacek Dehnel, and the Lunch poems the day before that, featured below, continued to entertain. There were workshops with Karen Solie, Kate Kililea, a packed Pacifica reading last night and the Poetry and film screening about David Shook in Equatorial Guinea was very moving. That barely scratches the surface of all that has happened.
It is somewhat inevitable that with all these events that one can get burnt out on poetry and the consistent excess can even seem somewhat deflating. There are only so many readings one can attend without losing the thread of what is being read, and if that happens, one ceases really benefiting from the act of poetry being read aloud, rather than being read alone. That being said, the last few days have been exceptionally interesting, and at times, quite intimate. The experience of the Poets village, and the way things seem to have a momentum of their own, means that hours can pass very quickly and one is left discussing ‘making the most of it’ more than actually doing that. At times an event this size can seem incredibly populated, and you are unable to walk ten yards without beginning multiple conversations. At other times, it does seem like it has been set up purely for you to navigate, always with the nagging feeling you are missing something else, some parallel reading, in some small room, many levels below.