We have some amazing Poetry by the Sea people! Last year they said a world-class conference couldn’t be put together in just six months, and we proved them wrong, because finding amazing people has proven to be one of Founder & Director Kim Bridgford’s greatest talents. With the advantage of a full twelve months to plan, this year’s expectations were even higher. But guess what? Poetry by the Sea people are being recognized on a weekly basis for their outstanding contributions to the world of poetry.
Robin Coste Lewis Wins National Book Award
The NBA shortlist was decided only a few weeks after Kim secured the spotlight readers for the conference, and we were blown away when we realized two of our readers (Patrick Phillips was also nominated for Elegy for a Broken Machine) were finalists. I immediately put Voyage of the Sable Venus on my Xmas list! Then, of course, we were beyond thrilled when Robin won! Here’s an interview with Robin about the book, but personally I can’t wait to hear her read from it on Friday May 27 (and sign my copy!).
Richie Hofmann Makes Top Ten Debut Poets List
Richie Hofmann (Second Empire) is on the first of our two New Books panels, which kicks off the conference on the afternoon of Tuesday May 24th, so I suggest you plan to arrive early. It should be a stellar panel, hosted by John Foy and also including Ned Balbo (Upcycling Paumanok), Tara Betts (7×7: Kwansabas), and Quincy R. Lehr (The Dark Lord of the Tiki Bar). By the way, Jenna Le (A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora) is on the second New Books panel on the morning of Friday May 27th, and is also making headlines.
Micheal O’Siadhail’s Latest Collection Receives Rave Reviews
Micheal O’Siadhail, a workshop leader at the inaugural conference, is making a guest appearance this May on the Saturday morning to read from his newest collection, One Crimson Thread, a book that Thomas McCarthy of the Irish Times calls “one of the most elegant pictures of faithfulness that I have ever encountered.” Greg Pardlo, last April’s surprise winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry (Digest) will also be chairing a panel on Saturday morning, in addition to reading with Robin on Friday. So that’s it then! I’ve just given you reasons both to arrive for the beginning of the conference and to stay until the end!
But here’s the thing: although we can single out the people above because they have made recent headlines, the truth is that all Poetry by the Sea people are pretty special. Obviously we have venerable workshop/seminar leaders like Dick Davis, Joshua Mehigan, Steven Schneider, and A.E. Stallings (a top candidate for the Oxford Professorship in Poetry earlier this year), and panels chaired by luminaries like Rachel Hadas, Marilyn Nelson, and Willard Spiegelman. (I can’t name everyone! But the aim is to have the full schedule online early in the New Year.) Still, what really makes the conference work is the community of Poetry by the Sea people who come to participate, who listen, ask questions, and then read their own poems in the participant readings, who breathe in the fresh air and restoring atmosphere of Mercy by the Sea with us.
I just can’t wait to join the amazing Poetry by the Sea people next May!
Note: All Amazon links are Associate links.