|Major Jackson and Vicki Zubovic|
The best thing about conferences: getting to meet fabulous writers and poets.
This conference, for me, it was the poet Major Jackson.
(I love this picture, even if I did take it myself. The smiles say it all.)
There is no question that Major Jackson is a formidable poet and a master of form. He's also an engaging, personable speaker, both as a reader of his own work and as a lecturer during the craft-talk at the NVWC. His reading at Mondavi took us everywhere: The Frost House in New England, the b'ball courts in his Philly neighborhood, a long chat with Gwendlyn Brooks. He read some poems from his just -about-to-be-published book, "Holding Company," and some from "Hoops." While some of the poems in the latter book soar and bounce with the jump-shot rhythm of basketball (Hank Gathers, Moose), the second half is a 70-page epistolary poem to Gwendolyn Brooks in rhyme royal. Like I said, a master.
AND! see who's featured this month in Poets & Writers