Page 8 -The Michigan Daily-Friday, January 29, 1988
By Marie Wesaw
"The spoken word of poetry, the
sound, the human voice, is an im-
portant part of it," comments
Sharon Olds on poetry readings. "It's
a chance to be close to people."
Tonight's Great American Poetry
Reading will allow four prominent
contemporary poets - Sharon Olds,
Wendell Berry, Donald Hall, and
Galway Kinnell - to bring the
spoken word to their works.
The event, sponsored by the Uni-
versity's English Department and
Honors Program, continues the tra-
dition begun two years ago, when
Berry, Hall, Kinnell, and Seamus
Heaney came to Ann Arbor to read
at the invitation of University En-
glish Professor Bert Hornback.
Wendell Berry has written several
books of poetry and has received
both the Rockefeller and Guggen-
heim Foundation Fellowships, and
has won the National Institute of
Arts and Letters Prize.
Hornback, a close colleague of
Berry, called him a "private person"
and stressed that Berry's commit-
ment as a Kentucky farmer is shown
through the titles of his works, such
as Farming: Achandbook and The
Clearing, and through the subject
matter of his poetry. Hornback ex-
plains, "Berry writes about the peo-
ple there [in Kentucky] and their
way of life."
Donald Hall was a professor of
English at the University from 1957
to 1975; he moved to New Hamp-
shire to concentrate on freelance
his works, which range from essays
and biographies to short stories and
poetry, but he claims that all have
"one thing in common - the ma-
nipulation of language. I love fid-
dling with words."
Hall is currently polishing up a
poem which he started in Ann Arbor
and has been working on for 17
years. The poem encompasses, ac-
cording to Hall, "everything in the
world, everything I've ever learned."
It is due to be published in Septem-
ber, but Hall will read sections of
this poem tonight.
Galway Kinnell is also a regular
to the Ann Arbor poetry scene. He
is the author of eight books of po-
etry and has won the Pulitzer Prize,
the American Book Award, and has
been the recipient of a MacArthur
Fellowship. Kinnell started reading
here in the early '60s at the invita-
tion of Hall and also held a weekend
series of creative writing seminars at
the University last winter.
Kinnell believes that Ann Arbor
is a great place for poets: "The Uni-
versity of Michigan has a finer
audience for poetry than any other
university I know of. The reason
involves the caliber of students and
the professors that build an interest
Kinnell plans to focus on his
newer poems during the reading but
will also include old favorites.
The newcomer to the group,
Sharon Olds, has written three
works of poetry and received the in-
augural San Francisco Poetry Center
Award in 1980 for her first work
Satan Says. Her work involves
relationships between people, but
she does not like to consider her
work autobiographical - "I'm in-
terested in poems that can speak for
more than one person."
Olds is currently working on a
collection of poetry concerning
World War II and is also working on
another collection entitled The Fa-
ther. She plans to read some of the
poems from that work tonight.
When asked about the future of
poetry, Kinnell, Hall, and Olds ex-
press both concern and optimism.
According to Kinnell, "Poetry is one
form in which we express directly
our most intimate thoughts and ex-
pressions." He does admit, however,
that it has only minor popularity.
Hall states, "People are demanding
more form, more recognizable
shape. For instance, the sonnet is
coming back into popularity." He
also voices optimism that more
people are taking interest in poetry.
"But I don't think it will ever re-
place sex or baseball," Hall adds.
Olds believes that the future of
poetry involves who will be allowed
to speak. "When I'm at home in
New York I see a lot of kids that are
not reading, not getting enough to
cat, and I think to myself they are
never going to be poets ... they are
not having the lives to give them
freedom to speak."
Olds does note, however, that
through her experiences with teach-
ing writing classes at Goldwater
Hospital, that technology has al-
lowed physically handicapped people
to be able to write, thus increasing
the circle of poets.
When asked how Kinnell would
describe his poetry, he responds, "I
wouldn't - you have to leave
something for the critics." Tonight's
your chance to judge all four for
TIIE GREAT AMERICAN PO-
ETRY READING is tonight at 8
p.m. at Rackham Auditorium.
Tickets are $5.50.
Fridays in The Daily
Galway Kinneil, regular to the Ann Arbor poetry scene, is the winner of the
American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. When asked to describe his
poetry, he responds, "I wouldn't - you have to leave something for the
writing. He won the Lamont Poetry
Prize for his first book of poems
Exiles and Marriages and the 1987
Lenore Marshall Prize for The
Hall is noted for the diversity of
The Kerrytown Concert House
features two shows this weekend.
Tonight at 8 p.m. the group IRI-
DESCENCE, comprised of former
University student and flutist Jan
Vine, and harpist and vocalist Kar-
linda Dejnozka will be performing.
The concert is part of Iridescene's
Midwest tour. Previously the group
has appeared at the Lincoln Center
and the Saratoga Performing Arts
Center as well as many other well-
known culture/concert spots.
Admission is $5 and reservations are
Tomorrow night British-born pi-
anist RICHARD SIMM will bring
his traditional virtuoso-romatic style
to Kerrytown. Simm has won sev-
eral awards, including the Joy Scott
and Vivian Hamilton Prizes for
Chopin Interpretation, a prize at the
1969 Leeds International Piano
Competition, an award from the
Countess of Munster Trust, and a
German Academic Exchange
scholarship. Admission is $12, $8,
and $5 for students and senior citi-
Old-time jazz, ragtime, and Dix-
ieland band the OLIVIA STREET
STOMPERS will be at the Michi-
gan League Ballroom for the Kelsey
Museum Jazz Benefit Saturday
night. All proceeds from the benefit
will go to the Kelsey Museum of
Archaeology. Tickets are $20 for
non-students (of which $15 dollars is
tax-deductible) and only $5 for stu-
dents. Refreshments will be pro-
Argentine guitarist JOSE LUIS
MERLIN will give a concertista de
guitarra in the Sanctuary at 2309
Packard. The concert, which features
classical and folk music from Latin
America, is part of the Latin Ameri-
can Culture Project. Tickets are $5
and are available at Herb David Gui-
tar Studio (302 E. Liberty).
At the Blind Pig this weekend,
you can catch FRANK ALLISON
AND THE ODD SOX tonight. The
Sox are one of the area's finest
young bands, and will play in sup-
port of their new single. Tomorrow
and Sunday nights TRACY LEE
AND THE LEONARDS will play
their high powered brand of R&B.
At the Jean Paul Slusser Gallery,
the THIRD ANNUAL SCHOOL OF
ART AWARDS EXHIBITION will
continue with a juried exhibition of
undergraduate and graduate student art
works in all media.
Also, local musicians MATT
SMITH and YUJI ONIKI are sched-
uled to make an appearance at East
Quad's Halfway Inn tonight. Word 4
has it that Oniki's been under the
weather as of late, so it might be
wise to call first. Nonetheless, the
talented guitarists are a sure bet if it
turns out they're playing. Smith is
best known as lead vocal-
ist/songwriter of It's Raining, and
Oniki used to lead Dreaming in
Color. It you caught them when
they jumped onstage with Game
Theory, you'll be sure to want to see
The brand-new Michigan Bell CA$H CARD.
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