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In our second poetry book-club gathering, facilitated by Lisa St. John, we will look at the second half of The Best American Poetry 2017, edited by David Lehman and Natasha Trethewey: pages 77-170. To inform the poems, you may also wish to read the Contributors' Notes and Comments on pages 196–218.
In his introduction, Lehman asks, “What qualifies as literature?” We will explore this idea as well as consider Trethewey’s comment that “poetry helped [her] contend with the reality of the world.” Come prepared to informally discuss the poems and their resonance for you: what you loved or hated or wondered about, what stuck with you for whatever reason. Let’s have fun and keep in mind what poet Lucille Clifton articulates so beautifully: “[T]he first poets didn’t come out of a classroom . . . poetry began when somebody walked off of a savanna or out of a cave and looked up at the sky with wonder and said, ‘Ahhh.‘ That was the first poem.”
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