Transatlantic voices and a party
June 15, 2009
We’ve heard two transatlantic voices in the SPL this week – not counting visitors: the poets Linda Gregerson and Amanda Lichtenstein, both from the Mid-West. Poetry news from the USA reaches us faintly – or rather, randomly, so were all the more grateful to encounter new poets and hear their poetic accents.
Linda came to us through a longstanding friendship with John Burnside, and their joint reading was a reflective joy. She once said that the poetry she tries to write has ‘maximum consequence per cubic inch’ and the audience thought it did. Amanda is in Edinburgh on an exchange with Elspeth Murray, who was in Chicago in March: both have been working with schools as teaching artists (Elspeth loves this description of her role) shadowing each other. In collaboration with the Scottish Book Trust, we had a wee reception for them last week, in which we heard Scottish pupils’ poems on the fate of frogs (not happy) as well as Amanda’s unpacking of the meaning of arrivals and departures: two young-silver-haired poets with stunning red necklaces bringing wonder and laughter to the SPL on a light northern night.