Saturday, May 15, 2010

Three Beautiful Things 05/12-14/10: Kay Ryan Bonanza, Fun with Bridgit, Kay Ryan Enriches Us

1. The past three days have been superb. I hadn't seen Bridgit since 1987 and she came to Eugene to see and listen to our nation's poet laureate, Kay Ryan, read her poetry. Bridgit joined Kay Ryan's Friday morning conversation with LCC students joined a handful of us for lunch with Kay Ryan. It was exhilarating to listen to and converse with Kay Ryan, and my enjoyment was increased many fold because Bridgit and I had this experience together.

2. Bridgit and I enjoyed wonderful dinners out, especially at Thai-Hop (Ta Ra Rin) and Beppe and Gianni's. Not only was the food delicious, but we had so much to talk about: our days at Whitworth, our lives today, our shared friends, and poetry. We both deeply admire Kay Ryan and talking about her poetry and her reading moved our conversations into wonderful avenues about how each of us reads and experiences poetry and how much we've changed in the ways we read since our days at Whitworth back in 1982-84.

3. I didn't have any idea what to expect. I hosted Kay Ryan's conversation with LCC students Friday morning. I mumbled a few things to get things started and the room came alive with Kay Ryan's intelligence, wit, kindness, poetry, and graciousness. One after another, students asked superb questions and Kay Ryan responded in graceful, stimulating, and illuminating ways.

Note: Kay Ryan's tenure as the Poet Laureate of the United States is about to end. This is good for her. She can return to her life of writing and to her very active life of the mind. I am inexpressibly happy that she came to Lane Community College and so generously gave us her poetry, the freshness of her mind at work, and the authenticity of her graciousness.

Thank you, Jane.
Thank you , Eileen.

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