Friday, February 15, 2008

David Budbill

David Budbill Appreciates Birthday Greetings from River Junction Poets
A few of the River Junction Poets met at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Saginaw, Michigan with other poetry lovers on June 13th, David Budbill's 46th birthday (2006). Altogether we had eleven people there that night. We read about his education in theology, about his children's books, about his being from Cleveland, about his being against war, about his taste for ancient Chinese poetry and about his life now on Judevine Mountain in Vermont. Within the space of an hour and a half or so (from 7pm to 8:30), we had plenty of time to talk about all these things and also to read poems by him from his book While We've Still Got Feet. We found that we liked his poems when they're read a little more slowly than the average speed of conversation. We found the poems very accessible, and a quick reading seems a disservice to them.

While we were together at the bookstore on his birthday, we circulated amongst ourselves a birthday card which we all signed and wrote a few comments on. We sent this birthday greeting to Mr. Budbill in the next few days. Since we didn't have his home address, I decided to search for his address online. I didn't find his address, but I did find the address of the Galaxy Bookshop. The Galaxy is Mr. Budbill's local bookstore and, according to their website, they are Mr. Budbill's favorite.

On Saturday, August 18, 2006, I had the keen surprise of finding in my mailbox a letter postmarked Burlington, Vermont and having the return address of Mr. David Budbill! It was quite thick, so of course I immediately began wondering what could be contained within it.

Mr. Budbill writes: Dear Andrew Christ and all the other River Junction Poets! Thank you all so much for your Birthday Reading for me. What a treat it was to get your card. I only got it now -- two months late -- because the Galaxy Bookshop -- my local bookstore -- just now remembered to give it to me. Thanks again to all of you for your graciousness. Sincerely, (signed) David Budbill

The note is written on heavy stock paper, a folded card with a drawing of a moon or sun above pine trees on what looks like a mountain on the front. The drawing was done by his wife, Lois Eby. Inside the card is printed Mr. Budbill's poem, 'Heaven.' The poem and the drawing are both copyright 2005. Also in the card were Mr. Budbill's business card and a blank postcard which we can use to tell a friend about Mr. Budbill's books from Copper Canyon Press, Moment to Moment and While We've Still Got Feet.

In addition to the card and its contents, Mr. Budbill included advertisements for his CDs. On Songs for a Suffering World, Mr. Budbill performs with 'renown bassist' William Parker and 'international drumming sensation' Hamid Drake. On Zen Mountains/Zen Streets, Mr. Budbill and Mr. Parker join forces once again to hammer out the brilliancies. Find out more about it at

Finally, along with all these other things, Mr. Budbill packed in a copy of the first two dozen or so pages of the March 2004 issue of The Sun. This particular issue contains eight of Mr. Budbill's poems and an interview with Mr. Budbill by Diana Schmitt. Among the many interesting thoughts emerging from that interview, I found the following: in a time of war, little poems 'about birds and trees and loneliness and sex and food and joy' are 'weapons in the war for human kindness.'

If you haven't yet, find Mr. Budbill's poems and read them. The world will be changed forever.

"It is our goal to appreciate and improve our talents, to share our own work and to communicate the joys of poetry with others. Everyone's poetry is valued." River Junction Poets Mission Statement

No comments: