Saturday, March 15, 2008

Good Poems

Recommended reading:

A heart-lifting new anthology to inspire the world-weary

When Garrison Keillor published Good Poems, he touched a chord in readers across America. The anthology of poems he selected for their “wit, their simplicity, their passion, and their utter clarity in the face of everything else a person has to deal with” inspired thousands to buy what was for many their first book of poetry.

Now, in Good Poems for Hard Times, Keillor has pondered over the archives of his beloved Writer’s Almanac radio show to select a batch of consoling, rousing, and truthful poems guaranteed to raise flagging spirits or to inspire those in need of a dose of wisdom or honesty. But these poems are not about suffering. They’re intended to reach us and stricken friends by holding out a picture of the grace of ordinary life. Above all, this eclectic anthology, including works from Raymond Carver, Emily Dickinson, Charles Simic, Billy Collins, Robert Frost, Kenneth Rexroth, and many more, fit Keillor’s definition of “good”: memorable, beautifully worded, and accessible. They’re not highbrow. They’re not stuffy. But when hard times send us skidding into the meridian, the poems collected here are what we need them to be: just plain good.
Excerpted from the publisher,,,0_9780670034369,00.html#, accessed 3/15/08.
Our group has a story associated with Good Poems. One of the people who frequently joins our group bought this book as a way of getting reintroduced to poetry. He mentioned Lisel Mueller, and found her birthday. I had never heard of her before, so I was glad to find a new poet. When we met to read her poems in February 2008, we signed and sent a store flier indicating our event to her c/o the Poetry Center of Chicago. She wrote and sent a delightful Thank You card to the River Junction Poets c/o Andrew Christ. This was one of the more memorable events for me in the 2+ years of doing this.

-- "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

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