7 nov. 2011

Irby

I spent all of Saturday at the Ken Irby celebration. Pierre Joris, Lyn Hejinian, and Ben Friedlander flew in for it, giving talks about Ken's work, along with local luminaries Denise Low and Joe Harrington. Megan Kaminsky and Billy Joe Harris did the emceeing and organizing. The five poets (Lyn, Pierre, Ben, Denise, Joe) also gave a reading, and Ken himself gave a masterful performance to conclude the daytime events. Then we went out to eat and finally had a reception at Billy joe and Susan's house. My role in the celebration was minimal, as the designated introducer of Pierre Joris. It was great for me to be able to meet Lyn Hejinian and Ben Friedlander in person as well.

When I arrived at Kansas more than 15 years ago, Ken Irby was not even on the tenure track. Inexplicably, I did not even meet him until I had been here a few years and decided to organize the poetics seminar. Now he is being promoted, very belatedly, to full professor at the age of 75.

Ken told me he liked my reading the other night. This was great (for me), because Ken is a wonderful reader of poetry, one of the best I've ever heard in person. In fact, I'm trying to think if I know of anyone who reads poetry any better than that. I am listenable, but not in that league at all.

2 comentarios:

Vance Maverick dijo...

Sounds great. I've heard good things about Irby from Duncan McNaughton, who knows many of these people. (At the time, the Irby I knew was the translator -- his brother?)

Denise Low dijo...

OMG, BS called me a L. Seriously, I appreciate your presence and attention at the Irby do. I wasn't bored one minute either.