7 p.m. July 29----
My interest in poetry was reborn earlier this year in part by the suicide of Nicholas Hughes, the son of writers Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Plath also checked out by putting her head in an oven.
When Nicholas was in his 20s, Hughes told him this: "The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt....And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all."
That's poetry to live by.
Then I picked up an anthology of poems by St. Louis native Frederick Seidel, who writes in measured but wonderfully cockeyed steps.
Earlier this month, before the finals of the 12th Annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival.
at the Chicago Theater, I had middle school students from the Chicago writers group Nuestra Mezcla ("Our Mix") interview the Illinois All-Stars, a group of writers age 17-19 who emerged from Young Chicago Authors in Wicker Park,
The half-hour backstage session was riveting.
Listeners hung on to every word........