Monday, May 18, 2009

Aimless Reading: The C's, Part 39.4 (Robert Creeley)

Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Creeley, Robert

Another volume rescued from the sale of the Just Buffalo library. Robert Creeley, I should say, is also an important player in the beginning of Just Buffalo Literary Center, where I work. According to founder Debora Ott, she made her decision to come to Buffalo after having heard him read on the radio and deciding she had to study with him. His insistence on making poetry happen in the community (and outside the university) inspired her to organize her first reading in 1975.

With several friends, she got some money together and invited Diane DiPrima to read -- thus, a literary center was born. Posters from Just Buffalo's first fifteen years read very much like a who's who of the Black Mountain, Naropa and Poetry Project circles, Ed Dorn, Ted Berrigan, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Duncan, Alice Notley, Eileen Myles, Jayne Cortez, Ed Sanders et al.

Turned out Debora was my first Buffalo landlord. Ted Pearson had been running a series through JB called Writers at Work for several years, but had just left town when I arrived in 1997. Debora asked me if I wanted to make a little money by running a poetry series while I was in grad school, so I did. The rest, as they say, is history.

From Later

Thinking of Walter Benjamin

What to say
these days
of crashing disjunct,
whine, of separation--

Not abstract--
"God's will," not
lost in clouds this
experienced wisdom.

Hand and mind
and heart one
ground to walk on,
field to plow.

I know
a story
I can tell
and will.

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