Poets Wanted: Dead or Alive

In 2013 I started a presentation series as poet laureate for the city of Redmond, Washington. These free presentations have gone from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Redmond Regional Library, and have featured biographical details, the reading and discussion of key poems by each poet, plus video interpretations (from YouTube) of the poet’s poetry, biographical information, or other information. We have occasionally scheduled special guests, such as students of Octavio Paz and Theodore Roethke, or have had unexpected guests, such as a poet and translator who came to the Rumi presentation dressed somewhat like Rumi, and helping to share the poems in the original language, plus his translations. The following is a list of past presentations. I can give these presentations at other locations at any time.

2013–2014
30 October 2013      E. E. Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962)
29 January 2014       Rumi (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273)
30 April                     Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886)
30 July                      Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973)

2015
21 January               Octavio Paz (March 31, 1914 – April 19, 1998)
28 January               Robert Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
11 February             Bash
ō (1644 – 1694)
18 February             Rabindranath Tagore (May 7, 1861 – August 7, 1941)
25 February             Theodore Roethke (May 25, 1908 – August 1, 1963)

2016
11 February             Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963)
16 February             William Stafford (January 17, 1914 – August 28, 1993)
23 February             Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) (in celebration of Black History Month)
1 March                  Dr. Seuss (March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991) (March 2 was Dr. Seuss Day)
15 March                Wallace Stevens (October 2, 1879 – August 2, 1955)
22 March                Shel Silverstein (September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999)
29 March                Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997)

2017
28 February           Issa (June 15, 1763 – January 5, 1828)
7 March                William Carlos Williams (September 17, 1883 – March 4, 1963)
21 March              Denise Levertov (October 24, 1923 – December 20, 1997)
28 March              Dylan Thomas (October 27, 1914 – November 9, 1953)

Possible future presentations include Mary Oliver, W. S. Merwin, Lewis Carroll, Lorine Niedecker, T. S. Eliot, Cid Corman, Tomas Tranströmer, Shiki, Buson, William Shakespeare, and others.