The Voice Of Poetry In The Conversation of Mankind


It's one of the things that I'm proudest of on the Dish: our inclusion of poetry – classic, 20th century and brand new – in the daily buzz of the web. We used to do it by our own exhausted wit or your occasional brilliance in finding the exact poetic words for an event or a moment or a mood. But then, at a collective reading of the poems of Philip Larkin, I met Alice Quinn, executive director of the Poetry Society of America. She has already helped pioneer poetry in public spaces – on transportation in New York City, to name just one – and she graciously agreed to help bring poetry to this public space. She does it for no compensation, just for our shared love of poetry.

Which is why I invite you, if you care about poetry (and it's not to everyone's taste on a news and opinion site), to consider becoming a member of the Poetry Society of America. They are running a special year-end membership campaign from December 23rd to January 1st, in which anyone who joins at the basic membership level gets to choose a signed limited broadside by Mark Strand or by one of the organization's Frost medalists, Charles Simic and Marilyn Nelson. Any donation is tax-deductible – and for a short time, you also get a beautiful broadside in the bargain. Sign up for your membership here. And let me extend my personal thanks to Alice, and her co-conspirator, our literary editor, Matt Sitman. And wish them both the merriest of Christmases and a poetic new year.