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You're Invited...9/11 Reading, Maggie Smith Interview & More!

September is shaping up to be a busy month for poetry!

Today in Saturday Morning Poetry with Ann Wallace for the Native Plant Society of NJ Hudson County, we are delighted to feature "Goldenrod," the title poem of Maggie Smith's most recent best-selling collection.

Many of us—perhaps you?—can relate to the speaker in “Goldenrod,” who admits she is “no botanist” when she decides the yellow wildflowers by the roadside are, indeed must be!, goldenrod. We so often rely on words—even if we never say them aloud and even if they may not be accurate—to name the things we love. How many times have you called an interesting bird or a beautiful plant by a name that seems right but may not be, just so you can acknowledge the joy it brings you?

Please join me on Wednesday, September 14 for a live reading of "Goldenrod" and conversation with Maggie Smith. We will go live on Instagram @npsnjhudsoncounty at 7pm EST.

Tomorrow, for local friends, the Native Plant Society of NJ Hudson County chapter is hosting an Iced Tea Social from 12-3pm with a live (yes, live & in person!) poetry reading and garden walk at Canco Park in Jersey City.

Flyer: Hudson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey Iced Tea Social - Sunday, September 11, 12-3pm, Canco Park, 47 Day Street, Jersey City, Poetry Reading from the Saturday Morning Poetry Series

Come, enjoy poetry readings by Christina Kelly (featured last month in Saturday Morning Poetry) and by me. I will have a table with books and prints for sale--so come pick up a copy of Counting by Sevens! We also have a couple of guest readers lined up to read selected work from Saturday Morning Poetry series.

The poetry reading will begin at about 12:45pm, followed by a tour of Canco’s beautiful native plant gardens, led by Dawn Giambalvo. We hope you can join us for a lovely afternoon of poetry, plants, treats, and good company! RSVP here.

Sunday, Sept 11, 12-3pm

47 Dey Street, Jersey City, NJ

In the coming weeks, we are closing out the summer season in Saturday Morning Poetry with an impressive lineup of poets! Mark your calendar for these interviews:

And for our grand finale...

You have likely read her novels and nonfiction, but did you know that she is also a poet?! She is, and you will not want to miss this live reading and conversation of her work. Register here for the event.

If you missed any of my Saturday Morning Poetry live interviews, you can watch them here: Jeannie E. Roberts, Lopamudra Basu, Christina Kelly, Ross Gay, Theta Pavis, and Julie Zickefoose.

Synesthesia - by Ann E. Wallace / I was thinking about hungry birds / and spring and the returned fever / of my daughter but these things / do not inspire hope / so her sister suggests music / and plays a song / she says is orange and pink / and sounds like a painting / and now I know / we both hear color / and texture / when others are stuck / listening for the words.

To end on a personal note, I am pleased to announce the publications of two poem this week.

"Synesthesia" was published yesterday in Panoply, a Literary Zine. This is another installment in my Long Covid poetry series, exploring the different ways we find and convey meaning. Synesthesia is the relatively rare phenomenon in which the stimulation of one sense triggers a reaction in another sense (ie, sound or touch conjures a color or texture, or both).

And, on a more somber note, "Remember this," a poem I wrote in memory of my beloved colleague Dr. Hilary Englert at New Jersey City University, was published this week in Clementine Unbound. Even in the most difficult moments--and we have all had too many in the past few years--, we must remember that the rhythms of life will sustain us and the most painful losses will eventually soften into memories that nourish us.

Remember this / That even in this wrenching / week that has taken so much, / and always, there is movement, / bits of life that stutter and grow. / or quietly hum along, as they should, // that there are cherry trees turning / from showy pink to steady green, / that orioles are landing in / our gardens, filling their sprint- / time bellies before flying onward, // and that, as a student's gentle / prodding reminded me, this know / of heaving pain will soon soften / and spin itself anew into a sacred / web of memories, mine and yours, / that, once shared, will nourish / and carry us through our sorrow.


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