Tim and I traveled to Zumbrota, MN last Saturday evening for this year’s salute to National Poetry Month at the Crossings at Carnegie. Each year, a group of poets and artists are paired up through a juried process, and then they come together to meet; introduce and read the poems; and view and enjoy the resulting visual art inspired by the poems.
After fifteen previous such celebrations, Marie Marvin and her staff have this event down to a fine artistic science. Beginning with a potluck reception at Crossings gallery & shop, moving to the nearby State Theater (operated by the Zumbrota Area Arts Council) for readings by poets and comments by visual artists, and then back to Crossings for lively conversation and closer looks at the art pieces, this event has something for everyone. And it gets better every year!
This year, among the twenty-three pairs of literary and visual artists, Tim and I were pleased to see poets Christine Kallman (a Northfield neighbor, playwright, and Sidewalk Poet) and her daughter; to see poet Ken McCullough and his wife, playwright Lynn Nankivil, friends from Winona; and to meet new people including a multi-talented artist from Red Wing, Art Kenyon, and his wife, Kathleen. Art created a painting inspired by my poem, “Nomad’s Daughter” (originally published in Third Wednesday.) His comments, and our conversation afterwards, helped me to understand my poem better. I love what he did with the poem, taking it into a dimension I could never have imagined. Below are some photos of the evening, to give you a flavor of it.
I was excited to find the painting inspired by poem.
Tim and I snagged good seats for the main program.
I get to meet “my” artist, Art Kenyon. Having thought about one poem in depth this spring, he decides to take home my book, Still Life with Poppies: Elegies.
Below, impresario Marie Marvin, and I channel the energies of Broadway’s classic, Cats–especially appropriate since the musical is based upon T.S. Eliot’s poems in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Marie models one of the evening’s wearable artworks, a polar fleece hat and mittens combo designed by Lana Sjoberg and inspired by Mim Kagol’s poem, “Cat in the Garden,” while I wish I could really sing!
It was an unforgettable evening that still has us clicking our heels!