Twenty Summers and The Grolier Poetry Foundation and Forums Trust present
Featuring Ifeanyi Menkiti, Martha Collins, Kate Wallace Rogers, and Rosalind Pace
Provincetown lost one of its greatest writers, observers, and community members this winter with the passing of Mary Oliver. Her unique perception of the world and the words she used to describe it have inspired and influenced many. To celebrate the gift of her poetry, Twenty Summers and The Grolier Poetry Foundation and Forums Trust (the oldest poetry bookstore in America, located in Cambridge) will bring together four distinguished poets to read from their favorite works by Mary Oliver and discuss her powerful legacy.
Ifeanyi Menkiti is the author of Before a Common Soil (2007) and Of Altair, The Bright Light (2005) and two previous collections of poetry, Affirmations (1971) and The Jubilation of Falling Bodies (1978). Born in Onitsha, Nigeria, Ifeanyi Menkiti first came to the United States to attend Pomona College, Columbia University and New York University, receiving his Ph.D in Philosophy from Harvard University. He taught Philosophy at Wellesley College for 41 years. Menkiti assumed ownership of the Grolier Poetry Book Shop in 2006, and created the Grolier Poetry Foundation and Forums Trust to preserve the impressive legacy of the Grolier, advance the cultural work, and secure its financial future. He also established the Grolier Poetry Press to publish select books of poetry.
Martha Collins has published nine books of poetry, most recently Night Unto Night. Founder of the creative writing program at UMass-Boston, she served as Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin for ten years. Because What Else Could I Do is forthcoming in September 2019.
Kate Wallace Rogers: Songs and poems fringe my earliest memories. I have always composed rhymes, rhythms, parroted sounds, twisted cliches and written my mind musings on paper. I grew up in New York City with parents who were writers/editors. Currently, I teach yoga in Provincetown and work at the Truro Center for the Arts. I am grateful for the many chances to read my work across Cape Cod. My journey as a poet pivoted when I experienced Mary Oliver reading in Wellfleet. I have spent many hours listening to her reading as I drive across the Cape, which has allowed her poems to settle deeply into my heart. I have also had the honor of taking care of Stanley Kunitz ‘ garden. The overwhelming pattern of my life is of luck and love swelling towards magic.
Rosalind Pace enjoyed a rewarding thirty-year career as a Poet-in-the Schools, working K-12, and her poem-making activities nearly always included a Mary Oliver poem. Her own poems have appeared in many journals; her collection Edge was a finalist for the Gerald Cable Book Award. In 2016 She received a Fellowship in Poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
About the Grolier: The Grolier Poetry Foundation and Forums Trust is a 501(c)(3) organization that serves as the anchor for the work of the Grolier, established to preserve our impressive legacy of cultural work. The Grolier Poetry Book Shop, the oldest poetry bookshop in the United States, is located at 6 Plympton Street, Cambridge, Mass. Along with the Grolier Poetry Press, the shop supports the foundation's mission, which is to keep poetry alive and to celebrate the unifying voice of poetry. To learn more, please visit: grolierpoetrybookshop.org.
Photo credit: © 2005 Rachel Giese Brown