Jorie Graham reading at the Centro Studi Americani last week. Of course, we English-language-starved expat poets are delighted when poets like Jorie come to read in Rome. But at Italian poetry events, be prepared for at least 45 minutes of critical discussion from various experts and professors who will explain to you what an important poet he/she is, and his/her place in the American canon, and and and -- and then the poet gets to read 6 or 7 poems if you are lucky. Agh. But I was very happy to hear her read "San Sepolcro" and a few other favorites.
Speaking of "greatest hits"-type poems, twice last week I found myself in the neighborhood of the American Academy in Rome, which is quite close to the Villa Sciarra, whose garden contains the "Baroque Wall Fountain" about which Richard WIlbur wrote, and Henri Cole as well, in his poem "Arte Povera." I've always believed that horses are poetic creatures:
For now, I'm going to read Ms. Graham and Messrs. Wilbur and Cole. And then try to write something. Buon lavoro!