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« Alfred Hitchcock's Fate Was In His Stars [by David Lehman] | Main | Toi Derricotte: Pick of the Week [ed. Terence Winch] »

August 13, 2022

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Kenward was indeed a generous person. I believe he was also the man behind "The Fund for Poetry," which sent out checks, anonymously, to many writers, myself among them.

In 1972, two years after moving to Calais, VT, I got a call that began, "You don't know me but my name is Kenward Elmslie..." I couldn't believe my ears. When I was a student at Columbia a few years previously, my friends on the Columbia Review were great admirers of Kenward, Joe Brainard, Ron Padgett et al. Now I found out that Kenward, Joe, and Ron all spent their summers just miles down the road. The reason Kenward called me was that he was presenting a local reading and was looking for someone to play the piano to accompany his poetry. I think it was Satie and Gershwin that I played. This was my introduction to this warm, witty, generous, unique man. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to have known him over the years.

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Best American Poetry Web ad3
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark


from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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