Craving More Grace? Check out the Poet Laureate on the NEA's "Art Works"
Listen to Grace Cavalieri on the NEA's Podcast "Art Works"
Craving more Grace Cavalieri? Of course you are! Maryland's newest Poet Laureate is active, about, and spreading the word; that is, her words. Even though Poet Laureate is largely an honorary position (it is unpaid, and one is "honored" more with a title than a job much like a knighthood or a medal of freedom), Grace Cavalieri seems determined to become the most active and community-focused Poet Laureate in Maryland's history. Recently she was featured on Art Works the official podcast for the National Endowment for the Arts.
You can listen to Grace on Art Works HERE
More from Grace Cavalieri
Other Voices, Other Lives was my introduction to Grace. Her book sits now on my shelf between The Waves and Duino Elegies, the pages are worn from thumbing-thru, it is dog-eared, destroyed in certain ways well-loved books are destroyed, aged by the eyes, like good denim, but here the creases are black underlines, and the fading is from yellow highlighter and coffee stains. So in honor of, well, my deep admiration for Grace, I’ve picked one of her poems from Other Voices, Other Lives to share. If this is the first encounter with her poetry, welcome, hello, the books page is just yonder up the screen under “books”! If you’ve long been a fan, I think “Bluebirds” is a great poem to share with those who might not yet have been introduced to Grace’s work.
Grace Cavalieri is known widely for her stirring and empathic poetry, collected in her Legacy work Other Voices, Other Lives, but did you know that she is also an impressive interviewer? On her NPR show, The Poet and The Poem, she interviews significant poets from the US and around the world, with an aim of interpreting their lives through their poetry. In her tenure on the program, she has interviewed 9 US Poets Laureate (you can find a list with these archived interviews HERE), including the incomparable Robert Pinsky.
The name Other Voices, Other Lives, is not purely poetical, in fact, for Grace Cavalieri it is a mission statement. In her Legacy Book of the same name there are several sections in 3rd person omnipotent which aim to breathe the same air as famous women who have suffered adversity. Tragic figure Anna Nicole Smith, feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft, Cora from William Carlos William’s Kora in Hell. All in all they are an admix of Grace Cavalieri’s poetic life, all brought together in one beautiful volume; so, perhaps, we might figure that Anna Nicole Smith converses with Mary Wollstonecraft for the very first time in the pages of Other Voices, Other Lives.
Today, from the Anna section we have the heart-rending “Toytown”