Seattle’s Favorite Poems — read aloud at Town Hall Thursday night

Thursday night at Town Hall — poets and poetry lovers read aloud. We asked former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky for his thoughts on this wonderful community tradition for celebrating poetry:


robert pinskyI think the truly memorable Favorite Poem Reading at Seattle’s Town Hall years back was the first event at that noble space in its present form. Actor Tom Skerritt and Seattle’s fire chief joined many Seattle area readers. Early in the days, too, of the Favorite Poem Project, which has just upgraded its web site with large format, HD videos. 


Next week the FPP site will add several new videos of Chicagoans reading poems they love. (Made with the help of the Poetry Foundation.) Among the videos, Mayor Rahm Emanuel reading Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago.” And at the end of this month, I will launch a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), “The Art of Poetry,” based on the FPP and events like the Town Hall one. Sneak previews of the MOOC –a video mini-lecture and a video discussion– are at: 


We’ve had Seattle-area teacher’s join the FPP’s Summer Poetry Institute for K-12 Teachers, in the past. I hope more come to Boston for the K-12 Institute this next Summer. The one-week Institute (this year, July 20-24) is now in its fourteenth year! Faculty have included Louise Glück, Heather McHugh and Carl Phillips.


Hugo House, Poetry Northwest, Heather McHugh, The Seattle Public Library . . . I’m very glad to be returning Thursday night, with the feeling of being among friends.


Event details: Celebrate beloved poems with other local poetry lovers. Seattle’s Favorite Poems will bring together local luminaries, poets, and community members for an evening of everyone’s favorite poems on Thursday, September 18, 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall Seattle. Featured readers include Robert Pinsky, Heather McHugh and Aidan Lang. Hosted by KUOW’s Marcie Sillman, the evening will also feature Seattle residents reading their chosen poems.

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