So….there was this thing called the pandemic, followed by giving up my apartment in Brookline, a job change, a temporary furnished place in Boston, and finally, a condo in Waltham. There was some poetry during that time–reading a book a day in August for the Sealey Challenge (two years in a row), poets from the Harlem Renaissance course I took in Fall 2021, poetry dates, and a poetry workshop through the Cambridge Center of Adult Education earlier this year.
If you’re a poet, then April is supercharged with poetry for National Poetry Month. This newish job, however, has a lot more traveling and my poetry activity had to wait until May. Fortunately, I had a panel accepted at the Mass Poetry Festival (May 5-7, 2023). It was the first in-person festival since 2018. Of course, the panel included a fabulous lineup of double-life poets:
- K.T. Landon – poet and software engineer
- Robert Carr – poet & infections disease specialist
- Cynthia Manick – poet & SCRUM master
Each poet took turns answering these questions:
- How do you describe what you do/did for a living to dinner party guests?
- How did poetry find you?
- How have people at work reacted to you being a poet?
- If you were to describe the relationship between your career and your poetry as a song, TV show, or movie title, what would it be and why?
- How do you stay connected to poetry?
We read 1-2 poems each and then opened up the floor to questions. My favorite question came from a woman whose day job was reading other people’s academic writing for a living and could only spare five minutes a day for poetry. We recommended subscribing to Poem-a-Day and listening to poetry podcasts such as The Slowdown.