American Literary Association Conference

Size
It’s a smaller conference than I expected. Most of the people attending are presenting. Which makes sense, I guess. If I weren’t presenting, I wouldn’t be here. That’s somewhat because it is so far away, but Texans tend to travel more than Northeasterners. So even though it’s closer for a lot of people, I am not totally surprised there are not many people here.

Newspaper Poetry session
I went to a really good conference session last night and came away with all these ideas about things I should study. It was very interesting. All five panelists talked about newspaper poetry. And, believe it or not, it was closely related to the first chapter of my dissertation.

Maybe what I am most interested in is genre. Which I already knew. But how does that translate into papers in other places?

Part of the issue that was discussed, not so much by the panelists as by the audience, was the genre of newspaper poetry. What does that mean?

It is certainly an area that has been disregarded.

William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams apparently wrote quite a bit of poetry for his Patterson, New Jersey paper, but did not include those in a published comprehensive list of his poetry that he and his sister put together.

I have to say that I like William Carlos Williams more this year than I have ever liked him before. I didn’t like the story or the poem that most anthologies include and I had never had reason to read anything else of his.

But this semester we had his poem about Engine Number 5, along with a painting done by a friend, and I really liked it.

Then one of the speakers talked of WmCWms’ poetry in the paper, interesting poetry about events important to Patterson, NJ. And I was fascinated. Maybe I have developed a love for the occasional poem or, more likely, I have always had it and I am becoming more enthralled as I age.

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