Common Gathering Featured Poet: Henri Cole

Posted on by Dodge Poetry Staff

Tomorrow, participants from all Spring & Fountain sessions will join Dodge Poets in Princeton for a day-long celebration of poetry that will feature readings, writing opportunities and discussions on a variety of topics on poetry and its place in our lives. It is a mini-retreat for teachers, which will culminate in a reading by a featured poet.

Our featured poet this year is Henri Cole, who you may have seen at the 2012 Dodge Poetry Festival.

Born in Fukuoka Japan to a French-Armenian mother and American father stationed there while in the military, HENRI COLE was raised in a home where three languages were spoken.  He credits this with fostering his delight in the sounds of speech.  Cole looks inward with the same intensity as our most emotionally explosive “confessional” poets. Unlike many of them, the speaker in Cole’s poems is often calm.  Indeed, the calmness with which he peels aside layers of conventional reticence regarding self-disclosure would be disconcerting if not for his meticulous attention to shaping the sound and rhythm of speech. Henri Cole has published eight collections of poetry, including Blackbird and Wolf, (2007), Pierce the Skin: Selected Poems 1982-2007 (2011) and Middle Earth (2004), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.  He has received many awards for his work, including the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Lenore Marshall Award.  His most recent collection is Touch (2011). Here’s an article in The New Yorker about Touch, accompanied by some poems.

Here are a couple of Henri’s poems:

A Half-Life
Asleep in Jesus at Rest
Cape Cod Elegy
Crows in Evening Glow
Dead Mother
Eating the Peach
Father’s Jewelry Box
Original Face
Painted Eyes
Saint Stephen’s Day with the Griffins
The Bee
To Sleep

We are looking forward to his reading tomorrow!

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One Response to Common Gathering Featured Poet: Henri Cole

  1. Kathy Givler says:

    Where to begin?! I have been attending Spring and Fountain and Common Gathering events for many years. They never, ever fail to renew my poetic soul. There is truly a magic that happens when lovers of language, particularly lovers of poetry, are brought together in an inspiring setting. It is uncanny how we all soon find we have so much in common as it is revealed by the very poems we each chose to share with a group of strangers. As the sessions pass a bond is made that is carried forward from year to year as we all meet up at other sessions and at the Common Gathering. I am so very, very grateful to the Dodge Foundation for the great work they do and for understanding the importance of keeping poetry relevant in our daily lives. I am already looking forward to next year!

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