2014 Featured Festival Poet: Patrick Rosal

Posted on by Michele Russo, Poetry Program Coordinator

Rosal Web

Pat Rosal was born and raised in New Jersey and has written “love poems” to this wonderful state, which is just one of the reasons I will always have a soft spot in my heart for him. Watch him read “Kundiman Ending on a Theme from T La Rock” which starts at 15:35:

While people often look away from the gritty side of things—including New Jersey—Pat Rosal looks the grit straight in the eye. In this poem, he has made music of the sounds and smells of New Jersey, without romanticizing it. That’s one of his gifts as a poet—capturing complex and difficult stories in rhythmic, tongue defying, richly musical and visually stunning poems. He was formerly a DJ and breakdancer and when he reads, you understand that physicality is a huge part of Rosal’s way of connecting with the world. To say you “hear” him read is a misnomer. You feel the poems in your body, in your own breath and heartbeat. The energy builds up through the poems and it becomes impossible to resist their momentum. These poems can give you the delightful and welcome feeling of being immersed—you may not catch every detail, or understand every reference. But you are along for a journey, you trust your guide and the ride is captivating.

Another strength of Pat Rosal’s poems is their stunning endings. Their exploration of disparate narratives and themes again create that immersive and swirling experience for the reader or listener. That swirling is brought to a crescendo in the final jaw-dropping lines, which tie the narratives together. At 11:20 in the video above, you will find “Bienvenida: Santo Tomás”.

Some lines stay with us—you may find yourself chewing on them for days and ruminating on their meaning. “Sometimes/ we have to sing just to figure out/ what we cannot say.” is one of those lines; in this poem it synthesizes the streams of violence, music, ritual and family that are explored in the poem. And in a broader sense, it expresses the mystery of music and poetry—their capacity for expressing the unsayable, for transcending everyday speech and everyday writing.

Pat has worked in the Dodge Poetry Program’s Poetry in the Schools program, and we are really looking forward to seeing him again, sharing his work with our Festival audience. For more, check out his website which has links to poems, essays and other creative projects.

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We encourage you to use the “Comments” box below to share other resources you may have found for this poet. In this way, we can build together a mini-wiki-encyclopedia on the 2014 Festival Poets.

For more information on the 2014 Dodge Poetry Festival and Program,

visit our website dodgepoetry.org

**

We encourage you to use the “Comments” box below to share other resources you may have found for this poet. In this way, we can build together a mini-wiki-encyclopedia on the 2014 Festival Poets.

For more information on the 2014 Dodge Poetry Festival and Program,

visit our website dodgepoetry.org

– See more at: http://blog.grdodge.org/2014/09/13/2014-featured-festival-poet-robert-pinsky/#sthash.FrQwBGuD.dpuf

**

We encourage you to use the “Comments” box below to share other resources you may have found for this poet. In this way, we can build together a mini-wiki-encyclopedia on the 2014 Festival Poets.

For more information on the 2014 Dodge Poetry Festival and Program,

visit our website dodgepoetry.org

– See more at: http://blog.grdodge.org/2014/09/13/2014-featured-festival-poet-robert-pinsky/#sthash.FrQwBGuD.dpuf

**

We encourage you to use the “Comments” box below to share other resources you may have found for this poet. In this way, we can build together a mini-wiki-encyclopedia on the 2014 Festival Poets.

For more information on the 2014 Dodge Poetry Festival and Program,

visit our website dodgepoetry.org

– See more at: http://blog.grdodge.org/2014/09/13/2014-featured-festival-poet-robert-pinsky/#sthash.FrQwBGuD.dpuf

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