Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Deadline Poets Society

Calvin Trillin, the humorist and satirist, gave the keynote address at the New Jersey Library Association conference yesterday. I don't want to ruin the hilarity of what he said by reporting on it, so I'll mostly give you links to his own work.

Trillin told the story of how he became a "deadline poet" for the political magazine The Nation. Trillin's first poem was the susurrant If I Knew What Sinunu, and you can read it in Deadline Poet (at 811.54 TRI in the nonfiction stacks at BHPL). The audience was laughing when Trillin talked about the trouble he had finding rhymes for presidents' names; Clinton was "the orange of American presidents" and the lack of dignified rhymes for Bush made Trillin resort to their middle names, such as in this poem bidding George H.W. Bush farewell that he read aloud.

Another thing that Trillin explained to the audience of hooting librarians (yes, there was hooting) was the collapse of Wall Street last fall.

In addition to politics, Trillin is interested in geography and food, so you might try his American Stories (814.54 TRI) or Feeding a Yen (641.5973 TRI). He's also written about his own life experiences in Family Man (814.54 TRI) and About Alice (which BHPL owns on an audiobook narrated by Trillin himself at CD AUDIO 814.54 TRI).

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