October 31, 2008

LocusPoint & Post-age & Wacca Wacca

The Washington edition of LocusPoint is now up. I curated it and wrote the introductory essay, which inspired some real soul-searching about the nature of the poetry scene in D.C. Take a look and enjoy the work of an incredible diverse array of poets:

Derrick Weston Brown
Michael Gushue
Natalie E. Illum
E. Ethelbert Miller
Rod Smith
Maureen Thorson
Rosemary Winslow

and a glimpse from the editor's note:

"...The writers I know struggle and juggle artistic calling with the demands of parenting, lawyering, Department of Whatever-ing, bartending, and teaching. A friend often taxis from his work on the Hill to catch a Folger reading, knowing he’ll have to taxi straight back again as Congress marches steadily on towards midnight. On a good day, our insistence on making time for poetry demonstrates fierce, inspiring devotion. On a bad day we are an exhausted lot, cursing the delays of the Red Line and straggling in just as the reading ends...."

I'll be intrigued to hear what folks think.

& speaking of the Washington world: I'll have a new column in the Washington Post Sunday Magazine on Sunday (November 2)!

& speaking of journals going "live" today, here's a great new one called Waccamaw and edited by the fantastic Dan Albergotti, whose book The Boatloads came out from BOA this year.

October 29, 2008

What You Should Do AFTER You Vote

First, a cool thing: Theories of Falling was reviewed over at RATTLE, and includes one of my favorite cirtical observations ever made about my work: "Whether she is writing about allergy suffering or a philosophical analysis of American culture, Beasley insists on surprise and humor of top order...."

I am incredibly grateful.

And in bright and shiny defiance of these political times, we will celebrate the first week of November with...poetry. Come on down to the Arts Club, where the day after the presidential elections I will be hosting a reading:

Flirting with the Masters: Poets on Walt Whitman

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 - 7 p.m.

The Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I Street NW
Free and open to the public, reception to follow.

On Wednesday, November 5, the Arts Club of Washington will host acclaimed poets Aaron Baker and Ted Genoways as they “flirt with the master,” Walt Whitman, in the city that served as Whitman’s home for a decade. While in Washington, Whitman administered to Civil War soldiers, composed such masterworks as “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” and published two editions of Leaves of Grass. As an introduction to reading from their own works, Baker and Genoways will each speak about Whitman’s influence as a writer and American icon. This event is part of an ongoing series at the Arts Club.

AARON BAKER is the author of Mission Work (Houghton Mifflin 2008). He has lived in Mexico, Germany, and Papua New Guinea, where his parents were missionaries in a remote village of the Chimbu Highlands. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Creative Writing at Stanford University, he currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, the poet Jennifer Chang. He teaches at Hollins University.

TED GENOWAYS is the author of two books of poetry, most recently Anna, washing (Georgia, 2008), as well as Walt Whitman and the Civil War (California, forthcoming 2009). He has edited seven books, including Joseph Kalar’s Papermill: Poems 1927–1935 (Illinois, 2006) and Walt Whitman: The Correspondence (Iowa, 2004). As editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, he has received thirteen National Magazine Awards nominations and won in General Excellence and Fiction. He is a contributing editor to Mother Jones and Men’s Journal.

THE ARTS CLUB OF WASHINGTON is at 2017 I Street NW, near Foggy Bottom/GWU and Farragut West metro. Headquartered in the James Monroe House, a National Historic Landmark, the Club was founded in 1916 and is the oldest non-profit arts organization in the city. The Club’s mission is to generate public appreciation for and participation in the arts through ongoing educational programs that include literary events, art exhibitions, musical and theatrical performances.


Depending on the outcomes, we will be celebrating--or drowning our sorrows. Either way, wine and verse for all, with two superb Charlottesville poets. I'm really looking forward to this one.

October 28, 2008

So...there WERE meetings, right?

Fair question. Yes, there were meetings. Over sushi. In a stunning 14th Street apartment. In the Algonquin Hotel. Poring pages of Cabinet magazine with its editors, talking trim size and funding and experiments gone horribly right or wrong.

Over and over I asked: What's your favorite part about what you do?

An "eh" meeting was simply Here's who I am, Here's what I can offer you (e.g. not much), Do you have any questions. A good meeting involved volunteering the authors, projects or trends we are truly excited about (and there's a risk there; you never know if you're naming the subject of a grudge, a bad review, or a failed book bid). A great meeting involved someone jumping out of a chair to pull a book off the shelf.

Some of the best conversations were with people who are not editors, not publishers, not people who can "do" or assign something, just fellow poets whose work I love--Jeffrey McDaniel, Josh Bell, Marie Howe--and those hours were like water to a thirsty soul.

I discovered the paucity of coffeeshops in any part of Manhataan other than Soho. I realized that I would rather work in magazines than teach. I affirmed that I am a DC girl, though New York charms me more with each visit.

Personal highlight: I walked into McNally Jackson, a to-die-for bookstore on Prince Street, and in the poetry section I found not one, but TWO copies of my book. Face out on the shelf! Yes, I took a photo, because I am dorky like that.

I returned full of ideas. A dream of being a Penguin author. Seeds for scholarly essays, interviews with artists, sestinas, treatises on color, a book about allergies. It's tough because here, back in the maelstrom of everyday life (aggravated by a two-week absence) I will have to fight to make time for these projects. But I owe it to myself--and to Poets & Writers, having blessed me with this opportunity--to try.


I am slowly but surely reconnecting with being home. You know how sometimes you schedule something, and then life intervenes, and then all of a sudden you're just THERE? In my case, "there" was in the studio of FM radio's WPFW (89.3 to DC folks), joining local legend Reuben Jackson for his Monday poetry hour. It could have been a disaster. We didn't know each other that well; we had an hour to fill; and the MS I had grabbed on my way out the door to read from turned out to be missing the entire last section of poems. So I was a bit hampered in my selections, and prayed that the conversation would not naturally cue me to read a poem I did not, in fact, have handy.

But you know what? The hour flew by. Reuben's questions were on-target, thoughtful, and reflected his generosity of spirit and understanding of the poetry world. The sound engineer gave me silent snaps in the air when I read "Osiris Speaks." I managed to adopt a more even-keeled voice than I do in readings (which might have boomed in the microphone) and resisted (or at least toned down) any emphatic hand gestures. It was fun--really fun. And Mark Dawson, another great Washington poet, emailed to say that while stuck in the rush hour traffic of Silver Spring, he'd actually stumbled across the station and tuned in. We had an audience! Of one, maybe, but at least he's one of my favorites.

October 24, 2008

I Will Never Eat Again

After a revitalizing visit to Stony Brook--meeting students, reading poems, and answering their questions reminded me that THIS is what I actually love, THIS is what I do--I am taking a quieter morning to pack my bags and begin the long haul back to DC. I don't know how I will manage this luggage. Seriously. I was given eight books, including three hardback, one of them being David Lehman's Oxford Anthology of Poetry. I need a camel.

As promised, a rundown of the food highlights while on this trip:

-Onion bagels at the Library Hotel. Free, every morning, small, dense and chewy but soft. I don't even usually eat bagels, but I could not resist the way the ships of onion had caramelized from what seemed to be just-applied heat. I now understand what a true New York bagel is, versus the puffier and oversized ones in DC.

-The coffee an agent brewed in his home kitchen for us--from grounds brought back fresh from Germany, where he had attended the Frankfurt book festival.

-Cocoa-rubbed baby back pork ribs at Kittichai. Given I can't eat (milk) chocolate, it was literally a flavor I had not had in years. The meat was thick and without gristle. All hail Jeffrey McDaniel for insisting we order them for the table! This restaurant also takes the prize for most chic interior.

-Having a bottle of Veuve Clicquot opened for us the moment we sat down for a 1 PM brunch at the Rainbow Room. We didn't even debate the indulgence; it was just there. And what a view! I didn't even know that Central Park, and the many bridges, could be seen from such an aerial angle while still indoors. Okay, so the buffet-styled food was nothing spectacular (at least the things safe for me to eat), but the blueberries were the biggest I've ever seen. I knew this trip had a Cinderella quality when I told my mom I was going to the Rainbow Room and she said "Oh my gosh! I've always wanted to go there!" When I arrived, the hostess all congratulated me.

-The pear Bellinis in the Library Lounge's Bookmarks lounge. Normally it's scotch, but when hosting someone for one last conversation at the close of the day, I wanted something a little softer. Pear puree, champagne, and a vanilla/pear liquor.

-Ginger and duck dumplings at The Kitchen Club. Not the most adventurous flavor profile--this place specializes in fun, Asian comfort food--but perfect for a large group dinner (one half of a table with family, one half with Poets & Writers folks) following the reading at Housing Works. The rice had currants, spice and chewy black grains mixed in; it was so good I ordered a second cup in lieu of dessert.

-EVERYTHING at Cendrillon. This may have been my favorite because it was a "discovery"; my new friend Noel took me there after at reading at the Center for Book Arts. I was so inspired I brought my family back the very next night. I knew they'd like the place's casual elegance: honeyed wood interior, hand-made rice-paper lanterns. The dishes I got to sample: clams with black beans, chili and scallions. Trout stuffed with mushrooms and leeks, steamed in banana leaf. Pork belly in a vinegar sauce. Curried lamb shank. Chicken Adobo (not easy to make something simple so moist). A chef generous to come out and not only chat with us, but to send out a trio of desserts--a young coconut cream, an apple tart, and raspberry sorbet. Every plate served to our family went back licked clean.

-The anagi eel sashimi at Sushi Samba. This nuttier variation on the more common kind (the kind you see brushed with BBQ sauce) was arranged as a somersault of feathery, delicate flesh that melted on the tongue. A simple thing, but by then I craved meals closer to what I'd have at home. Same reason I reveled in the carrots and Brussels sprouts layered under my arctic char last night at the Silverleaf Tavern. Green vegetables! For the first time in, um, a week!

-Carly's hot toddies with bourbon, tea, and blueberry honey. The perfect way to end a long, long, long night. And there have been nothing but long, long, long nights. Carly has been a perfect and tolerant hostess, as I have been completely oversaturated by each day's conversations. They should put the award-winners in social quarantine after these trips, to let them process; Carly let me decompress while I crashed on her couch in Brooklyn.

Okay, so this is not the most insightful literary post. But damn it, this food deserves to be remembered! Here's the thing: I had no allergy attacks on the trip. Those who know me (or have read the "Allergy Girl" sequence from Theories of Falling) know this is a particular concern. I did not want to exit an important meeting choking, swelling, and spluttering. Nor did I want to make a series of first impressions of being neurotic as I questioned, requestioned, and edited every order I made. Somehow, we got through. And that really gives me joy.

But...I will now return to a diet of nothing but almonds, oatmeal, kale and broth for the next two weeks. Seriously, a fast would be warranted. Lord help my stomach.

October 19, 2008

Postcard from New York City

It's only been a few days in town, but it's a month's worth of happenings. I'll start by singing the praises of the Library Hotel. The rooms: each with its own theme (reflected in the name, the art, the loose books in the room) assigned by the Dewey Decimal system. The bed: fluffy. The robe: fluffy. The decor: granite and mahogany and rice paper and satin. The turndown service: complete with the next day's weather report and chocolates stamped with "library" quotations. The rooftop bar: complete with indoor fireplace and outdoor view. The courtesy lounge: open 24/7 with three types of coffee, copies of the New York Times, and a fresh orchid on each cafe table.

All in a location convenient to umpteen subways stations and Bryant Park. Poets & Writers, you could not have made me feel better cared for. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The cuisine is incredibly rich and varied, and deserves its own post. Though I try not to fixate on such things, it is a little depressing to realize the sheer caloric intake. Ah well. If my belly survived Sewanee, it can survive this. And this food is MUCH tastier.

Three meetings so far, and I don't want to jinx anything by reporting on them here. But I'm learning a lot. Good stories are being told.

Saturday was my day o'vacation. No poet-talk--and though I love to articulate (aka...ramble) about the writing world, the silence was a relief. So I wandered. At this point, I can quickly size up public spaces where I could work on a regular basis. The New York Public Library is one such place; I dreamed of what fellowship or book contract would ever make it possible to go there every day as if it were my office. I was perplexed by the people who wandered around taking photos: of vases of fall leaves, of frescoes, of stairways, posing with their hands reaching out to books on shelves. Put away your cameras, get out a book, and read! That seems like the only true way to honor the space.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, with its staggering view of the skyline buildings reflected in the shiny surfaces of a surreal population of Jeff Koons sculptures, was too visually distracting to write. But I did dash off some postcards, and after many hours of exhibit-wandering (oh, my feet) I returned to the roof to read Phyllis Levin's May Day. She's the perfect veteran New York poet for that kind of setting, and I really liked the work.

Last night my family came into town. As exhilarating as this trip has been, it is also a touch lonely: when I checked into my hotel room I had a congratulatory split of champagne from the hotel and no one to use that second, waiting flute. Ooof. So having my folks make the looong haul from DC, kidnap my sister from college en route, and share this with me means a lot.

Later this afternoon, I am off to read at Housing Works. The good news: Ten copies of Black Warrior Review were 2-day mailed from Alabama and arrived in time to be donated for the reading. The proceeds of any that sell go straight to Housing Works, which runs a number of programs to help people living with AIDS/HIV. This is an extremely generous move on the part of the editors, and it allows me to show off this beautiful new issue of the magazine, with my chapbook of sestinas inside.

The bad news: Don't tell anyone, but I am more nervous than usual. It's rare for me to be reading by myself (so, no co-draw), outside DC, with no academic program shepherding students into the audience. Will anyone attend? Only one way to find out...

October 15, 2008

Pure Excitement

I am off to New York for ten days, for the Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Exchange Award. I'm staying first at the Library Hotel--for which I am giving P&W my firstborn child, because I have always dreamed of this place and NEVER been able to afford it--and then with my dear friend in Brooklyn.

I am meeting with fellow writers and some people I have admired for a very long time, and I am getting to do it in places like the Rainbow Room, Kittichai, and Sushi Samba.

On Sunday, October 19, at 3 PM I will read at the Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe (126 Crosby Street).

On Thursday, October 23, I will take a train to visit a class and read at SUNY Stony Brook.

On Friday, October 24 I will take the Amtrak home to DC. Have I mentioned I love train rides? I love train rides.

And I just learned that the new issue of Black Warrior Review is out, complete with "Bitch and Brew"--EIGHT sestinas published as part of the Black Warrior Review Chapbook Series. They will even ship some copies to New York.

This is how a poet writes reads when she's got nothing to complain about. = ) Come back later, when I am stressed once more, and therefore more poetic.

October 10, 2008

Oh Friday, I Have Waited for Thee

Thanks to those who commented on fonts. Funny how we go for months without acknowledging such an everyday detail about our writing process, yet these type names come skipping off our tongues the moment we have an excuse to talk about them. I admit this superstition: I choose a font to go with each new book MS, and adhere to that font throughout any documents (drafts, cover letters, etc.) relating to that MS. Count the Waves, my formal collection, is in Palatino Linotype; I Was the Jukebox is in Garamond, though I'm not crazy about the space Garamond creates after each em-dash.

We are big-time nerds, my friends. Embrace it.

If you're wondering why my Blogroll is missing, the site that hosts it was hacked by Islamic Fundamentalists. Because to take over the world, first you must disable the poet-bloggers. I am hoping and assuming this is a temporary issue.

In the meantime, amble over to The Missouri Review and check out their Poem of the Week, featuring fellow Virginia poet Brian Brodeur. Reading "Nietzsche in Love" thrilled me for a couple of reasons: one, I saw an earlier copy of this poem when Brian and I met for Blue Moon on draft, french fries, and workshopping (the man has my eternal loyalty for taking on not one but THREE sestinas). Always fun to see evidence of edits moving a thing forward. Two, of all the places for the poem to land, TMR is an awesome journal. I am envious. It's amazing to remember how Brian and I first met, at a reading for Best New Poets 2005, and how far we've come since, sending our first books into the world. Time is flying.

Speaking of time in flight, next week I head off to New York City for 10 days, two readings, and a ton of meetings courtesy of the Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Exchange Award. Bonnie Marcus has been a goddess of details and scheduling. I am excited, almost giddy, and also seriously behind on ten different types of work that will only accumulate and fester while I am out of town.

So what am I doing this weekend? Am I buckling down, plowing through to-dos? Nope. I am hopping in a car and driving to Syracuse. Then Niagara Falls. I am picking apples and drinking wine with dear friends. I am bringing a copy of Marilynne Robinsons' Home, to be read in front of a live fire in a real fireplace. Eh, what can I say? Writers are not known for their time management skills.

October 07, 2008

Font Elitism

"The meaning is in the content of the text and not in the typeface, and that is why we loved Helvetica very much." --Wim Crouwel

A couple of nights ago I watched Helvetica, the documentary of the typeset that (they rather ably demonstrated in image after image) has quietly taken over the world. Oh, I wanted to like this movie! And I did for some stretches, particularly in the beginning, when there is an element of sleuthing as to the exact origins of the design. But the rest of the film lacks narrative thrust, and what should should have been an interesting extension into the Helvetica backlash, "grunge" typography, just felt like filler.

It doesn't help there is very little variation in the rhythm of each chapter. Namely:

-->Exterior shot of modernist building
-->talking-head (talking-white-guy-head, no less, though Leslie Savan and Paula Scher were both rich additions)
-->jump-cut to street scenes (oooh...Helvetica in its natural habitat)
-->cue synthesized music (think Postal Service gone strictly instrumental)
-->next exterior shot!

The movie did inspire a fair amount of reflection of days at journals when we open slush-pile envelopes or attachments and...I hate to admit it, but I don't think I'm the only one...have a gut-level response to font choice that sometimes reflects poorly on the poet. Imitation cursive script? Arial in all bold? Never good signs. I confess a resistance even to Courier, which--though sturdy, traditional type--always has the connotation of "let me inflate my page count," thanks to college days. On the other hand, a classic and serifed font (Palatino, Garamond, Georgia), consistently used in both the cover page and submission, is likely to make me think that this a professional: someone who takes themselves and their work seriously.

There's really no excuse for letting font determine the fate of a submission. None. Style and content are separate. And I can safely say that I always read the poems regardless, and in same cases revise an earlier inward groan. On the other hand, if an author feels so insecure about their work that they need a visual support of the intended emotion, then is it that unlikely they may have less-developed maturity, a literalist mindset, with a correlate in the quality of the work itself?

October 03, 2008


After writing from midnight to 5:30 AM, and then from 1:10 to 6 PM, I actually completed a prose draft. It feels like it has been forever.

Strange to admit that to write 800 good words I always have to write 1200 words first, then slash, then whittle. If I wanted to discourage myself, I could calculate it out as about 70 "usable" words composed per hour.

But I do not want to discourage myself. I want to be relieved, and go into the weekend with something other than deadline-dread for once. I close with this:

...because most photo-blogging wears me down but I gotta say, Zachary Schomburg always does it right.

October 02, 2008

Tracking the Muse

Thanks to everyone who came out to American University last night for my reading; we had a full house. It has been such a pleasure to go back and visit classes (with one more next week). If sharing my trials, tribulations, and pratfalls make it a little easier for a future poet to make her way into the world, I am content.

Blackbird has posted a portfolio called "Tracking the Muse," in which four writers from the Spring issue's "Introductions" loop contributed short essays on process. Jehanne Dubrow and I had talked about our essays on the long drive down to Sewanee, but this is my first chance to see the actual texts. An excerpt from each (names link to the original Blackbird work; the excerpt links to the full process essay):

Jehanne Dubrow:

...It is time to make something up of whole cloth. Ida Lewin is a poet too, but she works in Yiddish, a language you have never learned. She lives and dies many decades before you were born, in the Polish town of AlwaysWinter, a place that only exists on a map you draw from imagination. Ida is Orthodox where you are Reform, a mother where you are not. She believes in the magic of white cranes and mermaids, the Evil eye, the power of prayer to reshape the body....


Terry Gibson:

...You find a remark or gesture that you sense defines a character, let him or her say or do it over and over in your mind, testing it for plausibility and truth, and then write a play for them. The play itself can be a complete fabrication of events and actions real or imagined. You may add or dispense scenes or characters to your heart’s content. But not that first utterance. All that follows should bear some connection to it, even remotely....


Miroslav Penkov:

...A few years ago, just before I started my MFA at the University of Arkansas, I understood something with delightful terror. Literature, though firmly founded in language, transcends words. There are elements like character development, point of view, plot, that are universal, that stand above language, and thus one can create sensible literature, meaningful art, even with second-rate English. Honesty dictates this confession—if I fail in my stories, it is not because I write them in a stepmother tongue....


Sandra Beasley:

Piet Mondrian—he of the sleek, colorful, highly-pressurized geometries—sometimes sketched his ideas on the back of cigarette packs. An X-radiograph of his Trafalgar Square shows that those carefully structured lines were really repainted freehand, over and over, in minute and somewhat random increments. White over white; bands of color unencumbered by black masking. “More boogie-woogie,” Mondrian said to a gallery owner, in explanation of his revisions....

...the process stories that matter are the ones that reveal. I’m not talking about mellow, feel-good images of longhand script on a legal pad. I’m talking about the Wizard of Oz cowering behind his curtain. I’m talking about our selfish but understandable need for a tiny bit of proof that Ezra was ruthless; that Eliot was in love with his own voice; that Joyce was sloppy; that Faulkner was lazy. The glow of satisfaction in knowing that Mondrian, an icon of minimalism, sometimes required a thousand imperfect gestures to add up to one straight line....


I like this idea of posting new material "between" issues that deepens our understanding of artists already presented. The trend is reflected in the biweekly postings at Anti- and other online journals; one of the unique advantages internet publication has over print.

October 01, 2008

Out & About

I'll be reading at American University tonight with Barbara Goldberg--a kind of homecoming, since I got my MFA there in 2004. Should be a LOT of fun. But if you can't make it, I heartily endorse both of these events coming up in the next week...

Friday, October 3 - TWO events at Catholic University

1:45 PM in McMahon Hall Room 201

A lecture with Stephen Cushman on “Making Lines, Making Poems, Making Books: A Talk on Poetic Forms, Small and Large”

and 3:10 PM in in Hannan Hall Room 108

Stephen Cushman reads from Heart Island

Stephen Cushman is the author of Heart Island, Riffraff, Cussing Lesson, Blue Pajamas, as well as books on William Carlos Williams, form, and the Civil War. He is General Editor of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 4th Ed., forthcoming, and Robert C. Taylor Professor of Literature at the University of Virginia.

Reception and book signing to follow; free and open to the public.

Presented by The Department of English and the Graduate Student Association at the Catholic University of America. CUA is accessible from the Red Line Metro, Brookland/CUA Station.


Not to mention next TUESDAY...

HER OWN SOCIETY: Brenda Wineapple on Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, October 7, 2008 - 7 p.m.

The Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I Street NW
Free and open to the public, book signing and reception to follow.

The Arts Club of Washington will host renowned author Brenda Wineapple as she discusses the lives of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Their mysterious kinship is illuminated in Wineapple’s book White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, which Knopf released this August to rave reviews. Higginson was a radical abolitionist, John Brown supporter, gun-runner, and leader of the first federally authorized regiment of black troops. He made the elusive poet’s acquaintance when she responded his Atlantic Monthly article offering advice to “young contributors.” She hand-scribbled a query: “Are you too deeply occupied to say if my Verse is alive?” Examining the poems, Higginson recognized “a wholly new and original poetic genius.”

EMILY DICKINSON (1830-1886) lived out most of her life in her family’s home in Amherst, Massachusetts. A prolific but private poet, she published fewer than a dozen poems before her death; later generations placed her among the masters of American poetry. Dickinson cultivated few outside correspondences, but her letters with Higginson spanned a quarter-century and included the exchange of almost one hundred poems. They would meet face-to-face only twice, encounters that are carefully and thrillingly recreated in White Heat.

BRENDA WINEAPPLE is also the author of the award-winning Hawthorne: A Life, Genêt: A Biography of Janet Flanner, and Sister Brother: Gertrude and Leo Stein. She teaches in the MFA programs at Columbia University and The New School and lives in New York City. Judith Thurman of The New Yorker praises Wineapple as “an astute literary biographer with a feisty prose style and a relish for unsettling received ideas....White Heat is written with a dry heat that does justice to its impassioned protagonists.” Franz Wright declared White Heat to be “one of the most astonishing books about poetry I have ever read.”

THE ARTS CLUB OF WASHINGTON is at 2017 I Street NW, near Foggy Bottom/GWU and Farragut West metro. Headquartered in the James Monroe House, a National Historic Landmark, the Club was founded in 1916 and is the oldest non-profit arts organization in the city. The Club’s mission is to generate public appreciation for and participation in the arts through ongoing educational programs that include literary events, art exhibitions, musical and theatrical performances.