|Times Square, the shuttle’s quick chrome
flies open and the whole car floods with– what is it? Infernal industry, the tunnels
under Manhattan broken into hell at last?
Guttural churr and whistle and grind
of the engines that spin the poles?
Enormous racket, ungodly. What it is
is percussion: nine black guys
with nine lovely, previously unimagined
constructions of metal ripped and mauled,
welded and oiled: scoured chemical drums,
torched rims, unnameable disks of chrome.
Artifacts of wreck? The end of industry?
A century’s failures reworked, bent,
hammered out, struck till their shimmying
tumbles and ricochets from tile walls:
anything dinged, busted or dumped
can be beaten till it sings.
A kind of ghostly joy in it,
though this music’s almost unrecognizable,
so utterly of the coming world it is.
copyright 1994, from Atlantis, HarperCollins, 1995
The Center for Poetry has confirmed the spectacular lineup of poets for the 2017 Spring Poetry Festival. Funded in part by the MSU Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, three poets known world wide will be visiting campus for afternoon conversations and evening performances during the month of April.
Tina Chang, born in New York City, is the first female to be named Poet Laureate of Brooklyn. She currently teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and she is also a member of the international writing faculty at the City University of Hong Kong.
A Michigan native, Toi Derricotte‘s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, the Paris Review, The New Yorker and Poetry. She also co-founded Cave Canem in 1996, a summer workshop for aspiring African-American Poets.
Mark Doty is the author of three memoirs and nine books of poetry, one of which won the 2008 National Book Award. Doty’s performance will also be coupled with the announcement of the Annie Balocating Prize for Poetry.
Each visiting poet will have an afternoon conversation at 3 pm in Snyder Hall’s LookOut! Gallery and an evening performance at 7 pm in the RCAH Theatre.
For more information on Spring Poetry Festival and the poets, visit the Center for Poetry’s website.