Tonight held the second of three poetry events planned at the Fleming Museum this fall. The first was on September 30th (with Sue Burton & David Cavanagh) and the next one is coming up on November 18th (featuring readings by Caroline Knox, Dorothea Lasky, and Dara Wier).
The Painted Word Poetry Series guests for this evening’s readings were Jill Leininger, a former poetry resident at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, and UVM Assoc. Professor of Italian Antonello Borra with his translator Dr. Blossom Kirchenbaum.
The poems ranged from reflective and deeply personal (Leininger) to offbeat and whimsical (Borra, in animated renderings from his new collection Bestiario) with a lot of emotional and descriptive ground covered between the two styles.
Leininger opened her reading with a short, wincing account of the recent loss of all of the poems she had been working on for her second book. “Mac meltdown” was the description of the incident, and as a result the verse she shared all came from her first manuscript.
Inspiration can come from surprising places. Once Leininger’s considerable loss is a little less fresh, it occurred to me that as much as it wiped out the material for her second book , perhaps if she’s able to redirect that emotional energy the incident could also prove to be a fertile springboard for new poems.