Tonight, Maine poet Laureate Wes McNair will be at the Farmington Public Library, where he’ll be doing a reading and presentation from his new Memoir The Words I Chose. The event is at 7:00 pm and to lay some groundwork we asked Wes to step up for a mini interview. Only two questions!
Kenny: If you could only give the people who came to the reading on Tuesday night 25 words which ones would they be?
Wes: A memory is an experience that hasn’t yet been fully lived, and writers have the chance to live it twice, discovering its meaning.
Kenny: You mention in “The Future” that you “lived far from the still, beautiful place where writers and scholars were photographed in the early 1960s.” Is it fair to assume that the subjects of the photographs didn’t live there either?
Wes: Wow, Kenny, you’re scaring me now. What a great question! In the poem I was a high-school teacher, 23 years of age, intimidated by academic poets and writers who were shown on their dust-jackets in university offices. I had yet to learn that poems grow outside the academy, in life as we live it. The same is true of poets. Maybe if those poets spent more time in the world outside their universities, we’d remember who they were today.
Kenny: Thanks, Wes. We look forward to seeing you tonight at the library.
Wes: I’m looking forward to it as well.