I Remember: Silvana Costa Recalls a Favorite NWS Event

Silvana Costa, a poet completing a Masters degree in English at the University of Maine, kindly contributed the first in a projected series of NWS memories. She writes:

If it were not for The New Writing Series, many aspiring writers studying at the University of Maine would, quite frankly, be out of the poetic loop. Wait, let me rephrase that: The New Writing Series is the poetic loop. The reading series showcases a wide range of emerging and established poets and fiction writers providing the literary community at the university a chance to dialogue with an international circle of contemporary artists. The scene is so intimate, the writers so accessible, the poetry so multifarious, one cannot help but connect with one’s latent poetic diva, or at the very least shed a proverbial tear for the sheer joy of language. At least that’s the way I felt particularly after listening to the poet Anne Waldman perform. Picture it: Carnegie Hall, Robert Shetterly’s “Truthtellers” exhibit. Life-size portraits of the likes of James Baldwin, Rosa Parks, Chief Seattle, Bill Moyers, Martin Luther King, and Winona LaDuke staring through you from every angle. Anne Waldman—sporting a zebra-print kimono shirt and tight black jeans—dancing, chanting, ranting, ah, “This hag speaks true.”

Here’s a recent picture of Costa, chatting with fiction writer (and UMaine Assistant Professor) David Kress in the Soderberg cube after Robert Grenier’s reading:

Silvana Costa and David Kress after NWS Event

And here’s Anne Waldman, after her reading, with Maine Review editors (from L to R) Anne Mathieson, Emily Brock, and Kim Martul-March (with Shetterly’s portraits of Fanny Lou Hamer and Woody Guthrie partially visible):

Anne Waldman with Maine Review editors