Who needs April, the officially, fatuously sanctioned National Poetry Month? Consider, instead, June, with its warm-weather flowering of verse. We had Carol Muske-Dukes at Guild Hall the other day for Poetry Pairs, a series put together by Fran Castan, who in turn has been invited by Paula Trachtman of the Amagansett Press and the Amy Awards to read at the East Hampton Library on Saturday.
Ms. Castan is the author of the recently released book of her poems and paintings by her husband, Lewis Zacks, “Venice: City That Paints Itself,” from Canio’s Editions. She’ll be joined by a quintet of eminent poets from various corners of East Hampton Town: Grace Schulman, Philip Appleman, Harvey Shapiro, Simon Perchik, and Edward Butscher.
The reading’s theme is house and garden, and spines will be cracked and throats cleared starting at 2 p.m. in, appropriately, the library’s garden. It’s free, and let’s not forget the spread of food and drink to follow.
Aside from June’s warmth and the setting, Ms. Trachtman said by e-mail that she’d chosen the theme simply because audiences usually prefer one. What’s more, “It’s a topic much discussed at summer events here. I thought it might attract people who avoid poetry.”
They could spend all day with the stuff. Earlier on Saturday at the library, at 11 a.m., Jean Kemper Hoffmann of East Hampton will read from her 2010 collection, “Storm Warning” (Three Mile Harbor Press). At 7:30 that night, Claude Mayers, a self-described “surfer, political observer, world traveler, health professional, and music aficionado” from Southampton, will be at Ashawagh Hall in Springs with his “Vault of Poems.” The book, coming out next week from Ocean Poetry, is a “mini retrospective” of his work from 1968 through last year. A hip-hop singer and spoken-word performer, Knickie D., will open.
But before you go, reader, a house-and-garden sampler, Fran Castan’s “Dwelling.”
The first house you left
dreams. The belly of the sink,
the eye of the glass,
the arms of the old wing chair — all ask,
“What has become of you?”
Your first house abides,
like the snail’s spent shell
swirled in the shape of seasons gone
and come again, as the planet whirls on
to sleep in its own shadow, only
to shine again in the sun. You
must return to that dwelling in the dark,
awake or asleep,
take memory back,
and, this time, learn to live by heart.