Though April is National Poetry Month, October is always a great month for poetry for some reason, kind of “Poetry Month, Part 2.” This year, I roamed from Kansas City to Lynch, spent a week in Dunning and Halsey with trips to Scratchtown in Ord and Anthem in Thedford.
In addition to readings and workshops, I also gave a talk on American poetry in the 1920s, which was a blast. I’ve always been fascinated by that decade as it seems like that’s where American poetry turned away from an emotional focus to an intellectual puzzle, so, of course, I thought I hated it. Turns out, I still sort of hate it but am now much more fascinated by how Ezra Pound was a poetry kingmaker (and a jerk) whose poetics I admire but whose influence I abhor. So, you know, I learned things.
And November! We go back to the classic sports commercial and the announcer asks: “Matt Mason, you’ve had a full month of poetry, what are you going to do now?” The answer is, of course:
November 4: 1-3:30pm (Pacific Time), I’m speaking to the Disneyland Alumni Club at their monthly meeting in Huntington Beach, California.
November 7 and 14: 1-2:30pm, I’ll be running two more writing workshops at the Exeter Senior Center thanks to the Nebraska Arts Council’s Creative Aging Arts Program.
November 7: 7-8:30pm, I’ll be reading with students at the Grand Island High School Little Theater (as well as working with students for a few days).
November 12: 5-9pm, I’ll be emceeing the John G. Neihardt Foundation’s Laureate’s Feast and Auction at A View On State (13467 State St, Omaha). Jonis Agee and 2023 Nebraska Youth Poet Laureate Aliyah American Horse will be presenting! For tickets and more information, see neihardtcenter.org.
November 14: 7-8pm, I’m reading at a Prairie Art Brothers event at the Frank Museum of History & Culture, 2010 University Drive, West Campus of the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
November 19: 2-4pm, I read at the Crete Public Library (1515 Forest Ave, Crete).
I’ll also be with writing groups, doing visits for The Nebraska Arts Council’s Poetry Out Loud program as well as visits with Fort Calhoun Elementary, Ralston Schools, Zoom visits ranging from Fairbury High to St. Cyril of Jerusalem School in LA, and more!