Monday, June 10, 2013

Poet Laura Boss in the Spotlight

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation's blog has been offering some Dodge Poet Spotlight posts about the Dodge Poets who work with students in schools, with teachers in Spring & Fountain, and on the ground at the Dodge Poetry Festival. The poets answer some questions about themselves and provides a selected poem of their own work.

Recently featured was Maria Gillan's longtime friend, Laura Boss. Laura and Maria have been doing workshops, readings and their own poetry retreat weekends with old and new poets for a number of years.

Laura is a part of the Poetry Center in Paterson and edits the monthly New Jersey Poetry Calendar.  Besides being a national award-winning poet (first prize winner in Poetry Society of America's Gordon Barber Poetry Contest and a finalist for the PSA's Alice Fay Di Castagnola manuscript contest), she is the founder and editor of Lips poetry magazine.

In the Spotlight post, she tells about a college experience that made her want to write poetry.

I heard Robert Frost read when I was a freshman at Douglass College my freshman year. It was a life changing experience. My roommate and I ran to see him because he was so old, we thought it would be our last chance to hear him. But that reading deeply affected my deep connection to poetry in a way that surprised me. I was hooked. 
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I remember I wrote my first poem when I was six and my friend Phyllis’ mother died. Loss (whether through death or love) always seemed to be a catalyst for my writing–and I think that was true as a child , student, and at all stages of my life –and still remains true for me, even today. 
The poets when I was in college and graduate school who made me want to write poetry are too many to name. But I especially loved the work of Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg , Stanley Kunitz.                            continue reading

Last Time
for M.B.

Walking down the long hallway
of my now dead lover’s apartment
as I have for twenty-three years
I realize this is the last time
I will probably ever be here again
I want to memorize all that I have lived
with for so many years but somehow
things blur like a Matisse tapestry of
patterns and layers
And I walk past the mug filled with yellow pencils
that have been resharpened and resharpened
past the empty box a VCR or an electric fan came in–
past the Paris Review posters
and the poster of Jane Fonda from her sex symbol stage
past the painted book case with glass doors
past the files filled with French translations
past the portable oxygen tank
And I smell the mixture of cigarette smoke, your sweat
on your ancient Harris tweed jacket hanging on a hook
I try to pack all the years I took for granted in my mind
knowing there’s nothing more to do for you
knowing there’s nothing more to say

by Laura Boss, from Flashlight (Essential Poets Series - Guernica)