Featured Reader, October 2013

Co-host Christine Richardson introduced October’s featured reader, Peter Neil Carroll, with these words:

Tonight’s featured reader comes to us via a different route than other poets who have presented here. Peter Neil Carroll was first a historian. He has written or edited over 17 history books including Keeping Time: Memory, Nostalgia, and the Art of History. But as a history teacher back in the 60’s, he became frustrated with the biases, untruths and blatant omissions in the recorded history of our country. He discovered that through poetry the deeper truths of America’s past could be told. Peter has traveled extensively across America seeking out and recounting in powerful verse the real stories of our people, especially the first people to call this land home.

As a traveler I often find it difficult to translate what I see into poetry, so I applaud Peter’s ability to do just that. His is a visceral experience. His poetry is imbued with sensitivity and keen, precise observation. And Peter has accomplished what most of us only dream about. He only began publishing poetry in 2008 with Riverborne: A Mississippi Requiem.Then in 2012 he won the American Prize for Poetry from the Institute for American Pop Culture for his collection with the lovely evocative title, A Child Turns Back to Wave: Poetry of Lost Places.

In his poem, Waiting for the Moon, he concludes: “The full moon’s expected, first night/after the longest day. How/ the ancients marked this celestial/coincidence is lost. I’m on my own…”   but not tonight. We poets will find the way together.

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