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Tag Archives: Portland Poet Laureate

As we hurtle toward the winter solstice…why poets excel at business

Here is a wonderful Rockwell Kent painting, and a photo of my Maine coon cat George contemplating the snow outside.

Recently Portland Poet Laureate Marcia Brown sent out a link to an article by John Coleman in, of all places, the Harvard Business Review, in the issue of 10/27/2012.  It addresses the question of why poets make good business employees and managers.  Coleman asserts that poets can, among other skills, simplify the complex, develop empathy, and “infuse life with beauty and meaning.”  I love this idea and agree with it.  I’m one of those not-so-rare people with  “mixed” academic training in lit, writing and law (there are far more lawyer/poets around than you might think). I worked in the corporate world for about 20 years and found it rewarding in many ways.  I like to think that one can balance practicality with creativity, and that when you cross into another realm, one can be enriched by it, because there is much to learn.

Kent painting snowIMG_0529

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Poetry books on bestseller lists

books,cats

garden and library

Recently I saw that Maine poet Richard Blanco’s new book FOR ALL OF US, ONE TODAY was on the New York Times bestseller list. This makes me happy. (And what’s not to love about a poet who has blurbs on his website from Anderson Cooper, Gloria Estefan and Tim Gunn?) It’s been a year since he read his stunning poem at the presidential inauguration, and got quite a few people interested in accessible poetry that speaks to Americans of all stripes. Blanco’s celebrity-poet status is going strong.

I also noted in last week’s Maine Sunday Telegram that the #5 best selling nonfiction paperback at Longfellow Books in Portland is PORT CITY POEMS, the recent anthology edited by Portland Poet Laureate Marcia Brown. (This was erroneously identified as being published by Down East; it’s a publication of Maine Poetry Central.) I love it that people around Portland are finding and buying this anthology, which is locally produced and distributed. The fact that these books are on national and local bestseller lists speaks to the refusal of poetry, which has been aptly referred to as the “forgotten stepchild of literature”, to roll over and play dead.