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Poet laureate to visit Madison on Saturday
Byline info is not available
Monday, March 09, 2009 11:00 AM
Indiana poet laureate Norbert Krapf often writes about his native state.
A sampling of Norbert Krapf
And the hills roll
as they always have
and somewhere in the woods
that bend and wrap around
those hills the bark splits
from the trunk of a shagbark
hickory and a fox squirrel
drops a patter of cuttings
through crisp oversized leaves
as a boy with a shotgun
on his shoulder cocks ears
and trains eyes for a glimpse
of red fur between the parting
of green and at the edge
of the woods where dried
corn rustles in the breeze
Queen Anne's Lace stands
in jagged profusion
and over these hills
that will always roll
a black chicken hawk
with eyes sharp for
the subtlest gradations
glides in a circle
that will never end
in Southern Indiana"
(Time Being Books)
In the woods no missal or priest
or lector or choir is necessary.
Every bird cry is a hymn,
the fluff of every squirrel tail
is a consecration, and faith
rises from the ground
to the crown, from stem
to stem of every leaf,
again and again.
(Indiana University Press)
Indiana poet laureate Norbert Krapf will be in Madison on Saturday to read poems and prose, sign books and pursue his goal of reuniting poetry and music. His longtime friends, Madison musicians Greg Ziesemer and Kriss Luckett-Ziesemer, will perform their original music during intermission of his readings.
They will be at Village Lights Bookstore, 110 E. Main St., from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Krapf taught in New York for 30 years before returning to Indiana, the topic of many of his poems. His books of poetry include "Somewhere in Southern Indiana" which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His newest book is "Bloodroot: Indiana Poems."
In addition to reading from "Bloodroot," Krapf will read some of his prose, including selections from "The Ripest Moments: A Southern Indiana Childhood," published last year by the Indiana Historical Society Press.
A CD of his poetry recited to music also will be available at the bookstore, along with his books. The CD, "Imagine - Indiana in Music and Words," produced by Acme Records in 2007, is the work of Krapf and Monika Herzig, a jazz pianist and composer who is a lecturer at Indiana University Bloomington.
The Indiana Arts Commission named Krapf the state's poet laureate in June 2008. It is a two-year appointment during which he is traveling across the state, educating the public about poetry and pursuing his goals for his term.
Krapf was born in Jasper in 1943. He received a bachelor's degree in English at St. Joseph's College in Renssalaer, a master's degree in English at the University of Notre Dame, and a doctorate in English and American literature with a concentration in American poetry, also at Notre Dame.
He taught for more than 30 years at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, where he was poet laureate from 2003 to 2007 and directed the C.W. Post Poetry Center.
He moved to Indianapolis in 2004 to write full time.
Ziesemer and Luckett-Ziesemer were musicians in Indianapolis before visiting and then moving to Madison. They have performed their folk, bluegrass, country music at several locations around Madison for several years, including at the Ohio River Valley Folk Festival last year and at a Music in the Park concert during the Madison Chautauqua of Art in 2007.
Indiana has had a poet laureate since 2002, and provides for the position in a state law. A few other states also have a poet laureate, and a national poet laureate is appointed by the Library of Congress.
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