Week of May 9, 2007 | David Mason

This week I’m doing something different, I’m creating ‘The Poetry Corner’, for those of you who love to hear poems read aloud by the poets that wrote them.

I’ll never forget the day in July, 2004 when I had the privilege of sitting down with Anthony Hecht and having him read and discuss four of his poems for my then fledgling show.

We were at Rebel’s Rest at the University of the South, sitting in a beautiful dining room, just the two of us and my equipment. As he began reading his poems I realized I was on to something.

I truly believed that day, with the sun casting enough natural light in the room for Mr. Hecht to read his poems, that part of the mission of my website would be to offer listeners the opportunity to hear poets read their work; to take it from the written page and make it come alive. It was a magical day. Mr. Hecht died four months later, and to the best of my knowledge, ours was his last interview.

So “The Poetry Corner’ is born here on my website and will be dedicated to the memory of Anthony Hecht and Donald Justice, another friend of mine who died before I had the opportunity to interview him.

The first guest in ‘The Poetry Corner’ is David Mason. We discuss LUDLOW, a verse-novel published by Red Hen Press. There is a fine review of the book in the April 29 th edition of The Washington Post written by Ron Charles.

In the review Charles writes, “The publicity director at a major New York publisher once told me that there probably aren’t more than 80,000 regular readers of literary fiction in America.

A well-received book of poetry might sell 2,000 copies.” I know from the hits I receive on this website that the 80,000 number in not accurate, and therein lies part of the problem. There are more of us out there than they think. The comment on poetry, sadly enough, is true. I believe by offering my audience the opportunity to hear poets read their work aloud that we can help rebuild the love of poetry that once existed in this country.

LUDLOW braids fact and fiction to recreate a tragic event in American labor history. In 1914 a massacre took place at Ludlow, Colorado that involved coal miners and their families.

Mr. Mason tells the story in more than 600 eight-line stanzas. You need not be a fan of poetry to appreciate the method he uses to tell the story. It is creative and during our interview we discuss why he chose this method to tell the story.

Mr. Mason also reads poems form his book ARRIVALS, published by Story Line Press. An added bonus is his reading of two new poems that have not been published yet.

I think you’re going to enjoy this interview. It begins with us discussing the style of LUDLOW, and then Mr. Mason reads an excerpt. After that he reads six poems from ARRIVALS, then the two new poems. Enjoy! And welcome to ‘the poetry corner’.

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