Brevity Is the Soul of It

Kay Ryan is a classic poet, which is to say that she’s spent a lot of time working as a teacher at a community college. Because she also recently Pulitzered, she is a living middle finger to the stupid aphorism about those who can and can’t do. Ryan is a two-time U.S. poet laureate and is known for the short form, rhyming, sweetness, and having a sense of humor. The Wall Street Journal asked the Fairfax resident what she did when she found out she’d won, and her answer, although not a poem, is poetry: “I dropped in at the variety store and told them, ‘I just won a Pulitzer,’ and the clerk — she was just restocking the kaleidoscope department — sent me home with a little gold kaleidoscope.” Tonight she’s interviewed onstage at a City Arts & Lectures event by Steven Winn and reads from the collection that won her the bling, The Best of It: New and Selected Poems.
Mon., May 9, 8 p.m., 2011

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