I've been thinking lately about Obama's first (first — “first,” you see I’ve said it) inaugural. His choices evince both range and constraint: Pete Seeger, Aretha Franklin, John Williams, Elizabeth Alexander. I'm reminded that at the blog Last Exit Joe Milutis gave Elizabeth Alexander's inaugural poem a positive review. To start, he quoted William Carlos Williams as follows: “You’re not putting sugar on cake. You’re building!” Re-reading this review has gotten me thinking about Obama's centrism in general, its problems and possibilities.
Obama once said this: “A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence.”
Clubs and Societies is the latest project of Sydney-based poetry organisation The Red Room Company. Last weekend I saw some results from this project at the Melbourne Writer's Festival. The concept is to link a poet with a club or society, and to commission them to write a poem about this contact. The two examples on display were poets Ali Alizadeh (assigned the Existentialist Society) and Omar Musa (Motor Gliding Club), who performed their poems at the event. The brains behind such Red Room schemes is Johanna Featherstone, who MC'd.