Thursday, October 4, 2012

Treasure Redmond & the Poet as Connector

The other day, I received a text and message on facebook from poet Treasure Redmond. She was informing a few of us that she had decided to host an impromptu post-reading reception for Jericho Brown who was in town. No sweat, I'd be there.

Now, in the text, Treasure just said swing through. In the facebook message, she had enclosed her address, ummm, her new address. I only remembered that new address after...yes after...I was walking in the door of Treasure's old address, yes, the old address where someone other that Treasure resides. D'oh! After greetings and apologies ("Sorry. We'll all laugh about this later."), I headed to where Treasure now lives.

I've followed Jericho Brown's poetry and career for a few years now, so it was good to meet him in person. There were a few poets, currently in the MFA program at Washington University, at the gathering. I was familiar with the work of one of those poets, Rickey Laurentiis, who had recently been awarded a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship. Poet Katy Didden, who's doing a Postdoc at St. Louis University, was there. The homegirl, St. Louis-based artist and arts organizer, Dail Chambers also stopped by and brought a small crew, including a local dj and a couple other folks.

Treasure always brings good groups together and organizes energetic events. Now that I think about it, I first met Treasure about, let's see, 15 or 16 years ago when I was an undergrad at Tougaloo College in Mississippi. Treasure, hosted a poetry event across town at Jackson State University; the reading featured spoken word artists, rappers,  (literary) poets, a band, and a dj. So even way back then, Treasure was up in the mix bringing together diverse groups of artists and such.

She's a connector. Whereas poets are inclined to link various words and ideas, the good sister Treasure also masters the art of connecting people who wouldn't typically meet. That's why I try to roll through whenever she sends out an invite. Next time, though, I'm going to confirm her address.

A Notebook on the Work of Treasure Shields Redmond 

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