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Thomas Lux and the Decatur Book Festival

This article on the Decatur Book Festival (Sept 4-6) includes some great comments from poet Thomas Lux – worth reading the whole piece – but here’s a couple clips:

Lux thoroughly appreciates poems with humor. “Why shouldn’t poetry be funny? Life is funny. I don’t like the kind of turd-in-a-punchbowl professor who says ‘Poetry can never be funny! It has to be serious!'”

…Lux’s classrooms take an approach that offers an easier gateway for students and adult readers alike. “I’ve always done something Billy Collins described as ‘teaching backwards.’ You start by having [the students] read the very contemporary poems, the stuff in the language of today, even hip-hop lyrics, then go backward to the classics. For several generations, our students’ introduction to poetry was through great poets, essential poets, who nevertheless didn’t speak in the language that we speak today.”

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