Robert Hedin & James Lenfestey

Poems on the Art of Poetry

Saturday, October 16, 2021 • Fine Arts Center • 12:00pm

What better way to celebrate poetry . . . than with poetry? Editors Robert Hedin and James Lenfestey, Minnesota prime movers both, will join the TCBF festivities to launch their new anthology, The Uncommon Speech Of Paradise: Poems On The Art Of Poetry (White Pine Press).  The dynamic duo will discuss how they chose 120 modern and contemporary poets from seventeen countries, and offer a taste of the wide variety of voices, styles, and perspectives included in the book through both conversation and readings.

This extraordinary anthology acts as both a capacious gathering of meditations on the art of poetry and a stunning testament to the lasting power of language in our experience and in our lives. This collection is not a retrospective “lament” for the makers but instead a true celebration of the making itself, spoken by poets in (sometimes troubled) praise of—and always in intimate conversation with—the act and art of the writing of poetry.

— David St. John

Robert Hedin is the author, translator, and editor of more than two-dozen books of poetry and prose. The recipient of many honors and awards for his work, including three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships as well as fellowships from the Bush, McKnight, and Yaddo Foundations, he has taught at the University of Alaska, the University of Minnesota, St. Olaf College, and Wake Forest University. He is co-founder (with his wife, Carolyn) and former director of the Anderson Center, a residential artist retreat in Red Wing, Minnesota. 

James Lenfestey is a former college professor, administrator, and award-winning editorial writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He is the author of the memoir, Seeking the Cave: A Pilgrimage to Cold Mountain, a book of personal essays, as well as seven collections of poetry. He has also edited two poetry anthologies and co-edited Robert Bly in the World. As a journalist, he covered education, energy policy, and climate science. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Hours & Location

Saturday, October 16, 2021
10am to 5pm • Free!

Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Progress Center and Fine Arts Building
1265 Snelling Ave N
St Paul, MN 55108