Last Tuesday I went to Lorna Goodison’s book reading, as part of Sweetland’s How I Write series. She read several poems from her latest collection, Supplying Salt and Light.
I really enjoyed the event! It is always interesting to hear directly from an author, both to gain insight into the author’s inspiration and to listen to a piece as the author intends it to be heard or read.
What fascinated me most about Ms. Goodison’s work was the way she chose to write about her experiences. Many of the poems she read were about a trip she took to Spain and Portugal. However, instead of transcribing the trip as it happened, which is what I would have done, Ms. Goodison created beautiful stories that truly seemed to capture the feeling of the place she was in.
A few poems that stuck out to me were about African immigrants, such as the individuals who sell goods and souvenirs in public plazas. Rather than writing about these experiences as she observed them, Ms. Goodison added her own interpretations, creating stories about the people she saw and how they may have ended up there. Her poems, overall, were a very pleasant mix of real life experiences and the author’s imagination.
I usually am not very interested in poems, but hearing Ms. Goodison’s reading definitely made me want to read more of her work.