Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Poet and Poems: Scott Cairns’ “Idiot Psalms”

I met Scott Cairns once, in 2010, down in the Hill Country of Texas. Laity Lodge was hosting a writer’s retreat, and I had signed up for the poetry seminar. Cairns was our seminar teacher. I had previously read
two of his books of poetry, which I’d found in the faculty publications section at the University of Missouri at Columbia bookstore.

He taught our seminar like he writes poetry – quiet, reflective, low-key, questioning, gently probing. We sat on a terrace in cool September sunshine, on a bluff above the Frio River. We reads poems written by others, and we read poems we had written as overnight assignments. The experience had something of the liturgical about it, with the words, the coolness, the sunshine resembling more of a worship service than a poetry seminar.

Cairns new collection of poems, Idiot Psalms: New Poems, has that same sense of the liturgical.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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