I was privileged this week to attend a poetry reading and lecture by poet Dana Gioia at Biola, and it was exquisite (I still look back on a 2008 poetry reading of Gioia’s at St. Mary’s in Oxford as one of the aesthetic highlights of my life).
Gioia shared several quite insightful thoughts about art, creation, and how we might become better artists/poets/writers. One of his observations particularly struck me. He said that one thing that most great writing, poetry and art share is a deep connection with and observation of place; that the best creators are usually the ones that are most connected to places and most attuned to the culture, people, customs and environs of the world around them, and particularly of the roots from which they’ve sprung.
Gioia lamented that when he observes people these days (mostly, but not exclusively, younger folks and “digital natives”), they seem place-less
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