Kathleen Graber: thoughtful, careful, with an intermittently epic reach, sometimes too grounded. I bought her book because I wanted to get the best impression of her poetry. "The form of stone is the form of attrition. It becomes itself by what is lost."; "[...]delicate rigid body of a bird[...]"
Catherine Pierce: concrete, domestic, honest. From her love poem to America: "America teach me how to strut . . . I love how afterward you roll over and snore like a locomotive before I even catch my breath."
Shin Yu Pai: I didn't write anything down to quote. I learned from her that the food industry is bad-bad-bad!
[Christopher Stackhouse read after Pai, but I must have been sleeping after my one beer; I don't remember what I thought of him.]
John Keene: earnest, professorial. "Driving at what is arriving, you must parse it out."
Ross Gay: by turns terrifying (not him, but his poem about unspecified violent little creatures) and nastily funny (about his friend's racist girlfriend). From the former: "the little one sat curled in a lump pretending he was dead"; from the latter (the girlfriend, white, speaks to her black boyfriend about how he is not "street" enough): "What does your Hegel say about funk? Your Dubois? / I only date hood."
Daniel Nester: Definitely the guy I liked most. Funny, self-deprecating. When I went up to him afterward and asked him if he was selling anything, his look of mild surprise and unfeigned delight was a pleasure to behold. "I brought one copy of a book of mine, if you want to buy it for five dollars," he said - so I did. From a poem: "When I said you were as old as my mother I wasn't trying to make you old or make you my mother. I was trying to give you details."