This past weekend society members headed down to the city within the city of Atlanta for the 2012 Decatur Book Festival, one of the largest annual celebrations of readers and writers in the country. And since Atlanta also happened to be hosting DragonCon, suffice it to say there was simply no better place to be a nerd on Labor Day.
With three full days of panels, speeches and readings, including a keynote address by the new poet laureate Natasha Trethewey, the literati were in heaven. Our favorite event, however, turned out to be a celebratory reading from the last two installments of one of our favorite collections, the annual Best American Poetry collection, which has been edited for the past 25 years by David Lehman. With Lehman at the reading were the poets Mark Doty, who edited the recently released 2012 edition, and Kevin Young, who was at the helm in 2011. The three voices took turns reading from the volumes and announcing their appreciation for this series which has indeed become a great representation of contemporary American poetry. Mark Doty, in particular, warmed up the room with his readings from the newest edition, making us that much more stoked to get our hands on BAP 2012, and 2013, and so on.