When: Sun., Nov. 13, 2:30 p.m. 2016
A poet who's never written about a bird is like a rock singer who's never belted about his baby—a rare fowl indeed. From Edgar Allan Poe's trochaic raven and Wallace Stevens's faceted blackbird to Robert Duncan's portrait of the artist as a young falcon, poems cling to our winged friends because their forms are so alike: small, delicate, precarious and improbable in flight, like a little wish ascending through all that worldly air. In "Poetry with Wings" at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, a group of local poets who often write about nature set their efforts loose among the feathers and fronds. The readers are Ralph Earle, Jay Bryan, Melissa Dowland, Bill Ross, and Jeffery Beam, a former UNC botanical librarian who is the author of more than twenty books of poetry and criticism, including The Broken Flower, Gospel Earth, and The New Beautiful Tendons: Collected Queer Poems 1969–2012. A warming, gracious performer, Beam also composes songs, and is apt to weave some into his reading, like updrafts lifting his serenely ecstatic verses.
N.C. BOTANICAL GARDEN'S REEVES AUDITORIUM, CHAPEL HILL
2:30 p.m., $16–$18, www.ncbg.unc.edu