Garret Keizer and I stood together in a field, in the late summer, in the Northeast Kingdom, and he read poems from his new book, The World Pushes Back.
I first heard of Garret a few years ago when I read his book, Getting Schooled, about his years as a high school teacher up here in the Kingdom. He described this place more honestly and more humanely…than anything I’d ever read about the place before. And his stories about his own experience teaching are almost brutally honest. I’ve never read an account of teaching quite like it.
Garret’s one of the only writers where I find myself copying whole passages down from his work, as if I’ll need them later. They’re not always easy or nice things I copy down. Garret Keizer is one of the most critical and also most contemplative people I’ve ever met. I write these passages down because they remind me of something fundamental about being human that I don’t want to forget.
He’s just come out with his first book of poetry, so we drove around and talked in his car until we found the perfect field to read poetry in. It was some of the best, and most surprising conversation I’ve had in a long time.
Links and Credits
For more of Garret’s work, visit his site here.
One of my favorite articles he’s written for Harper’s is called Requiem for the Private Word….
Garret will be the headlining reader at the opening ceremony of the Burlington Book Festival on September 27th at 7:00. For more information, go here.
Music for this show is by Vermont musician Brian Clark
And thanks also to my wonderful sponsor, Honey Road. The best restaurant in Burlington. Click below to read about the menu…