Cavalieri will offer a rare glimpse into the importance of writing as her life force, how writing about women in history – and their lives – feeds her own life. Citing examples from her work, she will read a few pieces as inspiration. Then she will turn to the process of creation, leading participants in a writing exercise to find “the poem inside us.”
Cavalieri is the author of 23 books and chapbooks of poetry and 26 produced plays. She produced and hosted "The Poet and the Poem" weekly on WPFW-FM (1977-1997), presenting 2,000 poets to the nation. She now presents this series to public radio from the Library of Congress via NPR satellite and Pacifica Radio. Cavalieri’s many awards include The George Garrett Award for Service to Literature from the national Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP); a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington Independent Review of Books; two Allen Ginsburg awards for poetry; the Paterson Poetry Prize; the inaugural Folger Shakespeare Library’s Columbia Book Award for Service to Literature; and a Silver Medal from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Her papers are housed in the Gelman Library at George Washington University.
I don’t know why love works. Yet it’s
undeniable, every line of it hand tooled
like a finely wrought page.
This is very exciting, the extra beat that my
heart skipped, because marriage is discipline
like an athlete’s, with the grace of a dance.
It’s stillness and silence, the
end of our differences.
Surely our bodies were always
prepared for it. I was on the
verge of sorrow when I thought of this,
this tissue, this sustaining
legend. Here’s the door
that will not close. The outcome is uncertain.
Why do you torture me for explanations?
I only know love is the bed of gold we lie on.
–Grace Cavalieri, from Other Voice, Other Lives: A Grace Cavalieri Collection, published in 2017 by Alan Squire Publishing