Participants 2010

Michael March

poet, president of Prague Writers’ Festival

“I was born in New York in 1946 near the haunts of Isaac Bashevis Singer, close to the Museum of Natural History, closer still to the sins of the Old World. A time when the cold war swung low over blue alligator sewers, when New York was a European city, and beauty bled The Armies of the Night. I came to poetry insolvent as love’s nomad, wandering through old ruins.

While studying at Columbia College, my generation vanished, a pigment in The Fall of Icarus. I was left with Vladimír Holan’s words: “Freedom is always kin to volun¬tary poverty.”

In The Epic of Gilgamesh Siduri, the goddess of wine, counsels: “Gilgamesh, where are you hurrying to? You will never find that life for which you are looking. When the gods created man they allotted him death, but life they retained in their own keeping.” I turned to poetry in order to live: as prayer, as a requisite of love, to hear the bareness of words, to eventually attend my own funeral.”