Nov 182016
 
Key West Poet Laureate Kirby Congdon (Photo by Richard Watherwax)

Key West Poet Laureate Kirby Congdon (Photo by Richard Watherwax)

by Kirby Congdon…….

I first heard the word “hubris” in school when it described a hero in ancient literature who was too impressed by his own ego. I winced when Hillary said naughty black people should be “brought to heel” and taught how to behave. I winced when an upper-class business man, Donald Trump, said, “I seen,” instead of simply saying “I saw.” Both people have cut corners in their own personal development as politicians and as leaders. I see now that my vote lacked the information about each person that I should have had. To be an American citizen is not always the charming situation it is held up to be.

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Kirby Congdon

Kirby Congdon found his calling in the time of the Beat Movement, his poems being published by the New York Times, The New York Herald Tribune and the Christian Science Monitor as well as countless small-press outlets. While influenced by the assertive stance of a new generation in literature, he preferred to set aside the spontaneous approach of his friends and use his work as an exploratory tool in establishing the new identity of his times as well as that of his own maturation. This search was incorporated in 300 works which were compiled in a bibliography by a Dean of the English Department at Long Island University in his retirement and made available in hard-back with an extensive addenda by the literary activists of Presa Press through their skills achieved from the University of Michigan and their own experience which commands a movement in itself of contemporary literary action.


Congdon’s work in poetry covers innumerable treatments of countless subjects in single poems, long treatments on a subject, and many collections of both serious thought and imagination through not only the poetry but through essays, plays and ruminations. Named the first poet laureate of Key West, he received a standing ovation for his reading honoring this position and was the featured poet in a festival celebrating Frank O’Hara in the New York region. He was also asked to read his work as well as give a talk on the country’s national poet laureate, Richard Wilbur, at a seminar honoring that man. Currently, Congdon is working on an autobiography and a collection of complete poems.


 November 18, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #193, Kirby Congdon  Add comments