This year the Floating Library is honored to be working with Coffee House Press to host a poet-in-residence through the esteemed In the Stacks program. This ongoing project places writers into various area institutional and community libraries to read and be inspired by what they discover on the shelves.
Being on land is apparently not a requirement of library participation in this program, so CHP put the word out and Steve Healey, Twin Cities poet and professor, signed on. We assigned him the Library’s small, orange row boat, the Sea Clamp, as his transport vessel. This seemed most appropriate given the word play that is its name.
For the first weekend of the Library, Steve spent his time reading nearly every book in the collection; a significant effort. He also assisted with the dipping of the books to complete Paul Ramsay’s contribution, A Book Dipped in Two Lakes.
In the week in between, he has compiled a poetic “Abridged Floating Library 2015,” a collection of text passages from the many pieces he read. For the Library’s second and final weekend (July 25-26), Steve will be back on the water engaging boaters and patrons in a poetry writing activity based on this sampling. Here are a few:
Surveillance portrait of a beached whale while mom makes fires
–Michael Sikkema & Elisabeth Workman, Terrorism is What Whale
She chased the chickens. She loved me.
–Astrid Wick, Dogs and Puppys
Dance a swan dance along the shore
–Nicole Antebl, Bookmark/Landmark
To participate, find the guy in the little orange boat.
Steve Healey is the author of two books of poetry, 10 Mississippi and Earthling, both published by Coffee House Press. His poems have been published in magazines such as American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Fence, and Jubilat. He teaches creative writing and English at Minneapolis Community & Technical College.
Steve and Sarah conducted an interview about the Floating Library; find it in two parts here and here.