By Danika Druttman
Brian Johnstone has been a good friend of ours, from afar until now, so we are delighted to have him with us this week at The Roger Smith Hotel, on our shores for his first time.
On Wednesday evening Sculptor/Poetry Afficionado/Roger Smith Hotel President, James Knowles, hosted a dinner party in honor of our Scottish poet friend. In The Solarium on the 16th floor, our longest dinner table was set for a culinary/auditory feast for 40 passionate and spirited poets and poetry lovers alike. We asked that all who join us, come armed with a poem to read or recite either for the camera, or the table over dinner and were all thrilled to find that our guests had embraced our terms and chosen a thoughtful, elegant, diverse selection of prose to share.
We kicked off the evening with drinks, while our Director of New Media (and excellent cameraman), John Birdsong egged people to share their poems with him and those in earshot. The recitals continued through dinner with gusto, prompted by a wonderful reading of selections of his own work by the guest of honor Brian Johnstone; followed by the New York based Scottish poet Alastair Reid. People intermittently performed their selected work, of both others and their own, all between chatting, getting to know each other, and talking poetry and art.
We had poetry from all four corner of the earth, in just as many languages, by Shakespeare, Edith Sodergran (Sweden), Pablo Neruda (Chile) and Duong Tuong (Vietnam), as well as compositions by our poet friends Elizabeth Torres, Graeme Bezanson, Megin Jiminez, Alice White and Jackie Clark.
The Compilation: Poetry Dinner February 2011
Daniel Mowles, Chef De Cuisine at Lily’s Restaurant was responsible for the wonderful menu. A feast it was!
The evening’s menu
Farmhouse Butternut Squash Soup
Beef Fillet, Thyme, Demi Glaze
Cedar Plank Salmon, Lemon Zest, Dill
Roasted Baby Carrots, Criminni Mushrooms, Fingerling Potatoes, Sprouts
Saffron Rissotto, Parmesan, Chives
The most delicious Apple Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream
We look forward to more celebrations of poetry and the spoken word here at The Roger Smith in 2011.
If you are interested in hearing more about our art, music and spoken word programming please click HERE