A Tribute to Wyatt Prunty

A. E. Stallings

Fall 2019

I got a call from Adam Ross,
Or rather, message from the blue,
Had I a tale I’d like to gloss
(Some seven hundred words would do)
About my sometime summer boss?
A sort of Festschrift-cum-Review,
In honor of Director Wyatt.
Could it be verse? OK. I’ll try it.

For thirty years there’s been a spot
Upon the Cumberland Plateau
Where writers gather when it’s hot
(And sometimes when it rains) to show
Each other how to write, or not—
For poets are just born, you know,
Not made. That’s why the argot irks—“shop
Manuscripts around” and “workshop.”

Wait, did I mention thirty—thirty
Years of the conference going strong,
Some poets die before that—shirty
Shelley did not last that long,
And poor John Keats, who had been flirty
With Fanny Brawne, and wrote a song
Or two—throw Byron in the mix
Who bowed out only thirty-six.

A. E. Stallings is an American poet who has lived in Greece since 1999. She has recently published a new verse translation of Hesiod’s Works and Days (Penguin Classics), and a new collection of poetry, Like (with FSG).

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