Sweet Stanzas: Sarabande Books honors Flo Gault Student Poetry Prize winners at annual Pie Party [Books]
Following an ample opportunity (and perhaps overly-tempting for those of us that prowl a dessert spread like a manic tigress) to properly please the culinary palate, Sarah Gorham turned the spotlight to the literary slice of the afternoon, introducing the guests of honor, explaining Sarabande’s mission and clarifying the highly important connection between sweet compositions and sweet confection. Sarabande’s Marketing and Development Director, Caroline Casey, also highlighted the many educational programs that Sarabande Books offers to the Louisville community – programs that would not be possible without the support of sponsors like Stanley and Flo Gault.
While also working to cultivate and encourage the next generation of writers, Sarabande uses the contributions of donors to deepen and broaden a positive literary impact within the community. With the support of these sponsors, Casey described Sarabande’s hopes to reach out this year and build successful programs with organizations such as the Louisville Deaf Oral School and Kentucky Refugee Ministries – similar to other such initiatives already in play and flourishing in the city. With a combination of literary education outreach and providing a foundation for rising stars in the poetic circle – our Student Poetry Prize winners among them – Sarabande Books is dedicated to keeping the often unsung art forms of poetry and short fiction thriving.
Thriving indeed. For those in the room hungry for a healthy dose of the creative, the winning submissions supplied a nice variety of both the decadent and refreshingly innovative that served as the perfect post-pie digestif. The winners read their work – the Sarabandistas standing in for honorees unable to attend – to the delight and applause of all. Poetry is definitely the Yin to Pie’s Yang. So yes…the truly burning question of the afternoon: the pie. Why poetry and pie? Well, why not? “Pie is always the best part of Thanksgiving,” Gorham enumerated, “why not bring a little of that joy into the dead of Winter?” And the beloved Mr. Lincoln gracing the cover of the Pie Party program? Good sirs and gentle ladies, the Pie Party would be remiss not to honor the most famous pie-lover in history on his 203rd birthday (the recipe for Lincoln’s favorite pie – Mrs. Nancy A. Breedlove’s Lemon-Custard Pie – was provided with the program). In such spirit, Sarabande Intern Jared Beek rounded out the afternoon with a rendition of Grace Paley’s meditative pie-centric poem, “The Poet’s Occasional Alternative”.
In the realm of good words and good taste, the paring of pie and poetry is as undeniable as the talent displayed – and hopefully primed for success – by the winners. Both the culinary and poetic palates of all in attendance left satiated – poetry and pie, an alliteration meant to roll off the tongue and please the mind and marrow with the lushness of their distinct tastes. Sarabande Books’ 2012 Pie Party easily displayed the greats of both worlds.
Isiah Fish’s First Place winning poem, “Remember the Sun Boulevard”, is currently featured on Sarabande Books’ website. A list of all the talented winners – including Brice Robinson and Noah Vance – is also on display.
Congratulations and God-speed to you all in your literary journeys my fellow English major brethren.
Image: Courtesy of Sarabande Pie Party Program
Ridiculous photo: Courtesy of Magnolia Photo Booth and the good humor of Mr. Isiah Fish