The Memory Book Project

The Memory Book Project is a move toward depth, toward slowness, toward connection.

More immediately, it’s a way to graft new poems onto my heart, and also to get over something I’m afraid to be terrible at: speaking poems aloud.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree (W. B. Yeats)
The Peace of Wild Things (Wendell Berry)
Lark (Robert Macfarlane)
A Small Needful Fact (Ross Gay)
When I am Among the Trees (Mary Oliver)
Shell (Adam Zagajewski, trans. Clare Cavanaugh)
Poetry (William Stafford)
Interruption to a Journey (Norman MacCaig)
I Go Down to the Shore (Mary Oliver)
Warning (Shel Silverstein) — An unofficial post. Or a bonus, if you like.

This is the memory book:

I introduced it here and here.

Long story short: it’s a book full of handwritten poems, mine and other people’s. I write them down in here once I’ve memorized them. Then comes the public part, the project: twice a month I speak one into a recording device and post it here for anyone to listen.

(If you’re wondering why I bother with a memory book, since I’ve just said I have these poems in my head, I’ll answer with a line from Molly Fisk, and a link from Nicole Dieker: “how valuable it is in these short days.”)

The project runs April 2020—April 2021. Recorded poems to date are listed at the top of this page.