Mary Vallas Posner

Mary writes:  I was a poet before I had heard poetry, having one of those senses of something there—in the mind—unable to speak it. So life glided on a river, following its own current: an instinct that experiences, not necessarily connected, were shaping connections. Culminating, they were, towards a gathering place of expression.

Once having written them down, a surprise of recognition began unfolding. The first poem urged on, fitting the pieces of this life – as if it was being recreated, but, in such a way, that the experiences were seen, not only anew, but with renewed clarity and a rush of intense feeling.  More alive than the original moment.

The anchoring of place for me began in Norwich, Connecticut, then Bennington College and Howard Nemerov and Bernard Malamud, the faculty I worked with, the chance meeting of Dylan Thomas on a path leading to the Commons building and the trip to Wales, years later; the drive and daring of New York University with John Mayher, Gordan Pradl and Lil Brannon, the engaging and vital three Oxford University summer studies in the UK, with Jimmy Britton, Michael Armstrong and Douglas Barnes; The French Quarter, home for two years, the introduction to jazz; meeting my husband in Mexico, a long-standing jazz musician and painter; living in Harlem with husband and three little children and back to CT.  Meeting William Meredith at Connecticut College, New London, CT, poet, and friend of thirty-nine years; beginning a teaching career that has gone on for over forty-one years.