when i first moved to westminster MD I was loathe to drive into balt cos i had gotten lost there a coupla times driving from petersburg VA (Fort Lee) to Harrisburg on holidays & stuff.
But when i heard john Ciardi was speaking (not reading) at peabody, i took a chance.
I bravely drove down rt 83, luckily got off at the right exit [oddly, but for real, sartre loved him], & bam! I'm at mt Vernon place. It was so cool, giant obelisk, little bronze statues, & ciardi was fun. & i no longer feared the streets of baltimore.
holy scarlotti, it changed my life.
Later subbing in Metuchen NJ I had some of his nieces & nephews in my classes & didn't embarass myself cos i knew how to say his name.
Ciardi (CHAR-DEE) was pretty famous in lit circles (Little did i know that my sicilian roots also gave me a subliminal advantage [YOU ARE HUNGRY FOR POPCORN]).
hw was lit/poetry editor , saturday review.
and that's the way you spell winsocki!
BUCKLE DOWN, WINSOCKI From the Broadway Show "Best Foot Forward" (1941)
DOS PASSOS. "More than 60 feet above his head, the brilliant skylights of Baltimore's George Peabody Library provided light for John Dos Passos."
JOHN CIARDI. poetry editor of the magazine Saturday Review from 1956 to 1972. An outspoken poet and critic known for his sharp and witty images, Mr. Ciardi won praise for his verses, which spoke honestly to children, and for the 1959 poetry textbook ''How Does a Poem Mean?'' He was outspokenly critical of traditional poetry aimed at youngsters, which struck him as ''written by a sponge dipped in warm milk and sprinkled with sugar.''
His many collections of poems for adults, which ranged from war verses to love lyrics and occasional flights of fancy, also met with favorable reactions from critics, who praised him for his honesty.
''He is singularly unlike most American poets with their narrow lives and feuds,'' wrote the critic and poet Kenneth Rexroth. ''He is more like a very literate, gently appetitive, Italo-American airplane pilot, fond of deep simple things like his wife and kids, his friends and students, Dante's verse and good food and wine.'' --http://www.nytimes.com/1986/04/02/obituaries/john-ciardi-poet-essayist-and-translator-69.html