Our preliminary judge for the Poet Laureate Award is Michael Rothenberg, the Florida State University Libraries Poet in Residence. He is editor and publisher of the online literary magazine BigBridge.org, co-founder of 100 Thousand Poets for Change, and and co-founder of Poets In Need, a non-profit 501(c)3, assisting poets in crisis. His most recent books of poetry include Drawing The Shade (Dos Madres Press), Wake Up and Dream (MadHat Press), and a bi-lingual edition of Indefinite Detention: A Dog Story (Varasek Ediciones, Madrid, Spain).
Asked who his favorite poet is, he answers:
I think of Philip Whalen, Joanne Kyger, John Keats, Hart Crane, Langston Hughes, Anna Akmatova, Emily Dickinson, Paul Valéry, Appolinaire, Walt Whitman, Michael McClure, Tu Fu, Ed Dorn, Denise Levertov, William Blake, Garcia Lorca, Wang Wei, Allen Ginsberg, Antonio Machado, Mahmoud Darwish, Bob Kaufman, Marina Tsvetaeva, and the impossibility of choosing favorites. I hear a thousand voices, and each of them soothe, excite, and inspire me. They give me permission to find my own way.
He shares the following poem: