Poets on the Road
Calling to mind Basho¯’s late life journeys through the backcountry of Japan, two women poets in a well-worn Honda hit the road for a legendary pilgrimage in a far-flung (pre-pandemic) landscape of American poetry.
Although a road trip across North American calls to mind Jack Kerouac’s youthful meanderings of self-discovery, this reading tour was more in the manner of Basho¯’s late life journeys through the backcountry of Japan. . . . The road trip was in a sense a pilgrimage of reengagement with their calling as poets, and a chance to reacquaint with like-minded friends, old and new, in a far-flung landscape of American poetry.
Venues would include upscale bookstores, coffee houses, museums, legendary used bookstores, botanical gardens, university classrooms, art centers, and artist coops—in short, a unique sampling of poetry environments tracing an arc across the Southern States, the Southwest, and up the West Coast before hooking back to the Rockies.
Framed as a personal challenge, the poets hit the road much in the manner of itinerant preachers and musicians, lodging at discount motels, funky hostels, Airbnbs, and with friends along the way. Adding a social media touch, Maureen and Barbara created a blog of their tour so that friends, family, hosts, and fellow poets might also share in their adventure.
—from the Introduction by Pat Nolan