Three cheers for Phillip Lopate!

October 19, 2005

It’s been a while since we’ve presented a nonfiction writer in the Inkberry Reading Series (if memory serves, our last nonfiction event was last March, the evening of local talent featuring Mike Card, Florence Grende, and the ever-fabulous Jennifer Mattern) so we’ve been really looking forward to our evening with Phillip Lopate, which took place a few days ago.

Phillip is author of several terrific essay collections (and editor of The Art of the Personal Essay, which I adore). The Williams College English Department joined with us to bring him here, and we had a grand time.

Phillip read one of the funniest essays I have ever heard, about how he came to be a cat owner. (It’s possible that I’m biased on this front, since I live in thrall to a small fuzzy white beastie myself; still, I’ll bet even people who loathe pets would have found his essay hilarious.) He also treated us to a handful of poems; I had forgotten that he is also a poet, though I’ve long been fond of his poem “ We Who Are Your Closest Friends.” He closed with a selection from Waterfront, his latest book, which was also lovely.

Afterwards Emily and I had the profound pleasure of taking Phillip and his wife and daughter to dinner. I was especially charmed by his daughter, who is a very cosmopolitan and self-possessed eleven.

You can see a handful of photos from the event in our Inkberry photoset. Many thanks to all who attended — and especially to Phillip, who made the evening a real treat!