April 08, 2008

Donald Finkel tribute at Duff's Restaurant, St. Louis, April 7, 2008

As a teacher at Washington University, as a mentor to young writers, as a friend to established writers, Donald Finkel wanted others to find their own voices � to hew their own path through life, and not imitate what had been done. On April 7 at Duff�s Restaurant, 392 North Euclid Ave., Finkel�s celebration was marked by more than 30 local poets. Hear his words here.
-Paul Friswold
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St. Louis poet Donald Finkel first read at Duff's in the mid-1970s. Alzheimer's rudely intervened in the late 1990s.
Jennifer Silverberg
St. Louis poet Donald Finkel first read at Duff's in the mid-1970s. Alzheimer's rudely intervened in the late 1990s.
Nearly three dozen poets crowd Duff's to share their favorite Finkel poems in a celebration that will last well into the night.
Jennifer Silverberg
Nearly three dozen poets crowd Duff's to share their favorite Finkel poems in a celebration that will last well into the night.
Master of ceremonies (and RFT editor) Tom Finkel imposes order via chaos, (semi-)randomly choosing readers' names from a hat.
Jennifer Silverberg
Master of ceremonies (and RFT editor) Tom Finkel imposes order via chaos, (semi-)randomly choosing readers' names from a hat.
The evening kicks off with Donald Finkel's tequila toast of choice. All together now: "Arriba! Abajo! Al centro! Y pa' dentro!"
Jennifer Silverberg
The evening kicks off with Donald Finkel's tequila toast of choice. All together now: "Arriba! Abajo! Al centro! Y pa' dentro!"
Armand Forster studied with Finkel as an undergraduate and took part in expeditions to Mammoth Cave while Finkel was working on Going Under.
Jennifer Silverberg
Armand Forster studied with Finkel as an undergraduate and took part in expeditions to Mammoth Cave while Finkel was working on Going Under.
Former students Peter Carlos (left) and Michael Castro. Castro is the founding editor of the poetry journal River Styx.
Jennifer Silverberg
Former students Peter Carlos (left) and Michael Castro. Castro is the founding editor of the poetry journal River Styx.
Nan Sweet (foreground) and Hari Campbell await their turn at the mic.
Jennifer Silverberg
Nan Sweet (foreground) and Hari Campbell await their turn at the mic.
Melissa Gurley Bancks (left) delved into A Question of Seeing, published in 1998, for her choices, while Carol Niederlander picked one each from Simeon (1964), A Mote in Heaven's Eye (1975) and Not So the Chairs (2003).
Jennifer Silverberg
Melissa Gurley Bancks (left) delved into A Question of Seeing, published in 1998, for her choices, while Carol Niederlander picked one each from Simeon (1964), A Mote in Heaven's Eye (1975) and Not So the Chairs (2003).
Hari Campbell's daughter keeps him company as he waits to read his Finkel favorites.
Jennifer Silverberg
Hari Campbell's daughter keeps him company as he waits to read his Finkel favorites.
David Clewell, right, a close friend for 30 years, opted to read from Finkel's exploration of non-human intelligence, What Manner of Beast. Drinking buddy Pete Genovese picked a selection from "Beyond Despair," a chapbook-length ode to the River Des Peres that Genovese published under his own imprint, Garlic Press.
Jennifer Silverberg
David Clewell, right, a close friend for 30 years, opted to read from Finkel's exploration of non-human intelligence, What Manner of Beast. Drinking buddy Pete Genovese picked a selection from "Beyond Despair," a chapbook-length ode to the River Des Peres that Genovese published under his own imprint, Garlic Press.