Bruce Springsteen & Robert Pinsky team up at New Jersey Festival

If I could have crashed this event, I would have--

Robert Pinsky and Bruce Springsteen apparently have more in common than just a way with words. They can trace the beginnings of their glory days all the way back to the same hospital at the New Jersey shore.

The former U.S. poet laureate and the unofficial poet laureate of rock 'n' roll appeared on stage Thursday at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where they discussed their work, influences and careers and joked about the fact both were born at Monmouth Memorial Hospital, albeit nine years apart(Pinsky is older).

The occasion was the university's WAMFEST Words and Music Festival, an event sponsored by its creative writing department. Recording artist John Wesley Harding, nee Wesley Stace, an artist in residence at the school, moderated the two-hour performance and discussion in front of a packed auditorium of 400 students, faculty and whoever else could wrangle a way in the door. 

Springsteen and Pinsky had met for the first time on Thursday, Harding said, but their affinity for each other's work was obvious.

"What I've been trying to write about for 40 years, Robert gets into a single poem," Springsteen said.

Both spoke fondly of their home state, though in different ways. Pinsky, who grew up in "not the greatest part of Long Branch" and now lives in western Massachusetts, realized after he moved to California that he missed the Garden State's speech patterns and sarcasm; Springsteen dreamed of getting out of New Jersey as a youth but later came to find meaning in "a certain plot of ground, a certain place" after his work became more introspective. 

You can read the whole article here.

I think I want to be Robert Pinsky when I grow up.  Though I would have hyperventilated on stage when I saw Bruce (though I would have tried to play it cool, I'm not sure it would have worked out for me). 

Let's see-- Pinsky & the Colbert report, Pinsky on the Simpsons, now Bruce?  He seriously has the best connections ever.


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