Where the Poetry Roams

If Lewis and Clark had assembled a yearbook at the end of their three-year expedition, George Shannon would have been voted Most Likely to Get Lost. Eighteen years old when he joined the party at Camp Dubois in 1804, Shannon was the expedition’s youngest member and gains mention several times in Clark’s journey for his penchant for losing his way, the most notable being the 12 days he roamed the South Dakota wilderness alone, surviving by eating berries and shooting a rabbit with a stick (he was out of bullets).

Shannon never kept a journal of his own, but now, thanks to MacArthur Genius Award-winning poet Campbell McGrath, a record of the young man’s thoughts during those perilous 12 days exists. Shannon: A Poem of the Lewis and Clark Expedition is McGrath’s eighth full-length work, a 128-page free-verse meditation on the mind of a man lost inside mythic America. The Florida International University professor and founder of the Miami Poetry Collective will read excerpts from Shannon starting at 7 p.m. at Books & Books on Miami Beach.
Sat., June 6, 7 p.m., 2009
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P. Scott Cunningham