Ripostes: a conversation in Poetry

RIPOSTES 2023, an ongoing dialogue in poetry


Dan and alice

Sometimes an elephant
becomes a horse
a dragon then
a crane

but gyres of an eagle
send them running
under cover
more than rain


Wide as the sky
the eagle dreams
in circles

Implacable eye
seems to see
No one knows
how far he hears


In 2014 Dan Potter & Alice Pero met up after 50 years at the occasion of their high school reunion. When Dan found out that Alice was a poet who enjoyed dialoguing, they decided to begin a conversation, and poems have been flowing without a break ever since. Every few years they do a performance at Dragon’s Egg, which includes music, as Alice is a flutist. Writing each other every other day has produced a prodigious number of pages (over 1500.) However, with a finely honed scalpel, the poets pick and choose to produce an interesting and entertaining hourof spoken word and music. 

In 2020 Alice Pero became the 10th Poet Laureate of Sunland/Tujunga, California. Published widely in magazines and anthologies, she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Altadena Poetry Review and California Quarterly. Her first book of poetry, Thawed Stars, was praised by renowned poet, Kenneth Koch, as having “clarity and surprises.” Pero has been a teacher of poetry to children in schools since 1991 and a member of California Poets in the Schools. Pero is also the founder of “Moonday,” reading series, and currently she curates the Village Poets reading series. She is also an accomplished flutist who created the performing group, “Windsong Players Chamber Ensemble,” concertizing around the Southland since 2015. In the words of brilliant poet Lyn Lifshin, Alice Pero’s poems are deliciously open, brimming with leaps, twists and surprises, often joyful and fizzy as a fireworks display.

Dan is a poet of mind, word, image, thought, and dream, and has manifested this poetry in many ways. He has journaled and written poetry for many years, and, with Alice, initiated a poetic conversation, a daily exchange, a discipline of dreams – one that has continued since 2014.

He is, moreover, an accomplished artist:
Daniel Potter began creating sculpture and puppeting at the tender age of eight, and continued with these and with theatre while at the Putney School, Harvard College (AB, 1968), l’Ecole des Beaux Arts, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design (M. Architecture 1973). 

Dan’s primary area of artistic creation is welded or plasma cut metal sculpture, painting, and, for the past year, his oeuvre has revolved around the use and misuse of detritus into small sculptures accompanied by whimsical text.  Dan is also a potter, an architect, a mask maker, a performer.
In 1976, he co-founded the Mystic Paper Beasts Theatre Company, which performs in Museums, Festivals, schools, and out and about. 
Dan and Marya imagined, designed, and built the artist retreat space, The Dragon’s Egg: a light filled hexagonal space for dancers and actors, for dreaming and creation. 

Dan and Marya enjoy three shared daughters, Giselle Potter. Chloe Potter, and Ana Ursin Tiwathia, and five grands, two cats, and a beautiful home.

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