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Poetry Reading: Phil Fitzpatrick
Phil Fitzpatrick will read from his new collection, Hawks on High: Everyday Miracles in a Hawk Ridge Season, a book of poems about the annual fall migration of raptors above Duluth’s renowned Hawk Ridge.
Published by Savage Press of Brule and illustrated by Duluth artist Penny Perry, Fitzpatrick’s book offers an intimate glimpse of the ritual of migration when raptors of all kinds — hawks, eagles, falcons, kestrels, vultures, even crows and ravens — stream down from the north along Lake Superior’s historic North Shore. While it may easily be argued that these birds have a poetry all their own, Fitzpatrick’s poems pry open some of the more subtle aspects not only of raptors but of the people who watch, count and band them. The location itself — its history, climate and geography — is occasionally featured as well.
Fitzpatrick is a retired English teacher who grew up in St. Paul and has lived in Duluth since 1996. While his interest in birds traces back to his childhood, his first visit to Hawk Ridge was not until 2017. Compelled by what he experienced there, he started writing Hawks on High. His fascination with the migration of raptors has not waned; he regularly visits both fall and spring hawk counts in Duluth to this day. Fitzpatrick has won local awards for both his poetry and short fiction. A 1967 graduate of Harvard College, Fitzpatrick holds masters’ degrees from the Bread Loaf School of English in Middlebury, Vt. and the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives and writes in Duluth.