Poet speaks tonight in Claremont

CULTURE ALERT: W.S. Merwin, one of the world’s greatest living poets and a Pulitzer winner, will give a free reading at 6:45 p.m. tonight at the Claremont McKenna Athenaeum, 385 E. 8th St., Claremont.

I attended a reading by Merwin as a college student in Illinois in 1984. A classmate urged me to go but I resisted at first, still married to the idea of watching “St. Elsewhere,” as I’d never missed an episode.

My friend sensibly said, c’mon, the show is on every week but Merwin will never be here again.

I went, I enjoyed it and, my streak broken, I only watched “St. Elsewhere” one or two more times before giving up on it. I hope Denzel Washington can forgive me.

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