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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


It is true that the feeling of separation is universal and not peculiar to Spanish Americans. It is born at the very moment of our birth: as we are wrenched from the Whole we fall into an alien land. This experience becomes a wound that never heals. [Octavio Paz]

from The Daily Times: PURPLE PATCH: In Search of the Present

The mind of the poet is the shred of platinum. It may partly or exclusively operate upon the experience of the man himself; but, the more perfect the artist, the more completely separate in him will be the man who suffers and the mind which creates; the more perfectly will the mind digest and transmute the passions which are its material. [T S Eliot]

from The Daily Times: PURPLE PATCH: Tradition and Individual Talent

But a tribe is too big a family for each member to know the other members. Affinity to the tribe could not be an affinity to each and every tribesman. There was a need for a symbol, a system of symbols, with which a tribesman would identify. In modern-day settled tribes ­ which are called nation-states ­ flags, passports, coins, as well as schoolbooks of history and geography, perform that function. In the desert, poems did the job.

from The Daily Star: The creation of the tribe in imagination

"I wanted (my students) to know that writing is alive and that it's something that can be a part of them. ... I think a lot of them just took the class because it satisfied a writing intensive credit, and I'm not sure how many of them will go on to be writers, but at least they know now that it's a possibility, eh?"

from Honolulu Star-Bulletin: Stuck on words: Lee Tonouchi coaxes vibrant poetry from his students at Kapiolani Community College

". . . .Other elements are pictures that please or thrill for themselves, phrases that ring for their music or carry some buried suggestion."

So, in Lowell's opinion, meaning is never everything, sometimes not even very important. I suppose that in something like Pope's Essay on Man or in Milton's Paradise Lost meaning is rather an important part of the poem.

from Guardian Unlimited: Thrown by the Hail Mary pass

This wasn't a story about two poets, or more precisely, it was only incidentally a story about two poets. It was a love story between two giants. Hughes and Plath had done something that most of us only dream of: they had met their soulmate, and married them. But it was a marriage that only one of them could survive.

from Guardian Unlimited: Who's afraid of Sylvia Plath?

She [Bettina Brentano] was sister to one famous poet, wife to another and inspiration to others, but declined to write poetry. What she did write has outraged and fascinated people ever since. She was a supreme muse, a one-woman literary movement, at once among the singular and most representative figures of the Romantic century

from Guardian Unlimited: A vituoso muse

". . . .When they are not too busy fighting each other, artists can create teams with such dynamism that they could bring about change. From this point of view, I think Dimoula's work is very important and that she is the greatest female Greek poet of contemporary Greece.

"Reading her work gave me ideas on how music and poetry could coexist without one taking over the other, and I hope I succeeded in doing that. My aim was not to set the poems to music; what I did set to music was just some bits of the poems which I considered to be the points of culmination...."

from Kathimerini: Poetry and music are brought together in one performance

In the early sixties, he began teaching at Columbia, and one of his first students was Louise Glück. “Kunitz’s voice would comment on the weak line, the dull word, the specific opacity,? Glück has written in an essay. More important, years after she stopped being his student, during a period when she was writing profusely and uselessly, he invited her over for a Martini. He told her that her new work was awful. He also told her that it didn’t matter, because she was a poet.

from The New Yorker: The Gardener

The Concretists arrived on the international literary scene as Brazil, imbued with the modernism that also resulted in the completion of the planned capital Brasília in 1960, flirted with different artistic forms.

With his brother, Augusto, and with Décio Pignatari, Mr. de Campos formed a group that sought to create a new form of expression by removing stereotypical traces of Brazilian culture from their work.

from The New York Times: Haroldo de Campos, 73, Form-Bending Poet, Dies

Three Poets Killed in Iraq


This summer, the 29-year-old was eager to receive medical and security clearance so she could travel to Baghdad for a four-week assignment in the U.N.'s press office.

Al Farra, an editor for the U.N.'s Arabic news unit in New York, died on her first day on the job Tuesday when a truck bomb exploded outside the U.N.'s headquarters in Iraq, killing at least 23 people.

from North Jersey Media Group: Dream job ends in tragedy


When Martha Teas Meiklejohn was a little girl growing up in Mason City, she wanted to be a poet.

"She could walk on the rim of a volcano reading poetry and never know she was in trouble," said Dorothy Teas of Mason City.

Meiklejohn, 47, worked for the United Nations and was killed Tuesday in the suicide bombing of the U.N. headquarters building in Baghdad.

from Sioux City Journal: Mason City native among Baghdad bombing victims


In addition to pursuing his own military career, Jones-Huffman studied poetry and had hoped to become a professor of literature. He was a budding haiku poet, whose introspective chronologies of what he experienced in Iraq -- gaunt children selling bayonets, desperate women reaching for water, carcasses of burnt vehicles -- were shared online and published in the Heron's Nest, a monthly journal (

from The Mercury News: Ex-Aptos resident is slain in Iraq


"Rumi is important to the world because he united east and the west. I feel that when terrorism is the problem to the world, this film will make people realise that it is important to understand each other's culture,'' Ali said.

"Rumi does not belong to any religion. His message is that of love. Through his poetry he talks about one god, the oneness of human race and goes beyond religion and talks.

"His poems are very well read even in United States. He looks at the world as one world in his time. So, his thoughts are important to highlight.''

from Utusan Malaysia Online: Indian director plans $25 million film on Persian poet Rumi

In addition, it may help to bring permanent peace rather than temporary one, because it expresses truth about the society without considering any boundaries. When literature opens eyes of the people who have been exploited in a society by showing the truth, the people may use force to get their rights back but permanent peace is restored after they get their rights back.

from Peoples Review: Achieving peace through literature

The university stirred a hornet's nest by deleting Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw from its revised syllabus and including translated works of part-time poet Prime Minister A B Vajpayee and controversial writer Salman Rushdie.

from The New Indian Express: Varsity's English courses to have Hindi films, PM's poems

His clearest swipe at the Bush administration comes in The Hearth, written on the eve of the Iraq war and published in The New Yorker magazine: "I stood in the wind in the raw cold/ wondering how those with power over us/ can effect such things, and by what/ cynical reasoning pardon themselves."

Williams said The Hearth inspired a string of supportive e-mails and letters from readers, rejuvenating his belief in the power of poetry to express what he calls "the common soul."

from The Canadian Press: Poet C.K. Williams reaches to roots in anger and politics in new volume

Fadhil Assultani: No, why should you ask that? It is a dream to have free speech and this is what we struggled for, for a very long time. There will not be any problem – on the contrary, freedom of speech will enrich our experience, our culture, ourselves, especially in Iraq’s multicultural society. Iraqi society will nurture a very rich culture in the future, which will even be able to enrich Arab cultures elsewhere, especially given what we have to offer of our Kurdish culture, religious culture, scientific culture.

from openDemocracy: Singing Iraq: poets in conversation

There is also a certain wariness of using art as a form of criticism -- at least until Iraqis are more certain what lies ahead. After a campus meeting last week to plan a fall drama festival, the organizer, 67-year-old poet Sadiq Sagh, who recently returned from a long exile in London to be an official adviser on culture, said he would probably not accept a play that was strongly critical of the U.S.-led administration or the new Iraqi authorities.

"It's too early to think about who we're against," Sagh said as he strolled the academy grounds.

from The Washington Post: Art From the Ashes: After Fear's Reign, a Flowering of Ideas

From the poem "One for the Road," by James Whitehead.

Night full and the click of the lighter after love
is almost kind, and careless, too, like the laugh
I leave with the sullen bills. And that's the way
it is, if not the way it ought to be,
down this Memphis road . . .

from NWA News: James Whitehead, UA Professor and Writer, Dies at 67

Chirikure said: "This competition is also valuable in that it is not just meant to end at the stage of award presentation. I understand that all the winning entries will be compiled and published in book form. This is a noble idea, especially given the fact that in Zimbabwe we have a shortage of reading materials for children and young readers. Our young readers will easily identify with the publication since it will be a product of writers who are going through the same experiences with them."

from Zimbabwe: Teachers' Union Rewards Young Poets

Fillingane is in the process of negotiating a contract with 1-800-FLOWERS that will pay him 25 cents for each bouquet that has one of his poems sent with it. At 6 million bouquets a year, that comes to a potential $1.5 million.

from The Sun News: Strand poet on fast track to riches

While a poet laureate may seem a luxury in a time of deep budget cuts, the job has emotional importance to communities that want someone to put their fears and joy to words, Mullen said.

"When we have events that we want to commemorate, that have significance for us, that cause us to have deep feelings, we often think about asking a poet to speak for all of us, to help distill these feelings we have, to place us in history, to kind of connect us, to help us look ahead, whether a tragic event or a celebratory event," she said.

from NBC 17: NC Arts Council Receives 29 Nominations For Poet Laureate


" . . . The society did not want anybody who was imaginative to achieve anything. The only people who could achieve were those in power, and our job was to praise them. In a situation like that, you just find yourself picking up a pen and saying, ‘To hell with this, I want to protest’. "

from Nation Online: [note: Entertainment] Mapanje launches new writing series

Edinburgh is planning an audacious bid to be named as the world's first official City of Literature.

A team of leading literary and cultural figures is to ask Unesco, the United Nations' educational, scientific, and cultural organisation, to grant the first title of its kind.

from The Electronic Herald: Edinburgh eyes up literary title

Yesterday, a professor of English claimed to have solved one of those conundrums. Philip Edwards, of the University of Liverpool, says he has identified the actual location in Monmouthshire that lay behind one of Eliot's most elusive shorter lyrics. The 11 lines of "Usk", written after a Welsh holiday in the mid-1930s, advises seekers after religious truth not to "hope to find / The white hart over the white well".

from Independent: Welsh pub helps solve T S Eliot's religious riddle

It was Ezra Pound who advised Merwin to "read the seeds, not the twigs of poetry," and Merwin studied the Troubadours to learn about poetry from its source, in a language older than French.

from NPR: Armchair Traveler: W.S. Merwin

This is because all humans are drawn to expression, and it's time to once again make expression a priority in our lives. "The people fancy they hate poetry, and they are all poets and mystics," Emerson says. Find poetry in the lowest, the highest and all the gray in between -- if you are a preacher, teacher, busboy or barista. "The poorest experience is rich enough for all the purposes of expressing thought," Emerson notes.

from Oregon Daily Emerald: Virtues of poetry reflect all existence

It is not hard to see why this manuscript from an unknown 25-year-old South African should have impressed Faber's then editor, T S Eliot. The poems fuse an extraordinary literary sophistication with an elusive, subtle lyricism and oblique, ever-shifting angles of vision.

from Telegraph: News: F T Prince

It wasn't just that the author was a woman. Poems and Fancies was a highly individual work. At odds with the prevailing taste for mannered, artful writing, Margaret [Cavendish]'s was impassioned and deeply personal. She created shocking love scenes, as when amorous Night persuades the Earth to commit adultery with him:

"Then slight me not, nor do my suit disdain,
But when the Sun is gone, me entertain:
Take me, sweet love, with joy into your bed,
And on your fresh green breast lay my black head."

from The Guardian: Duchess of scandal

She also paints what she sees when scanning the scene at such places as Monhegan Island, off the coast of Maine. She writes poetry in the mornings, usually before hiking or biking. Sometimes she writes while on her adventures in nature, she said.

"I can't really say why I write poetry instead of paint," she said. But by doing both, she uses both sides of her brain, she added.

from Record-Journal: Artist loves to paint while on the go everywhere

The State Department said it was particularly concerned for Cuba's best known dissident, poet and journalist Raul Rivero Castaneda, 57, and economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe, 62, because their health had worsened since they were jailed in a crackdown on opponents of President Fidel Castro.

from Stuff: US seeks better care for jailed Cuban dissidents

This tiny front-yard garden is different in one way. It grows words. Against the sidewalk in greenery and flowers stands a 3-foot stick with a plastic-protected sign that says, "Take a Poem/Make a Poem" and "Welcome to the Salmon Street Poetry Garden."

from The Oregonian: A grown-up's garden of verse


Sources close to Mbuli say he was whisked from the Leeuwkop prison in a German sedan driven by record company EMI's business executive Leslie Sedibe.

It was an emotional moment for Mbuli when he entered the home he last saw six years ago on the morning of October 28, 1997, the day he was arrested.

After a hot bath and changing into new clothes, Mbuli was taken to the EMI studios in Steeledale where he was thrown a mini birthday party.

from News24: Mbuli gets a taste of freedom

In the next book of original poems, Lowell took on a spokesman's role from which he never retreated. Many of the poems in For the Union Dead (1964) address historical, political and cultural issues in a manner that characteristically blends the intensely personal with the civic. The book concludes with the title poem that ends with this indictment of a diminished society: "Everywhere,/giant finned cars nose forward like fish;/a savage servility/slides by on grease."

from GoMemphis: Robert Lowell, unquestioned giant of 20th Century verse, leaves this ungainly burden - are we worthy?

Anticipating his arrival, Hardwick was leaning out the window when a taxi pulled up in front of the apartment building. The building's elevator man opened the taxi door, peered inside, and yelled up to Hardwick, "Mr. Lowell is inside but he's not moving."

from Tallahassee Democrat: Literary giant is sleeping no more

'The arts isn't about kids growing up to be artists. You have to have that creative way of thinking. You need creativity to figure out how to solve problems, whether it be fixing your relationship or on the job.'

from The Sun News: New poet laureate plans arts programs

Ahmed Zaoui is blindfolded and hanging by his hands from the ceiling. It is 1985. In the Algerian prison, authorities take a mop and squeeze dirty water into his mouth until his stomach bloats and he loses consciousness.

from New Zealand News: Trapped by flawed files

Einstein: There are two different conceptions about the nature of the universe -- the world as the unity dependent on humanity.... and the world as reality independent of the human factor...

Tagore: This world is a human world -- the scientific view of it is also that of the scientific man. Therefore, the world apart from us does not exist; it is a relative world, depending for its reality upon our consciousness.

Einstein: Truth, or beauty, is not independent of man.

Tagore: No.

Einstein: If there were no human beings any more, the Apollo Belvedere no longer would be beautiful?

Tagore: No.

Einstein: I agree with regard to this conception of beauty, but not with regard to truth. Einstein asserted, "I cannot prove, but I believe in the Pythagorean argument, that the truth is independent of human beings".

Tagore: In any case, if there be any truth unrelated to humanity, then for us it is absolutely non-exiting.

Einstein: Then I am more religious than you are.

from The Daily Star: Tagore and some Nobel laureates

But what about lyric poetry that is narrated as fiction? Then, do we read to go further into ourselves or do we read to go outside ourselves into the fictional drama? It's a question about the nature of poetic invocation, as well as our own expectations about reading poetry, because even in a fictionally narrative poem, we're still clearly inside a poem, with the attendant reassuring imperatives of poetry -- strong lines, swift metaphor, music, strangeness and surprise.

from The Oregonian: Excelling with narrative poetry

Finally, as we prepared to leave, Dannie spotted a book missing from his Dylan Thomas collection and decided to buy it. As I waited for him to return, I saw a visiting Dutch tourist surreptitiously scratching a paint chip from the original doors to Thomas's writing shed. Once he'd jimmied it free, he carefully slipped his prize into his wallet as if it were a lock of a lover's hair.

from Telegraph: Wales: Walking backwards into Llareggub

He tried to commit suicide twice. In 1995, police searched his home, confiscated his writings, and held him under house arrest for 20 days. In 1998, he was arrested for compiling The Underground Poems of the Seventies in China.

In December 2002, Liao was detained again after he posted his writings on the Internet and signed a petition to the 16th Communist Party Congress which ushered in a new Chinese leadership.

from Three repressed Chinese writers win prestigious international awards

Some of modern Russia's greatest writers and poets still live and work in Peredelkino, although their future in the colony now seems as bleak as a Russian winter. Private developers and ultra-rich Russians have drawn a bead on the tiny community. Suddenly, small wedges of land here are going for a half-million dollars, even as the average Russian earns $5 a day.

from KnightRidder Washington Bureau: Moscow artists' oasis a victim of rich Russians' land-grab storm


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