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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


News at Eleven

What is more, his [Rubén Darío's] influence penetrated all levels of Latin American and Spanish society, where his voice is still audible in the lyrics of popular love songs; the artistic movement that he founded, Modernismo, had a tremendous impact on everything from ornaments to interior design, from furniture to fashion.

from The Nation: The Master of Modernismo

It was in defiance of Kafka's instructions that his friend Max Brod did not incinerate his papers. It was by mistake that John Stuart Mill's lady friend's maid burned the first volume of Thomas Carlyle's "The History of the French Revolution."

from International Herald Tribune: How much tragedy in Literature Lost?

In his anguish [John] Donne began to write verse--strange, choppy, savage verse--raging against everything, including the bigotry and stupidity of imposing faith by fire and sword. His disgust was another undergraduate pose but, stagey as it was, he was in bitter earnest.

from The Guardian: Out of the shadows

Clothed in splendid Dominican robes and writing as Brother Antoninus, he published three substantial books within eight years--The Crooked Lines of God (1959), The Hazards of Holiness (1962), and The Rose of Solitude (1967). It seemed that by committing himself to an orthodox religious view, he had found a clear position from which to explore his personal themes and a renewed vitality of expression.

from Berkeley Daily Planet: William Everson: The Poet as Mystic

The structure of the poem, originally, depends on the number of syllables or letters in each of its three phrases (5-7-5). Their single line may be broken into two, three, or even four parts when inscribed in the poet's hand on a square card called a shikishi, the very shape of which belies the uneven pattern of the poem.

from The Japan Times: Three is the magic number for haiku and Japan

[Patricia] Fargnoli continues to find new affection in her own work. She is most proud of her most recent book, "Duties of the Spirit" Over the years, she feels as if her work has become more cohesive, and that "Duties" hangs together better."

from Portsmouth Herald: Fargnoli named as state's poet laureate

The land, sold to the Conservancy by Ruth Stone, award winning poet and long-time resident of Vermont, is a critical component of the Helen W. Buckner Memorial Preserve at Bald Mountain.

from The Nature Conservancy: Nationally Acclaimed Poet Sells 297 Acres to Nature Conservancy

With every attempt at dignity, [Paul] Verlaine walked silently into the house, silently packed his case and silently walked out of the door, while [Arthur] Rimbaud tried--and failed--to make him see the joke. Verlaine hailed a cab, which took him to St Katharine Docks, where he boarded a boat to Calais.

from The Times: The house at poets' corner

[Alan] Ross is still haunted by the human consequences of a bomb-cratered Germany. "Hamburg by Night" notes that "As you watch them, children grow thinner/Their eyes huger. Is it for this we came/To go whoring and give defeat a name?"

from The Guardian: Reports from the past

Like most of us, I suppose, Richard [C. Raymond] had thought that when one was cremated, the urn contained nothing but ashes--he never expected to see bits of bone in the urn when he opened it.

from A Great Moment in Poetry

In fact, when you pause to think about the ingredients in my recipe for haggis, it is really just another sausage or meatloaf. Keep telling yourself that, and the task gets a bit easier.

Heart is a perfectly acceptable ingredient in haggis, as it is really just another muscle. Liver is also good to use.

from Ottawa Citizen: Here's to haggis: If it's not offal, it's not Scottish. Dig in and enjoy, lads!

Great Regulars

The children I know--even the bookish older ones, who might well have read a Dickens or so and have almost certainly made their way through Jane Eyre--are extremely unlikely to be found curled up on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon with a packet of chocolate biscuits and a copy of Ulysses.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Culture Vulture: Great expectations?

Lola Haskins, who lives in Florida, has written a number of poems about musical terms, entitled "Adagio," "Allegrissimo," "Staccato," and so on. Here is just one of those, presenting the gentleness of pianissimo playing through a series of comparisons.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 043

One kind of poetry lives in that borderland between the ordinary and the dreamy, the banal and the mysterious, the grandiose and the squalid. That is the territory Stephen Dobyns has mastered. Here is "Alligator Dark" from his recent book Mystery, So Long.

from Robert Pinsky: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice

The Park Drunk by Robin Robertson

from The Guardian: Original poetry: The Park Drunk by Robin Robertson

That's why the Mirror is asking its readers to write a poem and send it in. Entries will be judged by Daisy [Goodwin] and we'll publish the winning verse.

To help get the creative juices flowing, some of our finest writers and columnists last night picked up their pens . . .

from Daily Mirror Poetry Competition: Averse to verse?

Jonathan Harris, Tualatin
Apple Farm

from The Oregonian: Poetry

With rich language and tangible details, the poem charts the dream--a vision of the future--a teacher fostered in one of his students, many years before the distant landscape was to be experienced.

from Portsmouth Herald News: Spotlight Poems from the Hoot

"No Flights Until Morning"
By David Tucker

from Slate: "No Flights Until Morning" By David Tucker

Poetic Obituaries

[Richard Bardolph] found time for acting and poetry, too. He had a major role in a 1946 production of "East Lyme'' at the university. His poems turned up in the pages of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and other publications.

from News & Record: Historian Richard Bardolph dies at 91

[Eloise Ann] Iliff greatly enjoyed working with first-grade students, bringing her talents as an artist, poet, actress and musician to teaching them. She felt that elementary school-age children, despite moving from school to school or within a school, could bond together through a shared repertoire of favorite songs.

from The Villager: Eloise Ann Iliff, 79, stage actress and school teacher

Tributes have been paid to Peter Kavanagh, the brother of the poet Patrick Kavanagh, who died in New York yesterday.

Mr Kavanagh, 89, had worked as a Professor of English Literature in the United States and was the custodian of much of his brother's work.

from RTE News: Brother of poet Kavanagh dies in New York

[Peter Ladefoged] intended to study English literature but soon became fascinated by the sounds of speech.

"I wanted to find out why Shelley could write better-sounding poetry than I," he told The Times in 1970.

from Los Angeles Times: Peter Ladefoged, 80; Documented Endangered Languages

Fr [Jan] Twardowski said himself, 'Poems are my weaknesses, I always wanted to write them but I could not know how. It is the great grace of God that people read my poems. I am moved, especially now that I am walking with a bag, a stick and death is beckoning to me'.

from Sunday: Catholic Weekly: Fr Jan Twardowski (1915-2006): A poet passed away


News at Eleven

In fact, Amnesty International considers that Orhan Pamuk's high profile drew attention to the deficiencies of Article 301, and now fears that the cases of other individuals prosecuted under the same article may continue in relative obscurity.

The cases of Hrant Dink, Sehmus Ulek, Ragip Zarakolu, Fatih Tas, Murat Pabuc, Birol Duru and R?dvan K?zg?n, which Amnesty International detailed in its earlier statement, are still ongoing.

from Amnesty International USA: Turkey: Court drops case against novelist Orhan Pamuk

They then rounded up five men, including poet and high school student Sayed Ahmad Qaneh and four of his relatives, the witnesses said.

"We're concerned about their fate. They were just taken away and no one talks about them," said another witness, Mohammad Yar, from a cultural group in the city.

from Hindustan Times: Afghans concerned over poet's arrest by US

In one hilarious passage, Aphrodite attacks her rival, Jove's wife, as: 'Your blubber-bummed wife with her gobstopper nipples.'

'He [Christopher Logue] is the Alexander Pope of his day,' AN Wilson has declared. 'He made Homer accessible.'

from The Observer: Logue in vogue

"Everything except writing poems and making love ends up finally boring me," he [Irving Layton] said. But he could charm women. He once pacified a classroom of critical feminists by reading Keine Lavorivitch: 1870-1959, a poem dedicated to his difficult mother:

from The Guardian: Irving Layton

[Thomas] Hardy lived 88 years; I have lived 84. I understand his poem and feel its poignancy in a way that no one, say, twenty or forty or fifty could, because at any age before fifty the Past is a hag and the Present is a mistress and the future a pot of gold to be gotten for her.

from Huntington News: As The Present Fades, the Past Becomes a Mistress

"I think they’re contemporary sonnets. They make a nod toward the tradition of the sonnet, without sacrificing too much to the need for rhythm. . . .I think the English language, as it has transformed, has made it more difficult to write good rhymed poetry," says [Jim] Rioux, 36, of Exeter.

from Portsmouth Herald: Exeter writer turned to words in time of trouble

Other accounts made note of Jack [Hirschman]'s insistence of and persistence in speaking out about the plight of the homeless, yet none of the accounts recalled Jack's reading of his 1987 poem simply called "Home," which he read at the inauguration. In case you missed the broadcast on SFGTV and you haven't read the piece, here it is in its entirety:

from Beyond Chron: Who is Jack Hirschman, Poet Laureate of San Francisco?

Having spent only the first four years of her life in Scotland, then, she [Carol Ann Duffy] is seen by some as a nominal Scottish poet, yet is a staple of Scottish anthologies. Both Marsack and Riach believe she has a more substantial claim than birth alone, with both drawing comparisons to Scottish poet laureate Edwin Morgan in her ability to inhabit the minds of others.

from The Herald: The power to see inside your mind

But reel out some [William] McGonagall--"Ye lovers of the picturesque, if ye wish to drown your grief,/Take my advice, and visit the ancient town of Crieff"--and the listener is keenly awaiting the bathetic thump before it arrives.

The recognition cannot be explained simply by McGonagall's abysmal prosody

from The Guardian: Bard of the Silv'ry Tay

As a result of that modest gathering, two centuries on, countless Burns suppers joyfully mangle the words of Auld Lang Syne in more than 200 countries.

Just five years after Burns's death in 1796, the eight-man gathering convened in the cottage under the chairmanship of the Reverend Hamilton Paul.

from The Scotsman: Bard act to follow

"In letting people know about this tribute, I've been contributing to these people's desire to catch this guy," [Jeff] Jerome said. "It's such a touching tribute, and it's been disrupted by the actions of a few people trying to interfere and expose this guy."

from Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Mystery man places roses on Poe gravesite

Great Regulars

Gerard Fanning anchors his meditative, often dreamlike poetry in the physical world with a mixture of evocative place names (Ballynahinch Lake, Cape Spear, Coal Quay) and highly specialised, often archaic language that had me reaching more than once for the dictionary.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Examinations of birds and words

"I started with images of ordinary experiences and tried to look at them from a new angle, in terms of the relationships they affected, since those relationships between people were interesting to me. Poetry forced me to be precise, and since most of my fiction has a lyrical feel to it anyway, moving from fiction to poetry was a natural transition." [--Tristan Deveney]

from Bill Diskin: York Daily Record: Poetryork: Young poet edits Web journal

In this poem you can vividly see our Midcoast, our Rockland sprawl, our inland hills in winter’s beauty, a sensitive hard-working woman, driving home, with her poem transforming the ordinary into a fine magic.

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: Garrison Keillor's gift

Here is a poem by David Bengtson, a Minnesotan, about the simple pleasure of walking through deep snow to the mailbox to see what's arrived. But, of course, the pleasure is not only in picking up the mail with its surprises, but in the complete experience—being fully alive to the clean cold air and the sound of the wind around the mailbox door.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 042

My feelings as a reader seem to grow directly from the poet's imagining of these landscapes and creatures.

That sense of an unmediated feeling, from nature directly to the emotion, and from the artist's imagination directly to the audience, is a powerful creation: the illusion of no distance.

from Robert Pinsky: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice

[James Joyce] was so poor that he could not afford dental treatment in Paris. The later damage to his eyes was on account of neglect of his bad teeth. After six months in Paris he got the news of his mother's serious illness. He rushed back to Dublin where his mother died.

from V Sundaram: News Today: The genius of James Joyce--I

In Finnegans Wake there is no such clear cut division, nothing but a continuous, gathering, turbulent stream of ideas, an onrushing torrent of broken images and idols, a mutiny of disjointed quotations and unrelated things, contradictory thoughts and symbols in 'the rivering waters of hither and thithering waters of night'. Night controls Finnegans Wake as day governs Ulysses.

from V Sundaram: News Today: The genius of James Joyce--II

Name by Carol Ann Duffy

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Name by Carol Ann Duffy

"Two for the Montrose Drive-In"
By Rita Dove

from Slate: "Two for the Montrose Drive-In" By Rita Dove

Poetic Obituaries

Iranian veteran poet Mahmud Moshref Azad Tehrani, known as M. Azad, died on Thursday at the age of 72, the Persian service of the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) announced on Friday.

from Mehr News: Poet M. Azad dies at 72

When not at school, Mrs. [Gloria Fowler] Bildson played folk music on her guitar and performed classical music on piano. And she had a beautiful singing voice, her husband said.

She also painted and wrote poetry and children's stories.

from Detroit Free Press: Gloria Fowler Bildson: Artistic, talented teacher

[Major William F. Hecker] was a career military officer and literary scholar who authored numerous articles. In addition, he was the editor of "Private Perry and Mister Poe: The West Point Poems, 1831."

from The Connection: Graduate of McLean High School Dies in Iraq

[Nellie] McKay was best known as the co-editor of "The Norton Anthology of African American Literature," written with Henry Louis Gates Jr. She was a pioneer in the movement to make black studies an academic area of higher education.

from The Capital Times: UW prof, scholar Nellie McKay dies

Mrs. [Genevieve Locke] Oliphant died Jan. 15, 2006. She was a published poet and she was a member of the Tennessee Poetry Society.

from The Dickson Herald: Genevieve Locke Oliphant

Erica Reiner, an internationally renowned scholar of Assyrian, one of the world's oldest written languages, died on Dec. 31 at her home in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. She was 81.

from The New York Times: Erica Reiner Is Dead at 81; Renowned Assyrian Scholar

Polish priest and popular poet father Jan Twardowski has died in a hospital in Warsaw at the age of 90. His poetic debut came in 1936 with a small tome titled "Andersen's Return".

from Radio Polonia: Jan Twardowski--priest and poet---dies at 90


News at Eleven

The TS Eliot prize for poetry was inaugurated in 1993, to celebrate the Poetry Book Society's 40th birthday and honour its founding poet. The £10,000 prize money is donated by Eliot's widow, Valerie Eliot, and the prize is given to the best collection of new poetry published in the UK and Ireland in the past year, decided by a panel of judges.

2005: Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy

from The Guardian: The TS Eliot prize for poetry

"I didn't know that the poems I'd been getting rejected from the New Review I was sending to the same man at the TLS," he [David Harsent] chuckles. "In the end, he sent me a note saying, 'I've been watching the progress of your work for some time, would you like to come and have a drink?'"

from The Independent: David Harsent: The pity, and poetry, of war

Carol Ann Duffy's Rapture, a careless book by a widely admired writer, is frequently reliant on cliche. When Duffy writes that a black cab is a 'sad hearse' (as distinct from all those happy hearses, one assumes), she is recycling the slightly better line (from Mean Time), 'a taxi implying a hearse'.

from The Observer: Where have all the poets gone?

Sounding like each other, as the trumpets in a Sousa march sound like each other, they press the correct valves over and over, and over.

They are characterized by all the things [Carmine] Starnino likes. They write, he says, "aurally ambitious, lexically alert, and formally intelligent poems".

from Vive le Canada: Culture Matters. Poetry Matters

It is in the incredible dynamic of life which enacts, like some incandescent power, the moment of each living hour: it is in the sense by which, living in this city, a poet glimpses a whole new form of life, and an alternative way in which to experience it fully.

from Vanguard: Lagos and a life of the poets

We do not want them to repeat the maxims and precepts of the past. We do not want them to rehearse or follow the writings of their predecessors. There is a terrible fate in store for any writer accused of plagiarism.

from The Times: The poets who built the modern world

And even if she did have rotten, crooked teeth, clumsy, thick ankles and an eccentric father whose evolutionary theories linking man with primates were scoffed at long before Darwin was even born, she could still manage to bewitch and charm the ploughman poet Robert Burns.

from The Scotsman: Debt ode by Burns to City's ladies

[Edwin Morgan's] version revels in wordplay, richly present in the original, though Morgan is certainly the first to make such a shining and bawdy backbone of it for an English version, rhyming Humbaba with "rum baba", using language that's quotidianly alive, with words such as "kowtow", "slurp", "metroland", "tarmacadam".

from The Guardian: Gold from the old

"The simplest thing in the world, imagine, three lines in Japan, thousands of leaves of grass of our own American bard, millions of variations throughout the world even unto intricate rhymes hip-hopping down the street, in schools, in prisons, slipped under your door, on the page or off the page, published between your ears, the simplest thing is the greatest weapon against the chaos, the fear, and war." [--Jack Hirschman]

from San Francisco Sentinel: Jack Hirschman installed as San Francisco Poet Laureate

"Location is where we start from," said poet Maxine Kumin, and the best of [Robert] Sund's poems--with their echoes of William Carlos Williams, Gary Snyder, Basho and, in my opinion, Neruda by way of Bly--start in the Northwest landscape and work their way to Everywhere.

from The Oregonian: Journey through 'Ish River Country' is well worth taking

Norway has declared 2006 as "The Year of Ibsen", with more that 4,000 events worldwide starting with Saturday's official opening before 900 invited guests at the Oslo City Hall.

from Aftenposten: Ibsen centennial opens

Great Regulars

In this poem, Baron Wormser, transports us to the time of the early back-to-the-landers in the 70s, arriving en masse, to buy cheap land with heady visions of living off the land and being artists.

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: Getting to work in January

Those photos in family albums, what do they show us about the lives of people, and what don't they tell? What are they holding back? Here Diane Thiel, who teaches in New Mexico, peers into one of those pictures.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 041

Cafe Oleh invites readers to submit their poetry for publication. Please send a maximum of two poems at a time.

from Cafe Oleh: Jerusalem Post: Readers Verses: Poets Corner

For example, [Dan] Chiasson imagines what it might feel like to be used and tormented for some incidental yet essential quality, like the mollusks whose flesh was raw material for the purple dye valued in antiquity:

from Robert Pinsky: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice

The freedom to open one's mouth

V Sundaram

from V Sundaram: News Today: The freedom to open one's mouth

Know Nothing

from V Sundaram: News Today: Know Nothing

What the book reveals about the state of poetry is the extent to which poetry can still be direct and informative. Read this book from start to finish and you'll have a better feel for Pennsylvania than from reading a guidebook or a history, the poems providing - in a way only poems can - distinctly personal takes on the state's cities and towns, mines and mountains, forests and rivers.

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: Poetry and Pennsylvania taking a stroll hand in hand

Brünhilde by Jo Shapcott

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Brünhilde by Jo Shapcott

I like this strong confident voice. Speaking in the voice of the sculpture enables an intriguing commentary on the relationship to emerge. I'd just change one or two things. In the first verse I'd insert "the" before "smooth planes". I like the bold "I want" in the third line and the subsequent line break.

from The Guardian: Poetry workshop: 'All the poems have something to commend them ... '

"Two Million Feet of Vinyl"
By Jim Powell

from Slate: "Two Million Feet of Vinyl" By Jim Powell

Poetic Obituaries

One of the founding members of Nepal Press Institute, [Govinda] Biyogi worked as the editor of Nawa Nirman, Goreto, Lokdoot, Janadoot and other newspapers.

He has also added to country?s literary store with his essays and poems.

from The Rising Nepal: Senior journo Biyogi passes away at 76

[Cassandra Dimopoulos] sang at Fiesta Days earlier this year as a teen finalist in the McHenry Area Idol contest.

Her poems appeared several times in the Poetry Corner of the Northwest Herald.

from Northwest Herald: Toxicology tests done to look at girl's death

"I was a high school dropout for 12 years. I returned to Piggott High School for three solid years to attend classes. I graduated in 1967, was supposed to have graduated in 1955. Both classes invite me to their reunions," she [Jean Doty-Owen] said.

She continued her education to complete 30 hours of college credit and enjoyed writing poetry. Some of her poems were published in Voices International.

from The Piggott Times: Former clerk-treasurer, Lion Jean Doty-Owen dies at 68

[Margaret M. Durgin] wrote poetry, essays and short stories, said her daughter Judith Pilla, and also self-published a children's book. She wrote letters to the editor to newspapers and corresponded with authors, artists and politicians, including U.S. presidents.

from Philadelphia Inquirer: Margaret M. Durgin: Writer, Quaker activist, 87

G. Blakemore Evans, an eminent Elizabethan scholar and editor of the Shakespearean canon, foremost the "Riverside Shakespeare," died on Dec. 23 at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 93.

from The New York Times: G. Blakemore Evans, 93, Shakespeare Scholar, Dies

Veteran journalist, poet and founder of Rajasthan Patrika Karpur Chand Kulish passed away today following prolonged illness.

He was 80.

from Webindia123: Founder of Rajasthan Patrika is dead

From horseman to butcher to cowboy poet and just about everything in between, [Bill] Ramsey was a man of adventure and many talents. He died Jan. 9 at age 76.

from The Times-News: A Life Remembered: Man lived for horses, family and elk

[Mimmo Rotella] made a record of his poetry and gave a performance at Harvard University. When he returned to Rome he came to the conclusion that there was nothing left to do in painting, and he shortly thereafter discovered the materials and processes of décollage.

from The New York Times: Mimmo Rotella, Collagist, Dies at 87

[Grant Swift] also was a writer who penned poems for special friends, said [E.J.] Underwood.

"He was a silent guy who didn't ask for any awards," Underwood said. "There would be a big show at the fairgrounds and he'd be taking care of an electrical problem or a generator issue. He'd fix it himself.

"He had a true love for the fair."

from Adrian Daily Telegram: Swift remembered as leader of county fair


News at Eleven

Beginning in November 2003, he [Brian Turner] was an infantry team leader in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

His book, Here, Bullet, reflects his war-time experiences in graceful and unflinching poetry.

from NPR: Morning Edition: Iraq Soldier Describes War in Poetry

Subject: Fifth International Poetry Conference in Jerusalem
Date: Thursday 05 January 2006 17:08

To: Yitzhak Eizenberg Shalom
Fifth International Poetry Festival in Jerusalem

Thank you for your invitation to participate in the International Poetry Festival in Jeruslaem in 2006 and the details. I would like to take my name out of the list of participants. I read these days on the barabarism in the Qalandia checkpoint. I oppose an international poetry festival in a city in which the Arab inhabitants are oppressed systematically and cruelly, imprisoned between walls, deprived of their rights and living spaces, humiliated in checkpoints and the international laws are violated. I think that even poets were not allowed in the past, and not in the present, to ignore persecutions and discriminations on a racial or national basis.


Aharon Shabati

from Palestine: Information with Provenance: Aharon Shabati: Cultural Boycott of poetry festival

Tory Dent, a poet and essayist, died of an infection associated with AIDS on Friday at her home in New York. She was 47. The lines that follow are taken from her poem "The Pressure."

from Los Angeles Times: The Pressure

Yet there is beauty in the starkness--the gray dampness outside a window--a condition that only a few people are able to transpose onto paper. One was Sylvia Plath, the Massachusetts-native, dead for 43 years.

from Tewksbury Advocate: Welcoming winter

Kate Barnes' poem leads us into the experience of January, slows us down to pay attention to how the winter feels. She’s emphasizing the stillness, the silence and the simple pleasures of a winter day.

from Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: Getting over a dread of poetry

The poetry group, along with those using the exercise machines, ended up sitting on the equipment to listen to [Robert] Bly's reading.

"We pressed into the room for that wonderful afternoon of poetry," continued S. Thomasita. "We listened, clapped, watched, and tilted the ‘ear of our heart.'"

from Benedictine College News: Benedictine College Featured in Robert Bly Poem

The familiarity comes from the homely subject matter, the surprise from [Ted] Kooser’s remarkable gift for figurative language.

"Christmas Eve," for example, begins:

Now my father carries his old heart
In a basket of ribs
Like a child coming into the room
With an injured bird. . . .

from UU World Magazine: Ted Kooser’s poetry of the people

Its tone ranges from the jokey "Quickdraw"--"I wear the two, the mobile and the landline phones,/like guns, slung from the pockets on my hips"--to one of the most scathingly private poems that I have ever read, "Presents"[. . . .]

from The Guardian: The end of the affair: Margaret Reynolds finds Carol Ann Duffy's Rapture unashamedly lyrical--and brilliant for it

Contrary to conventional wisdom, [Kenneth] Koch was more than a poet of comic verse, a label that dogged him throughout his life. At its best, his work captures the deep pleasures of being alive and of being fully conscious of one's own luck. There is a gentleness to his joy that in no way diminishes its force, a rare combination that reverberates in anyone fortunate enough to be open to it in all its possibility.

from The Nation: Dr. Fun

One of the motifs of [Billy] Collins's work is melancholy. For all of the humor, his project is sad in that it faces up to the ultimate disappointment of life: its shortness. The sweetness of it makes its shortness all the more bitter.

from Bookslut: An Interview with Joseph Parisi

With annual budgets that should range from $5 million to $10 million a year, [John] Barr says, the Poetry Foundation's ultimate goal is to create a general readership for poetry large enough to make it possible for more poets to succeed in a commercial marketplace rather than rely on academia to make a living.

from The Boston Globe: Poets, Inc.

Great Regulars

"Poetry asks you to engage in the meaning, beauty and sound of language more so than other forms of writing," said Wellman. "I think that the power of words and the way that they are presented is often taken for granted in our society, yet has so much influence over our relationships, interactions and the way we see the world. It is an art worth refining." [--Rachel Wellman]

from Bill Diskin: York Daily Record: Poetryork: Exploring the mystery of poetry

[Paramahansa Yogananda] instructs us to gather only the seeds of good plants--"joys and achievements, hopes, good actions and thought, all noble desires"--to plant in our new garden of the new year: "Sow in the fresh soil of each new day/Those valiant seeds."

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Promises for the New Year

Arizonan Alberto Rios probably observed this shamel ash often, its year-round green leaves never changing. On this particular day, however, he recognizes a difference--a yellow leaf. In doing so he offers us a glimpse of how something small yet unexpected may stay with us, perhaps even become a secret pleasure.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 040

This poem, with its grave yet jaunty manner, like a jazz funeral, pays Mother Earth the tribute of a fresh portrait. A wicked, bearded queen, in her dead light! The image is so startling it can make a reader laugh in recognition of its outrageous, irreverent justice.

from Robert Pinsky: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice

Like W H Auden, Claire Calman has a very special way with her words, resounding resonant words with deep meaning and spiritual expansiveness. The poem that I enjoyed most was the one on computers.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Claire Calman, novelist and poet

Election manifesto for 2006

V Sundaram

from V Sundaram: News Today: Election manifesto for 2006

by Dan Wilcox

from MR Zine: Dan Wilcox, "Baghdad/Albany"

Bill Siverly was born and grew up in Lewiston, Idaho, and has lived in Portland since 1972. He has published three books of poems: "Parzival" (1981), "Phoenix Fire" (1987) and "The Turn" (2000). He taught at Portland Community College for 25 years.

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Steven Henry Madoff

from Slate: "Him" By Steven Henry Madoff

Poetic Obituaries

[Georgia Betty] Askew's artwork has been shown at Christ Church Cathedral and at the Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton. Her poetry has been in publications of the University of Cincinnati and in the "Anthology of Christian Poetry."

from The Cincinnati Enquirer: Artist Georgia Betty Askew, 85, focused lately on liturgical works

"She was a wonderful poet, a good short-story writer and a fine novelist," said author Ray Bradbury, who knew [Sanora] Babb for more than 60 years.

He described the initial rejection of her first novel as "the sort of blow that happens to all of us as writers. . . .She didn't let it destroy her."

from Los Angeles Times: Sanora Babb, 98; Writer Whose Masterpiece Rivaled Steinbeck's

[Tory] Dent's first collection, "What Silence Equals," captured critical attention. Her second book, "HIV, Mon Amour" won the James Laughlin Award given by the Academy of American Poets.

"Being sick is isolating. Writing seems to cheer me up," Dent said in a 2002 interview with the Cortland Review, an online literary magazine.

from Los Angeles Times: Tory Dent, 47; Poet Wrote About Fight With AIDS

[Ofelia Fox] published several books of poetry while she lived in Cuba and self-published "Patria en Lagrima" (Tears in the Homeland) while she lived in Florida.

In Los Angeles, several of her bilingual plays were staged by the Cuban Cultural Club in Monterey Park.

from Los Angeles Times: Ofelia Fox, 82; Operated Havana's Hot Tropicana

Dr. [George] Gerbner wrote, "All my life I wanted to be a poet. Poetry is the distillation of all arts. It has rhythm, it has rhyme, it sings, it paints pictures. I hope that reading my poems will give you both pleasure and renewed appreciation of Homo Sapiens’ unique gift, the power of words."

from University of Pennsylvania Almanac: Dr. Gerbner, Dean Emeritus of the Annenberg School for Communication (scroll down)

[Mazie B. Hall] was also a longtime contributor to the pages of The Suburban, writing about history, her travels abroad (she traveled through Africa, Europe, Asia and South America), poetry and personal reflections.

As a child-advocate, she created innovative mentoring and tutoring programs for youngsters in the Mt. Pleasant community during the 1960s.

from Suburban and Wayne Times: Civil-rights activist and educator Mazie Hall dies at 103

[Laura Harsh] "was also very religious and attended church in Centreville. And she loved nature and gardening; she loved to grow flowers."

Laura also liked collecting stickers and writing poetry; and a few years ago, she was particularly pleased because she got to attend a meeting of the Poetry Society in Orlando, Fla.

from The Connection: Family Mourns Laura Harsh's Death at 37

[Gladys Koski Holmes] also was recognized for her literary talents. Along with Emmons, McQuillan, Stephanie Stevens and Sheila Packa, Gladys won a Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for a book of poetry titled "Uncommon Light."

from Tower Timberjay News: Gladys Koski Holmes 'got the most out of every minute'

Karachi--A senior journalist, economic writer, columnist and poet, Mr Rafique Jabir, died here on Thursday after a brief illness. He was 75. A former editor of the defunct Morning News and the Trade and Industry weekly, he was known as a leading economic writer and analyst, with cotton and stocks being his forte.

from AsiaMedia: Pakistan: Rafique Jabir passes away

[Irving] Layton, who died Wednesday at age 93, was known by some as provocative and abrasive but [Anna] Pottier spoke of the man who playfully tried to swipe bagels from a bakery and saw hope in blades of grass poking through cracks in city sidewalks.

from CJAD 800: Nobel-nominated poet Irving Layton remembered for his influence, talent

After early eperimentation with so-called 'phonetic poetry' he [Mimmo Rotella] hit on the idea of re-using billboard posters in the 1950s .

This was when his career took off and he was invited to exhibit his so-called 'decollage' abroad, mainly in France and the United States.

from Artist Rotella Dies

Joe Sherman, an award-winning East Coast poet, columnist, curator and editor, has died at the age of 60.

A book of Sherman's poetry Beautiful Veins, will be published early in 2006.

from CBC Arts: Joe Sherman, poet and editor, dies at 60


News at Eleven

This chosen exile from traditional religious culture mirrors the experimental poet's exile from fixed poetics. Writers who work outside of traditional forms, like Jews who identify beyond traditional forms of Judaism, must practice the art of constant self-re-evaluation, rejecting the comfort of accepted meaning, usage, and form; overturning language; pushing its boundaries.

from Zeek: The Other Jews: Secularism, Kabbalah and Radical Poetics

Siegfried Sassoon denied that he was 'a typical Jew' and disliked to be thought rich, but at the end of the nineteenth century, when he was born, the name of Sassoon meant great riches: a 'gilded' Jewish family linked to the raffish Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and to an exotic, slightly mysterious past.

from The New York Times: 'Siegfried Sassoon'

Few, if any, of his [Leigh Hunt's] more than eighty published works remain in print. He was poet, critic, editor, essayist, novelist and playwright, the mentor and friend of Keats and Shelley, colleague and sparring partner of Byron and Hazlitt, intimate of Lamb and Carlyle, Browning and Dickens.

from The New York Times: 'The Wit in the Dungeon'

Ezra Pound was the great glass-blower of 20th-century poetry, a gift-giver with regard to beauty of image and cadence, a master of the breath that went into the lyric, whether that lyric had its roots in the Provence of the troubadours, the Italy of Dante or the China of Confucius.

from The Australian: Treasonous lyricist fashioned poetry from madness

Giants must be cut down to size; icons must be toppled. In [T.S.] Eliot's case, the literary-industrial complex that sprang up in order to explain him now seems to exist largely to vivisect him, intent on exposing him as all too human.

from The Boston Globe: The artist as a young mandarin

"Poor man, I loved him and he tried so hard," said [Aemilia] Laracuen. "I didn?t really want him, but I couldn't let him go. He called me his goddess. At first I thought it was a joke or a game. Then it became real. For him, his belief was like a religion."

from The Sunday Times: 'Goddess' reveals bizarre affair with Robert Graves

A poem by Lord Byron has been discovered in a 19th-century book within the archives of University College London.

It is the only known manuscript of the untitled poem that appeared in print four years later, in 1816.

from The Times: Librarian stumbles on lost Byron work

Patricia Fargnoli's poem "Happiness" came to be when she first saw an old photograph of an elderly peasant couple, probably from somewhere in Europe, seated in front of their ancient stucco home, sharing a laugh.

from The Providence Journal: Poet captures happiness--if only for a fleeting moment

The sacrifices made by the Greek nation ultimately changed the course of history and contributed in preventing the evils of Fascism and Nazism from dominating the world.

The following poem was written in 1941 as a tribute to the heroism of the Greek nation after their defeat by the Germans.

from Cape Cod Today: Holiday reflections on a critical battle for freedom sixty-five years ago

In 2002, another letter announced that Moon Song had been selected with four others from the 2000 River of Words competition. It would be set to music by jazz artist Chris Brubeck, son of the legendary Dave Brubeck.

from Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin: Poem reaches people far beyond Chenango Bridge

The fall of a stem-cell star

By Sam Donsky

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: The fall of a stem-cell star

Great Regulars

"I Remember . . ." is an example, too, of one of Larkin's compositional habits: Notice something, dismiss it, reconsider, then assess it anew.

Larkin once said that what he most remembered of his childhood was the feeling of boredom, and he couldn't wait to grow up.

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: With Larkin, admire the poetry, if not the poet

Many of us keep journals, but while doing so few of us pay much attention to selecting the most precise words, to determining their most effective order, to working with effective pauses and breath-like pacing, to presenting an engaging impression of a single, unique day. This poem by Nebraskan Nancy McCleery is a good example of one poet?s carefully recorded observations.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: American Life in Poetry: Column 039

Auld Lang Syne by Itsik Manger

Translated by Helen Beer with David Constantine

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Auld Lang Syne by Itsik Manger

Epistle to Arbuthnot's Ghost (after Pope)

Playwright Ranjit Bolt sends a New Year message to would-be writers

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Epistle to Arbuthnot's Ghost (after Pope)

Sleepless Night
by John D. Evans

from MR Zine: John D. Evans, "Sleepless Night"

Hymn for a Brave New World
by Michael Hureaux Perez

from MR Zine: Michael Hureaux Perez, "Hymn for a Brave New World"

Locals will recognize "Star" as the island, and may have felt the fiery cold of our Atlantic waters. We immerse ourselves in the poem as the speaker is immersed--the language and pacing allowing us to share the experience--and we are left with the unsettling cry of the gull.

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poems from the Hoot

By Teresa Cader

from Slate: "Indwelling" By Teresa Cader

Poetic Obituaries

During her [Candy Barr's] imprisonment, she took high school courses, worked as a seamstress, sang in the prison choir and played in its band.

Barr also wrote a book of poetry, which she published in 1972, titled "A Gentle Mind . . . Confused."

from Sun-Sentinel: Candy Barr, 70; 1950s Stripper and Stag Film Star Personified the Joy and Danger of Sex

Minister of Culture professor Stefan Danailov send a letter of condolence to the friends and relatives of the renowned Bulgarian artist Bozhidar Bozhilov, the Ministry of Culture said.

from Focus English: Minister of Culture Sent Condolences to Bozhidar Bozhilov's Circle

"Tory [Dent]'s work was especially important because so few people who are suffering physically as much as she was are able to communicate with the outside world the way she did," [Sean] Harvey said Tuesday in a telephone interview. "She had sort of a preternatural drive to communicate the extent of her physical suffering."

from NY Newsday: Tory Dent, poet who wrote of living with HIV, dead at 47

Prominent Cuban poet Jesus Orta Ruiz, popularly known as the Indio Nabori, died at the age of 83 in Havana on Friday.

from Prensa Latina: Cuban Poet Luminary Dies

[Marie Flaming] Rupp was a farm wife, a social worker, a creative writer, a freelance journalist and an activist for polio survivors.

In one of her poems, she wrote, "Though struck with polio, this earthen vessel holds treasure--I am whole."

from Wichita Eagle: Kansas writer, 97, dies


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