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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


News at Eleven

[Ken Brewer] watches what will be the last snowflakes of his 64 years fall and settle on the Wellsville Mountains.

Brewer's latest electronic update went out on Feb. 22. "I have officially stopped all chemo treatments," he wrote.

from Salt Lake Tribune: Poet will depart gracefully

To say good-by to my flesh and blood how can I; How is it done with grace and courage before others; Yet it will be done and the day survived and I still breathe.

from Palestine Chronicle: Featured Poem: And I will Remember Forever

"I was in the water about half an hour. There was no room on the rubber raft. Then one of the enlisted men, a gunner, got off the raft to let me on. First he took his clothes off--a mistake. The water was freezing. I'd tried to go swimming in the North Sea in summer, and the water was too cold then. The gunner died. [From the poem: "It was like those who survived the death camps by letting others go into the ovens in their place."]

from Gay City News: Susan Sontag Was A Lesbian

At this book's centre of gravity, therefore, are poems filled with filmic detail of conflict and death: "one shot taken by a/knee, bullets up through our feet, explosion of Jack's face, more sudden openings/in backs, shoulders, one in a neck, throat opens . . . " ("Spoken from the Hedgerows 2").

from The Guardian: Mirror image

"I wanted to offer a different point of view that would show the other side of the coin, and challenge the largely thought notions of (Lewis and Clark's) impact on North America and people of color in the context of history," he [Frank X Walker] said.

from The University of Idaho Argonaut: Affrilachian poet takes a different look at history

Fearing the stigma of a playwriting career, [Edward] de Vere simply hired the young actor Will Shakspere--the beard of Avon--as his frontman.

In this telling, the plays are still ciphers: not window dressing on a hidden calculus but coded biographies.

from The Nation: Bad Will Hunting

Work Long. Work Hard

Ted [Geisel/Dr. Seuss] often worked until 2 a.m. and slept until 9 a.m. He went to his studio at 10, worked in silence--no music or radio--seven days a week. He sat in a swivel-chair, often leaning back to put his longs legs on his desk to think and scowl.

from Ottawa Citizen: Dr. Seuss's creative jeusses

At home, you keep him on that special shelf near your chair. And this may be the secret of his success--reading him is an act of mild anarchy. It's worth remembering that Philip Larkin kept Betjeman on his own special shelf, alongside Hardy, Lawrence and Christina Rossetti.

from The Guardian: The last laugh

When you prise
Her shells apart
To say Hello
The Mussel cries:
I know! I know!
I confess
I am a mess.

This collection advances [Ted] Hughes's affinity with animals.

from The Age: Collected Poems for Children

"I admire Karl's [CK Stead's] poems for their 'purity', and don't ask me to define purity. They remind me of clean potatoes out of the garden; the earth is washed off them (and some readers like their earth on) but their skin is a beautiful texture, and you can make necklaces only with clean potatoes. I'll have to read them again to find out if they've eyes -too many or too few." [--Janet Frame]

from Poetry in the frame

That is, I could publish a very good magazine just on the basis of unsolicited submissions, though I work hard to develop other contacts with writers in a variety of ways. As a matter of fact, two of our stories won O. Henry Awards last year -- and both were from the "slush pile" -- which is why we devote so much labor to the arduous task of reading such submissions. [David Lynn]

from Mobile Register: Keeping the flame alive: An interview with David Lynn, editor of The Kenyon Review

Great Regulars

Any loss of vigour is, however, more than made up for by a ripening of tone: [Owen] Sheers's voice is noticeably firmer now, his ear more refined. In terms of prosody, too, this is a far tauter collection; the confident use of internal and sprung rhymes produces an easy lyricism, while his rhythms are wonderfully dextrous, at times so delicate as to be sensed rather than heard.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Parting of the ways (and other dislocations)

If I were to write a piece on whether it is in fact reasonable to accuse an author of plagiarism on the basis of his or her regurgitation of another person's ideas, I would undoubtedly end up substantially echoing the thoughts someone else has already expressed on the subject. It's hardly groundbreaking stuff, after all.

from Sarah Crown: Guardian Unlimited: Culture Vulture: Originality sins

The poem uplifts you because it simply reminds you to get out of that ditch and back on the road to you goal. You have thought you could not continue, and you have become convinced that God will never come to you, but the inspired spiritual poet's metaphors dramatically tweak your thoughts back to your goal.

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: The Questioning Heart

Every parent can tell a score of tales about the difficulties of raising children, and then of the difficulties in letting go of them. Here the Texas poet, Walt McDonald, shares just such a story.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 048

What's superhuman is [John] Wilmot's cynicism, doled generously to husbands and wives, Greeks and Trojans, victors and vanquished.

In a very different key, American poet J.D. McClatchy also ponders the comic and the heroic, high aspirations and base desires, wants and lacks, all stirred together:

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

The Cockney Amorist

from The Guardian: Original poetry: The Cockney Amorist by John Betjeman

A few weeks ago someone requested a tribute poem honoring Mother Teresa. Well I searched my soul trying to come up with the right words to honor a life with so many achievements.

from The Monroe Times: Poets Corner: Poets Plus

--Robert Bly

from The Oregonian: Poetry: Dawn

The rhyme scheme is perfect (abab, cdcd, etc.), each line has 10 syllables and we are led through one idea to the delicious conclusion. Within the strict rules of the form however, the language and the flow are completely natural; the rhyme scheme and the meter don?t draw attention to themselves at all, only ably carry us through the thought to the final, passionate image.

from Portsmouth Herald News: Spotlight Poems from the Hoot:

"Ode to Hangover"
By Dean Young

from Slate: "Ode to Hangover" By Dean Young

Poetic Obituaries

Russian poet Gennady Aigi, who was often considered a contender for the Nobel Prize in literature, has died at age 71, news agencies reported Friday.

from CJAD 800: Noted Russian poet Gennady Aigi dies at 71; wrote in Chuvash language

Peggy Appiah, who died on February 11 aged 84, was the youngest daughter of the Labour politician Sir Stafford Cripps and caused an international sensation by marrying an African in 1953.

from Telegraph: Peggy Appiah

Upon retiring from IWA, Mr. [John "Jack" Henry] Bruening took up another pastime- writing poetry. In 2002 he finished "Rayne Beau the Magnificent," a modern epic of 8,000 lines about a superhero.

from The News-Herald: John "Jack"

Irakli Charkviani, 44, famous Georgian poet, singer and composer died of reported heart problems on Friday.

from Prime News: Georgian Poet Dies Of Alleged Heart Problems

Elma Dangerfield, whose death on January 22 at the age of 98 coincided with the birthday of her hero, Lord Byron, was a prominent figure in the field of international affairs and in literary circles; the founder and honorary director for 50 years of the European-Atlantic Group, she also helped to re-establish the Byron Society in 1972, becoming a doughty campaigner for the resurgence of interest in Romantic poetry.

from Telegraph: Elma Dangerfield

[Lisa] King mastered the art of the poetry slam in its earliest days, earning championship titles in competitions from here to San Francisco. Her performances crackled with anger, fiery wit and raw emotion, but most often it was her deep compassion for the underdog that gave power to her words.

from Bay Windows: Lisa King, 1960-2006

[Kathleen "Katie" Lueck] was a wonderful and reliable friend, with many friendships that spanned over 60-70 years. Katie had a special talent for writing poetry. Key milestones of family and friends were commemorated with cleverly written poems.

from Appleton Post-Crescent: Lueck, Kathleen "Katie" (Maloney)

At the funeral of 16-year-old Cassandra Manners, Carmel Calvi rose to read two poems written by her daughter, who was Cassie's best friend. The young poet, Josephine Calvi, also 16, will be buried on Monday.

from The Age: One daughter celebrated with words of another

With a flair for writing poetry, the creative Shirley [Jane Paul] read her poems daily on her father's Door County radio station WOKW. A book of her homespun poems was published in 1952.

from Green Bay Press-Gazette: Paul, Shirley Jane

Leonard Unger, an English professor, internationally renowned scholar of British and American verse, literary critic and poet, died of an undisclosed illness Thursday at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Minneapolis. He was 89.

from The Minnesota Daily: Retired U professor renown in poetry, literature dies at age 89

Two-time Fulbright scholar and well-known poet Herman M. Ward, who spent three decades as an English literature professor at The College of New Jersey, died Saturday at his home in Belle Mead. He was 91.

from Trenton Times: Herman M. Ward, poet, dies at 91


News at Eleven

It was the world of itinerant Muslim scholars (the medival Internet), the assassins of Alamut (the prototype of Al Qaeda's suicide killers), the Silk Road (the globalisation wave), of madrassas and Sufi lodges and warrior kings and magnificent empires and epic sword battles.

Why does Rumi evoke such a visceral empathy, touch the souls so many millions who know nothing of the Persian poetic tradition, let alone the history or laws of Islam?

from Khaleej Times: Sufi poet, mystic and a planetary healer

"Now more than ever," [Michael] Maglaras said, "[John Greenleaf] Whittier's words about the importance of family connections, a return to simpler times and a belief in the value of each person's innate humanity is a message well worth listening to again and again."

from Clayton News Daily: Reawakening Whittier

[Heinrich] Heine's poignant critiques of his homeland clouded his reputation in Germany for many years. The beauty of his poems--many of which have been set to music--even defeated the Nazis, who included some of them in national collections while burning Heine's other works.

from Deutsche Welle: Remembering Germany's "Difficult Poet"

Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 22,000 Canadians of Japanese descent, including [Joy] Kogawa and her family, were forcefully evacuated from their homes on the coast and placed in internment camps, mostly in the B.C. interior.

In most cases, their homes and businesses were expropriated.

from The Tyee: Saving the House of Joy

"Poetry is the kind of thing, I tell my students, that just comes to you," he said.

Inada said he wants students and writers to realize there is no one type of poetry.

"You could do formal poetry or modern spontaneous poetry," he said.

from Mail Tribune: Inada states case for poetry

On Feb. 9 he [Robert Pinsky] told the students that whoever says a poem, whether in the mind's mouth or aloud, becomes a medium, on a very individual scale, for a piece of poetry.

The value and importance of a single voice, he continued, forms one of the pillars of democracy: "There are great works of art within each person."

from The Concord Journal: Poet urges students to embrace his medium

[Ted Hughes's] view of the poet as shaman was one he took seriously, and many of his poems are unembarrassed shamanic flights of fancy into the spirit world, excursions to the "other side", where he might properly inhabit the nature of his subject, be it animal, vegetable or mineral, be it jaguar, snowdrop or rocky crag.

from The Guardian: Over the hills and far away

[Antjie] had not seen or read [Ted] Hughes's piece before writing Country of My Skull, she said.

Also, Hughes had referred to the Greek and Christian influences on the Western mind, while she had referred to the apartheid indoctrination that led to the black man's being perceived as a "k....r", enabling the white man to kill what was considered non-human.

from Cape Times: Publishers consider legal action in Krog plagiarism row

During our first session, we said that writing, like sewing, took one thing and made it into another; and that writing, like sewing, was always for someone, even if that someone was yourself in the future. Writing was a way of sending your voice to someone you might never meet.

from The Washington Post: The Writing Life

In every writer's head lives a little man or little woman who looks at anything the writer has done and says: "That's the stupidest thing I have ever heard."

"You have to kill him," [Richard] Shelton said.

The first part of the writing process is to get the raw material out without being critical.

from Casa Grande Dispatch: Constructing poetry despite the censor

Estimated prices of the watercolors, each mounted on a 13-by-10-inch backing, range from $180,000 to $260,000 for the inscribed title page to $1 million to $1.5 million for the most intricate and compelling scenes.

That the works may end up scattered is a bitter prospect for Tate Britain, one of the world's most important repositories of [William] Blake's works.

from The New York Times: Art Experts Protest Sale of Rare Set of Blakes

Great Regulars

Maybe someday life will slow down again. Maybe someday our society will once again appreciate the land we live on and the precious moments we share as humans. Mark Young believes that poetry is a step in that direction.

from Bill Diskin: York Daily Record: Poetryork: Slow life down with poetry

In a moment like this, on his winter?s break from his job supervising crews rebuilding trails on Mt. Desert Island, the Maine poet Christian Barter wrote the following two poems.

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: Watching Winter from the Kitchen Window

The poet, novelist and biographer, Robert Morgan, who was raised in North Carolina, has written many intriguing poems that teach his readers about southern folklore. Here's just one example.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 047

To quote another [Wallace] Stevens title, her [Linda Gregg's] image invokes not ideas about the thing but the thing itself. The leaves smell like lemons, "and that was all"--a phrase that concludes Robert Frost's great poem "The Most of It," on a similar subject, the idea of pure being, perception without preconception.

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

I get the impression that, for [Kate Bernadette] Benedict, poetry is less a career or a profession than a devotional exercise, a means of enhancing life - its thrills, absurdities and inevitable heartbreak - by memorializing it in the way that only poetry's calibration of language can.

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: Poet performs acts of devotion in calibrated observance of life

Hawk Roosting

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Hawk Roosting by Ted Hughes

She, known only as Sam, Is one of Green County's Special Olympic athletes and a very good poet also. If I have the story straight, she composed this poem after seeing the musical "On Broadway."

from The Monroe Times: Poets Corner [of Feb 20]

As we all know Valentines Day is today, Feb. 14 so we thought we would do something a little different. We are publishing one poem from the gals to the guys and one from the guys to the gals. Lets get started.

from The Monroe Times: Poets Corner [of Feb 14]

I don't know about you but I don't know if a thousand poets and songwriters can create a fitting tribute to this one humble women.

Now I did reach into my archives and selected a poem that I believe Mother Teresa would have appreciated.

from The Monroe Times: Poets Corner [of Feb 06]

We had a request for something on the lighter side. Well, our newest member composed a poem titled "Spring" which I personally believe is very good. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Read on, then grade away.

from The Monroe Times: Poets Corner [of Jan 30]

The lines, like shards of ancient pottery, allude to context and content. And like other poems throughout the book, [Lillias] Bever seems to be saying that, once touched, nothing--no one--is truly the same.

from The Oregonian: Poetry

"Night Run"
By Lynn Emanuel

from Slate: "Night Run" By Lynn Emanuel

Poetic Obituaries

Known to many in Ghana as Auntie Peggy, Mrs. Appiah was a prolific writer of children's books, many of them based on the Ghanaian folk tales her husband told their children, as well as of novels, poetry and most recently a collection of 7,000 Ashanti proverbs, on which she collaborated with her son.

from The New York Times: Peggy Appiah, 84, Author Who Bridged Two Cultures, Dies

The celebrated bare-knuckle fighter, bush poet, whipcracker, ringer, bronc rider and entertainer died in a Charters Towers nursing home on Thursday. He [Larry Dulhunty] was 84.

from The Sunday Mail QLD: The last showman

The author of nearly 30 books of poetry, plays, essays, and fiction, as well as an acclaimed biography of the poet Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), [Barbara] Guest was the only female member of the New York School, which included Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler.

from "When I Say The Word Home, I Almost Whisper It"

Born in Osaka, [Noriko] Ibaragi, whose real name was Noriko Miura, started composing poetry in her 20s. She was known for depicting feelings of women in postwar Japan with a clear and plain style.

from TMCnet: Popular poet Ibaragi dies at 79+

Mr [Patrick] Callanan said a poem which Teresa [Norris] had written for her graduation would be read out at the Mass, where her classmates will perform a guard of honour.

He said that like a lot of girls her age, Teresa was very interested in fashion trends.

from Irish Examiner: Teenager with flu-like symptoms dies of heart failure

Don Paarlberg, a farmer, writer and professor of agricultural economics who, as a White House assistant, helped President Dwight D. Eisenhower prepare and run his Food for Peace initiative, died Tuesday in West Lafayette, Ind. He was 94.

from The New York Times: Don Paarlberg, 94, Agricultural Economics Adviser to 3 Presidents, Is Dead

Members of the Kalamazoo and Western Michigan University community joined faculty from WMU's English department Thursday to celebrate the life and works of Herbert S. Scott, a former professor of English in creative writing who died Feb. 12 in St. Louis.

from The Western Herald: Eimers, Johnston say farewell to comrade at Frostics series

An associate of revolutionary poet Bharatidasan and Tamil scholar M Varadarasanar, Mr [Kuruvikarambai] Shanmugam won many awards, including the UNESCO Award for his literary work.

from Webindia123: Poet Kuruvikarambai Shanmugam passes away

Jane Wilson wrote and edited several publications, including contributing to the 1988 book, Standing By and Making Do: Women of Wartime in Los Alamos, and publishing three volumes of poems after her 75th birthday.

from The Couier News: Jane Wilson, 89, wife of Fermilab founder, passes on

For much of his adult life Mr [Bernard] Wright suffered from hearing impairment. This never got in the way of his enthusiasm for music and it was said that despite his difficulties his musical ear remained perfect.

In recent years he turned to poetry as another means of expression, joining Fakenham Poetry Circle.

from Kings Lynn Today: Bandsman dies aged 91

"She did a great deal toward advancement of both causes and was a longtime park partner in these efforts. We will miss her."

A painter and a poet, [Jean] Zipser was also an on-again, off-again employee of The New Jersey Herald for much of the 1980s and early '90s, working as a sometime reporter, features writer and features editor.

from The New Jersey Herald: Last Mayor Of Pahaquarry Twp. Dies At 59


News at Eleven

It is to be hoped that at least some of the country's romantics will today be turning to their partners and reminding them how they love them to the depth and breadth and height that their souls can reach. Indeed that they love them with the breath, smiles, tears, of all their life.

from The Guardian: A feminist Valentine word perfect in love

"Bridegroom, dear to my heart, Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet,'" the first line in the cuneiform tablet reads. '"You have captivated me, let me stand trembling before you; Bridegroom, I would be taken to the bedchamber."

He apparently does.

from The New York Times: The Oldest Line in the World

In the midst of these months of significant South American political events sits the unrelated commercial spectacle of Valentine’s Day, which of itself should have precious little to do with the government of Chile. Yet, however tenuous the link, thoughts of romance (on 14 February or any other time of the year) will inevitably lead me back to Neruda’s Chile and the poetry of South American love.

from The Cud: Pablo Neruda and the poetry of South American love

Yet the note is sure, the desire to impress absent, and the poems thoroughly absorbed in their own unglamorous necessities.

One of the reasons why [William] Wordsworth's poems communicate such an impression of wholeness and depth is that they arrived as the hard-earned reward of resolved crisis.

from The Guardian: The triumph of spirit

This letter shows that clipping poetry was [Thomas] Jefferson's way of keeping up with the mental life of his grand children, as if he were running a correspondence school from the White House. "I allow you a day to find out yourself how to read these lines so as to make them true," he continued.

from History News Network: When Jefferson Dined Alone

Sounding like a slightly miffed schoolmaster and occasionally interrupting his dry, unemotional style with bursts of good humour, [Philip] Larkin's informal recital of nearly 30 poems more than doubles the number of his known recordings.

from The Guardian: From a garage studio in Yorkshire, Larkin speaks again

The poem, as so much of her [Sharon Olds's] work, enacts the process of being made to look at the difficult, the hidden, bringing what we want to avoid fully into the gaze: "I looked/where his solid ruddy stomach had been/and I saw the skin fallen into loose/soft hairy rippled folds/lying in a pool of folds . . ."

from The Guardian: Seeing things

[Cleopatra Mathis]directs the Creative Writing Program at Dartmouth College, where she is the Frederick Sessions Beebe Professor of the Art of Writing.

"The Sea Chews Things Up" is from her latest book, White Sea.

from The Providence Journal: Poetic License by Tom Chandler: Cape Cod poet probes the dark mysteries of the sea

"We do not want America and the world to think that 'I Am Mississippi' is the best poem this state can offer,'' they say in a letter addressed to the state Senate, Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, Gov. Haley Barbour and the people of the Mississippi.

from WLOX-TV: English Professors, Students Ask Lawmakers To Reject State Poem

"Ghumne Mechmathi Andho Manchhe," or "Blind Man on the Revolving Chair," which won Sajha Prize (highest literary prize in Nepal), is a masterpiece and has earned praise from readers worldwide. A milestone in Nepali literature, the work has already undergone its 10th edition, and the sales are picking up as ever.

from OhmyNews International: Bhupi Sherchan: Nepal's Revered Poet

Entrants must submit a translation of a poem from any language, modern or classical, into English, with a commentary of no more than 300 words covering the reason for choosing the poem and the difficulties that they encountered.

from The Times: How poetry can be found in translation

Great Regulars

As one might surmise, there was, indeed, a controversy over the authenticity of Phillis [Wheatley]'[s] writing. That a young black slave girl could write like a John Milton was not a fact easily digested back in colonial America, when slaves were considered something less than human.

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Phillis Wheatley--First Lady of African American Poetry

We constantly compare one thing with another, or attempt to, saying, "Well, you know, love is like . . . it's like . . . well, YOU know what it's like." Here Bob King, who lives in Colorado, takes an original approach and compares love to the formation of rocks.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 046 (pdf)

The compliment to Juliana at the end is just that: a compliment, a flattering gift card accompanying the sweet-box or floral arrangement of his [Andrew Marvell's] graceful marveling at the glowworms. Sweets to the sweet, or, in this case, wonders to the wonderful.

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

Oz Hopkins Koglin, a Portland poet, is working on a series of poems about growing up during the Jim Crow era, also known as American apartheid. Two of her poems will appear in the Winter 2006 issue of Hubbub.

from The Oregonian: Poetry: Before Black History Month

after Apollinaire
By Meghan O'Rourke

from Slate: "Descent" after Apollinaire By Meghan O'Rourke

Poetic Obituaries

[Sister Claudia Foltz] started studying calligraphy at 80. At almost 90, she compiled a book of her poetry, "From My Window," about sunflowers, crows, big skies, gingko or cherry trees, saints, and thankfulness. One poem was about music:

I held a cedar spray,

from The Oregonian: Teacher brought grace notes to life


News at Eleven

And if the total sum was enough to buy [George] Horton his freedom, then it would be sent to his master. But the book failed to bring in enough money.

"The Hope of Liberty" bound poems varied in themes of love, beauty, heaven, death and Horton's hopes of being free.

from The News & Observer: Illiterate and enslaved, this poet persisted

"People see poets as being very solitary and yet very creative. Many people think all a poet needs is a pencil and some paper and he or she never has to talk to anyone. People tend to view painters the same way. They think all the artist needs is a canvas and paint and he or she doesn't require social interaction." [--R. Keith Sawyer]

from Washington University in St. Louis News & Information: You too can be creative; it just takes hard work

"I lived on that money for about a year." A whole year to write poetry, he [David Harsent] must have produced a lot work. No, he says.

"I was given all the time in the world but didn't write as much."

from Richmond and Twickenham Times: The humble writer with winning words

Monica [Jones] called on another of [Philip] Larkin's lovers, his former secretary Betty Mackereth, to perform the task. Betty took the thirty-odd volumes into Larkin's office in the Brynmor Jones Library at Hull University and fed them page by page into a paper shredder--the task took all afternoon.

from The New York Review of Books: Homage to Philip Larkin

[Andrew Motion] must know that what he does as laureate is intrinsically ridiculous. After all, he wrote a biography of Philip Larkin, who remained unwilling to accept the conventional plaudits of society.

from The Guardian: Rhyme with no reason

In "Mitosis," another poem with a corporeal theme, Gotera draws connections between organic cycles, feminine relationships and conceptions of the self.

"I wanted to comment on our culture's attitude toward the coming-of-age and to the elderly, maybe to sexuality," [Amanda] Gotera said. "There's a sort of mirroring that goes on in nature, and in this poem I wanted to express our own mirroring, our own passing on of tradition and identity."

from The Scarlet & Black: Restless and Writing

"I wanted to scream at this turnip from Toronto who gave me thumbs down at the League of Canadian Poets, because the poetry wasn't 'literary,'" [Doris] Daley recalls.

"No kidding. It's oral, bud."

from Toronto Star: A poem on the range

One of his first, "My Back Yard," was published in the weekly Springfield Reporter, and decades later [Dave] Russell can bring it all back, immediately reciting the poem, which details the Vermont version of "keeping up with the Joneses."

In Russell's poetic reality, rueful humor and honesty and a deeper purpose are there.

from The Rutland Herald: Home-grown verse

"The 20th century is of course where you'd expect most of the changes to be, because significant writers keep coming, but already in the seventh edition and continuing into the eighth, a different conception of the shape of the canon has been emerging," said Stephen Greenblatt, the Cogan University Professor of the Humanities and general editor of "The Norton Anthology of English Literature."

from Harvard Gazette: Greenblatt edits 'Norton Anthology'

Several others agreed and offered more suggestions "for improvement." I glanced over at the fellow to see how he was taking such criticism. His face twitched slightly, and then suddenly he exploded. Purple with rage, he screamed, "Just read the damned thing! Quit trying to analyze it!"

from The Free Lance-Star: Cure for the mad poet

Minnesota high school student David Riehm bristled at his creative writing teacher's stinging comments at the bottom of his assignment.

"David, I am offended by this piece. If this needs to be your subject matter, you're going to have to find another teacher," Ann Mershon's critique began.

from CourtTV: Family sues after creative writing assignment lands teen in psych ward

Great Regulars

But [Pablo] Neruda also felt that one's solitude is not insurmountable--and that poetry brings a form of communion: "Poetry is an action, ephemeral or solemn, in which there enter as equal partners solitude and solidarity, emotion and action, the nearness to oneself, the nearness to mankind and to the secret manifestations of nature."

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: The words of love: Emotion, imagery, metaphor

The defining feature of Christopher Meredith's poetry is an exquisite, almost painful precision. His images are razor-keen and full of hard, unequivocal things - needles, Stanley knives, wires, bars.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Taking wing

"When I think about what the world has come to--the way we express ourselves through violence or other hurtful means," [Joe] Maldonado says, "it convinces me that poetry is a great outlet for what's inside of us."

from Bill Diskin: York Daily Record: Poetryork: Business owner, teacher, freelance reporter--and poet

Visiting country friends in Maine usually includes getting the tour of their woodshed and hearing the story of how they figured out their system for the woodpile. This week, I?m including two poems that honor the essential activity of getting the wood split and stacked.

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: Getting the wood split and stacked

The metaphor of time as a "grinding wheel" dramatizes the act of life fading from planets and even the lives of people. Flowers bloom and die; trees grow stately then are toppled; heroic figures are triumphant but for a short while. Time flies by, and each person's life energies fade.

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Poetry and the Spiritual Realm

Unlike the calculated expressions of feeling common to its human masters, there is nothing disingenuous about the way a dog praises, celebrates, frets or mourns. In this poem David Baker gives us just such an endearing mutt.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 044

Poets are experts at holding mirrors to the world. Here Anne Caston, from Alaska, shows us a commonplace scene. Haven't we all been in this restaurant for the Sunday buffet? Caston overlays the picture with language that, too, is ordinary, even sloganistic, and overworn. But by zooming in on the joint of meat and the belly-up fishes floating in butter, she compels us to look more deeply into what is before us, and a room that at first seemed humdrum becomes rich with inference.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 045

"Long Hair" is followed in the book by a poem that demonstrates the way culture is always mixed, in motion rather than static. It is part of the poet's art to convey that assured fluidity in a few phrases.

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

Driving South by UA Fanthorpe

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Driving South by UA Fanthorpe

If you were a ghost what kind of ghost would you be? To answer this it might be helpful to begin by thinking about your ghostly motivations: where do you make your presence felt? Whom do you choose to haunt, and why?

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Esther Morgan's workshop

Kurt Kristensen is a Sherwood resident who teaches middle school in the Hillsboro School District. He's also the editor of PoetSpeak, a nonprofit art group. Its Web site is

from The Oregonian: Currents--Poetry

"Crater Lake"
By Louise Glück

from Slate: "Crater Lake" By Louise Glück

Poetic Obituaries

[Aubrey K.] Lucas said education was especially important to [Katherine India] Brown, who had a degree in English.

"She was very sharp intellectually," Lucas said. "She read, wrote and memorized poetry."

The Katherine Brown Scholarship has been set up in her name by the USM Foundation.

from Hattiesburg American: Childhood polio survivor dies at 93

There was also a heartbreaking reminder of Rebecca [Kinsella]'s creative talent when some verses she had written were read out.

"Photographs are evidence that I was once five years old; That I was once in a place that I am not right now. Baby shoes; dresses; old teddies and photographs," she wrote.

from Irish Independent: Tears flow as slain teenager's poems are read

"I would describe her as creative, artistic, kind, warm, compassionate, always gracious, with a wonderful sense of humor," said Sister Paula Cathcart, a fellow Immaculate Heart of Mary community member and a friend.

Sister Ruth [Loftus]'s niece, Nora Dolan, said Sister Ruth wrote poetry and was a gifted piano player.

from Toledo Blade: Schoolteacher described as compassionate, artistic

"Bulgarian poetry has become an orphan without one of its most lyrical contemporary authors. The immeasurable pain of the family and relatives for their great loss is also my immense pain". [--President Georgi Parvanov on Pavel Matev]

from Focus English News: Bulgarian President Sends Condolences to Family of Poet Pavel Matev

One critic wrote of a power and compassion that sprang from anxiety; another of a poetry "crammed with objects and perceptions" and a "vigorous, alert sensibility infatuated with words". Yet her [Rosamund Stanhope's] enjoyment of recondite terms ("filiacale", "achilous", "loosegow") always seemed natural.

from The Guardian: Rosamund Stanhope


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