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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


News at Eleven

Delhi-based Burmese news website,"" reported on 15 June that Aung Than, member of opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) and Zeya Aung, a student from Pegu University student each received a sentence of 19 year imprisonment for publishing a book of poems titled "Dawn Mann", literally means "the fighting spirit of the peacock". The peacock is the symbol of pro-democracy movement and of the NLD party.

from Southeast Asian Press Alliance: Four dissidents sentenced up to 19 years in prison for anti-government poems

Despite the ease with which she [Anna Akhmatova] began her own affairs, she excelled in expressing the wounds of being wronged by a man, one reason almost every Russian woman can cite lines from her.

"Since I can't have love, and I have no peace," Akhmatova appeals in one famous poem about poetic achievement and failed romance, "Allow me a bitter glory."

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: A poet who gave voice to Russia's suffering

In later years, [Isaiah] Berlin was embarrassed by [Anna] Akhmatova's conviction that "by the mere fact of [their] meeting," they had "started the cold war and thereby changed the history of mankind." But Stalin's paranoid imaginative genius really did make much of this episode.

from The Nation: The Passion of Anna

[Czeslaw Milosz] described himself as "one of many poets in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most of them write in English, but there are also those who write in Spanish, Greek, German, Russian. Even if one has some renown, he is, in his everyday dealings with people, anonymous, and so is, again, one among many."

from The Berkeley Daily Planet: Czeslaw Milosz: The Poet in His Times

In England, he [Donald Hall] spent four days with poet Ezra Pound. "He had lost it without knowing it," Hall said. "And he was feeling regret for his anti-Semitism and other things. He said things like, 'I guess I was off base all of the time' and 'Do you think they should have hanged me?'

from Los Angeles Times: It all leads back to Eagle Pond

The speaker in Donne's poetry is a theatrical character, constantly in different situations, and using different roles to suit the action. He can take on the role of the womanizer, as in "The Indifferent," or the faithful lover from "Lover's Infiniteness," but the speaker in each of these poems is always John Donne himself.

from The Westender: Dramatic Self-Presentation of John Donne: Insight into the "infinite"

So I am able to aver with a clear conscience that poets like James Applewhite and Peter Makuck, Betty Adcock and Eleanor Ross Taylor stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the country. If their names are not so well known as those of John Ashbery, say, or Mary Oliver, that fact is much more an accident of geography and fashion than a gauge of quality.

from The News & Observer: Fred Chappell's last poetry column

Declining readership, proliferating competition (especially on the Web with its vast free content) and increased financial burdens all have conspired to make what he [George Core] does harder. "Everything's against the quarterly," he said by telephone recently from his Tennessee office, "but it continues to provide the linchpin that joins the academy with the literary marketplace."

from Mobile Register: Publishing the best: a talk with George Core, editor of The Sewanee Review

"The poets are addressing perennial issues in the Eritrean psyche: the constant presence of war and dispute, first the 30-year war for independence, from 1961 to 1991, and then the 2-year border war, from 1998-2000. Even today, Eritrea and Ethiopia are still wrangling over the border agreement," says [Charles] Cantalupo, professor of English, comparative literature and African studies at Penn State's Schuylkill Campus in northeastern Pennsylvania.

from Penn State Live: Penn State professor helps bring Eritrean poetry to global attention

One dedicated man from Yen Lam Village, Yen Dinh District of Thanh Hoa Province, Ha Minh Du, has singlehandedly amassed a priceless anthropologic collection of Muong ethnic minority culture spanning 3,000 pages of documents.

from Viet Nam News: Muong culture, language preserved

So, when I married my partner recently, less than two months after the law came into effect, Westminster council already had a suggestion on a poem we might use, "The Confirmation" by Edwin Muir.

What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that's honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright.

from The Guardian: 'We two boys together clinging'

Great Regulars

Sonata for Rain and Basso Incontinuo
[By Rebecca Gonzalez]

from Bill Diskin: York Daily Record: Poetryork: Gonzalez blessed with a love for language

Belfast-born poet Gary Lawless is publisher of Blackberry Books, co-owner of Gulf of Maine Books with his partner Beth Leonard, and traveling poet who has read all over the U.S. and Europe. In this poem, he writes of his life at Chimney Farm in Nobleboro, once the home of the writers Henry Beston and Elizabeth Coatsworth and their daughter Kate Barnes.

Chimney Farm, June 1987

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: When the Blessings of Lupines Fill the Meadows

[by Loftus Dun]

from George Hirst: Magnetic Island News: Poem by Loftus Dun

Visiting a familiar and once dear place after a long absence can knock the words right out of us, and in this poem, Keith Althaus of Massachusetts observes this happening to someone else. I like the way he suggests, at the end, that it may take days before that silence heals over.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 065

[Sally] Ball's use of the word "pitched" may be a deliberate tribute to Hopkins, as may phrases such as "there are darks" and "a sick/careen." In any case, her poem deserves the compliment of the comparison, and the two works together illustrate how poetry has resources that resemble--and create--the expressive tones of voice that people use every day.

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

For our purposes, there's a noteworthy difference between these two literatures: in the Bible people are hardly ever said to be mad as such, whereas in Greek drama they go off their rockers with alarming frequency. It was the rediscovery of the classics that stimulated the long procession of literary madpeople of the past four hundred years . . .

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Of sanity and mental illness --Margaret Atwood

If you would get money as a writer or lecturer, you must be popular, which is to go down perpendicularly. Those services which the community will most readily pay for, it is most disagreeable to render. You are paid for being something less than a man.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Life without principle --Henry David Thoreau

Searching for Proof of God's Existence in the Barn

by Diane Buchanan

from Edmonton Journal: The Poetry Project

Not Yet My Mother by Owen Sheers

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Not Yet My Mother by Owen Sheers

For Andrea

By Lindsay Kramer

from The Hopkinton Crier: Poem Prescription

Hairdresser at the Rehab
by Denise Bergman

from MR Zine: "Hairdresser at the Rehab"

I'm on a Small Ledge Below a Peak
[by Peter Sears]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

"July (From Humidity Diary)"
By Steven Cramer

from Slate: "July (From Humidity Diary)" By Steven Cramer

Poetic Obituaries

I.M. Birtwistle, lyric poet and gallery owner, had been anticipating meeting her maker for some years. "Probably our last season, so be sure to visit" the sign outside her north Norfolk art gallery read.

from The Times: I. M. Birtwistle

Antonio Cardoso, one of the leading literary lights of Angola's independence movement in the 1960s, has died of prostate cancer, Angola's state-run media reported today. He was 73.

from SABC News: Antonio Cardoso, Angolan writer, dies at 73

A poet and rapper, [Darryl] Jones was working on his demo tape in the studio. He dreamed of attending college and becoming a rapper or a sports analyst. But his aspirations were abruptly cut short.

"He was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time," said Homicide Detective Sgt. James P. Lonergan.

from Buffalo News: Violence takes another innocent life

[Leo R. Landrey] had been an avid rose gardener, his son Gregory said, and was a member of the American Rose Society. He loved writing poetry and singing hymns and patriotic songs, his son said, and was a member of the men's choir at Riddle Village.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Leo R. Landrey: Physicist, 88

As a young child, she [Virginia Lee "Sis" Martin] wrote short stories and at age 15 she began writing poetry. At age 84, she submitted her first poem for publication.

from Green Bay Press-Gazette: Martin, Virginia Lee "Sis"

The celebrated Konkani poet, popularly known as 'Lok-Kavi', Dr Manoharrai Laxmanrao Sardessai passed away in a city hospital after a brief illness late tonight.

from The Navhind Times: Eminent Konkani poet, Manoharrai Sardessai dead

Suradha shot to limelight with his creative poems besides penning songs for scores of films.

His soul-searching lyrics Aadi adankum vazhaiyada in the film Neerkumizhi is noteworthy. Nadodimannan, Thangamalai Rahasiyam, Naanal were some of his other films.

from News Today: Poet Suradha passes away

[Jonathan Wordsworth's] books range from critical editions to searching discussions of Wordsworth's work, notably The Borders of Vision (1982) and The Visionary Gleam (1996). He also wrote guides for Dove Cottage, which he ran, along with the museum next door to it.

from Telegraph: Jonathan Wordsworth


News at Eleven

Donald Hall is to be the nation's new poet laureate, Librarian of Congress James Billington will announce today. And like many of his recent predecessors, the 77-year-old Hall intends to make his position more than an honorary one.

"It's an opportunity to plug poetry," Hall said. "Other laureates have done a good job, and I'm trying to figure out what I should do."

from The Washington Post: Set to Verse: Donald Hall Is New Poet Laureate

Robert Siegel talks with [Donald] Hall, who was appointed poet laureate on Wednesday by the Library of Congress.

The new poet laureate also reads from three of his poems: "Old Roses," "Man in the Dead Machine," and "Weeds and Peonies," which is about his late wife, the poet Jane Kenyon.

from National Public Radio: U.S. Poetry's New Chief: Donald Hall

I have thought of satellite radio, with its many, many channels, possibly being willing to include one. You could have a new poet on each day. I don't know if that would be perfectly silly, but they have a superfluity of channels, as I understand.

from Newsweek: Stoic laureate

You, quote, find your voice, unquote, when you are able to invent this one character who resembles you, obviously, and probably is more like you than anyone else on earth, but is not the equivalent to you.

It is like a fictional character in that it has a very distinctive voice, a voice that seems to be able to accommodate and express an attitude that you are comfortable staying with but an attitude that is flexible enough to cover a number of situations. [--Billy Collins]

from Guernica: A Brisk Walk

Farm workers use the pitchfork in the production of grain; [Seamus] Heaney talks about "the grain of things" in his reference to reality; it is a further reference to shape, texture and actual integrity. Then it goes even further in the poem to suggest craft, or even art.

from Stabroek News: Seamus Heaney: An anchor in reality

Only now, after reading the Daily Mirror's campaign for second-offence paedophiles to be locked up for life, have they courageously decided to speak out about the terrible effects for abuse victims.

And for the first time, they have opened up Bryony [Lane]'s collection of writing, penned during her darkest moments.

from Paedo Victim's Tragic Suicide Poem

By Renee Zavitsanos
I Met God Last Night

from Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem

As [Robert] Pinsky said, "In her poem, [Elizabeth] Bishop actually makes us feel respect for the often-ridiculed notion of parental instruction in behavior."


from Tewksbury Advocate: A poem for all dads

In a shocker of a decision, many such popular rhymes, including Johny, Johny Yes Papa and Baa Baa Black Sheep, have been tagged as "too western" for the children and dropped from the Class I syllabus of the MP Board of Secondary Education (MPBSE) course from this academic year.

Instead, the children will now be fed with English rhymes -- penned by Indian poets.

from Hindustan Times: Nursery rhymes get saffron sack

An American poet, John Balaban, who first came to Vietnam as a conscientious objector during the war and who has nurtured a love affair with the country ever since, is leading a drive to revive the script, which he says will unlock a trove of hidden Vietnamese culture.

from The New York Times: Deciphering the Code to Vietnam's Old Literary Treasures

Anne Anderson taught for 35 years at Fall Brook Elementary School before she retired, and all she was looking for was a work area to practice her poetry and painting.

"It started out as a fixed up shed but then we started doing some research and realized we could use the space to recreate a one room school house," said Anderson.

from Leominster Champion: Preserving history in their own backyard

Great Regulars

Thinking of the influence of his early Catholic education, he [Michael Collier] recently said, "The idea that you came to an understanding of your purpose in life by listening to a voice that was both inside and outside of you was appealing to me because it was so mysterious." The emotion in "Confessional" seems overwhelmed by that mystery, too, as it unveils what can and cannot exist in a single human life.

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Emotion can move with authority or ambiguity

I sing of Sea self
a glittering breathing
in a turquoise dress

Constantly stitched and restitched
by the bright seamstresses of flying-fish.

The image of the flying fish stitching sea to sky is deliciously vivid; like Cariwoma herself, they are at home in all elements, and capable of bringing things together.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Seamstress of the Caribbean

Thirty years later, I find those waves while driving are one of the treasures of back-road traveling in Maine.

In the following poem, Wesley McNair explores the full dimensions of what we are doing when we wave, from our waves goodbye to the waves from behind the steering wheel.

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: Heading down the road with a wave or honk

To lead by example this editor is taking the first plunge by presenting his poem and song in search of a tune.

At the end of the day

from George Hirst: Magnetic Island News: Welcome to poetry

But the fact is, whether out of sloth, or diffidence, or scrupulousness ([Elizabeth] Bishop was notoriously exacting about her own work), or because of the usual hard knocks of submission and rejection, Bishop did not publish these poems during her lifetime. And so the decision by another--in this case, New Yorker poetry editor Alice Quinn--to publish the work resembles playing God, in spite of the approval of some, including Robert Giroux and Frank Bidart, who knew Bishop well.

from Karl Kirchwey: Philadelphia Inquirer: History will be judge of poet Bishop's status

Storytelling binds the past and present together, and is as essential to community life as are food and shelter. Many of our poets are masters at reshaping family stories as poetry. Here Lola Haskins retells a haunting tale, cast in the voice of an elder. Like the best stories, there are no inessential details. Every word counts toward the effect.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 064

Modersohn-Becker stands stripped to the waist, cradling her pregnant belly, eyeing the viewer with a look that is at once beguiling and accusatory. Everything about the picture confronts the maleness of the tradition of which it forms a part, including its reference to Drer's half-naked self-portrait.

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: 'Cult of the self'

The contemporary poet Charles Harper Webb belongs in such honorable company. Webb is sometimes funny in his poems, which often present the author's defects, but he rises above the kind of modesty--often described as "wry"--that asks to be admired.

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

With "Get Back in the Box: Innovation From the Inside Out," media theorist Douglas Rushkoff has written a business book that even a poet can appreciate.

For one thing, Spenserian sonnets appear before the introduction is half over. For another, "Get Back in the Box" is refreshingly free of acronyms and jargon.

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Forget 'outside the box'; think cooperatively

[Bill] Kauffman is a pretty good writer, though perhaps a little too self-consciously a stylist given to quaint locutions ("War, kens Hannah...") and sometimes overreaching for an epigram. He suggests, for instance, that "making poetry is a far more beautiful and also more useful endeavor than making laws." Really?

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: Alternative history's big helping of scorn

Sixty years after Edmund Wilson told us that verse was dying, Joseph Epstein in Commentary revealed that it was murdered. Of course, Epstein's golden age?Stevens, Frost, Williams--is Wilson's era of "demoralized weariness." Everything changes and everything stays the same.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Death to the death of poetry --Donald Hall

'The circumstances with which you must surround your workmen are those' of modern American life, 'because the designs you have now to ask for from your workmen are such as will make modern' American 'life beautiful.' The art we want is the art based on all the inventions of modern civilisation, and to suit all the needs of nineteenth-century life.

Do you think, for instance, that we object to machinery?

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Art and the handicraftsman --Oscar Wilde

A Rose Tree by Fleur Adcock

from The Guardian: Original poetry: A Rose Tree by Fleur Adcock

by Craig Morgan Teicher

from Guernica: Poetry: Responsibility

Poet Laureate

By Carol Grieb

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

Eye of the Storm, Pescadero Coast
by Christina Hutchins

from The New Republic: Poem: Eye of the Storm, Pescadero Coast

"The Incumbent"
By Eric McHenry

from Slate: "The Incumbent" By Eric McHenry

Poetic Obituaries

Joe Holt Anderson loved the written word. He loved the sound of words, their rhythm and their flow. He loved the look of them, their size, their weight. He loved the power of words: their ability to inform, to incite, to inspire.

from The Washington Post: A Passionate Editor Who Delighted In the Written Word, and Its Trappings

Raymond Devos, a Belgian comic whose whimsical wordplays entertained and delighted generations of French-speaking fans, died Thursday. He was 83.

from BBC News: Belgian comic Raymond Devos dies

Miss [Patricia J.] DeVito loved animals. She cared for and raised Collie dogs. She enjoyed crafts, writing of all types to include poetry and songs.

from Patricia J. DeVito

Barbara Epstein, co-editor and founder of the biweekly magazine The New York Review of Books, died the morning of June 16. The cause of death was lung cancer. She was 77.

from The New York Review of Books: Barbara Epstein, 1928-2006

For Kelly [Baker], the fact [Paul Mahoney] her father could not finish didn?t matter--she would do it for him.

"When she told me she found the poem my heart stopped," Baker said of the phone call from her mother.

Marilyn Mahoney suggested her daughter, who had her father?s talent for writing, someday finish the poem.

from MetroWest Daily News: A father?s loving last words: Daughter finishes final poem, meant as gift for her

[Jose Guadalupe Rodriguez Melendez ] was a poet at heart and left pieces of writing in several notebooks. The works spoke of lost love, separation, faith, never losing hope and respect.

Yet it was evident that someone lacked respect for life Saturday night. The gunman changed the family's life in a way Rodriguez struggled to describe.

from San Bernardino County Sun: Dad slain on walk home

At the funeral of Napier poet and retired english and drama teacher David Monrad in Napier's St John's Cathedral last Wednesday, a feature was the cross-section of people who had come to pay their last respects.

Although it was more than 30 years since health issues forced him into premature retirement from teaching at Napier Boys' High School, there were many who had come from those classroom days.

from Hawke's Bay Today: Former pupils never forgot teacher and poet

[Ndabezinhle Sigogo's] poetic genius became evident when his numerous poems graced virtually all Ndebele poetry anthologies; Imbongi Zalamhla Layizolo, (1959), UGqozi Lwezimbongi (1973), Inkundla Yezimbongi (1979) Umdumo Wezinkondlo (1983) Ezivusa Usinga (1989), Giya Mthwakazi (1990), Izinkondlo Zalamhla (1996).

from Sunday News: Ndabezinhle Sigogo dies

Noted Tamil poet and film lyricist Subbu Rathinadasan popularly known as Suradha died here this morning after a prolonged illness. He was 83.

from News Today: Poet Suradha passes away

[Emerson Wulling] published 30 books and countless essays and poems on the press, called the Sumac Press, which was the longest running private press in the world, according to the Minnesota Historical Society.

from La Crosse Tribune: A life Remembered: Emerson and Jean Wulling


News at Eleven

If Ifeanyi Menkiti runs his new business the way he writes poetry, the venerable Grolier Poetry Book Shop will display a new international flavor.

The Nigerian-born writer who teaches philosophy at Wellesley College purchased the nation?s oldest bookstore devoted exclusively to poetry in April from Louisa Solano.

from The Wellesley Townsman: Investing in the business of poetry

It's as if I sculpted a statue which remained in my studio and I passed it one morning and suddenly saw that I could do some more work on the head and neck, well, that's how I work.

from WNYC: Samuel Menashe: A Poet's House

[David] Biespiel makes the commute to OSU from Portland Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and when his is not on campus he is working at The Attic.

"He lives the life of a poet," [his wife Tricia] Snell said. "When we were younger I used to read everything, I was sort of his editor."

from Oregon State Daily Barometer: Living the life of a poet

[Robert Smylie] volunteered for Army service soon after war broke out in 1914, even though he was 40 and married with three children.

A year later he wrote a poem for his three children telling them how he had survived so far and how he longed to be home.

from Sudbury Today: Dad's voice from Somme heart-rending 90 years on

But the adjectives are transformative rather than redundant, because they are deployed with such unorthodox precision--as in "tall, uncertain palms," or "feeble pink." Bishop uses adjectives not only to describe, but to anthropomorphize what she's looking at, so that what we see and what is seen are inextricably fused.

from Slate: Casual Perfection

Humans become, and rightfully, expressions of that nature from which they have originated and to which, eventually, they must return. They leave behind them a supernatural trace that belongs to the poet, and then to all of his readers. Seamus Heaney has reached this point in his new book of poems.

from Philadelphia Inquirer: A poet circumnavigates his world with words

One day in Verona Dante was passing a gateway where a group of women were sitting, and one of them said to the others, quietly, yet so that Dante and his company could hear: "Isn't that the man who goes down to Hell, and comes back when it pleases him, and brings back news of them below?"

from The Guardian: The man who goes to Hell

Instead, he called it Who The Hell Is Stew Albert? Who indeed? The title is a quote from Howard Stern, who once responded with that question when one of his on-air gang started talking about Stew as if everyone in the world knew who he was.

from MR Zine: Stirring the Pot: Remembering Stew Albert--1939-2006

I think reclaiming is an ambitious agenda--if you're beginning to write a poem, will you actually be reclaiming the rights to a land or a nation and other rights to citizenship? So I think the work succeeds more when it's about illuminating this detachment.

from The Electronic Intifada: Interview with Suheir Hammad

One night in 1996, while attending a gathering at a German diplomat's home, she [Simin Behbahani] was hauled off to jail. "I was slapped around, blindfolded and taken to prison," she recalled. "We were released the next morning. They led us out and dropped us in the middle of the street with our blindfolds still tied."

from The Washington Post: A Poet Who 'Never Sold Her Pen or Soul'

A legally blind poet [Elizabeth Goldring] at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has designed a "seeing machine" that allows people with limited vision to see faces of friends, read or study the layouts of buildings they intend to visit.

from Reuters: "Seeing machine" offers legally blind view of world

Great Regulars

It's no wonder, then, that one of his [Ed Starkey's] recent books, "Ninety-Nine Whimsical Juvenile Witticisms," reflects the wit and wisdom of a man who has enjoyed a life surrounded by children. The poem, "Higher Altitude" comes from this collection of "Juvenile Witticisms."

from Bill Diskin: York Daily Record: Poetryork:

Here is a bouquet of poems about the lilacs that bless us every year with their abundance. Treasure every minute of their blossoming.

She Says

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: The blessing of lilacs

Remember those Degas paintings of the ballet dancers? Here is a similar figure study, in muted color, but in this instance made of words, not pigment. As this poem by David Tucker closes, I can feel myself holding my breath as if to help the dancer hold her position.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 063

The very triteness of "ye sometimes have t'roam/Afore ye really 'preciate the things ye lef' behind," the very flatness of "It don't make any differunce how rich ye get t' be" makes those phrases more reassuring, more comfortable than any lines I can think of by [Edgar] Guest's contemporaries Wallace Stevens and Marianne Moore.

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

Both C R Das and his father Bhuban Mohan Das were financially ruined and had to seek the relief of the Insolvency Court in 1906. What is amazing is that as soon as his circumstances permitted it, C R Das took the unusual procedure of applying for the annulment of the Insolvency Order and paid back the entire amount of his and his father's debts. The debts had become time barred, but C R Das considered himself under a moral obligation to repay them.

from V Sundaram: News Today: The great Deshbandhu Das

I could not understand why one arbitrary symbol (a symbol apparently entirely devoid of any religious or philosophical significance) should thus be sprinkled all over my nice walls like a sort of smallpox. The Bible must be referring to wallpapers, I think, when it says, "Use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do."

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Lying in bed --Gk Chesterton

Here I want to posit three roles a poem may take, and to suggest that one of these roles accounts for the stance a poem takes. I offer these three stances not to head off the proper surprise of a new poem but as an exercise in resilience, the way you might strengthen your eyesight by looking at objects near, middling, and far in regular succession.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Reasons for poetry --William Meredith

Nevertheless, there is little difficulty or danger in suggesting that the "thousand profound scholars" may have failed first, because they were scholars; secondly, because they were profound; and thirdly, because they were a thousand-the impotency of the scholarship and profundity having been thus multiplied a thousand fold.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Rationale of verse --Edgar Allan Poe

Jockeys, a Perspective by Roger McGough

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Jockeys, a Perspective by Roger McGough

Play with imagery as if you are a sculptor creating an installation from found objects or a painter with a primed canvas. The sun is shining through your window, casting panels of light on the paper. Concentrate until you can no longer hear distracting noises.

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Pascale Petit's workshop

The Colors of a Summer Evening

By Mary Suggs

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

Memo from My Future Self
by Ellen Wehle

from The New Republic: Memo from My Future Self

by Belinda Subraman


from Newspaper Tree: Poetry by Belinda Subraman

At the Scottish Highland Dance Competition
[by David Ritchie]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

"Loss Loved Me"
By Kathryn Maris

from Slate: "Loss Loved Me" By Kathryn Maris

Poetic Obituaries

Stew Albert was our troubadour, poet, writer, our cherished moral center.

from MR Zine: Eulogy for Stew Albert

[Peter 'Champ' Clark] was the charter editor of the Xavier University Herald , Xavier Alumni Voice and Xavier Poetry Society. He broke many racial barriers in the city and state by becoming the first African American radio talk show host in Louisiana.

from Louisiana Weekly: Peter 'Champ' Clark, pioneering black journalist, author, dies

[Lee Duffy] had last been seen at 10am the day before the fire.

Deputy coroner Alan Walsh said investigating officers had discovered graffiti written on the walls, such as "Lee Duffy dead", "You can run but you can't hide", and a poem by Mr Duffy called Prison Boy which referred to people finding him dead.

from This Is Lancashire: Drug addict died in home blaze

Dean said his brother [Martin Evans], a former Tonyrefail Comprehensive pupil, was 'brilliant at sport, always picked for everything.'

'Martin was like a Del Boy, always taking the mick out of everybody,' he said.

'He found it hard putting things into words, but he found it easy writing poems.

from icWales: Hanged man was due to become a dad

A firebrand as a speaker and writer trained in the language of Sanskrit and classical Bengali, yet proudly articulate in the language of the common man and woman, my mother [Suraiya Khanum] courageously held on to her public identity as a poet and scholar and champion of the underprivileged in society. Her book of poems in Bengali, Nacher Shobtho (The Sound of Dance), was a revolutionary piece of writing that continues to be regarded as one of the best Bengali works in the poetic genre.

from The New Nation: Tribute to Poet Suraiya Khanum

Not many of us knew till later that [Zafar] Samdani was also a poet, and was part of Lahore's literary circle and the Tea House crowd before he wandered into journalism. He was a civilised, gentlemanly journalist, but will also be remembered as the quintessential Lahori.

from AsiaMedia: Zafar Samdani--a versatile writer

[Maria Luisa Spaziani] added: "I wrote regular pieces for Nuovi Argomenti and I always found him to be a highly sensitive and receptive reader and editor" .

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said [Enzo] Siciliano "took a leading part in that laboratory of ideas which marked, with a quality recognised in Europe and the rest of the world, our country's artistic and literary life".

from ANSA: Writer Enzo Siciliano dies


News at Eleven

The poet is powerful and deserves to be translated in full:

"Where Shall I Write your Name????"
I wrote the letters of your name in the sand, and they were washed away by the rain.
And I wrote them on the roads, and they were wiped away by feet.
And I wrote them in the air, and they were blown away by the wind.
And then I wrote them on people's faces, and they were lost to me.
I wrote them as tunes, and they flew away from me.
And again I wrote them in days, but the years erased them.
Shall I write it in the depths so it shall continue to pulse through the veins?
I wonder: Where shall I write your name??

from The Middle East Media Research Institute: Inquiry & Analysis Series--No. 279

In many ways, his book is Femi Johnson's elegy, a memorial to this loyal and loving giant--his laughter as big as his appetite--who saved and protected Soyinka through his triumphs and disasters and who said of him, unforgettably, that "you can leave your heart with Wole and travel to Hong Kong. When you come back, it would still be beating." Kneading those words as a writer does, Soyinka turns them into a commandment "to keep the heart of a nation, of a people, beating, even after a demented dictator had ripped it out."

from The New York Review of Books: The Writer and the Tyrant

At the time of Marcus Aurelius, there were 88 libraries in Rome. Under Constantine the Great there was only one. I think we stand before a great crisis, which is consuming literature. [--Gyorgy Faludy]

from HVG: Literature will not survive the 21st century

"The fire actually saved it, as the papyrus would have been rotted away by damp if not burned," Greek papyrologist expert George Karamanolis said.

The book contains a philosophical treatise on a lost poem describing the birth of the gods and other beliefs focusing on Orpheus, the mythical musician who visited the underworld to reclaim his dead love and enjoyed a strong cult following in the ancient world.

from The News-Sentinel: New technology probes ancient manuscript

Randall Jarrell confesses, "I've never written in a way that really pleases Dan./His opinion is invaluable to me, but I am shy." Horace, though, is home "as usual,/translating Dan Chiasson's/petty agonies into his frantic ancient Latin."

from The Guardian: Dan dares

It's a fascinating story, and gives a whole new dimension to popular myths about women, men and romantic passion. My top 10 women from the book are listed in chronological order. [--Pamela Norris]

from The Guardian: Pamela Norris's top 10 passionate women writers

A ghazal is an expression of love, passion, heartache, the indifference of "la belle dame sans merci," of dejection and frustration, of longing and languor. We get all these things in Parveen Shakir's poetry. The only difference here is that she looks at things from her own, i.e., her female perspective--a perspective which has hitherto been lacking in Urdu poetry.

from Yemen Times: 'Poems' by Parveen Shakir

"Wah! Wah!" they cry, slapping their thighs with delight. "Wonderful! Lovely!" Another poet reads some classical ghazals, many of them set to music in modern times. But as the evening continues, the content takes on a distinctly British-Asian flavour.

from The Times: Beside the Yorkshire Ganges

Now, San Francisco's poet laureate may be the best surviving example of the values and dreams of that literary culture, which is slowly being consigned to textbooks.

"I believe that everyone is a poet," the 72-year-old avowed Marxist [Jack Hirschman] says in his booming New York accent. "Everybody is a poet, nobody excluded."

from The Monterey Herald: Beat Generation dwindles, but Hirschman remains

So the groomsman quits your side
And the bridegroom seeks the bride:
Friend and comrade yield you o'er
To her that hardly loves you more.

. . . which is a bit pointed, coming from a comrade who wasn't even invited to the wedding.

from The Guardian: 'The lad that loves you true'

'I thought they were going to read it or use it in the program or something,' said [Ronnie] Manning. But when he arrived at the ceremony, Manning was amazed to see his poem cast into a bronze plaque and enshrined as a permanent, integral part of the Memorial.

from Bogalusa Daily News: Manning's poem a part of state memorial

Great Regulars

"I'm supposed to turn the poem in on Monday morning, and on Sunday night I usually set the shower head to iambic pentameter," [Calvin] Trillin said.

But it's not that easy, Trillin insisted. He's written a poem almost every week since 1990 and has published several books of poetry, most recently "A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme" (Random House, $12.95, 116 pages).

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: Trillin fights back, with poetry

O, you who kidnap our guests,
Your house will refuse you,
These violations are against Islam

According to University of Wisconsin Religious Studies professor W. Flagg Miller, "Yemen has turned to poets because they are able to speak to diverse groups of people who the literati and the elite cannot reach."

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Fighting al Qaeda with Poetry

The Water Queen of Jerusalem
Rahel Chalfi

from Tsipi Keller: Zeek: The Water Queen of Jerusalem: Rahel Chalfi

Gardeners who've fought Creeping Charlie and other unwanted plants may sympathize with James McKean from Iowa as he takes on Bindweed, a cousin to the two varieties of morning glory that appear in the poem. It's an endless struggle, and in the end, of course, the bindweed wins.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 062

According to a recent study by the Poetry Foundation, "Poetry is most often experienced at private ceremonies such as weddings . . . with 80 percent of nonusers and more than 90 percent of poetry users reporting that they've been exposed to poetry at one of these private occasions." Granted, this makes poetry sound like a combination of heroin and the Marburg virus (most nonusers were exposed at private ceremonies, were they?).

from David Orr: The New York Times: A Toast to the Happy Couplet

In his poem "The Dreams That Cried," [Alberto] Ros shows how elements as familiar as the human face, a baby's cry, animals and gardening can convey the charge of the uncanny:

The Dreams That Cried

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

And this hidden truth, that the fountains whence all this river of Time and its creatures floweth are intrinsically ideal and beautiful, draws us to the consideration of the nature and functions of the Poet, or the man of Beauty; to the means and materials he uses, and to the general aspect of the art in the present time.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: The poet --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Silence by Billy Collins

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Silence by Billy Collins

Throwing Star
by Jocelyn Casey-Whiteman

from Guernica: Poetry: Throwing Star

Diamond Head, Hawaii

By Beverly Boyd

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

[by Judith H. Montgomery]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

Nancy Hill could justifiably be called the grandmother of the Seacoast poetry scene. That's quite a distinction for a woman who, by her own admission, couldn?t write a creative sentence to save her soul.

from Portsmouth Herald News: Spotlight Poems from the Hoot: Hill instrumental in getting poetry scene started

"I Realized I Was Happy and It Scared Me"
By Rich Ives

from Slate: "I Realized I Was Happy and It Scared Me" By Rich Ives

Sillyhow Stride
Paul Muldoon

from The Times Literary Supplement: Sillyhow Stride

Poetic Obituaries

Last they heard, Cary [Mattox] wanted to go to University of South Carolina Beaufort to become a teacher--although Cary was the type who'd want to do one thing one day then another the next, Carmen [Correa] said.

Now, Carmen can hardly look at the wall she has in her bedroom wallpapered with notebook poems Cary gave her and snapshots of the two and their friends.

from The Island Packet: Bluffton teenager shot in home dies

Considered this country's leading advocate of French structuralist theory, Mr. [Michael] Riffaterre was a particular authority on semiotics, the study of the meaning and interpretation of signs and symbols. Throughout his career, he was intimately concerned with literature as text--that is, as a work of art built from meaningful linguistic symbols.

from The New York Times: Michael Riffaterre, 81, a Scholar of Literature at Columbia, Is Dead

[Barbara Ruth Sampson] won numerous awards for her poetry, among which was National Senior Poet Laureate for 2004.

I had the privilege of writing the review for her book of poems, Earth is a Splendid Place, published by Sparrowgrass Press, 2000. As I read and reread her book, I noted immediately how her skill with meter, rhyme, rhythm and poetic language was akin to Byron Herbert Reece's style.

from Union Sentinel: In tribute to my friend, Barbara Ruth Sampson

[Robert A.] Seidel's fifth-grade teacher offered the first eulogy by a reading a war poem Seidel had written while in her class. The poem was dedicated to a soldier who died in Vietnam.

from Business Gazette: Community lays soldier to rest


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