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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


News at Eleven

Meanwhile, the hunger strike of well-known Azerbaijani activist, writer and poet, Abbas Lesani continues. He is now refusing to drink any fluids. His family members who have been able to see him after a long time, say that Mr. Lesani is being held in the hospital of Ardabil Prison and his health is in grave condition. The writer has told his family members that despite their insistence he will refuse to even drink water until the justice is served.

from City of Ardabil in Northern Iran: Lives of Azerbaijani prisoners are in danger

The authorities state that Sakit Zakhidov, known by his pen name, Mirza Sakit, a regular contributor to the pro-opposition newspaper Azadlig (Freedom), was arrested on June 23 for carrying and selling 10 grams of heroin.

Zakhidov?s colleagues and supporters, however, dismiss the charges as unfounded, noting that they came just three days after a panel discussion on media freedom organized by the ruling Yeni Azerbaijan Party (YAP).

from Eurasianet: Azerbaijan: Opposition Poet's Arrest Raises Media Concerns

The first poem from Wales' new national poet is a message of hope in a world filled with the "butcheries of man".

Professor Gwyn Thomas was so inspired by a story of humanity on the news recently that he sat down to write his first occasion poem in his new role.

from Western Mail: Poet sees goodness in world of tragedy

It should, I think, be an open commission: open, that is, to any poet with a mind to write on national issues.

Under this arrangement, the laureate would become a compiler, rather than a writer, of poetry, his principal task being to assemble each year an anthology of the nation's finest "laureate" poetry.

from The Australian: Patronage and the poem

Here is Wordsworth on the grass walk at Rydal Mount: ". . . he would set his heäd a bit forrad, and put his hands behint his back. And then he would start bumming, and it was bum, bum, bum, bum, stop; then bum, bum, bum reet down till t'other end, and then he'd set down and git a bit o'paper out and write a bit; and then he git up, and bum, bum, bum, and goa on bumming for long enough right down and back agean. I suppose, ya kna, the bumming helped him out a bit."

from The Guardian: Words worthy of peasants

A female poet would have been used to performing in private. She might have been willing to work at home -- since early Greek women were shut up at home anyway -- and she would have had a more obvious motive because writing would allow her work to reach an audience that it would otherwise never reach.

from San Francisco Chronicle: Who really wrote 'Odyssey,' 'Iliad'?: Evidence points not to Homer, not to any man, but to a woman

Later in the poem, as the change that violence brings becomes a refrain, things start to seem a little biblical:

It does me no good; violence has changed me.
My body grown cold like the stripped fields;
now there is only my mind, cautious and wary,
with the sense it is being tested.

There it is, the "test," the rabbinical idea that God tested Abraham in the sacrifice of Isaac.

from The Jerusalem Post: Roman craters and the soul

Eventually, over a decade or so, he [Lorenzo Da Ponte] worked with just about everyone--Salieri, Martín y Soler, Paisello--but he particularly hit it off with Mozart.

Though Mozart was seven years younger, the two were a lot alike--not just talented but vain, insecure and hugely ambitious--and they grew so close that while writing "Don Giovanni," for example, they worked in adjoining lodging houses and hollered back and forth through their windows.

from The New York Times: Lorenzo Da Ponte, a Maestro of Second Acts, in Opera and in Life

The myth that Kerouac simply sat down and exhaled the book in three weeks is misleading, says [John] Sampas.

Beginning in the 1940s, Kerouac kept copious notes of his travels with Cassidy, and the process of writing the book began five years before he sat down for the 21-day burst.

from The Lowell Sun: 'On the Road' again--this time unedited

Take a newspaper.
Take a pair of scissors.
Choose an article as long as you are planning to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Then cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them in a bag.
Shake it gently.
Then take out the scraps one after the other in the order in which they left the bag.
Copy conscientiously.
The poem will be like you.
And here you are a writer, infinitely original and endowed with a sensibility that is charming though beyond the understanding of the vulgar.

from The New York Review of Books: Making It New

Pieces moved out of the room will be taken in by the Busch Reisinger Museum or sold through an auction house, according to library administrators.

GSD Department of Architecture Chair Toshiko Mori learned of the renovations to the room through an anonymous letter she received on June 14.

The Woodberry Room is one of only four [Alvar] Aalto projects in the U.S., according to Mori. Because Aalto designed the room in its entirety, "from the point of view of design, it's very, very important to keep everything intact," Mori said.

from The Harvard Crimson: For Design Purists, Renovation Sparks Ire

Great Regulars

"I wrote this poem for my teenage son who was going through some hard times," [Christine C.] Chapman says. "It deals with letting go and parental control as a child enters adulthood. Adolescence can be hard on the parents as well as the teenager!"

Chapman, who has found comfort in her own writing, encourages others--especially other parents--to give poetry a try.

from Bill Diskin: York Daily Record: Poetryork: Poetry helps parent come to grips

Because of the abundance of rime, Edgar Allan Poe was labeled by his contemporaries as "The Jingle Man." It was probably Ralph Waldo Emerson who first applied that term to Poe, but Walt Whitman also felt that Poe overused rime.

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: The Jingle Man

But just as a news report can be false if the journalist is not careful and honest about gathering his facts about the outer world, the art can be false if the artist is not careful and honest about reporting the inner world.

That's why artists who accused of "selling out" are disdained.

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Spirituality and Genuine Art

This marvelous poem by the California poet Marsha Truman Cooper perfectly captures the world of ironing, complete with its intimacy. At the end, doing a job to perfection, pressing the perfect edge, establishes a reassuring order to an otherwise mundane and slightly tawdry world.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 069 (pdf)

In the end, and as further proof of his exceptional ability to remould himself while keeping his integrity, it was the church that came to his rescue. Jack Donne became Dr Donne, the Dean of St Paul's. To many at the time, the transformation seemed improbable.

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: Donne undone

Aside from convenience for military cadets (or air travelers), a poem's brevity can give excitement and pleasure. Prominent examples in English are William Blake and Emily Dickinson. The poems of the Korean poet Pak Chaesam (1933-97), newly published in a translation by David R. McCann and Jiwon Shin, include a sequence called "Four-Line Poems," good-humored and delicate.

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

Near the end, the poem's speaker--we assume it's [Willa] Schneberg herself--admits she's related a Holocaust scene to a Cambodian acquaintance "as if it were my story." And this is where the poem's power resides: not in its depictions of horror but in Schneberg's recognition of her compromised position as a storyteller in Cambodia.

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Poetry

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

Brief reflection on the sun by Miroslav Holub

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Brief reflection on the sun by Miroslav Holub

You can choose to write about a wild animal, or a pet, or one that is legendary, imaginary, or even dead. The important thing is to forget the cliches and approach the creature, or creatures, with your perceptions, your vision, and all your senses alert.

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Vicki Feaver's workshop

Three Poems
by Peg Boyers

from Guernica: Poetry: Three Poems

Three Poems
by Terese Svoboda

from Guernica: Poetry: Three Poems

This week's poem is by Sam Silverman who writes from the perspective of a jellyfish. These floating ocean beings have been receiving a lot of attention by the press recently since the Portuguese Man of War jellyfish have been visiting the coast of southern Massachusetts and laying their stinging tentacles on a number of unsuspecting swimmers.

from The Hopkinton Crier: Poem Prescription

At the Beer Store

By Samantha Bell

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

Killer Heat
by Stew Albert

from MR Zine: Stew Albert, "Killer Heat"

by Carlos Ponce-Meléndez

A lonely night of a lonely life

from Newpaper Tree: Poetry

Paradigms By C.E. Chaffin

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Paradigms By C.E. Chaffin

"Mother's Maiden Name"
By Martha Greenwald

from Slate: "Mother's Maiden Name" By Martha Greenwald

Poetic Obituaries

More than 200 friends and family gathered Friday to remember the life of Amber Nicole Carlson, a 19-year-old nursing student shot to death in a double-murder-suicide in Laramie, Wyo.

from Duluth Superior: Friends, family mourn Coloradan killed in Wyoming murder-suicide

Novelist, poet and playwright Guze Chetcuti died on Tuesday, aged 91. Guze Chetcuti will be remembered for his significant contribution to the Maltese literature scene, as well as for the love for his country?s language and his involvement in the Akkademja tal-Malti (Maltese Language Academy).

from MaltaMedia News: Literature giant Guze Chetcuti passes away

Those friends became concerned when they found that [Alieghya] Clark had left behind a backpack in which she kept many personal belongings.

Clark had no money with her and no means to support herself.

She also left her poetry journal.

from The Kansas City Star: Victim ID'd as missing woman

Patricia Goedicke, the name she used in her work, was the author of 12 books of poetry, the most recent of which, "As Earth Begins to End," was recognized by the American Library Association as one of the top 10 poetry books of the year 2000. She taught in the creative-writing program at the University of Montana for 25 years.

from Missoulian: Patricia Goedicke Robinson

Gianfrancesco Guarnieri, the man who for ever changed the direction of the Brazilian theater in 1958 with the play Eles Não Usam Black-Tie (They Don't Wear Black-Tie), the story about a workers strike and the dilemmas of those taking part in it, died this Saturday, July 22, in a São Paulo hospital from the complications of chronic renal insufficiency, at age 71.

from Brazzil Magazine: Brazil Says Farewell to the Man Who Tricked the Generals with Allegories

Founder of the Tennessee Chapter of Little People of America and a strong advocate for the disabled, Beth [Elizabeth Whitaker Hudson] was also active in state and local politics as a loyal Democrat. She was a leader in the Tennessee Education Association and a delegate to the national convention of the National Education Association throughout her career.

from The Fairview Observer: Elizabeth "Beth" Whitaker Hudson

[Ruth Schonthal] wrote song cycle settings of poets including Yeats, Wordsworth, Dickinson and García Lorca. Her chamber works included the 1994 piece The Wall Before and After, about the reunification of Berlin; the 1997 Bells of Sarajevo for clarinet and prepared piano; and the 1994 Fantasy-Variations on a Jewish Liturgical Theme for electric guitar. Orchestral works included the 1981 The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez for harp and strings. Her three operas were The Courtship of Camilla, Princess Maleen and Jocasta, written in 1979, 1989 and 1997, respectively.

from Playbill: Composer Ruth Schonthal Dies at 82


News at Eleven

Rather than remaining focused on [Peter] Finnerty and Ireland, [Percy Bysshe] Shelley is concerned with England and the war:

Millions to fight compell'd, to fight or die
In mangled heaps on War's red altar lie . . .
When legal murders swell the lists of pride;
When glory's views the titled idiot guide.

from The Times Literary Supplement: Shelley's fantastic prank

[David Jones] died in 1974, and many believe he is an unrecognised genius, claiming that the two works, along with a third, The Sleeping Lord, are among the most important poems of the 20th century.

from Western Mail: The poets' battle

Bhanubhakta [Acharya] wrote two masterpieces in his life. One, obviously, is the "Bhanubhaktey Ramayan" and the other is a letter he wrote in verse form to the prime minister while in prison. Due to some misunderstanding in signing the papers, he was made a scapegoat and put into prison.

from Ohmy News: Bhanubhakta: The First Poet Of Nepal

We decided to shut up entirely and not pretend to be free, because that would give an alibi to the military regime to say, "See, there is freedom of expression here." Many members of our staff were killed or disappeared or jailed or went into exile, and so it was a good decision to go away and abandon it. [--Eduardo Galeano]

from In These Times: Writer Without Borders

The judicial police detained Father Gérard Jean-Juste, [Jean-Bertrand] Aristide's "spiritual adviser," on 22 July 2005, a day after he attended [Jacques] Roche?s funeral, triggering an uproar among all the mourners, who suspected him of being linked to Roche's death. He was later freed on health grounds and allowed to travel to the United States for treatment. He is still there.

from Reporters Without Borders: No sign of justice a year after journalist Jacques Roche was murdered

In 1977, the brutal attack in Oregon on Terri Jentz and her college roommate made newspaper headlines across the country and became a part of An Explanation of America, a book-length poem by Robert Pinsky, a former U.S. poet laureate.

from National Public Radio: Vicious Attack Informs 'An Explanation of America'

Add to that company the Irish poet Seamus Heaney, Nobel laureate of 1995, whose rhymes are rough-hewn, hand-honed. Dungarees and rosaries? Whops and footsteps? Joys and tallboy? We're in Heaney country. His dissonances aren't for every poet; you might even say they're not for the younger Heaney, whose harmonies have grown harsher over time.

from The New York Times: Wild Irish

[Raymond Carver] must have been a dreadfully difficult person to live with, not just because of the booze and the infidelities and the abuse, but because he was wholly self-absorbed. He'd been spoiled as a boy by a doting mother and ever after believed that the world owed him a living; he was scarcely the first writer to see himself in that light, but that didn't make it any easier to be his wife or his child.

from The Washington Post: Raymond Carver's first wife remembers the influential American writer

At the entrance to the structure, [Denis] Van Dam told us how [Robinson] Jeffers adopted ancient Egyptian methods of pyramid-building to raise 300- and 400-pound boulders off the ground. When the poet could no longer push the rocks up an inclined plane, he fashioned a block-and-tackle system to hoist them into the air. Pieces of this system still exist; Van Dam pointed out an old pulley casing on the corner of the house.

from San Francisco Chronicle: A poet's home in Carmel

In a recent poem, "After the War," he [Jim Harrison] devoted a verse to his dog, to the rattlesnake that killed it. "Rose was struck twice by a rattler/in the yard, a fang broken off in her eyeball./Now old dog and old master each/have an eye full of bloody milk . . ." It occurred to me that maybe I should be writing some of this down.

from New West: Six Short Essays About Jim Harrison

Twelve poems of Tang dynasty were sculptured on a tiny match stick, which was the latest masterpiece of the reknowned Taiwan's miniature sculptor, Chen Fengxian.

from Xinhua: 12 poems carved on a tiny match stick

Great Regulars

In the following poem, Emily reminds us that faith can be stronger than experience when it truly matters.

I Never Saw a Moor

from Caron Andregg: BellaOnline: Emily Dickinson, American Poet

It is a full immersion, a surrender into meeting the endless needs of these miracles of our lives, who awaken so much love, fun and overwhelming feelings and weariness. Rarely do poems get written, let alone typed and sent out as a witness to our days, but these poems by Elizabeth Potter capture all the senses of this time of our lives.

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: Immersed in a mother?s world in summer

One might wonder why such an accomplished writer and skillful business negotiator who was enormously famous in her own day is no longer recognized. Part of the answer lies in the types of works she published; her moralizing is viewed today as old-fashioned, irrelevant, and in some circles just plain wrong. Her only biographer calls her a "hack writer."

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Early American Poet Lydia Sigourney

The best art is made by those who yearn to discover that vast mysterious territory known as the self. The little ego needs to be fed, though, but if it becomes a glutton, the would-be artist can kiss genuine art good-bye.

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Spirituality and Genuine Art

Island musician, song writer/poet, chef and more, Mal Hamilton, is the first of our poets to contribute to Poetry. His three poems, which were written in 2001, follow.

I Have No Song for You

from George Hirst: Magnetic Island News: Poems by Mal Hamilton

Valberg Larusson is an Icelandic software expert who lived on Magnetic Island a few years ago. Valberg has some very special personal history with Magnetic and shares a little of that with his following letter and poem.

from George Hirst: Magnetic Island News: Poem by Valberg Larusson

Frank Putland grew up on Magnetic (see our Reconnect with Magnetic section). His poems range from Magnetic memories to social satire.

Magnetic Childhood

from George Hirst: Magnetic Island News: Poems by Frank Putland

Here is a marvelous little poem about a long marriage by the Kentucky poet, Wendell Berry. It's about a couple resigned to and comfortable with their routines. It is written in language as clear and simple as its subject. As close together as these two people have grown, as much alike as they have become, there is always the chance of the one, unpredictable, small moment of independence. Who will be the first to say goodnight?

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 068

[Robin] Becker's comic timing, her ultimate sincerity and, above all, her respectful, close attention make her poem, like Cowper's, a winning demonstration of how to express feeling through elements of a life that isn't literally or exactly one's own.

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

River God by Stevie Smith

from The Guardian: Original poetry: River God by Stevie Smith

The Gift

By Carol Cahill

from The Hopkinton Crier: Poem Prescription

Navel Gazer

By Lee Carlson

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

Three Poems by Constantine P. Cavafy

from The New Republic: Poem: Three Poems by Constantine P. Cavafy

Death in Liguria
[by Joseph Soldati]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

"Vinyl-Sided Epiphany"
By Erika Meitner

from Slate: "Vinyl-Sided Epiphany" By Erika Meitner

Poetic Obituaries

"Reading the poem, it just seems like Joe knew something was about to happen," he [Billy Evans] said. "It was almost like he wanted us to be OK with letting him go. I know he wouldn't want us to be sad."

from The Mississippi Press: Family awaits autopsy report

[Shyam Jwalamukhi] always tried to sit there to get inspiration for his verses, according to reports.

Jwalamukhi was killed outright during the blast, said police who found his identity card.

from Gulf Daily News: A trainee who gave up his seat and life!

Joffrey Orr, 18, loved to sail, write poetry and perform and often shared his faith with friends.

"He always liked to be with his friends," said his father, Martin Orr.

from Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Christianity was 'only important thing' student said about himself


News at Eleven

A professor of Welsh from Bangor University has been named as the man to follow in the footsteps of Wales's first national poet.

Gwyn Thomas will take over from Gwyneth Lewis, who wrote the inscription on the front of the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

from BBC News: Wales' new national poet is named

"I sell the copyright for six carefully wrapped bottles of the best Romanian dry red wine, delicate and fragrant like a velvet twilight," wrote [Evgheni] Evtushenko in the contract.

from Bucharest Daily News: Notable Russian poet decorated by the president

Conflicting Calls is another poem where the poet [Bhuchung D. Sonam] again talks about the issue and here, he sounds ominous as he sees the freedom struggle going nowhere in the differing din of autonomy and independence calls.

They come from within
These regular chants
Independence! Autonomy!
Association! Dissociation!
We are in the middle of nowhere
Trying to reach everywhere.

from Phayul: Conflicts of Duality : Call of an Exile Poet

Pessoa, who wanted to be alone, opened it, looked at his friend and said: Fernando is not home. I am Alvaro de Campos. Then he added: When Fernando gets back, I will tell him you were here.

Lunatic? Genius? Mental case?

from Haaretz: Will the real Pessoa please stand up

It included the skull of a hare, a cheese box containing a puffin's beak, an envelope containing snow bunting feathers, a list of mills of Meirionnydd, a book of telephone numbers containing no numbers and a postcard of the Nanteos Cup.

from icWales: Welsh poet invented an 'S' in his initials

One photo entitled "Waves Hitting the Shore" captures Lo's feelings about the sea. It shows waves pounding the coastline near a lighthouse, while Lo's accompanying poem states that the violent waves are like rituals that take the world and one's soul to a pure and holy paradise.

from Taiwan Headlines: Confucian photographer discovered paradise among Hualian's people

There is a touch of Frost in the effort here to make conversational speech break over traditionally metered lines. But the poem is no exercise. On the scale of personal tragedy, the death of a parent at a young age ranks high. For Hall, turning this into a poem was a labor of love as well as art.

from Times Argus: Poems are as alive for readers as for poet

If "White Apples and the Taste of Stone" were half as long it would pack twice the punch. You would never say that of the poets on whom Hall has modeled his career: Moore, Eliot, Frost, Pound; nor would you say it of Hall's finest contemporaries.

from The New York Times: The View From Eagle Pond Farm

1970s black consciousness activist, Gil Scott Heron, was sentenced to two to four years in Queens Supreme Court for violating a plea deal on a drug charge.

from United Press International: Hip Hop founder gets prison time

Constantly seeking to innovate, Ovid created a new literary form altogether with "Heroides," a collection of letters--actually monologues--supposedly written by mythical women to the men they love. For the first time such classical figures as Ulysses' wife, Penelope, Medea and Helen of Troy have their say.

from Investor's Business Daily: To Transform And Transcend

Dispute over Suicide was a poem written by an unnamed Egyptian writer between 2000 and 1740 BC on papyrus in hieroglyphics.

The writer is known as "The Eloquent Peasant", and was commissioned by King Meri-ka-re to write a poem in order to dissuade people from committing suicide.

from RxPG News: Oldest Description of Suicidal Thoughts found in an Egyptian Poem

Great Regulars

And the layered meaning of the phrase "living roots" delights me, at least, with its naturalness and its rightness.

You can see this sort of linguistic reverberation in Natasha Trethewey's poem "Pilgrimage" with the play on the word "hollowed," for instance (think: hallowed), as well as death and battle words such as "underground" and "hunkered," among others.

from The Oregonian: When words play, a careful reader finds many meanings

Given all of her success with the short story form, it's no wonder [Brenda] Witmer is hesitant to identify herself as a poet. And she points out that, like most of her prose, her poetry takes on a decidedly narrative flavor.

from Bill Diskin: York Daily Record: Poetryork: Writer's work influenced by nature

One in a series of elegies by New York City poet Catherine Barnett, this poem describes the first gathering after death has shaken a family to its core. The father tries to help his grown daughter forget for a moment that, a year earlier, her own two daughters were killed, that she is now alone. He's heartsick, realizing that drinking can only momentarily ease her pain, a pain and love that takes hold of the entire family. The children who join her in the field are silent guardians.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 067 (pdf)

The varying line lengths let [Ben] Jonson demonstrate how gracefully he can move the "subtle feet" of his verses through such an attractive dance.

The lady he addresses apparently was better at appraising Jonson's build and complexion than at appreciating the sweetness of his verses.

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

Cuttings by Nick Laird

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Cuttings by Nick Laird


By Jason Wesco

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

In One Sigh
by Ros Csikc-Cy

from MR Zine: Ros Csikc-Cy, "In One Sigh"

by Mónica Gómez

The Ride

from Newpaper Tree: Poetry

"The One Truth"
By Philip Schultz

from Slate: "The One Truth" By Philip Schultz

Poetic Obituaries

On the last day of her life Ashleigh Deyhle Farley tried to get help from friends and family because she was desperately afraid of her boyfriend.

Just before midnight June 26 Farley's boyfriend, Martin George Zarefoss, allegedly shot her in the head at their Madison, Tenn. apartment and then tried to make her death look like a suicide.

from Gallatin News Examiner: Murder shakes town

After teaching at Wesleyan, Dartmouth and Proctor Academy, he [Bob Fisher] settled in at Kennett High School, where for 20 years he taught, coached, inspired and entertained his students with a combination of a keen insight into English and American literature, a fascination for creative writing and poetry and a remarkable ability to mix his love of guitar playing, theatrics, drama and humor into his classroom.

from Ski Racing: Ski racing icon Bob Fisher, father of Olympian Abbi, dies at 80

A poet and a lay minister, Mr. [Roy] Fries worked in sales and management positions for several years and then took a job at the Rochester Products Division of General Motors. He retired from the company, now Delphi, after more than 20 years.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Mr. Fries occasionally announced the end of his rat crusading, only to return to the effort.

from Rochester Democrat & Chronicle: Roy Fries, anti-rat crusader, dies

"He knew he had no one to take care of his mother, so he had to kill her," [Al] Cernadas said.

The mother [Joyce Goldberg] and son [Martin Goldberg] were reportedly in the midst of moving to another location.

from Home News Tribune: Man kills his mother, then self

Richard T. Halstead, an English professor at Terra Community College in Fremont for 30 years, died yesterday in St. Luke's Hospital after a year-long battle with lymphoma. He was 59.

Mr. Halstead, of Perrysburg, had a passion for teaching and also for poetry. During the summer, he conducted poetry workshops, teaching students how to write poetry, his wife, Tricia Halstead, said.

from The Toledo Blade: Richard T. Halstead, 1946-2006: Professor brought out the best in his students

[JoAnn] Smith said sheriff's deputies made inquiries around the neighborhood and pieced together what apparently happened: "The baby was asleep, and she jumped on the four-wheeler for a quick ride," her [Cassie Hornsby's] mother said. "They got two blocks from the house and hit a pothole, and it threw her off. Then he took her back to the house and left her."

from Macon Telegraph: Jones teen dies after ATV accident

Poet Thirunalloor Karunakaran, who died here on Wednesday night, was laid to rest with full state honours on Thursday.

from Thirunalloor laid to rest

When the disability community loses a champion, the world loses a unique voice of truth. Dara McLaughlin, gifted poet, visual artist, teacher, disability activist and humanitarian, died on May 26, after a long illness.

from The Albuquerque Tribune: Barbara McKee: A voice silenced

Rex Page was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Pendleton, Calif. Page, whose tour of duty was expected to finish in July, was wounded in the torso and head. He died during surgery at a military hospital in Germany.

from Belleville News Democrat: Kirksville parents return home with son's body

A simple poem written by U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Raymond J. Plouhar became the centerpiece of his funeral service Friday.

from The Oakland Press: A Marine to the End

Austin attorney Robert Provan, who conquered polio as a child but succumbed to its devastating aftereffects decades later, will be buried today at his family's plot in the Lindale city cemetery.

He died July 6, the same day he was released from an Austin rehabilitation hospital after receiving treatment for a broken wrist.

from The Austin American-Statesman: Burial today for disability rights advocate, polio survivor

One of major literary figures in the Urdu language, Ahmad Nadeem Qasimi, has died in Lahore at the age of 89.

from BBC News: Pakistan literary giant is dead

"Sainthood is an inconvenient thing," Raja Rao wrote of Mahatma Gandhi. The essay was published in The Meaning of India in 1996, but Raja Rao's meditations on sainthood were of much older vintage. The saint, to him, was a man who "would be perfect"; the politician was a man who "would make the world wholesome, whole".

from Business Standard: Philosopher, pioneer, poet: Raja Rao (1908-2006)


News at Eleven

On the eve of the 17th anniversary of the arrest of prominent journalist dissident U Win Tin, Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association are calling on Burmese Prime Minister, General Soe Win, to immediately release him.

In protest at his continued detention - Win Tin is serving 20 years on a charge of "anti-government propaganda" - the two press freedom organisations are mounting a fax offensive on 4 July 2006, targeting major Burmese embassies throughout the world.

from Reporters Without Borders: U Win Tin begins his 18th year in prison:

My name is Tenzin Tsundue. I am a Tibetan born and brought up in India. On 4 March 1997, I walked across the India-Tibet border. I was apprehended at Cha-gang by border police.

from The Independent: Tibetan dissident to accuse Chinese of torture and genocide

This wasn’t blind faith, but an indignant assertion that the poems were genuine.

An investigation into Ossian’s provenance was launched by the prestigious Highland Society of Scotland in the late 1790s. It found Gaels in all walks of life adamant that [James] Macpherson could not be responsible for poetry that had been around long before he was born.

from Sunday Herald: Ossian: the truth about Scotland’s Homer

One of his [George Mackay Brown's] friends believed he had "done for the Orkneys what William Faulkner had done for the south of America. He has created . . . mythical area." Perhaps, in response to Shelley, Brown might have asserted that poets are "the unofficial myth-makers of the world".

from MercatorNet: The bard of the windswept Orkneys

As if anticipating her [Louise Gluck's] critics, the poet presents herself in the stunning title poem as an aged person whose children find her concerns tiresome:

The old people, they think--
this is what they always do:
talk about things no one can see
to cover up all the brain cells they're losing.

from The Washington Post: Underworlds

A comic villanelle composed of unintentionally funny headlines includes such lines as "Prostitutes Appeal to Pope," and "Miners Refuse to Work After Death."
"An Empty Suit" is set in a thrift shop where the poet plays detective, conjuring a man from clues of "smoky dove gray" fabric, "the frayed bottoms of the trousers," and "two red pills/in the right-hand jacket pocket—."

from Books Inq.: A poetry review . . .

"My poetics are totally different to something like the Ginsberg school, which is based on the idea of 'first thought, best thought'. It is a solid concept to get the most direct transcription of your consciousness, especially if the person doing it has an original mind. Allen Ginsberg had a fascinating and genius mind and so the poetry is fascinating and genius. But when this method is laid on to thousands of students, many of whom don't have original minds, you get acres of boring poetry." [Lawrence Ferlinghetti]

from The Guardian: Last of the bohemians

In the world we can be lonely, Adrienne Rich says, as anyone who has honestly looked deep into themselves is lonely. But what loneliness, and how that solitary voice can sing.

from The Independent: Adrienne Rich: She knew me before I knew myself

What makes a poem stand out to him, [Donald] Hall says, is the beauty of its sound.

"I look also for poems of emotional content, that are clear, not sentimental, but emotional," he says.

In his own work, he tries to craft his words into an aesthetic whole, "like a little piece of sculpture," he says.

from The Harvard Crimson: For Poet Laureate, In Vino Veritas

The tracing paper responds best to a proper, old-fashioned pencil. Because readers like to trace the same poem several times, and to keep their pencils sharp, they get through them far more quickly than the prime consumers of pencils--schoolchildren.

from The Australian: Poetry draws sales

Chip [St. Clair], floating alone and terrified, remembered the poem.

"I am the master of my fate," he thought. "I am the captain of my soul. This isn't my time. I'm not going to die here."

He summoned his strength and pointed his arms toward shore.

from South Bend Tribune: Dark Secrets, Part 3: Master of his fate

Great Regulars

Some people believe a "poor man's copyright" exists where you mail yourself your work. This is an urban legend. You always own your own copyright. If you wish to take legal action against someone else, you have to legally file your copyright papers first.

The only reason a poet would need to REGISTER the copyright is if the owner wished to file a lawsuit against someone else regarding the work.

from Caron Andregg: BellaOnline: Poetry Copyright and Your Poem

[Philip] Gross's lithe nature poems are roughened and complicated by the incursion of the unnatural, the industrial and scientific: a rock is smoothed by "a lathe of blown sand". A considerable poetic talent offers us an elegant and subtle re-evaluation of the modern world.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Natural selections

I had just climbed up to the difficult-to-find, but completely magical Angel Falls with water spraying, yes, like layerings of wings, down 70 feet into a small, refreshing pool. As I drove the back road up and over Mount Blue into the contained valley where you find the little town of Weld, I saw the hills and forests through the words of their poet, Henry Braun.

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: After the rain, you can see the hills

Gavin Ryan is a prolific and very funny Island artist who, for quite a while, became obsessed with squashed cane toads as the basis for works of art. Following is The Toad's Prayer--just one such work--which is both visual art and a poem.

from George Hirst: Magnetic Island News: Poem by Gavin Ryan

Some of the most telling poetry being written in our country today has to do with the smallest and briefest of pleasures. Here Marie Howe of New York captures a magical moment: sitting in the shelter of a leafy tree with the rain falling all around.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 066

The place where fable meets everyday material, the similar place where pattern meets particular details: both characterize an engaging poem by Donald Hall, the newly appointed poet laureate of the United States.

Ox Cart Man

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

Now and Then by Sophie Hannah

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Now and Then by Sophie Hannah

I was not expecting such magical poems, full of life-blood and colour. There are stunning lines that will haunt me, such as Rosie Blagg's "egg with no shell ­/just a thin skin, so it trembled/in my hand", Sheila Black's "unbuttoning me from/inside", and Sabyasachi Nag's quieter but no less effective "the air will be naked soon" just to name three.

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Ut pictura poesis

After Reading Some Tales of the Hindu Gods
by Billy Collins

from Guernica: Poetry: After Reading Some Tales of the Hindu Gods

From a Distance
By Curtis D. Bennett

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

Put Down the Government Rag:
(tune borrowed from Allen Ginsberg)
by Dan Wilcox

from MR Zine: Put Down the Government Rag

The Wal-Mart Parking Lot out of Greenwood, Mississippi

[by Joe Wilkins]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

Whereas a song, you know, you've got a tempo. You know, you've got something that is moving swiftly. You can't stop it, you know? And it's designed to move swiftly from, you know, mouth to mouth, heart to heart, where a poem really speaks to something that has no time and that is--it's a completely different perception. [--Leonard Cohen]

from PBS: Newshour: Songwriter Leonard Cohen Discusses Fame, Poetry and Getting Older

Carrie Reed, a recent participant in the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program's What is Home project, read a poem at the June Poetry Hoot's Open Mic that perfectly meets Frost's criteria. Her poem not only captures a moment, telling us a story, but is also a simple and evocative expression of emotions felt by so many parents of teenagers.

from Portsmouth Herald News: Spotlight Poems from the Hoot

"Over Drinks"
By Stanley Moss

from Slate: "Over Drinks" By Stanley Moss

Camp Stone Tetherball
Abby Glogower

from Zeek: Camp Stone Tetherball: Abby Glogower

Shin Shifra

from Zeek: Summer Shin Shifra

Poetic Obituaries

Although Melanie [Boyd] joked about marrying well and becoming a "domestic goddess", she was intelligent and dreamed of becoming a journalist.

"Her room consisted of all these bits and pieces of paper," Julie [her mother] said. "Whatever she liked or disliked, she wrote in letters and poems. I was constantly finding these poems."

from The Sunday Mail: Let her death be a lesson to kids

While some of us live on a bit longer through our written thoughts, poets live on even longer.

Bill Bresnick was a poet who lived every day of his life for the betterment of his town, his state, his nation, his friends and his family.

from Ashland Tab: Poets never die

[Kathleen Burson] "really valued and respected children as human beings."

Ms. Burson was also enormously creative. She wrote poetry, was an avid gardener, played the guitar and the piano, and composed piano solos.

from The Mercury News: Kathleen Burson, De Anza expert in child education

[Frans] Claerhout started painting in 1958 and held his first solo exhibition three years later. At first, Flemish artistic influences were evident in the colour and atmosphere of his paintings.

He also authored several books, including four works of poetry.

from SABC News: World renowned Flemish artist dies

"He loved to write poetry. He played the keyboard by ear and banged on his bongo drums when working on a song."

Despite songwriting success, [Willie] Denson played it safe, working more than 30 years for the U.S. Postal Service.

from Ledger-Enquirer: Doo wop hit writer dies at 69

[Jeanne Fischer] wrote book reviews for the Pioneer Press and gave book talks well into her 80s. Her enthusiasm earned her the 2000 Minnesota Book Awards' Kay Sexton award for outstanding contributions to the local literary community.

from Pioneer Press: Jeanne Fischer, 96, library supporter and book lover

In a statement, Claire [Gill]'s family--including her parents John and Fiona--said:

"Claire excelled at school where she was a naturally-talented student. She achieved outstanding results as well as making major contributions in music, poetry and public speaking.

"Claire was a beautiful daughter who was a shining star to her family and friends."

from Convent Girl, 13, Found Hanged in School Toilets

Still, his family says, none of [Lloyd Eric] Johnson's foibles should have justified what happened next. According to his mother, Catherine Johnson of Yucaipa, Eric's ashes were turned over to a former friend with whom he had a falling out, and she summarily dumped them in a river in Washington state.

from San Bernardino County Sun: Mother loses chance to bury son in family plot

"He was a poet," said longtime friend Francis Chiappetta of Beaver Falls. Luger not only wrote his own poetry but recited other poems.

"He would tell you poems like 'The Raven,' all of it," Chiappetta said and laughed as he recalled his friend's recitation of the notoriously long Edgar Allan Poe poem.

from Beaver County Times Allegheny Times: Luger was meat processor and poet

Dottie Thornburgh, veteran reporter and editor for the News & Eagle, died Sunday at the age of 74.

Thornburgh died at her home after a long battle with cancer.

from The Enid News & Eagle: Veteran News & Eagle writer, editor dies at 74


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