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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


News at Eleven

[Jennifer Maiden] wrote a sonnet, Positional Asphyxia, in response to the death of 27 Lebanese when the Israelis bombed Cana. "It's the idea of being trapped and being unable to emancipate oneself."

from The Age: Life and a Maiden

The screenwriter and novelist Sheila Hayman, who has coordinated Write to Life for more than two years as a volunteer, says: "The people in the group come in smiley and cheerful but that, in a way, is a coping device. They have all had the most horrendous experiences in their lives and in a sense have had living nightmares."

from The Guardian: Taking control of the ghosts

He should return the Nobel Prize for Literature. The accusation of hypocrisy, if only partial, is undeniable.

[Gunter] Grass has always admitted his Nazi affiliation in the context of a nationalistic family, society and the belief in truths which he subsequently had revealed to him as fundamental falsehoods.

from The Northern Echo: Has Grass come clean too late?

The poet, who was born 100 years ago today, never penned the note.

The telltale sign that the letter is a joke is that the capital letters at the start of each sentence spell out "A N Wilson is a shit".

from The Guardian: Hoax love letter fools Betjeman biographer

"If you have a gift horse," Indiana Court of Appeals Judge John Baker said during a court hearing Tuesday, you "keep your mouth shut."

from The News-Sentinel: Judge scolds 2 charities for fighting over Lilly family fortune

First published in 1923 in the journal Krasny Flot (Red Fleet), it was reprinted in the 1970 edition of the annual Soviet literary anthology Den' poezii (Poetry Day). It is a moving poem, of which my unrhymed literal translation can only give a hint.

from Stormy Petrel--Anatoli Zhelezniakov

Carol Ann [Duffy] says: The wonderful Romanian poet, Nina Cassian, now in her 70s, is much-loved globally for performances of her own direct, feisty and vulnerable poems. This tiny poem is typical of her work--both ruthlessly honest and funny.

from The Daily Mirror: Yourlife: Poetry Corner

[Andrew] Motion cannot realistically hope to measure up to dear old Betj, let alone to such previous incumbents as Jonson, Dryden or Tennyson, but so far--he was appointed in 1999, so he has four more years in office--he has made a surprisingly good fist of the job.

from The Independent: Andrew Motion: Poetic licence to thrill

Until recently, few have recognised Fergusson's connection to the history of the hospital. But in 1992, the hospital opened the Robert Fergusson Unit, a specialist clinic for the treatment of patients from across Scotland, suffering psychiatric or behavioural problems after a head injury.

from The Scotsman: Poetic madness in Edinburgh's lunatic asylum

[Emma Lazarus] was thought of as being on the lunatic fringe for advocating a Jewish homeland. And there were some people who thought that she was a godless infidel who had a very enlightened and too modern sense of what it meant to be a Jew.

from Nextbook: American Iconoclast

"The world was outraged when the Taliban blew up Buddha statues in Afghanistan," says activist Natalya Chernetsova. "But a similar process of cultural destruction is now going on in central Moscow and no one is doing a thing."

from The Guardian: Shoppers threaten to topple father of Russian literature

Great Regulars

From "the smell of All Day English Breakfast Specials/expanding in the January air" to June's "geraniums . . . bunched and grubby and alive" and the "muck of noise on the Edgware Road" in "grey September", he [Tobias Hill] delivers the city to us in a series of sensual, impressionistic vignettes that thrum with oppositions.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: London, light and love

[Nancy Nielson's] dogs help her hold the line between the great wilderness and her small, carved-out niche of gardens. Her poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal and in her chapbook, ?Fencing Wildness.?

Field Keeping

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: In the late summer meadows

Even Thomas Jefferson showed disdain for Phillis? writing; in his Notes on the State of Virginia, he remarked, "Religion indeed has produced a Phyllis Whately [sic] but it could not produce a poet. The compositions published under her name are below the dignity of criticism."

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: America's First African-American Poet--Phillis Wheatley

Indeed, one of the significant accomplishments of [Wendy] Salinger's narrative is that it ventriloquizes so successfully, speaking not only in the voice of the misogynistic and limitlessly narcissistic father ("Shut up. You don't care about the pain in my gut or the pain in my head or the pain in my neck, which is what you are. So just shut up. I'm warning you"), but also in the voices of the silenced females. . . .

from Karl Kirchwey: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Poetic memoir tells of torn loyalty to an abusive father

Of taking long walks it has been said that a person can walk off anything. Here David Mason hikes a mountain in his home state, Colorado, and steps away from an undisclosed personal loss into another state, one of healing.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 074 (pdf)

Or sometimes there is reason to do the opposite, letting two different kinds of nuance, basically irrelevant to each other, fuse or collide. That can be a way of discovering meaning or expressing feeling. Suji Kwock Kim does this in a poem that comes out of the long, cruel Japanese occupation of Korea:


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

The Azure-Vermilion Tangle

by Shawna Lemay

from Edmonton Journal: The Poetry Project: The Azure-Vermilion Tangle

A God by Paul Farley

from The Guardian: Original poetry: A God by Paul Farley

'Found Poem: Rural Route 20, Oklahoma'

By Jan Sokoloff Harness

from The Kansas City Star: Poet's Corner: 'Found Poem: Rural Route 20, Oklahoma'

The Smallest Light

By Susan Waldo Simmons

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

Elegy: Airport
by Kevin Prufer

from The New Republic: Poem: Elegy: Airport

[by Wendy Swanson]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

"Self-Portrait in 1969 (Summer)"
By David Roderick

from Slate: "Self-Portrait in 1969 (Summer)" By David Roderick

Poetic Obituaries

Betty T. Bennett, a literature professor at American University who was a leading authority on the life of "Frankenstein" author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and her circle of friends, died of lung cancer Aug. 12 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. She was 71.

from The Washington Post: AU Dean, Professor Betty Bennett, 71

Looking up, they'll remember how Dr. Gladys Conrad, their amazing mom, basked in the ocean breezes freshening her open balcony.

Then the sisters, wearing their mother's hats, will carry flowers to the beach. They'll sit for a while and read Gladys' poems.

from The Union-Tribune: Daughters reach out in hopes of solving mother's killing

Silva Kaputikian was laureate of a number of literary awards. In 1998 Cambridge International Geographic Institute awarded her the title of "Woman of the Year".

from Armenia Diaspora: Armenian Poetess Silva Kaputikian Passess Away

[K. Ayyappa Panicker] was one of the harbingers of modernism into Malayalam poetry. He was a teacher with a huge fan following and had played a major role in transforming Malayalam theatre, which had got stuck in the proscenium mode.

from The Hindu: A lonely traveller's journey ends

Dr. [Raymond H.] Reno taught English literature at Georgetown for 37 years, with a specialty in the plays of William Shakespeare and other Elizabethan dramatists as well as the epic poetry of John Milton.

He was considered an innovative teacher who devised new ways to draw students into classroom activities.

from The Washington Post: GU Professor, Actor Raymond H. Reno, 82

Renowned laureate of Navodaya period in Kannada literature B R Vaadappi (92) passed away here on Thursday morning at his residence.

from Newindpress: Laureate Vadappi passes away

[Paul van Vlissingen] set aside time every day for reading and for writing. He published some of his poetry and his reflections on life, as well as books of photographs taken by his friends of issues and places he found important.

from The Times: Paul van Vlissingen


News at Eleven

Is it, then, possible to learn to become a poet?

from Western Mail: Surprise yourself with poetry

Poets use rhyme all the time: half-rhyme, internal rhyme, broken rhyme, leonine rhyme, chain rhyme, random rhyme and vowels echoing intimately from inside one line across to the next.

Too bad: the real rallying flag for the rhyme police is end rhyme in a rhyming scheme.

from The Guardian: No rhyme or reason

[John Betjeman] sucked up to the aristocracy, thrilled at the smell of slum poverty and mocked the ghastly good taste of the middle classes in rum-ti-tum verses of rhyming Victorian pastiche.

from Telegraph: A tribute to the poet of privet hedges

That Scotland now has the cultural confidence to teach its own literature in schools and universities is some acknowledgement of [Hugh] MacDiarmid's desire for full Scottish self-expression and, however much he may have despaired of the current devolved Parliament with its limited powers, his has been the loudest voice for Scottish self-determination in the modern era.

from The Scotsman: Of poetry and politics: MacDiarmid's vision of Scotland

Fewer than one per cent of all poets published by the mainstream poetry presses in Britain are black or Asian. You'd think it was the 1940s or 1950s but no, it's the 21st century.

from The Independent: We've had enough of Greek myths

Although this editing job is unpaid, Jacket is considered one of the best publications of its type anywhere, The Guardian calling it "the prince of online magazines".

As mainstream publishers retreat from publishing poetry, Jacket, [John] Tranter contends, "has a huge impact" on the poetry world.

from The Australian: Original of his generation

Kakamurad Ballyev, former press secretary of the President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov, was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment. Ballyev's became the only trial in a whole series of trials of senior officials of the Turkmen state Tashkent kept under the lid.

from Ferghana.Ru: Saparmurat Niyazov's former press secretary sentenced to 17 years imprisonment

[Lorie] Nicholson-Tennant, 25, returned to her Hollywood home late on the night of August 25, 2004, after a poetry reading. A few hours later, her mother found her stabbed and her throat slit.

from The Miami Herald: Nicholson gets life for killing ex-wife

There was a sliding door into her laundry,
a drier's Coke-bottle eye. The crack
of her bust rode up as the door rolled shut behind.
In close-up, lipstick stuck to her teeth like food.

And so on, until it becomes a secret that must be kept close to the chest until the boy becomes a poet.

from The Australian: Necessary Evil

While Enid [Wilkinson] was doing her homework at the kitchen table, [Ted] Hughes, then 19, noticed an exercise book into which she had copied her favourite romantic poems.

"Ted picked up the book and said, 'Shall I write you one of my poems?'," Enid recalled last week.

from The Sunday Times: Found after 50 years: first love poems of Ted Hughes

When Hank Boerner paid a dollar for an old, used book he found in 1990 while on vacation at a Vermont resort, he didn?t pay any attention to the penciled inscription on the inside of the front cover.

from Lawrence Journal-World: Recently found poem reveals sister?s tribute

Great Regulars

Louis Bayard, the author of "Mr. Timothy," a novel that imagines Tiny Tim as a 23-year-old living in a London brothel, follows that success with "The Pale Blue Eye," a delightful novel that plants Poe firmly on the plains of West Point in 1830 and presses him into service helping a retired detective solve a murder.

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: 'Pale' tells a vivid tale of Poe

In writing elegies for each other, poets honor the fundamental nature of poetry--the labor and shimmer of language, the made thing.


in memory of Ted Hughes

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: The elegy between poets enshrines verse for eternity

With this outstanding volume, his [Matthew Francis's] place among contemporary British poetry's aristocracy is confirmed.

Each poem in this brief, beautiful book conforms to the same strict template: a 45-syllable sestet in which the lines, declining in length from 13 syllables to four, enact the sense of distillation, of homing in, that is a crucial feature of these poems.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Flashes of light

According to the existing curriculum, 11- to 14-year-olds must study eight major poets, four major fiction writers and "drama by major playwrights". Of the fiction writers, half must have been published before 1914, and half afterwards.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Culture Vulture: Brave new works

Oddly, [Keith F.] Collins does not read much poetry. "I'm not a huge poetry reader, I actually enjoy writing them more," he admits. "I have read numerous baseball poems, and among my favorites is 'The Base Stealer' by Robert Francis."

from Bill Diskin: York Daily Record: Poetryork: The poetry of baseball

[Anne Mullin's] poems have appeared in many poetry journals and anthologies, and her chapbooks include Women Who Know Too Much, Women Who Know More Than Enough, and Two Friends Blend, with co-poet Mary Alice Boulter of Pocatello.

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: A summer's afternoon at the sea

The self-effacing remark that he was "sometimes a Poetaster" no doubt sheds some light on Thoreau's reputation as a poet?that attitude coupled with the fact that he did write fewer poems than essays. But on the other hand, Thoreau probably considered all of writing "poetry" in the larger sense of the word, that is, "maker."

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Sometimes a Poetaster--Henry David Thoreau

Poetry vs media
[by Franz Huber]

from George Hirst: Magnetic Island News: Poetry vs media

So for Maggie Dietz to call a poem in her first book "North of Boston" is like an unknown jumping into the ring with the heavyweight champ; you worry not about who's going to win but whether the newcomer will end up on the canvas or in the cheap seats.

from The New York Times: David Kirby: Dreams, Trees, Grief

Those who survived the Great Depression of the 1930s have a tough, no-nonsense take on what work is. If when I was young I'd told my father I was looking for fulfilling work, he would have looked at me as if I'd just arrived from Mars. Here the Pennsylvania poet, Jan Beatty, takes on the voice of her father to illustrate the thinking of a generation of Americans.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 072

Those of us who have planted trees and shrubs know well that moment when the last spade full of earth is packed around the root ball and patted or stamped into place and we stand back and wish the young plant good fortune. Here the poet Roy Scheele offers us a few well-chosen words we can use the next time.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 073

That quiet, rapt attention has a lot to do with writing: The sunlight spills like "gilt/on onionskin"--which I take to mean both the actual skin of an onion and the thin paper named after it. And [Peter] Balakian's final line, again using the verb "spill," brings Thoreau's astringent kind of whimsy to the writer's urge or need to write.

from Robert Pinsky: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice (August 13th)

But [Ogden] Nash's sensibility has a bleak, sour quality that is not the stuff of popular music. Many of us think of him only as a charming, inventive and carefree goofer. It's surprising and maybe a little shocking to read this poem:

Old Men

from Robert Pinsky: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice (August 20th)

We learn from Dr. [S.] Kalyanaraman's Himalayan effort that language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous works of unconscious generations. Language exists to communicate whatever it can communicate. Language is itself the collective art of expression, a summary of thousands upon thousands of individual intuitions.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Trials, tribulations & triumph of a cultural archeaologist--I

Language contains so faithful a record of the good and of the evil which in time past have been working in the minds and hearts of men, we shall not err, if we regard it as a moral barometer indicating and permanently marking the rise or fall of a nation's life.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Trials, tribulations & triumph of a cultural archaeologist--II

Death by Andrew McNeillie

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Death by Andrew McNeillie

The Relics by John Fuller

from The Guardian: Original poetry: The Relics by John Fuller

The poem takes its pace from the heat of the afternoon: unfolding slowly with a description of the cat "boneless on the hot stones of the drive", leading in a lovely soundscape of assonance and lulling iambics to the poet's discovery of the tick, "a tiny purple aubergine" (brilliant image!) in her coat.

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Animal magic

First I'd like you to think of a problem - the kind that keeps you awake at night and stays for breakfast. It could be a worry-bead problem, or something you wonder about; a doubt you live with; an anxiety you know like the back of your hand; a question you've gone over so many times the path's worn bare.

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Kate Bingham's workshop

[Polly Brown] has also received awards for her writing from the Worcester County Poetry Association and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. Polly's first collection of poetry, Blue Heron Stone was published in 2000 by Every Other Thursday Press. Her poem "Bean Morning" can be found in this collection.

from The Hopkinton Crier: Poem Prescription


By Xin Liu

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase (August 13th)

Going Home

By Ronda Miller

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase (August 20th)

I Come and Stand at Every Door
by Nâzim Hikmet Ran

from MR Zine: Nâzim Hikmet Ran, "I Come and Stand at Every Door"

The Solution
Bertolt Brecht

from MR Zine: Bertolt Brecht, "The Solution"

Slavery Now
by Stew Albert

from MR Zine: Stew Albert, "Slavery Now"

by Federico García Lorca

from Poem of the Saeta

The Way

from The New Republic: Poem: Two Poems by Federico García Lorca

by Leon de la Rosa

Screens and Clicks

from Newpaper Tree: Poetry

We Invite the Fourth-Grade
[by Kim Stafford]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

Alberto Rios: I've collaborated with many artists over the years doing these poems of public purpose. Karla Elling, for example, who's a fine-letter press printer, she helped me actually physicalize a project that's called "Words over Water" around Tempe Town Lake. It's 600 granite tiles, six miles long.

from PBS: Newshour: Poet's New Work Chronicles a Couple's Life

"Removed at the Moment of Perfection"
By Timothy Liu

from Slate: "Removed at the Moment of Perfection" By Timothy Liu

"December 12, 1884: George Cooke"
Laramie, Wyoming
By Jill McDonough

from Slate: "December 12, 1884: George Cooke" By Jill McDonough

Poetic Obituaries

The reason for suicide is not yet known.

[Mitralal 'Balak'] Adhikari jumped off the Dharahara despite efforts of security guard to save him.

from The Himalayan Times: 42-year-old Man Jumps to Death From Dharahara

He was a visionary and entrepreneur; a man who turned his dream into reality and gave the Town of Whitby worldwide popularity. But his family says Len Cullen would have called himself "just a gardener."

from Durham Region News: Cullen Gardens founder dies

Latterly, in retirement, he [John Downie] turned his pen to poetry. But it was for his honest and clear rugby reports and comments that he will be most remembered.

from The Herald: John Downie

"She was still quoting poetry," William Hofelt said. "We would start a line from a poem and she would finish it. It was one of the most delightful times we had with her."

Respected by peers, revered by students and loved by both, [Esther M.] Doyle died Friday at The Oaks at Westminster Woods in Huntingdon.

from Altoona Mirror: 'She was still quoting poetry': Longtime Juniata College professor dies at 96

[Army Spc. Rogelio R.] Garza was the only son in a family with two older sisters and two younger sisters.

"He loved to write poetry and draw pictures and, like any boy, he was into video games," Jessica Garza said.

from KRIS: Corpus Christi soldier remembered as protective brother

That same year he ran in the Democratic mayoral primary but lost to Ed Koch.

"He was one of the best-read, most-informed people I've ever known," [James] Ballinger said.

Besides magazine publishing, [Joel] Harnett wrote poetry and political books.

from The Arizona Republic: Philanthropist helped create city's 'footprint'

[Dallas Grant Hempstead, a] troubled poet who was stabbed and fled his central Stockton apartment Sunday spilled blood at his front door, on a fence he climbed and on the spot where he died.

from The Record: Family describes slain man as gifted singer, poet

Mazizi Kunene, who died last week aged 76, was hailed as one of South Africa's leading poets, and indeed Africa's, having been declared the continent's poet laureate by Unesco in 1993.

from Mail & Guardian: Return to the ancestors

Jennie [Lopes] was formerly employed as a sales representative for Southern Bell in Atlanta.

A free-spirited person, she loved sports, dancing, shopping, and fashion. She enjoyed writing stories and poetry.

from The Standard-Times: Jennie O. Lopes

While Pak Majid did not make a mark as a writer, he too wrote poetry and articles. It was Pak Majid who noticed his friend's penchant and talent for writing.

from New Straits Times: Point Blank: Tale of a friendship cloaked in reticence

"You could take the most obscure poem, read it and read it and not understand, and then she could take it and help you understand," [Reba] Campbell said. "She was a marvel at making a poem come alive."

[Ann] Miller also wrote poetry and was putting the finishing touches on a poem when she died, Campbell said.

from The Waco Tribune-Herald: Friends mourn 'the best of old Baylor'

Renowned Egyptian author and Poet, Dr. Ahmed Mustajir passed away on Wednesday following a brain clot which he suffered while watching scenes of brutal carnage committed by the Israeli forces in Lebanon.

from Bahrain News Agency: Egyptian poet passes away

[Mike E.] Papageorge owned and operated Wareham Fruit; he also was the proprietor of Bryant's Farm. He also worked for Decas Brothers, and was a carpenter, fisherman and poet.

from The Standard-Times: Mike E. Papageorge, 90

Rahman, one of Bangladesh's most acclaimed poets, died on Thursday after being in a coma for more than a week. He suffered kidney and liver failure.

from BBC News: Thousands mourn Bangladeshi poet

Arlene Raven, an art historian, critic and educator who helped transform feminist outrage into the Woman's Building, an iconoclastic Los Angeles institution that for 18 years was a magnet for women seeking to produce art on their own terms, died of cancer Aug. 1 at her home in Brooklyn, N.Y.

from The Los Angeles Times: Arlene Raven, 62; Established L.A. Center to Support Female Artists

[James Taft Robinson Sr.] enjoyed reading black history, treasuring the works of Maya Angelou, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

"When he wasn't extinguishing a fire, calculating water pressure or helping to save a life, he was a caring intellectual with his pen," [Levi] Thomas said.

from The Miami Herald: Dedicated 28 years to Dade fire department

[James Sadler's] reputation as a hair stylist spread far beyond Tampa.

Six years ago, he was featured on a makeover show on TLC.

Apart from his work, friends and family remembered Mr. Sadler as a man with a passion for music, poetry and people.

from Brandon Times: Singer, hair stylist dies at 37

[Tevis] Shaw, a 2004 graduate of Lafayette High School, was a sous-chef at Bellini's restaurant and was to start attending classes at the University of Kentucky on Wednesday.

"He played guitar and he was a good writer," said his mother, Katherine Shaw of Lexington. He wrote poetry, but usually didn't show his poems to others, she said.

from Lexington Herald-Leader: Lexington man dies in fall from gorge cliff

[Derek Lee] Slinger qualified for his Eagle Scout badge--and the coloring book ended up being distributed to 20,000 patients in 50 children's hospitals.

from Editor and Publisher: Eagle Scout Helped By Universal Cartoonists Dies at 19

[Walter] Sullivan's relationship with Tate, Warren and the other writers of the Fugitive and Agrarian movements was based in a common dedication to the literary and cultural traditions of the South, which became increasingly threatened in the 20th century, said Vanderbilt professor Mark Jarman.

from The Tennessean: Author, Southern literary critic, professor Walter Sullivan dies

Tributes have poured in for the 50-year-old disabled shot put and discus star, Tanya Swanepoel, who passed away in Helderberg Hospice on Sunday, June 30, after losing her battle against cancer.

from District Mail: Tanya loses battle against cancer

Rob Wales loved football, literature and Grand Funk Railroad. But teaching was his passion.

from The Daily Herald: He taught about life

[Jeff Walsh] wrote a poem, got permission from his superiors and shared it with readers of the Leader-Post in February, when he was training for a second deployment to Afghanistan--the professional soldier as poet.

from Regina Leader-Post: Regina soldier dies in weapons accident


News at Eleven

All of these themes are also present in The Master Builder, if in different proportions--Ibsen and Hardy's viewpoints being not just similar but the same.

from The Times Literary Supplement: Creative connections between Hardy and Ibsen

"When she finished reading," recalled Tinesha Davis, a Waldorf poet in the audience, "there was a brief moment of silence. Then there was that 'wow.' "

The young poet [Trenise Robinson]--not unlike William Carlos Williams, the famed poet-doctor of New Jersey--majored in biology in college.

from The Washington Post: In a Young Writer's Verse, a Ruined City's Sorrow

Take the following short poem, which appears near the end of the new collection:

Red Scarf

from The Washington Post: Transcendence

The way she [Wislawa Szymborska] writes is at odds with many prevalent standards these days. She triumphs over them, utterly. That shows how good she is, and how dumb the standards are.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Poet does it all 'wrong,' but she's so right

I am wholly, and to use a word that I just used before, passionately, in favor of free speech in all its forms. I am completely and utterly slavishly committed to free speech and I think that anything less--one iota less--erodes democracy and that means that I am in favor of people being allowed to say anything. [--Molly Peacock]

from Bookslut: An Interview with Molly Peacock

I was right to be careful. When I went on trial in 2003, several people I knew, who turned out to be agents, testified against me.

As predicted, my family had a difficult time when it became known I was a dissenter.

from BBC News: Cuba dissident: 'Fear is everywhere'

It is a vicious, below-the-belt skirmish in Australia's poetry wars.

The poet John Kinsella was due to speak about the writing of memoir at the Byron Bay Writers Festival last weekend.

from The Sydney Morning Herald: War, blood, courts: it's poets at arms

Full Moon Over Falluja
By Eliot Katz

from CounterPunch: Poets' Basement: Katz and Davies

Homer's "rosy-fingered dawn" and "wine-dark sea" are themselves the first dawn and first-sighted sea of a new world of poetry: the effulgence, inspired and inspiring, of a new way of seeing and saying. All we read today would be unwritable without the "love," "death" and "dark" that come to us in the first book of the "Iliad."

from The New York Times: On Baricco's Homer

Against what he [William Empson] took to be the prevailing modern orthodoxy of Symbolist poetry--'the main rule is that a poet must never say what he wants to say directly . . . he must invent a way of hinting at it by metaphors, which are then called images'--he promoted what he called 'argufying' in poetry, 'the kind of arguing we do in ordinary life, usually to get our own way'.

from London Review of Books: No reason for not asking

And the beautiful thing about writing is that once you write it down, then you can share it. You know? You can send it to somebody, or post in on your refrigerator. [--Lawson Inada]

from Oregon Public Broadcasting: An Interview With Oregon Poet Laureate Lawson Inada

Great Regulars

"I wanted to work with the boundaries of language," he [Ivan Doig] said. "I'm never going to be Yeats, where he has everything working just right in a poem, but I was determined to try to get that feeling in prose."

Doig rewrote the first page and a half of "This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind" at least 75 times.

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: Finding rhythm of remembering

And though he [Robert Hess] can articulate all of these sources of inspiration, he can't always explain where his poetry actually originates.

"I do believe in mystical experience, and sometimes poems just come to me and I don't feel they are mine," Hess explains. "I've had these experiences since I was a small boy and feel a responsibility to share them."

from Bill Diskin: York Daily Record: Poetryork: Poet seeks truth through poetry

[Candice Stover] sent them with a note so beautiful I have to include an excerpt as well.

"The hydrangea heads sprawl drenched and extravagant along the vegetable garden, the sky looks moody with thunderstorms brewing inland and off the water, and my skin still feels the lusciousness of a swim stolen mid-day in the pond. How does this summer night find you?"

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: Condensing sweetness of summer into short treasures of poems

William Carlos Williams, one of our country's most influential poets and a New Jersey physician, taught us to celebrate daily life. Here Albert Garcia offers us the simple pleasures and modest mysteries of a single summer day.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 071

Imaginative details such as the buzzing little finger, the three kinds of wire, unexpected adjectives like "diamondhead"--because they come to the reader partly through Billie's consciousness--create an intimacy, a shared viewpoint or imagining. The poet's art, by being so closely attentive, is generous to its desperate characters.

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

The Relics by John Fuller

from The Guardian: Original poetry: The Relics by John Fuller

Katherine Beattie's poetry focused on the everyday course of events from the 1940's which included observations about raising children, caring for a home and family and losing a brother to war. Some of the language and content of her poems take the reader back in time, while some of the issues are just as relevant today as they were 65 years ago.

To a Gold Star Mother

By Katherine Beattie

from The Hopkinton Crier: Poem Prescription

Mom and Apple Pie

By Florence Smith

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

Machine Visions
by F. Daniel Rzicznek

from The New Republic: Poem: Machine Visions

by P.C. McKinnon

This poem is dedicated to Trinidad Sanchez, Jr., internationally recognized poet, who passed away in San Antonio on July 30.

What's In A Poem?
For Trino

from Newpaper Tree: Poetry

[by Carlos Reyes]

from The Oregonian: Poetry: Bridges

By Bruce Smith

from Slate: "Contraband" By Bruce Smith

Poetic Obituaries

Literature was a lifelong interest and she [Elspet Grant Cameron] was an enthusiast for poetry societies, Burns gatherings and was a consistent champion of the Scots language.

from The Herald: Elspet Grant Cameron

After he was imprisoned at Huntsville in 1977 for assault with a deadly weapon, [Henry Ray] Clark signed up for an art class. He drew with green, black and red ball point pens on any scrap of paper he could find--envelopes to prison menus.

from Houston Chronicle: Art turned around a troubled life

Carlos A. Cortez, through his labor-oriented art and writings that helped bring international attention to Mexicans and other native peoples, died on Jan. 18 at his home in Chicago. He was 81.

from Northeastern Federation of Anarchist Communists: Carlos A. Cortez dies at 81

[Marguerite "Peggy" (Bacon) Nolfi] Cseplo died Aug. 4, 2006, at her daughter's residence.

Born May 13, 1934, in Marion, she had lived in Highland Heights before moving to the Chardon area 30 years ago.

She published poetry and was a folly dancer.

from News-Herald: Marguerite "Peggy" (Bacon) Nolfi Cseplo

Born in Romania in 1928, this former Prisoner of Zion [Ezra Fleischer] immigrated to Israel in 1960 with his wife, becoming a poet, a distinguished scholar, a gifted author, a teacher and a true sage. His is a life that proves it is possible to combine scholarship and solid, unshakable humanity--a rare synthesis that we like to call wisdom.

from Haaretz: A rare synthesis called wisdom

[Robert J.] Foster was the author of many books, including mystery novels, poetry volumes and children's stories. He also wrote a musical comedy, Three Cheers for Me, which he produced and directed as the Elgin High School fall musical in 1976. His most recent poetry book, Nipping Leaves, was published in 1987.

from The Courier News: Elgin teacher/author Foster dies

Cecily Mackworth, who has died aged 94, was a writer, traveller, war correspondent and rebel. Her friendships included Ivy Compton Burnett, Nancy Cunard, Stevie Smith, Dylan Thomas, Tristan Tzara, Lawrence Durrell, David Gascoyne, Natalie Sarraute, and Conchita de Saint-Exupéry.

from The Guardian: Cecily Mackworth

As with this poem, [Richard E.] McMullen's work not only revolved around Milan but also the people he encountered in it. He was a teacher in local schools from 1956 until retiring in 1988. Students often remarked to his family that he was the best teacher they had and an inspiration to start writing.

from The Milan News-Leader: City's only poet laureate passes

Man is born and then he dies, but some become immortal. The Nepali Folk poet Ali Miyan, who died at the age of 89 on Aug 3, is one of that latter number.

He passed away after 8.30 p.m. at the house of his eldest son Hanif Miyan at Miyanpatan in Pokhara.

from Ohmy News: Nepal Mourns Ali Miyan


News at Eleven

Poet and performer Louise Bennett-Coverley ("Miss Lou"), who has died aged 86, was one of the most influential figures in Jamaican culture. A champion of Jamaican Creole, she was a patriot committed to correcting the colonial legacy of self-contempt and she cleared the way for others by demonstrating that Jamaican Creole could be the medium of significant art.

from The Guardian: Louise Bennett-Coverley

"I think the main reason for shutting my blog was that I placed a photo of His Holiness [the Dalai Lama] in my blog. I also composed a poem wishing him long life on July 6, and offered a [butter] lamp. Chinese authorities don?t like such things," she [Woeser] said.

from Radio Free Asia: Banned, Blocked Tibetan Writer Wows to Speak Out in China

The ritual--his ritual--comforted me and taught me that much of the importance of prayer is in the music, the repetition, the performative act of asking, rather than receiving an answer.

The first time I mistook it for a headache--

from The News & Observer: My Husband Saying Kaddish

'I have paid death one of my Children for my Ransome,' he [John Donne] wrote bleakly, describing his recovery from fever to a friend, and adding an apologetic postscript: 'Because I loved it well, I make account that I dignifie the memorie of it, by mentioning of it to you.' The 'it' in this sombre letter was, as Stubbs points out, three-year-old Mary Donne.

from The Observer: The apostate poet

Norman Buckley took more than 400 ancient books, posters and other items from his lib-rary shelves.

His haul included a 16th century edition of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer worth £35,000 and a 1654 publication of poems by John Donne.

from The Sun: Librarian's a tome raider

Another crucial part of poetry, says [Ted] Kooser, is immersing oneself in all the wonderful poems already out there.

"Nearly every poem that fails testifies to its author's lack of self-education by reading other poetry," he says.

from The Upper Cape Codder: Kooser's policy: Stay true to poetry

[Louise] Glück is too much of a poet not to recognize that candor, in poetry, means the impression, or perhaps the illusion, of candor--that candor is no more immune to artifice than any other kind of poetic rhetoric.

Even so, there are different kinds of illusion, different inflections that the poet can choose to give to the appearance of honesty.

from The New Republic: The Myth of Me

So unsolicited submissions are actually read?

Oh yeah. The unsolicited stuff, the "pure slush," as it's called, all gets read twice actually. But other times it's us going out and asking writers what they're up to, going to people whom we admire, or projects we've heard about.

from The Villager: Philip Gourevitch, the new face of The Paris Review

"I think he was out front when I was peeking in the side," [Elizabeth] Murphy said.

Still, Murphy thinks that her identity doesn't matter. The box itself is the editor and makes the decisions about what gets published: "You submitted, I'm including it."

from The Boston Globe: Poetry promoter says if you submit it, she'll publish it

[Virginia Heatter] said using the Web also affords them the opportunity to include an audio component wherein browsers can hear poetry read by the poets. It's the section of the review on which they have received the most favorable feedback.

from The Nashua Telegraph: Poets have statewide outlet thanks to New Hampshire Review

This wish--to visit an unfamiliar place solely to gain an unfamiliar perspective on the world--has afforded Petrarch a nomination in various histories as the first mountaineer, and as a pioneer of sightseeing.

from The New York Times: In Provence, Honoring a Poet at 6,263 Feet

Great Regulars

A third of those surveyed said that they "would consider flirting with someone based on their choice of literature". It's finally official, people. Reading is hot.

But before you trip off to the park clad in your most fetching sun hat and clutching your copy of the latest Jilly Cooper--be warned.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: I bet you look good in the book store

"Beside the garden walls,
We walk in haunts of ancient peace.
At night we rest and go to sleep
In haunts of ancient peace . . .
The holy grail we seek
On down by haunts of ancient peace.
We seek the new Jerusalem
In haunts of ancient peace."

They could be the words of a bard of yore, but they are lyrics from Van Morrison's "Haunts of Ancient Peace," from his 1980 album, "Common One."

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Van Morrison enjoys creative longevity

As poet laureate, in addition to the official bicentennial poem of Tennessee, [Margaret Britton] Vaughn wrote "Mr. Tennessee Music Man," the official poem for the Tennessee state quarter, released by U.S. Mint in 2002. She also penned the governor's inaugural poem, and a poem celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Air Force.

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Tennessee State Poet Laureate--Maggi Vaughn

"I've spent a bit of time leafing through my fifty-cents (and two dollar!) exercise books and can't find anything worth sending. However, my mind keeps going back to a short one, several years old, that still speaks to me." [--Rando Wood]


from George Hirst: Magnetic Island News: Poem by Rando Wood

As a man I'll never gain the wisdom Sharon Olds expresses in this poem about motherhood, but one of the reasons poetry is essential is that it can take us so far into someone else's experience that we feel it's our own.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 070

Here are two contemporary poets, one Irish and one American, continuing what may be a universal gesture of poetry, registering a season with details that also present a feeling. Stanley Plumly refers to a world of American summers and a world of losses, with the word "say" meaning both "for example" and the act of naming, in "Say Summer/ For My Mother":

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

Hydra by Todd Swift

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Hydra by Todd Swift


By Larry Rochelle

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

by Russell Ragsdale

from MR Zine: Russell Ragsdale, "Unblinking"

The Geese
by Larry Bradley

from The New Republic: Poem: The Geese, a poem

by Carlos Ponce-Meléndez

A lonely night of a lonely life

from Newpaper Tree: Poetry

[by Eleanor Berry]

Your Final July

for Bix

from The Oregonian: Poetry

I have a poem which I'd like to begin with tonight, which really is a poem written to my mother, who lived a very modest and very quiet life on the desert. And she moved her hose around.

This is called "Things Shouldn't Be So Hard."

from PBS: Newshour: Kay Ryan Discusses New Collection of Poems

At a time of grief over the death of a close friend, the world seems changed. In her recent book, "White Sea (Sarabande Books, 2005), Cleopatra Mathis, the featured reader at the November Hoot, explores this theme in elegant and magisterial language. Here is one of the poems she read:

White Morning

from Portsmouth Herald News: Spotlight Poems from the Hoot

"Abanico Habanero"
para mi madre
By Peg Boyers

from Slate: "Abanico Habanero" By Peg Boyers

Now the beautiful boys . . .
Miodrag Kojadinovi

from Zeek: Now the beautiful boys . . .--Miodrag Kojadinovi

Tisha B'Av

Alicia Jo Rabins

from Zeek: Tisha B'Av--Alicia Jo Rabins


[Lisa Marie] Bellear was a stalwart Aboriginal activist, human rights activist, poet, photographer, community radio broadcaster, and PhD student.

from Arts Hub Australia: The Legacy of Lisa Bellear

Miss Lou, Jamaica's premier folklorist, poet, entertainer and comedienne was born in Kingston on September 7, 1919. Famous for her radio shows, which included Laugh with Louise, Miss Lou's Views and The Lou and Ranny Show, she was also celebrated for her television show Ring Ding, which was popular among Jamaican children all across the island in the 1970s.

from Jamaica Observer: Walk good, Miss Lou

[Augusto de] Leon, a teacher of St. Scholastica's Academy, died ten days ago following the road accident where the motorcycle he was riding was hit by one of the cars of the two teen-agers who were allegedly drag racing along Lacson Street in Bacolod City.

from Sun.Star Bacolod: 'Don't grieve for me', says Poy in poem

Ezra Fleischer, a poet and scholar who shed new light on the history of Jewish prayer, died July 25 in Jerusalem.

from Jewish Telegraphic Agency: Israeli poet and scholar dies

Jane Elliott Davis Grant, 91, of Purcellville, an artist and poet and former longtime resident of Washington, D.C., died at home July 23.

from Loudoun Times-Mirror: Jane E.D. Grant, Artist and poet, Purcellville

[Heather K. (Baierl) Jones] worked at Hillside Manor, a children's rehabilitation center for one year. Heather enjoyed writing poetry, loved dancing and was a very faith-filled Christian, belonging to Koinonia Fellowship, East Rochester, N.Y.

from Fond du Lac Reporter: Heather K. (Baierl) Jones

[The Rev. Declan Madden] wrote poetry, including verses for greeting cards, wrote doggerel, loved the occasional salty joke and liked to fish, usually describing a fishing trip with his dentist as "being with the dentist for an extraction."

from Denver Post: Ebullient priest planned career while in 2nd grade

Trinidad Sánchez Jr.--a Chicano poet, author and activist who wrote about race, culture, social issues and even food--died Sunday at Methodist Hospital.
Known as "Trino," the 63-year-old Sánchez had been hospitalized since July 17 after suffering two strokes.

from San Antonio Express-News: Poet Sánchez known for his compassion

[Cassandra Thompson] was going back to Circle K to try to exchange it when the cruiser driven by patrolman Jason Smith struck her.

The accident punctuated a life of "trauma" for the family, her father said.

Thompson described his daughter as "creative and artistic," and said she had won several first place awards for her poetry.

from The Tribune-Chronicle: Family dealing with tragedy


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