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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


News at Eleven

Charles [Longellow] recovered, although his injury affected him long after and the bullet that nicked his spine came one inch from causing permanent paralysis. The relief and gratitude [Henry Wadsworth] Longfellow felt is noted in the poem's final stanza, the one cited in Bush's speech.

But the poem addresses a range of strong feelings and internal conflicts, emanating from the irony and pain Longfellow felt, hearing traditional Christmas bells and comfortably walking the streets near his lavish Cambridge, Mass., home while cannons thundered farther south.

from Burlington Free Press: Jump Cut: War is hell, but inspires deep poetry

[J. Cruickshank Muir] describes the "nightmare" of a vet returning to a society that "has no rituals for reintegrating its weary, wounded warriors." His poems sting with truth and humor, and the ordeal of finding yourself, if you survive. In the poem "Small Minds," Muir sums up in a few profound words one of the saddest effects of war for veterans:

from Santa Barbara Independent: The Poetry of Peace (and War)

So persistently and enthusiastically did he [William Winstanley] drum in the message that by the late 1680s Christmas had taken root again.

Holly and ivy were back. In Winstanley's ideal Christmas, there had to be roaring log fires in every room and an 'especially jolly blaze' in the hall.

"Good, nappy [nut-brown] ale" was to be on tap, and the sideboards should groan with "chines of beef, turkeys, geese, ducks and capons", then "minc'd pies, plumb-puddings and frumenty [a sweet milky porridge seasoned with cinnamon]".

from Daily Mail: William Winstanley: The man who saved Christmas from Cromwell's misery

In "Cradle Song", "pity" brings both private pain and public anxiety to the show, Othello's stricken cry and [Wilfred] Owen's deliberate artistic morality.

Eleanor Clark, whom "Cradle Song" addresses, was the young left-wing American writer with whom [Louis] MacNeice had been in love since 1939 (and in whose company he felt, as he reported in one letter, "timelessly happy").

from The Times Literary Supplement: Louis MacNeice from cradle to grave
also The Times Literary Supplement: Then and Now

Several plainclothes officers seized Yusuf Jumaev and his son, Bobur, and forced them into a car in the capital of Tashkent on Wednesday, said the poet's eldest son, Alisher Jumaev.

In November, Yusuf Jumaev, 50, and his four sons held pickets in the western region of Bukhara, denouncing Karimov for running for a third term despite a two-term limit in the constitution.

from The Standard-Times: Uzbek dissident seized after protest
also The Guardian: Uzbek president returned in election 'farce'

In a first planned protest in her support since controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen fled Kolkata, close to 500 friends and supporters of the exiled Bangladeshi author are holding a protest march in Kolkata demanding that she be allowed entry into the city.

from IBN Live: Taslima supporters hold protest march in Kolkata

Focus for a moment on [Wendy] Cope's argument that it hurts her sales when someone sends one of her poems to their friends. Suppose I email a Cope poem to 10 people, along with a note urging them to read it. Most recipients, presumably, will be neither more nor less likely to buy one of her books as a result.

from The Guardian: theblogbooks: Free verse: getting copyright wrong

"Salvation" becomes "rescue". "My soul thirsteth" becomes "my throat thirsts". "Pavilion" and "tabernacle" are both demoted to "tent".

Some--though not all--fixings-up of this sort are already available in other modern translations, and readers who go for mighty cadences will obviously prefer to stick with the King James Version.

from The Guardian: In the vale of death's shadow

This sense of detachment can, at times, seem clinical, overly abstract, even cold.

But this detached tone also creates a scrim for grief to tear, revealing what is behind the performance. It is when the ability to regard grief from an intellectual standpoint fails and the heartbreaking particulars emerge that this work takes on its greatest force.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Personal tragedy and nature of loss

Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Yeah, a very depressing book, compared to his early writing. I mean, his early writing and On the Road had this gusto for life, this joie de vivre, which is what appealed to Henry Miller in Kerouac's writing. And Miller wanted to meet him. But that's the descriptive passages--On the Road is marvelous, like they're hungry for life. And in a book twenty years later, like On the Road--it's an old tired prose compared to the early writing.

from Democracy Now!: Legendary Beat Generation Bookseller and Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights Books on the 50th Anniversary of Jack Kerouac's “On The Road�, Allen Ginsberg's “Howl� and Poetry As Insurgent Art

[Charles] Wesley understood that hymns establish bridges among people; that they could not only "convict but also bring people to Christ."

What many do not know is that Wesley did not confine his poetic skills to religious hymns and poems. Among his manuscripts is a poem written for his children about horseback riding and another about a cat called Grimalkin.

from The United Methodist News Service: Britain celebrates Charles Wesley's life, legacy

Great Regulars


As I sleep, the cat swallows the Christmas tree's tinsel,

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: More Holiday Verse
also John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Winter lights, winter nights

And when he wheeled about
his bloody neck still bled.
His point was proved. The court
was deadened now with dread.

As delivered by Armitage, the poem's later sections--which concern a journey Gawain must take and his temptation by a mysterious lady--are stronger. Armitage seems more at home with love and wooing than war and hunting.

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Latest translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight trips on its own sword

A pleasure in words alone might be one. I see, for instance, that to describe correctly the elements of the hilt of a rapier, from the blade to the button (the end point of the pommel), you must know and identify the side ring, the ricasso, the quillon block, the forward and the rear quillon, the grip and the knuckle guard.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: A call to arms

He loves his work, and he does not want to taint it by even the appearance of self-absorption.

Anyone who has observed the solipsistic tendencies of some artists realizes the ugly display that such braggadocio engenders.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 39

He muses that even if his work takes all of his love, because of his love, the poem will assuredly be blamed if it deceives itself by taking his loves when the speaker will need his loves to enrich the poem.

The poem can only deplete itself by depleting the speaker.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 40

[Bruce] Wexler, for example, claims that with his busy life of career and mortgage payments, he lost interest in poetry, even after being quite an aficionado in college and even after writing poetry. So what? That he lost interest in poetry doesn't mean everyone has. Such is truly a warped logic.

from Linda Sue Grimes: The State of Poetry

[Christina] Rossetti asks what she can give to Jesus: a shepherd might bring a lamb, a wise man might impart knowledge or imbue the boy's future with some kind of helpful wisdom, but Rossetti must think of something else.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: Love in a cold climate

Poem: "Brothers Playing Catch on Christmas Day" by Gary Short, from 10 Moons and 13 Horses.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of December 24, 2007

A big orange and some fresh pine boughs and "Silent Night" are all I need, and cookies, of course. They are the strings that when I pull on them I pull up the complete glittering storybook Christmases of my childhood.

from Garrison Keillor: Chicago Tribune: Stopping to smell the pine boughs

When, toward the end of "Windcatcher," one reads that "poetry completes/what history leaves out," one is tempted to rewrite that last line as "what history erases." For in his prison memoir, "The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist," [Breyten] Breytenbach writes that the purpose of his interrogators was "to burgle and to burn down the storehouse of dreams and fantasies and hopes."

from David Kirby: The New York Times: Needing No Weatherman

This is one of those poems you're afraid to look at again for fear it might be less beautiful than you thought.

Of all the things that populate the world, then, both human and non-, a poem has the greatest potential to succeed or fail, which is why Pinsky can comfortably offer a piece called "Poems with Lines in Any Order" or observe, again in "Immature Song," that poems are adolescents, "confused, awkward, self-preoccupied, vaguely//Rebellious in a way that lacks practical focus, moving without/Discipline from thing to thing."

from David Kirby: The Washington Post: Soulful Sounds

Here is Arizona poet Steve Orlen's lovely tribute to the great opera singer, Maria Callas. Most of us never saw her perform, or even knew what she looked like, but many of us listened to her on the radio or on our parents' record players, perhaps in a parlor like the one in this poem.

In the House of the Voice of Maria Callas

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 143

More recently, Alan Dugan (1923-2003) began a poem "Dugan's deathward, darling." Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), in her "In the Waiting Room," wrote: "you are an I,/you are an Elizabeth,/you are one of them."

Possibly the most moving use of a poet's own name in English poetry is Ben Jonson's "On My First Son":

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

You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you are upset when certain editors reject your work. Now (since you have said you want my advice) I beg you to stop doing that sort of thing. You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Letter to a young poet --Rainer Maria Rilke

[Lola Haskins] is the author of eight books of poetry and also, “The Wing on the Mailbox, A Beginner's Guide to the Poetic Life.� Lola Haskins is no stranger to Santa Cruz, having read twice here in recent years and twice presented her popular poetry workshops.


from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: Poetry by Lola Haskins

[by Andrew Lack]
Real Life Christmas Card

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Real Life Christmas Card

By Judith Bader Jones

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: 'Lonesome,' a poem by Judith Bader Jones

[by Mark Pomeroy]

Stepping through a burn,

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Eric Harmon

Snow is battering the scene,

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Eric Harmon]

By Rachel Howard

Haddonfield Memorial High School

Poland, 1939

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Rachel Howard ]

Teen author Damon Lomax recited selections from his recent book, "When My Eyes Were Closed," for members of Delsea High School's English Club on Dec. 11. Lomax's poems enter the world of a teenager trying to make sense of life. They explore themes of love, death, heartbreak and inspiration.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Damon Lomax]

[by Isabel Grasso]
The Contemporary Scene:

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: The Contemporary Scene

Thirty years ago this week, on December 23, 1977, the TLS published "Aubade", one of the greatest, and bleakest, and indeed one of the very last poems written by Philip Larkin, who was himself to die in 1985.

Office correspondence exists from the season of the poem's publication which refers to the poem as "Christmas without the baby".


from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: Aubade by Philip Larkin introduced by Mick Imlah

Poetic Obituaries

"He is a poet," [Pt. Jawaharlal] Nehru would say, and then pointing to Teji [Bachchan], he would add, "And this is his poem."

Even before the couple's first son Amitabh's now-illustrious acting career took off, they were names to reckon with in India's accomplished literary circuit and high society.

from Express India: 'The poet's poem'

Among them are a nursing-home resident who defiantly heads into a blinding snow, a mortician whose father has trained him never to emote, an abused wife who refuses her dying husband his morphine, and a skinflinty rooming-house landlady who perceives the smallest gift to be a bribe.

Author and writing instructor Tobias Wolff, of Palo Alto, Calif., called her [Carol Bly's] short stories "indelible, exemplary" and said he often uses them in the classroom at Stanford University.

from Star Tribune: Carol Bly, Minnesota's lioness of letters, dies

George Mifsud Chircop was born in Qormi and studied in St. Aloysius College and University of Malta. He specialised in Maltese folklore particularly its narrative element as shown by his thesis type index of the Maltese folk tale within the Mediterranean area [1978] for which he was awarded the Carmen Micallef Buhagiar prize for the best MA thesis.

from di-ve: Maltese folklore expert dies

According to her daughter, Helen Jeu, Mrs. [Rose Ng] Chong was an inspiring person who had nothing as a child but accomplished much.

Her faith never wavered throughout her hardships and she became a painter, local secretary for the National Lung Koon Association and published a poem at 80 years of age.

from The Friday Flyer: In Memoriam: Rose Ng Chong

[Mahbub ul Alam Chowdhury] was one of the pioneers of non-communal and democratic culture in the country.

Apart from the well-known Ekushey poem, Mahbub ul Alam also penned many poems, stories, dramas and essays.

He was the editor of the prestigious monthly literature magazine "Shimanto" from 1947 to 1952.

from The Daily Star: Language Movement hero Mahbub no more

Novelist, poet, drama author and critic, his [Julien Gracq's] literary debut came with 'At Argol's Castle', which sold only 150 copies and which he published in 1938 at his own costs.

Fiercely private, he stunned France for declining the Goncourt prize in 1951 for his masterpiece novel "The Opposite Shore" ('Rivage des Syrtes')--a tale about collective suicide in an imaginary landscape.

from Reuters: French hermit and surreal writer Gracq dies age 97

[James P. "Pete" Henderson] was a member of Elyria Country Club and scored a hole-in-one on No. 13.

He enjoyed athletics, reading, lapidary, woodworking, golf, gardening, welding, debate, music and writing poetry; loved the West and traveled there. As a child in Texas he loved to race horses and won several times.

from The Morning Journal: James P. Henderson, 86, lawyer, ran for Congress

[Lori Kim Jackson] was a gifted poet and a creative cook who could whip up a tasty meal with an international flare.

On the practical side, she enjoyed figuring out how to fix just about anything!

In recent years, gardening had also become a passion. You could find Lori's apartment by looking for the flowers, plants and hummingbirds outside her window.

from York County Coast Star: Lori Kim Jackson

Diane Middlebrook, who died on December 15 aged 68, made her name by writing a controversial account of the life of the American poet Anne Sexton, in which she defied the unwritten rules of biography by quoting extensively from the tape recordings of her subject's psychotherapy sessions; in Britain, however, she was better known as the author of an astute and accomplished account of the marriage of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.

from Telegraph: Diane Middlebrook

Newt [Newton A. Miner] served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was a graduate of George Washington University with a degree in English literature.

He was employed as a chief appraiser with the federal government and later worked as an independent appraiser. He was a published poet.

from The Free Lance-Star: Newton A. Miner

After the verdict, [Daphne] Pierre and several other women related to many of the missing women spoke at the news conference. Pierre also read a poem that she said was written by her deceased sister [Jackie Murdock].

from Prince George Citizen: First Nations woman says DNA of her sister found on Pickton farm

A group of older students gathered at the altar to sing, with his father remembering Isaraelu [Pele]'s love of rugby union, poetry and drawing.

He was the fastest runner in his class, Southern Cross Radio reported.

His white coffin was draped in silk and adorned with fairies, Santa toys and clowns.

A number of his Christmas presents were also placed inside his coffin.

from The Age: Tributes flow for meningitis victim

Founded in 1975 to publish poetry about his [Alexander "Sandy" Taylor's] experiences in Chile by a friend, James Scully, Curbstone went on to win state and national awards, establish the Miguel Mármol Prize, present Poetry in the Park readings and promote literacy through programs at schools and prisons.

Five collections of Taylor's own poetry have been published, including "Dreaming at the Gates of Fury: New and Selected Poems," which reflected his involvement in social protest and anti-war movements.

from Hartford Courant: Co-Founder Of Curbstone Press Dies

"A number of contributors met earlier this week and we agreed that, given the interest in Henry's work being expressed by friends and relatives, it would be appropriate to draw wider attention to the collection, both as a memorial to Henry and to highlight what a potentially great talent had been lost in such a tragic accident." [--Charles Christian, on Henry Wingate]

from Norwich Evening News 24: The final poems of tragic young driver


News at Eleven

Etre poète, c'est avoir de l'appétit pour un malaise dont la consommation, parmi les tourbillons de la totalité des choses existantes et pressenties, provoque, au moment de se clore, la félicité.

To be a poet is to have an appetite for a discomfort whose consummation, among the whirlwinds of totality of things existing and foreseen, provokes, at the moment of closure, happiness.

from The Brooklyn Rail: René Char--Resistance in Every Way
also Great Regulars: The Companions in the Garden

In December that year, in a fam-ous public confrontation, [Yevgeny] Yevtushenko directly challenged Khrushchev. At a meeting with artists and writers, the Soviet leader reprimanded cultural deviants, crudely citing an old Russian proverb, "Only the grave can correct a hunchback," whereupon Yevtushenko retorted, "Really Nikita Sergeievich, we thought the time was past when the grave was used as a means of correction." Yevtushenko's telegram about Czechoslovakia was leaked to the western press at the end of September 1968.

from Prospect: Oxford's Poetry Revolution

"It is very sad that our people are totally disoriented, and the disorientation spreads from top to bottom. Many people don't understand what literature is all about. The fact that somebody has a PhD does not mean that the person understands literature. For you to understand literature, you have to understand the human society, human politics and human psychology, and you can't study literature in the sky; you have to understand it from the point of view of human society and human interaction. Do you think that those people who preach in the church will succeed without literature? Do you think you can reach anybody without literature?" he [Ossie Enekwe] queries.

from Daily Sun: Lunatics have misled our literary scholars--Ossie Enekwe

[Philip] Whalen and [Joanne] Kyger are essentially School of Backyard poets, who look out their kitchen windows and see the universe. Both have given themselves permission to write about what is immediately in front of them and/or on their minds, no matter how exalted or mundane. They are both domestics who leave plenty of room for splendor. Both have mastered the conversational; both feed off slang. Everything is the subject of their poems.

from Los Angeles Times: 'The Collected Poems of Philip Whalen,' edited by Michael Rothenberg, and 'About Now' by Joanne Kyger

How eloquently this speaks to our present helplessness as we resign ourselves to our rulers' imperial delusions and hurtle down the road to yet another war. Yet it is useless to despair, [Robinson] Jeffers counsels:

Life is good, be it stubbornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains:
shine, perishing republic.

This slide into the abyss is as natural as life itself, which can only end in death.

from The American Conservative: Robinson Jeffers: Peace Poet

If there is such a thing as a poetry jackpot, [Anne] Stevenson has just hit it: this year she has won three important American literary prizes, together worth $260,000 (£130,000), and in 2008 the Library of America will publish a new edition of her Selected Poems, edited by Andrew Motion. All the more remarkable, this sudden rush of recognition has come in her 75th year.

from The Times: Anne Stevenson: the secret life of a poet
also The Times: Beach Kites by Anne Stevenson

[Peter] Payack was also the driving force between the 1976 Phone a Poem program, in which poets were asked to record their work on a cassette tape to which callers could listen.

Before the advent of the Internet, "it was the only way that you could get poetry outside of a book or library," says Payack.

Payack has even transferred poetry from formal readings--quite literally--into peoples' mouths.

from The Harvard Crimson: City Populist Spreads Love of Poetry

The sole surviving copy of the manuscript, now kept securely in the British Library, was recorded by a scribe and bound up with three other poems probably by the same creator ("Pearl," "Patience" and "Cleanness"). Thus the author is generally known as the Gawain or Pearl poet. He was a contemporary of Chaucer and a master of our mongrel English tongue.

from The New York Times: A Stranger in Camelot

[Helen Vendler's] book's second chapter, "Antechamber and Afterlife," is a near microscopic examination of form poems: "Sailing to Byzantium," "Byzantium," "The Delphic Oracle upon Plotinus," and "News for the Delphic Oracle." The second and fourth poems are, as is easy to see, reworkings and continuations of the first and third. But Ms. Vendler shows, in examining the hidden formal movements of each poem--particularly by dissecting the organization of the stanzas--that their simultaneous continuity and struggle with each other, and the vision of the conflict between the temporal and the eternal they propose, are far more than just a matter of theory.

from The New York Sun: The Private Language of Form

[Zvi Sesling] presents it straight with no chaser. This is a poem that will make you cut yourself while shaving, as Auden said. It reminded me of the many whitefish staring at me in judgment through the plastic wrappers at the local delicatessen. Sesling makes this disembodied fish an oracle, a sage in the soup, much like Bernard Malamud did with his “Jew Bird.”

from The Somerville News: When I look at a poem

And of "Rukeyser," he [Gerald Stern] writes, "Muriel Rukeyser came from a specific line of privileged New York German Jews. Her own mission was to criticize, according to leftist and feminist politics deeply rooted in the Eastern European Socialist tradition, economic and social exploitation. Her poems, as I see it, are the beginning of a startling, deeply important movement, or series of movements, that involve fields as diverse as poetry, art, dancing, economics, and politics."

from Nextbook: Two Poems by Gerald Stern

Great Regulars

And print, far from dying out, is being consumed in massive quantities online. The issue, as it has always been, is pointing readers and viewers to the sort of material worth their time and attention, material that tells true stories about the world or enlarges our sense of what it means to be human or offers real entertainment.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: From the blogs

It's another vivid composition by the talented poet [Kim Addonizio], whose collections include Tell Me.

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Poetry lovers, put this on your list

No doubt, as far as their relation to [WS] Merwin's work was concerned, poets such as Neruda and Lorca had the greater weight. But the old Spanish ballads (which were themselves of capital importance to Lorca) must have had their place in the consciousness of this ambitious group of young writers, and it has often seemed to me that Merwin's volume (especially if it were provided with Spanish originals) would be worth reprinting.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Singing the songs of love

In truth, Manhattan has not been a writerly town for quite some time. Many of our storied independent bookstores have shut their doors. Starbucks lowered its shoulder and hip-checked many coffee shops off the island. And bohemia has gone, well, elsewhere.

from John Freeman: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Property boom, literary slump

In the fourth stanza, the speaker begins musing about the man's loved ones, how they were "weeping far away" and how they would be watching for his return. The speaker can be sure they were "sorrowful," because the speaker can empathize with the mourners, even though he knows they did not realize they were mourning a death and not merely an absence.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Bryant's 'The Murdered Traveller'

The quietness implied by "shadows holding their breath" is astounding; it is a miracle of striking awareness, undetectable to most and unceasingly secure to but a few.

Then the speaker avows that when the sense of melancholy goes, when the "[h]eavenly hurt" lightens into understanding, it is "like the Distance/On the look of Death."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Dickinson's Slant of Light

But this speaker invokes his talent to serve as the "tenth Muse," which he deems ten time more valuable than the other nine: "Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth/Than those old nine which rimers invocate." This poet is more than a rimer; he is indeed a true poet.

The poet who calls on his own soul/talent will produce works even greater then these earlier poets who relied upon the nine Muses.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 38

There's a question that sometimes comes up in conversations about interactive fiction: Is it literature, or a game?

I've wondered myself, as I've joined animated characters on their journeys and tried to fit their narratives into a preexisting slot in my mind. But recently, as I watched Inanimate Alice - an adventure story told through a series of 10 Flash-animated films - I began to think there might be a better way to look at it.

from Katie Haegele: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Art, film or game? 'Inanimate Alice' redefines 'publish'

Our mortality is written on our skin as we age; our place in our lifecycle is evident in the condition of our flesh--we are frail, withering creatures, and there's nothing like turning into a prune as we soak in the bath to remind us of this.

Our poet makes us conscious of her bones resting on the cold porcelain of the bath, which does not readily hold heat, as she lies staring at the ceiling.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Bathtime blues

It was Scrooge's ghost, lifting weights in the exercise room. Scrooge looked terrific. He said the afterlife was a blast. "You get to fly around and look in people's windows and--wowsa, the stuff you find out. Like Fred--he is a raging alcoholic. And the boy who ran to the poulterer's and bought me the goose? He has a boyfriend. Yikes!"

from Garrison Keillor: Chicago Tribune: Listen up, dear readers

Poem: "Medicine" by Carolyn Kizer, from Cool, Calm & Collected © Copper Canyon Press Press, 2000.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of December 17, 2007

There's that old business about the tree falling in the middle of the forest with no one to hear it: does it make a noise? Here Linda Gregg, of New York, offers us a look at an elegant beauty that can be presumed to exist and persist without an observer.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 142

Ken Irby is a Kansas poet who practices projective verse, a form based on physical acts of speechmaking rather than British poetics. Charles Olson of Black Mountain College (1930s-1950s) taught that a line should be the length of a breath. In poetry like Irby's, the words match human consciousness rather than creating a facsimile of reality.

from Denise Low: Ad Astra Poetry Project: Ken Irby (1936 - )

Similarly, the appeal of some linguistic and poetic rhythms is irresistible. They travel our nervous system and intoxicate the brain or stimulate the heart, inducing gloom, excitation, contemplation, or euphoria.

The poet's toolbox includes a system of metrics that has been standardized since the Middle Ages.

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: Maybe not for dancing, but all poetry has definite rhythm

In June, his lawyer Li Jianqiang said he had received a letter from Li [Hong] saying: "My illness is extremely rare. My condition has worsened and my muscles are atrophying. I can now barely move my arms and it is spreading to my legs. My feet are already paralyzed."

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: RFA Unplugged: Cyber-dissident Zhang Jianhong's condition worsening

The mind, wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins, has "cliffs of fall" that are "no-man-fathomed," suggesting a jagged, dangerous terrain with unexpected and potentially lethal gulfs. Sometimes, as in Jill Rosser's new collection of poetry, it's a comic, irritable gesture that recalls the abyss a footstep away:


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

[by Bobby Byrd]

On the Death of my Brother

from Donna Snyder: Newspaper Tree: Tumblewords Poetry: "On the Death of my Brother," and Other Poems

Taunted by his sister-in-law's sarcasm, Narsi Mehta went and meditated before Shiva for seven days, whereupon Siva granted him darsan. Telling him, 'Your bhakti delights me,' Siva placed his hand on Narsi's head, purified him, cleansed him of his sins and awakened his 'sleeping speech.' Narsi Mehta asked HIM for a boon. Let us hear him.

from V Sundaram: News Today: The bard from Gujarat

Through his great poetry Mahakavi Bharathi made it clear that when we drink deep at this fountain of love, that we feel that, out of clay we have been made into men and from men we have risen with gods. According to Mahakavi Bharathi it is this gospel of love that binds the highest with the humblest, the lowest with the loftiest and creates a common comradeship that can be strengthened by common endeavour and unity of purpose.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Eternal flame of nationalism nay, rather universalism

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has this to say about sacred poetry and poems: "When your heart bursts with love, ecstasy or sorrow, poetry is the only succour. Though words can never find expression for the deeper dimensions of life, poetry at least manages to tell you that it can not be said."


from V Sundaram: News Today: Evergreen mystical verses

We can see the genial ring of common sense about such lines as,

"For his aunt Jobiska said 'Everyone knows
That a Pobble is better without his toes'"

Edward Lear seems so easy on the matter that we are almost driven to pretend that we see his meaning.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Sense and nonsense--poet and painter -I

On the Coast of Coromandel
Where the early pumpkins blow,
In the middle of the woods
Lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
On this Coast of Coromandel
Shrimps and watercresses grow,
Prawns are plentiful and cheap,
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo

Edward Lear visited Mahalipuram on the 25th of August, 1874. He then visited Kanchipuram, Trichy and Thanjavur. He also went to Bangalore and the West Coast.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Sense and nonsense--poet and painter -II

Ashok Gupta

In memory of the 2000 men women and children killed in the state led genocide of Gujarat in 2002, and the 200,000 who lost their homes and dignity

Run Amina Run

from The American Muslim: Poetry: Run Amina Run

Ashok Gupta

In memory of the 2000 men women and children killed in the state led genocide of Gujarat in 2002, and the 200,000 who lost their homes and dignity


from The American Muslim: Poetry: Shame

The Companions in the Garden
by René Char

Translated by Mary Ann Caws

from The Brooklyn Rail: Poetry: The Companions in the Garden

Here's to the Snake!
by René Char

Translated by Mary Ann Caws

from The Brooklyn Rail: Poetry: Here's to the Snake!

Hypnos Moon
by René Char

Translated by Nancy Kline

from The Brooklyn Rail: Poetry: Hypnos Moon

Jacquemard and Julia
by René Char

Translated by Mary Ann Caws

from The Brooklyn Rail: Poetry: Jacquemard and Julia

Leaves of Hypnos
by René Char

Translated by Nancy Kline

from The Brooklyn Rail: Poetry: Leaves of Hypnos

The Library is on Fire
by René Char

Translated by Mary Ann Caws

from The Brooklyn Rail: Poetry: The Library is on Fire

Not to be Understood
by René Char

Translated by Mary Ann Caws

from The Brooklyn Rail: Poetry: Not to be Understood

The Shark and the Seagull
by René Char

Translated by Mary Ann Caws

from The Brooklyn Rail: Poetry: The Shark and the Seagull

Christmas Presents by UA Fanthorpe and RV Bailey

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Christmas Presents by UA Fanthorpe and RV Bailey

Three Poems
by Adonis (Ali Ahmad Said) translated by Adnan Haydar and Michael Beard
Mask of Songs

from Guernica: Poetry: Three Poems

by Todd Hanks

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: Actor, a poem by Todd Hanks

The Candlelighter
by Simon Armitage

from The New Yorker: Poetry: The Candlelighter

One Day
by Grace Paley

from The New Yorker: Poetry: One Day

The Onion Poem
by Fady Joudah

from The New Yorker: Poetry: The Onion Poem

Suddenly There's Poughkeepsie
by Grace Paley

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Suddenly There's Poughkeepsie

Tom Blood won the 2007 Oregon Book Awards' Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry for "The Sky Position" (Marriage Records Publishing House), in which "pretend you are real" appears. Judge Donald Revell praised Blood's perception as "a beautiful act of absolute sympathy and attention, a continuous evidence of perfect compassion."

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Sean Brawley

Crime Redefined

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Sean Brawley]

By Julia Cassel

Bells Elementary School

Christmas Poem

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Julia Cassel ]

By Sung Ho Park

A Friend or a Foe

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Sung Ho Park ]

[by Joe Randall]
Sun room for Auntie

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Sun room for Auntie

[by Ron Tomanio]
When Moon Met June

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: When Moon Met June

In this tender piece, the title poem of a new collection of her adult and children's poetry, Jackie Kay puts into words what most of us feel and hope when we go through the experience of losing a loved one.


from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"Below the Falls"
By Kevin Barents

from Slate: "Below the Falls"--By Kevin Barents

Poetic Obituaries

In her final moments, [Martha] Blum also spoke of her other loves, repeating the word "poetry" three times and reciting old folk songs.

"So that's what she was thinking of," said [her daughter] Irene. "She had her faculties right to the end, which gives me great comfort."

from The StarPhoenix: City writer Blum dies at 94

Ann [Darr]'s poems are distinctive in voice from most other poets of her generation in that they give voice to a wild vitality--I'm speaking of language here--and energy that could be outrageous and marvelously unpredictable. "Here it comes again, my raw-/boned poetry, with arms akimbo/and legs knock-kneed," she writes in "Storm Warning." She sometimes writes as though her poems are charging into the middle of a dying body in order to shock it back into life. Here's another, very different, example, from Mad Hannah, Gussie and Me in "Gussie Does Sunday Disguised as an Artist":

from Dryad Press: Ann Darr (1920-2007)

Clyde [S. De Long] was a scholar with a sharp wit and spirited sense of humor. He had a passion for learning and a heart for sharing his wisdom. He enjoyed reading poetry and lovingly published a collection of his own poems.

from The Free Lance-Star: Clyde S. De Long

In 1998, he [Terence B. Foley] and his wife coauthored In Memoriam, a literary guide to creating memorial services.

He knew a lot about classic American pop music and could talk about it all afternoon, said a friend, Frank Wilson. He also liked to read translations of Chinese poetry and could explain the imagery, said Wilson, The Inquirer's book editor.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Terence B. Foley, 67; scholar, musician

[Andrew Imbrie] wrote "Requiem" in his son's memory, using texts from the Latin funeral mass and the poem "To the Evening Star" by William Blake, John Donne's "Death Be Not Proud," and "Prayer" by George Herbert.

With "Prometheus Bound," a work for orchestra, chorus and dance (1980), Imbrie presented the Greek tragedy about the character of Prometheus, who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals.

from UC Berkeley News: Andrew Imbrie, music professor and renowned composer, dies at age 86

[John M.] Lewis led the effort to build the church's education building next to the sanctuary in 1972. Later, the church named it after him.

After the death of his wife, Jean, in 1985, Lewis continued to preach, write poetry and paint in watercolor, returning to the church he served as a rank-and-file member.

from The News & Observer: Baptist pastor, educator John M. Lewis dies at 86

Nor was she terribly sympathetic to the notion that telling about one life intruded on lives of others: "The territoriality that people express about each other's lives requires some scrutiny." She added, however, "I feel that way because I am a biographer."

"The more that each of us knows about each of the other human beings in the world, the better off [we] are," she concluded. "It's true that it is very painful to be exposed to people's curiosity. But it's painful in a way that can only lead to self-knowledge, because it's really not a big deal. In the scope of human endeavor, it's not a big deal."

from Stanford News Service: Diane Middlebrook, Stanford professor and legendary biographer, dies at 68
also San Francisco Chronicle: Poet, biographer, feminist Diane Middlebrook dies of cancer at 68

We miss you, Danny.

As a tribute to Danny [Riley], friends and family have established a fund to help children with cancer enjoy the gift of music. The fund will be used to provide musical instruments, music lessons, and other musical experiences for children with cancer.

from Santa Barbara Independent: Danny Riley 1988-2007

[Gobinda Bahadur Manandhar a.k.a. Dhuswa Sayami] penned collections of poetry, 17 novels and three collections of plays in Newari, two works--The Eclipse and The Lotus of Flame--in English, some 14 novels and two poetry and a some essay collections in Hindi.

from Writer Dhuswa Sayami no more

[Evalyn Katz Shapiro's] persistence in knocking on the doors of magazine and book publishers yielded success. [Karl] Shapiro, the soldier-poet, published three books and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his "V-Letter and Other Poems" in 1945.

That same year, the two married in Baltimore's Belvedere Hotel.

from Washington Post: Evalyn Katz Shapiro, 89; Edited Prized War Poems


News at Eleven

Arundhati Roy: It is like being sentenced to good behaviour for the rest of your life which is a death sentence for a writer. If I had to live somewhere in those conditions, I would become a yoga instructor or something. I would give up writing because this is such a nasty thing to do. Here is a woman [Taslima Nasreen] who is a Bengali writer. She can't function outside. It's a question of principle anyway. It is not about her, it is about us. What kind of society are we creating? Sure it's tough to take the kind of things she said about Islam but she should be put in her place, intellectually and otherwise. Not like this where she will become a martyr to somebody else.

from IBN Live: 'If treated like Taslima, I'd give up writing'

You could take a poetry book and ask the children to turn it into a play or what is in effect a revue. They could write their own poems and monologues to go alongside the poems in the book. When you break a poem down in order to perform it, you have to engage closely with many aspects of what it's about, how it works, how it's constructed and so on. If you write a poem alongside it, to complement it, you start to feel poetry's method, poetry's way of looking at things.

from The Guardian: Comment is free: Well versed

"There's definitely a core of regulars who come to them," says its owner Rob Calef, who founded Open Secret 18 years ago.

"This is probably the first time in human history that so many people have lived alone," he says. "One of the way they find community is to go listen to topics of interest and meet people of like mind."

A big draw, Calef says, is the opportunity for dialog with authors.

from Marin Independent Journal: Author talks: Readings and signings at Marin bookstores draw big crowds

Briefly explained, it is a process in which a poet, so impressed with an experience or image, is compelled to construct a verbal device, a poem, that will reproduce his emotional concept, recurrently, in anyone who cares to read it anywhere, anytime.

[Philip] Larkin's composition time for "The Explosion" was relatively brief. He already had a sense of the mining culture, for he had read D.H. Lawrence's writings of life in a mining village.

from The Wall Street Journal: The Poet's Alchemy

This allows a greater sense of mobility and greater intensities at each point: "Each spider/is a clump of spider longings & thrills." Crude, but exciting; sign me up.

But isn't this just an alibi for chaos? Maybe so. In imagining our way back to social reality, anarchy may be a more useful concept than chaos.

from The Nation: A Kind of Waiting Always

This describes, clearly and sensitively, how the poem has been read since its publication in 1820, but in recent years a group of historical critics has offered a more complicated, political reading of Keats. He was passionately interested in politics, and it would be surprising if that interest didn't shape his writing.

from The Guardian: Season of discontent

As Warning is included in an anthology I edited, I offered to send her a copy. "No," she said. "Don't bother. I'll get it off the internet." That was when it dawned on me that nowadays, if you want a copy of a particular poem, you don't have to buy a book.

My poems are all over the internet. I've managed to get them removed from one or two sites that were major offenders, but there are dozens, if not hundreds of sites displaying poems without permission.

from The Guardian: You like my poems? So pay for them

"Many young people download objectionable material from the internet, but it seems if you are a Muslim then this could lead to criminal charges, even if you have absolutely no intention to do harm to anyone else.

"Samina's so-called poetry was certainly offensive but I don't believe this case should really have been a criminal matter."

[--Muhammed Abdul Bari]

from BBC News: Terror manuals woman avoids jail

In A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway describes a visit to the home of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas at 27 rue de Fleurus in Paris during which he overhears a lovers' squabble. "'Don't, pussy,'" Hemingway reports Stein pleading. "'Don't. Don't, please don't. I'll do anything, pussy, but please don't do it. Please don't. Please don't, pussy.'"

from Baltimore City Paper: The Moderns: Re-Examining The Relationship Between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas

[Gloria] Mindock continues her book with the sad indictment that, no matter how high the cost in human suffering, our attention will not be held. We will forget, turn away, move on with our lives. But maybe we can be persuaded to remember, if only for the time it takes to look at a painting. Or read a poem.

El Salvador, 1983

Somewhere, someone is mourning

from The Boston Globe: Poetry on El Salvador forces readers to see human tragedy

"Eternal Symbol" marks the 30th year that Mary V. Sponsler has had her annual Christmas poem published.

She has written a holiday-based work for more than 40 consecutive Christmas seasons. The 2007 effort is printed at the end of this article.

from Saline County Voice: Poet marks fifth Yuletide decade

Great Regulars

Perhaps the worst detail is the list of poems most likely to be taught in primary schools--Noyes, The Highwayman; Milligan, On the Ning, Nang, Nong; Carroll, Jabberwocky; Lear, The Owl and the Pusscat; Stevenson, From a Railway Carriage; de la Mare, The Listeners; Wright, The Magic Box; McGough, The Sound Collector; Dahl, Revolting Rhymes; Ahlberg Dog in the Playground.

from Thought Experiments: How to Teach Poetry

This one ran in all directions, from the Willamette River to the Portland Aerial Tram to a trip across the Columbia on Amtrak. A poem by Sharon Wood Wortman accompanies each trip, and illustrations by Ed Wortman are found throughout the book.

The "main span" of 41 poems follows the bridge tours and features poets singing the praises of the Broadway Bridge, the Steel, the Hawthorne and other bridges near and far.

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: Bridges to inspired prose

For me, at least, these lines highlight [Robert] Lowell's thorny predicament, namely his desire not to be marginalized or banished from his own existence. Put another way: Sometimes it helps to ask of a poem, what hurts? The ache of erasure is what hurts in this one.


from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Poetry

"Happy Birthday, Mr Korzeniowski!" trills Bibliobibuli []. "I hope you can find enough space on your cake for all 150 candles. Or would you rather we called you by your later name, Joseph Conrad, which you adopted when you became a naturalised Brit in 1886?

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: From the blogs

The heart is missing from Paul Henry's latest volume. From a mother's death to the ghosts that whisper in seashells, his poems revolve around absences. But instead of focusing on them, he considers them obliquely, sifting through the debris that accumulates around their verges.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Veiled kisses

The news was not unrelievedly gloomy, since a few of the paintings [PAB] Widener had bought were acknowledged as genuine. But the list of fakes included many of the great names of European art.

What is fascinating about the Apollo article, written by Jonathan Lopez, is that the story it tells has been, to an extent, covered up till now.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Old Master criminals

For every personality, every reading level, there's a book out there waiting to provide that lucky Christmas or Chanukah or Kwanzaa celebrant with a few hours--maybe a few weeks--of pleasure. To help you unlock that potential for joy, here are a few tips for the best books to buy this holiday season.

from John Freeman: Sacramento News & Review: Novel ideas

In his mammoth new novel, "A Free Life," however, he deploys elements of his own powerful journey in an epic tale about a young Chinese couple struggling to adapt in 1990s America.

Nan Wu is a poet who comes to the United States [. . .]

from John Freeman: Star Tribune: Caught between here and there

But he employs a rhetorical question to assert that people do not face loss with equanimity. Instead, they "writhe" "at passed joy."

He then makes an odd claim: he says that no poetry has been written about what it is like "To know the change and feel it,/When there is none to heal it,/Nor numbed sense to steal it."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Keats in Winter

Because of his great talent, the speaker knows he is not "lame, poor, nor despis'd." In the "shadow" of his creations, he can live abundantly. He is "suffic'd" by the glory of is works, but he claims only a part of that glory, giving much credit to the mystery that is talent.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 37

If there was such a thing as thought crime we would all be in jail, because even if we are incapable of murder--or any kind of real evil--there are times when each of us might flirt with the idea of what it would be like to rid ourselves of the person who has taken something from us, be it a lover, money or livelihood; the only free people would be those who were incapable of thought.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: The poisoned wedding dress

Poem: "I had thought the tumors..." by Grace Paley, from Fidelity.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of December 10, 2007

"My music classes were such an awful experience that I am pretty sure that every guy in school thought singing was a sissy sport," he writes. But when John Lennon howls the lyrics to "Please Mr. Postman," it's as though he's "playing football, tackle, no pads."

from David Kirby: The New York Times: Got a Hold on Me

Life becomes more complicated every day, and each of us can control only so much of what happens. As for the rest? Poet Thomas R. Smith of Wisconsin offers some practical advice.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 141

Magnum is an agency that allows photographers to work independent of the commissioning processes of magazines and so on, it enables them to keep the copyright in their work, and it pretty well guarantees that clients will receive work of exceptional quality. This book may be the size of a tombstone, but actually it's a proof of great and enduring liveliness.

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: Witnesses to the world

Not that any of this rich sexual tradition would have been apparent in modern times, post-1949. (Think baggy unisex Mao suits.) Not, that is, until quite recently. China's publishing industry has now rediscovered sex with a vengeance, and a cursory glance at Chinese magazine covers tells just one (highly profitable) part of the story.

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: Sex sells. Even in Communist China.

Indeed, many poems consist of nothing but juxtapositions and repetitions. "Another Autumn," for instance, is a series of one-line sketches--"a feathering of the ink whereby characters lose definition" is followed by "overlapping windowscreens, one pattern interfering with another," which is in turn followed by "sideways, all the politeness, all that irony, trying for a draw" (an echo of a line from "A Pillow-Book," a much earlier [Michael] O'Brien poem).

from David Orr: The New York Times: Words of the World

Eminent poets sometimes write poems to please children. Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) succeeded, with poems that are short, funny, well-rhymed and respectful of the reader's intelligence:

The Sloth

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

In a return to Galilee, where the poet was born, the making of "a poem, a myth creating reality" is pictured as a feminine art: "I'll enter a woman's needle in/one of the myths/and fly like a shawl with the wind" ("Not as a Foreign Tourist Does"). "Reality" can and must be remade; and [Mahmoud] Darwish, writing from embattlement, knows that to refuse the status quo he must refuse fixity.

from Fiona Sampson: The Guardian: In the serene land

The patriot in ['Mahakavi'] Bharathi writhed in agony, under the oppressive yoke of foreign rule and the poet in him, burst out in song, that was at once a call and a challenge. His words were power and his songs were fire; his music moved the people to mutiny and roused them to revolt.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Eternal flame of nationalism nay, rather universalism

The Gayatri 'richa'or verse is found in the 'Rig Veda' (3.62.10). It takes its name in part because it is written in a meter called 'Gayatri Meter'--24 syllables divided into three lines of 8 syllables each. But the word 'Gayatri' also means "She who protects the singer" (from gai, to sing and trai, to protect). Thus, Gayatri is a name of the Divine Mother, She who protects her children and leads them towards self-realization.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Timeless refulgence of Sandhya Vandanam

As you can see even from this brief passage, [David] Mason's supremely supple blank verse impels you forward: You not only imagine the people running, but also feel yourself - because of the rhythmic pulse of the lines - keeping pace with them. Like a good film director, Mason knows just when to cut from one scene to another, and this, too, impels the narrative forward, giving it a mounting sense of inexorability.

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: Novel springs from a horrific event


DigarguN hai jahaN taroN ki gardish tez hai Saqi

from Muhammad Iqbal

translation by M. Shahid Alam

from The American Muslim: Ghazal from Muhammad Iqbal

I should also mention the internal world that overlaps with the external at every point in time/space. Those shadows you place on a page come from the merger of both realities, a poem takes its life from both sources, and by doing so sidesteps onsensus reality, offering new possibilities and renderings of what the external world itself means.

from CBC: Words at Large: Poet of the Month: Don Domanski

a) Write a poem taking as a starting point something indistinctly remembered, or seen with the corner of the eye, which silently moves, or;

b) Write a poem in response to one by De la Mare, but not a pastiche. If his work is new to you the recent Selected Poems from Faber, edited by Matthew Sweeney, is an excellent introduction.

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Peter Bennet

A Gynaecologist in Dubai Fishing at Evening by Paul Durcan

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: A Gynaecologist in Dubai Fishing at Evening by Paul Durcan

By Philip Miller
[Late Early Middle Age]

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: 'Late Early Middle Age,' a poem by Philip Miller

An American in Hollywood
by Frank Bidart

from The New Yorker: Poetry: An American in Hollywood

by Henri Cole

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Shrike

[by Trudy Hanson]
It all Comes Back to You

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: It all Comes Back to You

[by Frances N. Contreras]
Thoughts of You

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Thoughts of You

This elegant evocation of the nature of young girls comes from Scales Dog by Alexander Hutchison.


from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"The World War Speaks"
By Sandra Beasley

from Slate: "The World War Speaks" --By Sandra Beasley

[William Sydney Graham] most admired volume, Nightfishing (1955), sets such a quest on a trawler fishing for herring. "Johann Joachim Quantz's Fourth Lesson" was published in the TLS in 1974. W. S. Graham died in 1986.

Johann Joachim Quantz's Fourth Lesson

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: Johann Joachim Quantz's Fourth Lesson

Poetic Obituaries

Also during that time, Mr. [William] Adams [Jr.] helped compile four books that were used in the Philadelphia public schools: Afro-American Literature: Nonfiction; Afro-American Literature: Drama; Afro-American Literature: Fiction, and Afro-American Literature: Poetry.

In 1968, Mr. Adams began working at the University of Pennsylvania as a lecturer in English. He quickly became a popular teacher and mentor, particularly among African American and other minority students.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: William Adams Jr., 71, educator and lawyer

Ibrahim Al-Hadhrani is considered a symbol of Yemeni poetry, both standard and traditional (popular). Since the early half of the 20th century, he has offered moving touches in Yemeni modern poetry. He's also one of the pioneers in Yemen's national struggle, confronting Imamate rule and ensuring victory for revolution and liberty.

from Yemen Times: Al-Hadhrani: Poet and patriot

Prof. Monico Atienza, a teacher, poet and revolutionary, succumbed to cancer of the throat after almost a year in coma. He was 60 years old.

In the last tribute of friends and comrades, Nick or Ka Togs as what his colleagues at the First Quarter Storm Movement call him, was praised for devoting his youth and all of his life for the revolutionary cause.

from bulatlat: Monico Atienza, True Revolutionary

When given the microphone at the Sabkuch Milega, he [Moshe Ben-Shaul] preceded his reading from Rimbaud with a reading of his own poem dedicated to the French prodigy. It was entitled: "I Am Speaking with a Dead Poet". Thursday night, at the age of 77, he joined Rimbaud at the super-hip bohemian cafe in the sky. Now they're really going to chat.

from Everywhere: In Memoriam, Moshe Ben-Shaul

During his long writing career [Vu] Cao was the editor-in-chief of the Tap Chi Van Nghe Quan Doi (Military Literature and Arts Magazine), the director of Ha Noi Publishing House and chairman of the Poetry Panel of the Viet Nam Writers Association. He received the State Prize for Literature and Arts in 2001.

from Viet Nam News: Poets of American, French wars die in Ha Noi

On his way to the southern front along the Truong Son Trail, [Pham Tien] Duat composed hundreds of poems that recorded the lives, loves, hardships and determination of fellow soldiers. He has been nicknamed "the man of Truong Son", "the Truong Son Firebird" and "Pride of the American War writers". He has published various collections, including Vang Trang Quang Lua (Moon and Fire Circle) and O Hai Dau Nui (On Two Sides of the Mountain).

from VietNamNet Bridge: Poet laureate passes away

[Ion Fiscuteanu] studied acting in Bucharest and worked in theater companies in his native region. Starting in the 1980s he appeared regularly in films, including "Glissando" (1985) and "Jacob" (1988), both directed by Mircea Daneliuc. After the 1989 revolution he continued to work in both theater and cinema. He also wrote short stories and poems.

from The New York Times: Ion Fiscuteanu, a Star of Romanian Stage and Film, Dies at 70

[Bob Granato] was the former chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, a poet, novelist and journalist, and a tireless proponent of the redevelopment of downtown Pawcatuck. He was active in issues affecting Korean War veterans, a master strategist in local Democratic politics, a union official, and an advocate for the redevelopment of the state's old mill complexes. He also seemed to know just about everyone in town.

from The Day: Bob Granato, Stonington's 'Patriarch,' Is Dead At 76

The day after her 33rd birthday, in 1949, [Elizabeth] Hardwick married [Robert] Lowell, one of the most prominent poets of his generation. They had one child, daughter Harriet.

In 1963 a lingering newspaper strike in New York City spurred Hardwick, Lowell and the Epsteins [Jason and Barbara] to found the New York Review of Books.

"We were having dinner and we said, 'Let's do a book review of our own to show what a good one could be,'" [Jason] Epstein recalled this week.

from Los Angeles Times: New York Review of Books co-founder

Among [Harry Thompson] Jones's recreations was writing verse, and he was the author of a poem--The Trainer--which became well known in racing circles. It begins: 'I envy the life of a trainer!'/Said a chap I met on a plane,/'A lucrative life in the open/Surrounded by birds and champagne!'

The poem then chronicles the setbacks and headaches endured by trainers before concluding: It's normal in other professions/To prosper, retire and die/But trainers go on training horses -/I'm buggered if I can think why!

from Telegraph: Tom Jones

Family members of Wednesday's mall shooting are trying to find a way to cope and comfort each other. A mother who's seen a lot of sorrow in her 91 years talks about losing her son.

"I've been through tragedy before and they're all more or less alike, you hurt and there's nothing you can do about it," says 91-year-old Inez Joy, grieving the death of her son Gary Joy. "He liked to write stories, did poetry, things like that."

from WOWT: 91-Year-Old Mom Faces Latest Tragedy

[Anita B. Morland's] poetry has been published in The Christian Science Monitor, Treasured Poems of America, Windows on the World, and numerous other anthologies. She also published her own personal book of poetry, A Potpourri of Poetry, which she felt was among her greatest accomplishments.

from Sheboygan Press: Anita B. Morland

[James M. Quimby] was an interesting and interested person, who loved to read. Jim enjoyed fishing and hunting. He taught his granddaughters how to fish and to love fishing as he did. Every little kid liked him. He was a great storyteller. He even made up "poetry" for his grandkids.

from Oshkosh Northwestern: James M. Quimby

Mildred Patterson 'was always doing for other people'

Mildred Patterson enjoyed doing many things such as cooking, sewing, artwork, playing the piano, writing poetry, attending church and helping others.

from The Huntsville Times: Mother was 'absolute personification of goodness'

Angela Raettig was a lot of things.

She was, her obituary noted, a ballet dancer, a poet, a lover of music. She was, her friends have said, a silly girl with a tender heart.

She had a certain "style" about her, her mother has told me more than once, and not just in the way she dressed, sort of "hippyish" and eclectic.

from Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Mom wishes drugs didn't define girl's life

[Leonard C. "Lenny" Ross Jr.] simplified his life, pursued a variety of interests, managing a costume shop, little league baseball umpire, caterer, and hospital volunteer. He loved travel, photography, cooking, music and dancing. He was a gifted writer and poet, and truly lived his life to the fullest.

from The News-Herald: Leonard C. "Lenny" Ross Jr.

[Trilochan] Shastri was among the famous trio of modern Hindi poetry along with Nagarjun and Shamsher Bahadur Singh. His famous works include the poetry collections 'Jeene ki Kala', 'Dingat' and 'Dharti'.

He also wrote a collection of stories titled 'Deshkal'.

from News From Sahara Samay: Noted Hindi litterateur Trilochan Shastri dead

The attendants of the meeting expressed their deep sorrow on the death of poet and senior member of Anjuman, Shaukat Ali Soofi. It was observed that the Anjuman suffered an irreparable loss with the demise of Shaukat Soofi.

from The Post: Poet's death condoled

[Mary Lou Strouse] was a former member of Flemington United Methodist Church and was a member of Liberty United Methodist Church at the time of her death. She was a volunteer for Community Nursing. She enjoyed playing piano and writing poetry.

from The Express: Mary Lou Strouse

"I'm not private about my feelings," she [Mildred Trivers] said in 1984. "Others have the same feelings I have. Poets merely express what we all feel and might not know how to express verbally. Writing poetry is not just a matter of describing things that happen to us. It's a matter of bringing out the general significance of what happens."

And sharing that with anyone who cared to read a poem or two.

from The Star Press Muncie, IN: A poetic life: Mildred Trivers, The Poet of Twin Ponds Lane, had a way with words

Rene O. Villanueva was one of my un-official mentors. One of the best Filipino writers who I look up to. One of my real friends from the literary and showbiz industry.

After reading the article, everything flashed back.

I see myself walking along Timog Avenue in Quezon City with Rene after a Sunday writers bloc session.

from Ian del Carmen: Ode to a Mentor and a Friend

"Dan's primary impact on the institution came in his collecting of modern literature and his interest in the history of science," Alan Jutzi, chief curator of rare books at the Huntington, said this week.

[Daniel] Woodward was actively involved in bringing the papers of poet Wallace Stevens and of poet and short story writer Conrad Aiken to the library. He also helped bring the papers of British novelist Kingsley Amis to the collection.

from Los Angeles Times: Huntington library director helped expand literary, science holdings

George Ziegenfuss, San Diego State's basketball coach for more than two decades, died early Sunday after suffering a massive stroke while composing a poem he planned to present to his granddaughter for her 27th birthday.

from The Union-Tribune: Legendary Ziegenfuss leaves sporting legacy


News at Eleven

"There was burning going on and I was terrified. The two policemen who were supposed to be guarding my door had gone. People said I would be killed by Islamic fundamentalists, the mob would come and attack my house," [Taslima] Nasrin says, her voice shaky as she speaks from a safe house near Delhi.

from The Guardian: 'Condemned to life as an outsider'

"Downtown" meant a tiny cell in Evin prison, in North Tehran, and "a few questions" meant protracted torture. I found it difficult to believe that my cheerful protests could have roused my interrogators to such violence. Bruised black by fists and boots, my shoulders and arms livid with lash welts, my scalp left bare and bleeding after my hair was shorn, I persisted in thinking, even as I wept and raged at my captors, This is ridiculous!

from The New York Times: Poetry of Protest

"I decided to flee Burma because I don't want to spend time in jail and not be able to contribute to the movement," he [Kyaw Thu Moe Myint] said.

"I'd like to urge all people from the world of literature and all other people to continue with the movement, as it is the responsibility of everyone."

from Democratic Voice of Burma: Poet flees to Thai-Burma border

The publication of Handkerchief (1969) was an artistic turning point for Lee [Min-yung]. After Handkerchief, he was no longer "a sentimental youth whose poems were beautifully worded yet preoccupied with egocentric vanity for the purpose of self-redemption," says Lee. "I positioned myself as an antiwar poet and found my role--to voice my concerns."

Lee took on the voice of a war widow to drive home his antiwar message in Handkerchief.

from Taiwan Review: A Life Devoted to Poetry

The poetry in the books from this period often seemed aimed at turning the reader's attention away from beauty and meaning - those things for which language is so often made to serve as a vehicle--and toward the language itself.

But the more recent poems tend to divert the reader's attention not only from questions of meaning and beauty but from the language as well. One's attention instead is focused on the speaker of the poem, who assumes an insistent, even aggressive role.

from San Francisco Chronicle: Ashbery's anthology 'Notes From the Air' delivers, despite himself

James Emanuel is an excellent example of a poet who can smash down this false argument, as he has written quality poems in traditional forms, like the English sonnet, as well as free verse poems. Have a look at this Emanuel sonnet, which already feels like a ‘classic’ to readers of Cosmoetica:

For a Farmer

from Monsters and Critics: Featured Book Review: (another) Whole Grain Collected Poems by James Emanuel

Another letter ends: 'All all all all all love Your Ted.' And in another he says: 'I love you from your toes to your ankles to your knees to your thighs to your hips to your navel to your nipples to your shoulders to your throat to your mouth to your nose to your eyes and then in to the end of you. All my love every minute.'

Reading these letters we are thrown into the opening act of the lovers' tragedy.

from London Review of Books: Entrepreneurship

'My definition of "poetry",' he [Ted Hughes] writes, with characteristic generosity, to a student who had sent him a few questions, 'almost excludes anything coming from the ego under the ego's control . . . my whole writing career sometimes presents itself to me as a search for not one style in particular, but the style for this crisis or that.' The poet is not in search of a 'voice', or a position, or indeed a career; he is in search of a survival kit, of words that because they get him through get through to other people.

from The Guardian: The truth, the whole truth

The discipline of poetry requires that you keep yourself available. The muse "hits" unpredictably, almost like an accident. An artist keeps herself/himself "accident-prone." And then there is the whole practice of order--files and notes--manuscripts at different levels of finish--and having a few good dictionaries always at hand. [--Gary Snyder]

from The Union: Q & A with wordsmith Gary Snyder

Being fat bothered Philip Whalen his entire writing life. Even after years of studying and practicing Zen Buddhism, he was beset by shame and self-consciousness, expressed in lines such as these:

"Epigram, Upon Himself"

People can forgive all my faults; They despise me for being fat.

Intriguingly, "being fat" apparently is not included among his faults, a distinction fine enough to presage further psychological revelations.

from San Francisco Chronicle: Beat Philip Whalen's poetry collected in one sprawling volume

To date, Wang Chunhui has written nearly 500 classical poems, and over 50 of them have been published by various media.

Since Wang Chunhui gained access to the Internet on May 19, 2004, her world has expanded. She has made many friends online and has learned a lot more about poetry from them. However, spending time online also brings increased discomfort, as her family has to tie Wang Chunhui upright in a chair so she can see they screen and manipulate the keys.

from The Epoch Times: Disabled Woman Writes Poems Using a Chopstick in Her Mouth

Great Regulars

But they are also books that embody the big ideas of the time--both Wells and Lem were obsessed with human insignificance in the face of the immense otherness of the universe, Huxley with technology as a seductive destroyer and Orwell with our capacity for authoritarian evil. Borges, like Lem, suspects we know nothing of ourselves. Interested in these things? Of course you are. Read SF.

from Bryan Appleyard: The Times: Why don't we love science fiction?

"I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I haven't read most of these books (a few of them are sitting on my nightstand as bedroom decor--does that count?). I was amused to see Pierre Bayard's How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read listed in the non-fiction section . . . I guess if I read that one, it pretty much covers all my bases, doesn't it?"

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: From the blogs

[Mike Barlow's] attempts to bridge the gap between reality and the imagined world beyond see him reaching for telescopes, lenses, mirrors--anything that allows him to see the unseen. Reflections and echoes haunt him; the wind, cast as an invisible but powerful agent of movement between states, whistles through the lines.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Air in the mind

At four he glimpsed God's head at the window, at eight a tree shimmering with angels. For [William] Blake, being a visionary meant seeing beyond a version of politics centred chiefly on parliament. "House of Commons and House of Lords seem to me to be fools," he wrote. "They seem to me to be something other than human life."

from Terry Eagleton: The Guardian: The original political vision: sex, art and transformation

The Messiah ("Christos" in Greek) was regarded by the Jews as a kingly, warrior-like figure, whereas Jesus's satirical entry into Jerusalem on the back of an ass can be read as an anti-Messianic gesture, an ironic smack at all such notions of military sovereignty.

Was Jesus, then, a "spiritual" rather than a political leader?

For Jesus, there can be no negotiation between the domain of justice--the kingdom of God--and the powers of this world.

from Terry Eagleton: The Guardian: Comment is free: Jesus: Messiah or Bolshevik?

One could be in Timbuktu.

The chimneys have Darth Vader helmets. And then there are ventilation towers and badalots, which are the casings of the stairwells leading from the attic to the roof. Those that are visible from below in the Passeig de Grà cia have the decorated surfaces.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: A landscape all of its own

Quite a lot of this power has to do with the script that the Coen brothers boiled down from [Cormac] McCarthy's already lean prose. It tells the camera what to do, the characters what to say, and makes a ridiculous situation frighteningly believable, and tense. This ought to be on studio heads' minds as they go to the bargaining table for the fourth week of the Writers Guild of America's strike.

from John Freeman: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Everybody needs writers

Finally, in poetry, there was some enjambment, as they say. Three books straddled first place: a massive new translation of Zbigniew Herbert's Selected Poems, along with two volumes of recent US poet laureates, Robert Hass (Time and Materials) and Robert Pinsky (Gulf Music). The list was rounded by Rae Armantrout (Next Life) and Mary Jo Bang (Elegy).

from John Freeman: The Guardian: theblogbooks: The year's best books? We do the math

She felt motivated to rise out of her coffin, but she was unable to do so; of course, death had immobilized her physical body, but her mind was still capable of comprehending her environment.

from Linda Sue Grimes: December Poet--Emily Dickinson

The speaker then adds an impossible comparison: his life will shut like a flower imagining the fall of snow.

The reader can only guess at how a flower might feel, and when the reader does so, s/he will probably just be thinking about s/he (the reader) feels with snow "descending" "carefully everywhere."

from Linda Sue Grimes: A Flawed Love Poem

However, the claim that "Somebody" committed those heinous acts is utterly disingenuous. Everybody knows who did it. By implying that he does not know who "blew up America," the speaker places himself with the conspiracy theorists, the truthers who claim that it was not "terrorist" who commandeered those planes, but the U. S. government.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Poet Laureate Loses Laureateship

For those who want to meet people who share their taste in books, the site can serve as a social network.

Once my zines were added, all the other users who have them in their collections got linked to my page. Some of these, I soon saw, weren't personal collections but small libraries, infoshops, and other public collections that are using the site as a catalog.

from Katie Haegele: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Visit to LibraryThing can bring together readers and collectors

Sheryl St. Germain is both a poet and director of the graduate writing program at Chatham University and she's having a banner year in both roles.

First, the Chatham program was recognized by the Atlantic Monthly and Poets & Writers magazines recently for its distinctive and unique program.

from Bob Hoover: Post-Gazette: Video: An interview with poet Sheryl St. Germain

His parents do not appear to engage with the real man that their son has become, who has grown beyond their photo-fed recollections. In fact, they don't need him because they have the version that they have made up, and on which they feed their fantasies, who never leaves home.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: A foreign country

The instructor seemed to believe that he could tell us how to swim and then we should be able to do it, and he strutted up and down watching boys struggle in the water and yelling at them. After three lessons I stopped going. I went to the library instead, which was a block away from the YMCA.

from Garrison Keillor: The Washington Post: The Reading Life

Poem: "Grandma's Grave" by Freya Manfred, from Swimming With a Hundred Year Old Snapping Turtle (buy now) © Red Dragonfly Press, 2008.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of December 03, 2007

The voice of Pinsky's poetry is both learned and edgily unlearned. He cultivates the poetic persona of the chuchum, the wise guy, the kidder, the shape-shifter, "Loki the schemer," Hermes the divine messenger. There is about his voice always something of the high school troublemaker, but one who has taken the library seriously. "I have a small-town mind," he remarks in one new poem. "Like the Greeks and Trojans./Shame. Pride. Importance of looking bad or good."

from Karl Kirchwey: Sifting through detail for myth and archetype

Here's a holiday poem by Steven Schneider that I like very much for its light spirit and evocative sensory detail. Isn't this a party to which you'd like to be invited?

Chanukah Lights Tonight

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 140

The devil appears, but then is set aside for Kool-Aid. The poet's dead-pan delivery suggests a third presence: the open-eared listener who observes details, judges a tad, and chuckles at the absurd human condition--like an adult reader.


from Denise Low: Ad Astra Poetry Project: William C. Kloefkorn (1932 - )

Images are the distilled essence of poetry. Another modern master, E.E. Cummings (1894-1962), wrote this marvel of concision and economy: "L(a" l(a/le/af/fa/ll/s)/one/l/iness. Note the concrete image, "a leaf falls," is encapsulated parenthetically within the abstraction "loneliness"--the word itself arranged by line breaks that emphasize the one-ness of loneliness.

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: Use imagery to make your poetry blossom

Still, it's not much of a legacy for someone who was for a while probably the most famous writer in America--a couple of 50-year-old New Yorker articles, a sweep-up of assorted freelance chores for other magazines and a novel-like crime story (“Handcarved Coffins�) that has its moments but that also strains credulity more than once. In fact, the whole volume won't do much for Capote's already tarnished reputation as a truth-teller.

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Shades of Capote

[by E. Ethelbert Miller]
Last Stand

from E. Ethelbert Miller: E-Notes: Last Stand

[by E. Ethelbert Miller]
You Are A Galaxy To Me

from E. Ethelbert Miller: E-Notes: You Are A Galaxy To Me

"Five people came to see me at about 10 this morning," former journalist and editor of the nonprofit Minjian magazine Zhai Minglei told RFA's Mandarin service.

"Three of them showed ID that confirmed they were from the Shanghai cultural business bureau. They said that I was involved in the illegal publication and distribution of materials, and acting as a freelance editor. They took away 41 copies of Minjian magazine," Zhai said.

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: China Raids Blogger's Home, as Political Arrests Double

By evoking American history from unexpected, unsettling angles, Jordan demonstrates poetry's power to be at once intimate and wide-ranging.

(A. Van Jordan's poem "Flashback" is from his book "Quantum Lyrics: Poems." Norton. Copyright 2007 by A. Van Jordan.)

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

A selection of poems from Robin Scofield, curated by our friends at the Tumblewords Project.

from Donna Snyder: Newspaper Tree: Tumblewords Poetry: Cantalily Sequence

When 'The Times' invited several eminent authors to write essays on the theme 'What's wrong with the world?' Chesterton's contribution took the form of a letter:

Dear Sirs,
I am.
Sincerely yours,
G K Chesterton

from V Sundaram: News Today: The man who was Chesterton

. . . so I thought I'd post a poem of mine that I wrote on the subject. It's a villanelle and it was published in Boulevard last year. The painting is by Sassetta.


from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: Books, Inq.: Advent begins today . . .

Letterland by Sophie Hannah

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Letterland by Sophie Hannah

Why Can't We
by Kim Hyesoon translated by Don Mee Choi

from Guernica: Poetry: Why Can't We

By Tony Gardner
Driving Range

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: 'Driving Range,' a poem by Tony Gardner

For Whom the Bells Jingle
by Susie Day

from MR Zine: 'For Whom the Bells Jingle'

Farm Team
by Kevin Young

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Farm Team

Picnic by the Inland Sea
by D. Nurkse

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Picnic by the Inland Sea

To Boredom
by Charles Simic

from The New Yorker: Poetry: To Boredom

--Grace Paley[, "Here"]

Writer and activist Grace Paley died Aug. 22 at her home in Thetford Hill, Vt., at age 84.

from The Oregonian: Poetry

At the November Hoot, Hugh Harter read this haunting poem, filled with beauty and melancholy, in a structure of subtle rhythm and rhyme:

The Beach

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poems from the Hoot

[by Karen Langley Current]
"Fish House" Tears
--Plaice Cove, Hampton

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: "Fish House" Tears--Plaice Cove, Hampton

[by Amy Bedard]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: J.R.

To read this poem is to be transported straight to the vegetable patch late in the year. A new book places Edward Thomas's poems in the context of his letters to other writers, in his few years of poetic output before his death at the Battle of Arras.


from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"Luanne Again, Southeastern Ohio"
By John Hazard

from Slate: "Luanne Again, Southeastern Ohio" --By John Hazard

Our poem of the week is the concluding section of the closing poem in The Space of Joy [by John Fuller], in which the poet looks back at a holiday with his parents in Switzerland over half a century ago. The whole poem was published in the TLS on May 5, 2006.

From "Thun 1947"

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: From "Thun 1947"

The following selection presents [Boaz] Kadman's solution to composing in words. "I always did, and still do, a lot of collage work," Kadman told Zeek. "So I pick up old books and such from wherever. I found a lot of old books with text only, so I started cutting up certain words and piecing them together without any clear plan. It's hard for me to write texts, stories, essays, and this way was easier."

from Zeek: Boaz Kadman: A Selection

Alicia Ostriker

The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip and the Dog

from Zeek: Three Poems by Alicia Ostriker

Poetic Obituaries

After Squat [Theater] split in two in 1985, Mr. [Stephan] Balint and the members who remained continued to perform.

Mr. Balint also worked in movies, writing and appearing in the photographer Robert Frank's 1989 film, "Hunter."

After Hungary's Communist regime collapsed, Mr. Balint returned in 1991 to the country of his birth. His most recent book was a 2005 collection of prose poems with drawings by the artist Gabor Rosko.

from The New York Times: Stephan Balint, 64, a Founder of the Squat Theater, Dies

While living in Dover for the past 21 years, Mrs. [A. Ruth] Braemer has also maintained a home in Orlando, Fla. since 1957.

from The Oneida Daily Dispatch: A. Ruth Braemer

[Ban Tai Doan's] works and poetic philosophy always reflected an innocence and the ethnic people's truthful state of mind. In his lifetime, Doan published 15 works of all kinds, including novels, critical works and volumes of poetry, which all showed his distinguished influence on readers nationwide, and went on to become a precious addition to the country's literary canon.

from Viet Nam News: Famed ethnic poet dies at age 94

After meeting [Ben] Mazer, [Landis] Everson wrote some 300 poems in three years.

In 2005, he received the Emily Dickinson Award, given by the Poetry Foundation to poets over age 50 who have never published a book. The following year Everson's first book, "Everything Preserved: Poems 1955-2005," was published by Graywolf Press.

from Los Angeles Times: Berkeley Renaissance poet dies

[Irene Hahn-Ausmus] enjoyed writing poetry and stories and building miniature houses.

from The Creswell Chronicle: Irene Hahn-Ausmus

[Elizabeth] Hardwick was among the last survivors of a promiscuous, hard-drinking circle of intellectuals that included Edmund Wilson, Lionel and Diana Trilling, Mary McCarthy, Philip Rahv and the celebrated poet Robert Lowell, with whom she had a famously difficult marriage.

from Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Author-critic dead at 91

With only his [Chinh Huu's] first collection, his poetry went down in the books of great Vietnamese literature. His poems were written in the trenches. Most contain few words but show incredible depth.

His most famous poems include Ngay Ve (Returning Day), Dong Chi (Comrades), Thu Nha (Letters from Home) and Ngon Den Dung Gac (Guarding Lamp).

from Viet Nam News: Revolutionary poet Chinh Huu, 82, dies

"I'll never forget a poem that he made up when we were seniors about his friends and the people he hung out with. It was incredible. Everybody was just astounded when he recited it in front of the whole school.''

Outstanding in track and field, ski jumping and ice hockey at Butte High School, [Evel] Knievel went on to win the Northern Rocky Mountain Ski Association Class A Men's ski jumping championship in 1957 and played with the Charlotte Clippers of the Eastern Hockey League in 1959.

from The Guardian: Iconic Daredevil Evel Knievel Dies at 69

[Sir John Loveridge's] poetry related mainly to the Elizabethan era, with which he had a special fascination. His published work included God Save the Queen: Sonnets of Elizabeth I (1981), Hunter of the Moon (1983) and Hunter of the Sun (1984). Loveridge's aesthetic sense also led him to acquire and restore Bindon Manor, near Axmouth in Devon; he wrote his most stirring verse and had his studio there, and with his wife ran the estate with enthusiasm.

from Telegraph: Sir John Loveridge

Rebecca [McCann] had the voice of a pop star and a white scrunchie around her wrist. [Her mother Penny] Manley's hand shook as she held the video camera.

Rebecca wrote songs and poems about God and a friend who recently died from overdosing on sleeping pills.

from St. Petersburg Times: Teens who died in crash had just started dating

In December 2005, he [Jay Meek] was invited by the nation's poet laureate to recite and discuss his poetry at the National Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Among his many honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Pushcart Prize and a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship.

Meek is the author of eight books of poetry, and other works.

from Star Tribune: Jay Meek, poetry professor at University of N. Dakota

[Keshav Tanaji Meshram] was suffering from lung cancer. With his death, a prolific literary career of a man (he had written about 40 books), who always maintained balance while voicing the pain, revolt and introspection of the plight of dalits, has also come to an end.

from Merinews: Keshav Meshram, great dalit poet and novelist, passes away in Mumbai

[Frances L.] Ramlo worked as a nurse at the Spring Grove Hospital and also provided care for patients in their homes. She loved to write and was an avid journalist, composed poetry and documented family history.

from Post-Bulletin: Frances L. Ramlo--Spring Grove

"Desert of the Heart [by Jane Rule]--coming as it did just before the late 60s women's movement--and containing as it did two lovers who were women--made Jane and Helen [Sonthoff] very famous in those circles," commented Margaret Atwood. "Her novels were never tracts, however. What interested her was character, in all its forms. The human-ness of human beings. The richness and unpredictability of life."

from The Globe and Mail: Jane Rule, 76

Pamela Uschuk, [Maxwell] Silver's creative writing professor, said her students used Monday's class to remember Max, telling stories, laughing, even throwing a cell-phone across the room, breaking it.

"We did whatever we could do," Uschuk said.

Toward the end of the program, Uschuk read a poem of Max's, and then an elegy of her own.

from The Durango Herald: Humility, kindness, and charisma: Student remembered


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