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Poetry news, poetry blogs, poetry magazines, poetry journals, poetry sites, poetry links, etc.

Monday, May 31, 2004
Les Murray is the "leading poet" of an English-speaking continent and I've never read a word by him. I suppose I should find out why.

Saturday, May 29, 2004
Larkin in the NY Times and Slate.

The Indiana Review Summer 2004 is out. It includes a piece by Aimee Nezhukumatathil called When All of My Cousins Are Married.

Thursday, May 27, 2004
Cordite Poetry Review #18: ROOTS

hutt is our little home for poetry. we find words, give them a room and some snacks, maybe a quick scrub, and send them back out into the world with new shoes and a bum part. it’s tearful at times but all for the best, really.

hutt is ad and income free. but it costs nothing to peep through our windows, any time of the day or night. so go on, take a long, hard look – we know you want to.

words in hutt present their invitation at the door. we scrutinise each invitation (hold it up to the light, x-ray it, other lab stuff), so don’t try anything sneaky. words in hutt don’t get paid either.

Edited by Paul Hardacre of papertiger media.

The many layers of Charles Bukowski:
Filmmaker John Dullaghan delves deeply into the enigmatic writer's life

To some, the name Charles Bukowski has become synonymous with sex, drinking and fighting, seedy barrooms and foul-mouthed prostitutes, low-paying jobs and roach-infested hotel rooms. [...]

And I hear he wrote a bit.
But filmmaker John Dullaghan wasn't interested in the usual suspects.

"Those things perpetuate this drunken-slob image," says Dullaghan, 42, whose documentary, "Bukowski: Born Into This," opens Friday at the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles then opens in select theaters in June (the film opens July 9 at the Art Theatre on Fourth Street in Long Beach).

National Poetry Map of America:
Please note that we are in the process of developing our National Poetry Map and are soliciting content from our users. If you would like to contribute a suggestion, please see the form below.

The Online Poetry Classroom (OPC) Project:

Online Poetry Classroom (OPC), a new program of The Academy of American Poets, combines poetry, pedagogy, and technology with the belief that poetry is an essential part of America's heritage and a vital tool in helping students comprehend and articulate human experience.

Designed to enhance poetry education on a national level, OPC employs technology to encourage the development of new poetry curricula and teaching strategies by high school English and Language Arts teachers. OPC serves both as an interactive professional development program and a virtual community enabling teachers across the country to access free poetry resources online. These teaching tools include innovative, classroom-tested curricula and discussion forums in which users can post strategies for and ask questions about teaching poetry at the high school level.

The OPC program was developed in conjunction with three partner organizations: Center for Children & Technology, part of the Education Development Center, Inc.; Institute for Learning Technologies at Columbia University's Teachers College; and Teachers & Writers Collaborative. For more information on these organizations, please visit the Partner Institutions page on this site, or the websites of each organization.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Humanities (organ of the National Endowment for the Humanities) this issue has Vendler, Vendler (again), Blake, and The Online Poetry Classroom.

And (after posting the previous link) there's also this [via Bro Tom]: Virtual Poetry Workshop
See how a poetry workshop unfolds on-line. Teachers & Writers Collaborative is proud to feature the tenth on-line workshop led by poet Hoa Nguyen of Austin, Texas. Ten student writers from around the country are participating this time. Adapt Hoa's writing exercises for your own students, and learn how to critique student poetry by reading Hoa's responses on the forum page. Find out more about the resident writer on the info page; read student writing and responses on the forum page. Feel free to use all the exercises listed on this page in your classrooms.

This thing looks like it could be really good if enough real (?) writers joined it. You submit work and then get anonymous critiques. And, of course, you anonymously critique the work of others in exchange. If you aren't serious about both parts, nothing happens. Right now, I think, nothing much is happening there. But that means it could be made afresh. Do you think it's worth trying to round up enough good people to make it work?
How do I get published on afterDinner?
Here's some instructions.

Me piece is perfect. Why do I have to do a workshop?
Maybe everyone will tell you how brilliant it is and you wont need to make any edits. Yay! The opportunity for reader suggestions must be present before publication, however. That's what the workshop is for.

Is this an online community?
No. It's not. The afterDinner workshop is a set of collaboration tools developed for writers and interested readers, aimed at helping both parties view and collaborate on a literary piece at the same time. There's no chat room, no bulletin board, and little in the way of interaction. The focus here is on the work. Personality has little to do with it. That said, you may make friends as a result of this site, but this site was not developed to help you make friends.

How much does it cost?
Nothing but your time. The only way I'd consider charging a sign up fee would be a) if I got an offer I couldn't refuse, b) the cost of operating this site was such that I couldn't afford it c) if abuse was so rampant and obnoxious that I'd need to weed out those who are serious about the site from those who are not. To be quite honest, I'd rather keep it free. Charging for this service would go against the spirit of the site, which is to help writers and readers connect. So please behave yourself.

Sunday, May 23, 2004
An online lit magazine should be a daily, like a blog with an editor and an editorial policy. Each day of the month (or maybe five or six days a week), each month of the year, give people one poem or story or picture or review. Make each day a special issue devoted to one person and one of that person's works. Run series. Maybe reserve certain days of the week for certain types of work. Schedule (and announce) certain pieces for certain days, so people have something to look forward to. Issue print compilations if bookshelves are your game. With 365 days to fill, you would need something like 30 or 40 people submitting ten good things each. It could be done.

But if you were, for some loony reason, to run an online monthly, make it a moonthly monthly: issue it exactly on the new (or full) moon, with special issues for meteor storms and eclipses. And have a mailing list (with sign-up instructions in an easy-to-find spot) to remind everyone once a month that you are still in operation, despite there having been no changes to your site over the previous 30 days.

Saturday, May 22, 2004
Welcome to Znine, an on-line literary review sponsored by the English department at The University Of Texas At Arlington.

The goal of Znine is to promote both the literary and visual arts and provide a forum for emerging poets, writers, and artists who offer a unique perspective that stimulates the imagination and often provides insight into our world. We publish emerging writers and artists alongside established ones. Znine offers a platform through which artists of various genres may share works of creative excellence.

Friday, May 21, 2004
Words Without Borders:
Words Without Borders undertakes to promote international communication through translation of the world's best writing--selected and translated by a distinguished group of writers, translators, and publishing professionals--and publishing and promoting these works (or excerpts) on the web. We also serve as an advocacy organization for literature in translation, producing events that feature the work of foreign writers and connecting these writers to universities and to print and broadcast media.

Latest issue: China

Hard lessons from poetry class: Speech is free unless it's critical
Bill Nevins, a New Mexico high school teacher and personal friend, was fired last year and classes in poetry and the poetry club at Rio Rancho High School were permanently terminated. It had nothing to do with obscenity, but it had everything to do with extremist politics.

The "Slam Team" was a group of teenage poets who asked Nevins to serve as faculty adviser to their club. The teens, mostly shy youngsters, were taught to read their poetry aloud and before audiences. Rio Rancho High School gave the Slam Team access to the school's closed-circuit television once a week and the poets thrived.

In March 2003, a teenage girl named Courtney presented one of her poems before an audience at Barnes & Noble bookstore in Albuquerque, then read the poem live on the school's closed-circuit television channel.

A school military liaison and the high school principal accused the girl of being "un-American" because she criticized the war in Iraq and the Bush administration's failure to give substance to its "No child left behind" education policy.

The girl's mother, also a teacher, was ordered by the principal to destroy the child's poetry. The mother refused and may lose her job.

Bill Nevins was suspended for not censoring the poetry of his students. Remember, there is no obscenity to be found in any of the poetry. He was later fired by the principal. [...]

More from the Alliance for Academic Freedom.

Thursday, May 20, 2004
Widows & Orpheans (2): Word For/Word

Here's another magazine, Word For/Word, that looks like a big show in an empty theater.
Contributors: 28 (William Allegrezza, Kathryn T. S. Bass, Keith Baughman, John M. Bennett, Mike Chasar, Chad Chmielowicz, Clayton A. Couch, Mark DuCharme, Cathy Eisenhower, Raymond Farr, Michael Farrell, Thomas Fink, Noah Eli Gordon, W.B. Keckler, Amy King, Sueyeun Juliette Lee, Jim Leftwich, Anita Naegeli, Daniel Nester, Stephen Oliver, Michael Peters, Steven J. Stewart, Marc Snyder, Nico Vassilakis, James Wagner, Derek White)
Staff: 1 (Jonathan Minton)
Incoming links: 30

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Cahiers de Corey
As I've said before, I'm attracted to the model of something like the New California Poetry series, where there's a reading period and no fee. I actually prefer the activist intervention/tastemaking of an editor or team of editors to being anonymously anointed by a judge you're liable never to meet. Why do any of this if not to build relationships—what else could "wanting to be read" mean? Even if you only want to be read by posterity—especially then.

Big Confetti

Widows & Orpheans

I see so many web magazines with so few links to them, and I wonder how much work goes into things no one sees. Some of these magazines are the web counterparts of print magazines that, for all I know, have plenty of readers. But some aren't.

For example: pip.lit
What's Pip?

The literary magazine Pip Lit started in Chicago, a sizeable city in the Midwest. It is named for the word "pip" because of pip’s multiple, unlike meanings (that, coincidentally, describe how we like our poems):

1. small and generative (n., a seed, as in that of an apple or orange)
2. musical (v., to cry, peep, or chirp, as in a chicken)
3. alarming (n., a short, high-pitched radio signal)
4. dazzling (v., to break through the shell, as in hatching)
5. of the body (n., a minor, nonspecific human ailment)
6. powerful (v., to kill by firing a missile or weapon)
7. juicy on the inside (n., any of the small segments that make up the surface of a pineapple)
8. and at times, dirty, mean, and hilarious (v., to blackball, as in a person)

Each magazine issue has a theme, and the title of that theme forms the acronym PIP. The magazine also lists our contributors’ connections (however insignificant and unsubstantiated) to Chicago, so we can see where they might have crossed paths.

It has six people on the masthead, including a usability expert, it looks pretty fancy, it has at least a couple of well-known names in the first (and so far only) issue, and it gets city and state supporting funds, but (according to a recent google) only three sites or blogs (including this one) link to it.

Does anyone out there read it? What can you tell me about it?

Welcome to the National Association for Poetry Therapy!
For the past 24 years, NAPT members have forged a community of healers and lovers of words and language. We are psychotherapists, counselors, psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists. We are poets, journal keepers, storytellers, and songwriters. We are teachers, librarians, adult educators, and university professors. We are doctors, nurses, occupational/ recreational therapists; . ministers, pastoral counselors, and spiritual directors. We are artists, dancers, dramatists, musicians, and writers.

And we are loons.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Tym Yu on a squabble among poets:
Ron Silliman on [Foetry], [Fence], and external validation, which is, I think, along the same lines as my post on Foetry last month. [...]

That [Wolff] and [Winter] can now make such appeals certainly shows how much the landscape has shifted; Fence itself is now viewed as a site of power, in which external judges have to be brought in to ensure the fair distribution of its resources. Perhaps the best evidence for this is that neither editor feels able to make the most obvious and unapologetic response to cries of favoritism: "Yes; that's right; I pick whatever the hell I please because I like it." That's pretty much the standard principle of any small-press endeavor, because what other justification could there be for investing all that effort with no prospect of return? That Wolff and Winter can't appeal to this principle demonstrates the extent to which Fence has departed from this model to become an old-fashioned literary institution, with editorial boards and external referees and procedures to distribute what is now seen as a valuable resource: publication by Fence.

Monday, May 17, 2004
Turning the Pages (via Penny Dreadful)

Wallace Stevens, "Jumbo" (at Lime Tree)
One way to try imagining the kind of mind that could produce this poem--or for that matter, to try to understand what that mind was getting at--is to type it out yourself, as I just have.

At the very least, such an exercise makes you more aware of the delicate phonic, lexical, and rhetorical balances that make up a good deal of the poem's structure.

Or something like that. Anyway, it's good to copy out any poem you are studying. Make yourself look at every letter. And if it's too long to copy, it's probably too long.

Ágnes Nemes Nagy (George Szirtes in the Guardian):
At the end of the second world war, there was a brief moment when younger Hungarian writers began to assert themselves before the communist takeover. At this time, a young woman called Ágnes Nemes Nagy, and her then husband, the critic Balázs Lengyel, launched a magazine called Újhold, meaning New Moon. The best of the old and new writers flocked to it, but the new regime considered it too individualistic, too bourgeois, and took appropriate steps not only to close it down, but to ban its contributors from publishing.

So it was that the young Nemes Nagy found herself excluded from the literary life of the country. She taught in schools and Lengyel was imprisoned. [...]

I started translating some of her poems, the clearer, shorter, more epigrammatic ones first, since they seemed more cloudy in Maxton's translation than I thought they needed to be. Their ambiguity lay in their apparent clarity. They were rhymed, often in quatrains, with a firm metrical hand and the occasional line left almost orphaned, hanging like a thread into some other darker territory. I was certain the poems' power lay precisely in their formal structure: in the iron coincidence of rhyme, in the tight-fitting metre.

Two poems here.

Snobby Americana Project:
The Snobby Americana Project is located at www.darn-tootin.com. Once a week, the project will feature a different piece of American classical music, about a hundred works in all. The works will not be archived (I'm not made of server space, after all). The web listing will contain a few sentences about each piece of music, but subscribers to this list will get more information about the works featured, as well as open discussion.

The Haunted Igloo - Sarah Manguso

Thursday, May 13, 2004
'Fictitious' author publishes the first book without verbs:
First, there was the novel written without using the letter "e". Now a French author has produced what he claims is the first book with no verbs.

Perhaps inevitably, critics have commented unfavourably on the lack of action in Michel Thaler's work, The Train from Nowhere, which runs to 233 pages. Instead of action, lengthy passages are filled with florid adjectives in a series of vitriolic portraits of dislikeable passengers on a train.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Poet-of-the-skies Wendy Morton writes poems for airline passengers
When passengers on a recent Edmonton-to-Toronto flight got settled in their seats, they were offered the usual snacks and beverages. Later, a striking woman with a mellifluous voice took the microphone to read poetry aloud before querying whether anyone would like her to compose a personal poem.

Hands shot up, and Wendy Morton, a.k.a. WestJet's poet of the skies, was hard at work again, chatting with passengers for inspiration and then scribbling verses about life, love and adversity on sheets of lined paper as the plane winged its way over Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Great Lakes. [...]

The resident of Sooke, B.C., isn't a regular fixture on WestJet, but whenever she does fly - a few times a year - the airline provides her with free passage in exchange for her labours. [...]

Here is a poem written by poet Wendy Morton aboard a recent WestJet flight for passenger Linda Konrad:
Water Polo

Her nieces never touch bottom,
tread water the whole game:
with grace and strength.
They cry when they win,
when they lose.
It's a watery metaphor
for their lives,
getting them ready
for the real world,
where they will tread water,

Bard of the Boots keeps singing the Blues:
What helped swing it for Hurst, 37, was the fervent rhyming of his singalong ode to the squad, especially Stan Lazaridis, to the tune of Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man:
_ (But) Stan is the man

His shirt they try to cling to

As he weaves down the wing to

Find Forssell with precision

Does the baseball league (or whatever it's called) have a poet laureate yet?

Joan Collins and the decline of the west:
Having set out her territory, her arguments take flight. In another essay, "Alchemy", she writes that "The greatest shock for an east European writer who turned up in the western literary marketplace was the absence of aesthetic criteria." The easterner, brought up to believe in a distinction between "literature" and "trash", is introduced to a westerner and admits modestly that he is a writer. "What a coincidence!" the reply comes. "Our 10-year-old daughter is just finishing a novel. We even have a publisher!"