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

Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Cuba releases dissident poet [Cuba]:
CUBAN dissident journalist and poet Raul Rivero, who was serving a 20-year prison sentence after being arrested in March, was released today in Havana, his wife told AFP.

disquieting muses quarterly says:
We are pleased to announce the release of the November 2004 issue of the DMQ Review featuring the work of Joel Vega, Mary Austin Speaker, Derek Sheffield, Steven J. Stewart, Nicole Hardy, John Grey, Tom Daley, Letitia Trent, Julia Andreevna Istomina, Robert Krut, and the artwork of Summer Lee.

Check it out, www.dmqreview.com


Sally Ashton, Editor

Haiku Movie Reviews [US]:
If you found Kathy
Bates scary in Misery,
Watch the hot tub scene.

VN gets dose of American poetry [Vietnam]:
HCM CITY — Vietnamese readers can now join the Beat Generation and the American poets of the 20th century with a newly-translated book of American poetry.

Entitled 15 American Poets of the 20th century, the bilingual publication is the first foreign-language book to be translated into Vietnamese and published in the country since Viet Nam joined the Berne Convention for Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

The leading poets selected for the compilation include Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), Frank O’Hara (1926-1966), Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), Ezra Pound (1885-1972), Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) and William Carlos Williams (1883-1963). [...]

Mental patients expressed selves in underground art and poetry [US]:
Patients gained an emotional outlet when they were encouraged to express themselves in the tunnels by Natasha Mayers, a prominent Maine artist who taught art at the institute a generation ago. Mayers also brought in professional artists from all over Maine to brighten up one of the tunnels while they were still used by patients and support staff as underground sidewalks between buildings. [...]

But by the look of the things they wrote, they weren't all happy being told to write.
Once more foul dude I say go home,
May narcos follow where you roam,
And fever lay you neath the loam,
'Cause I'll not write no stupid poem!

Please don't break down my fortress
And expose my tender self.
I want to take my miseries
And put them on the shelf.

At the Augusta Mental Health Institute in Georgia, US.

The Liffey Project [Ireland]:
Presenting a selection of writing from each of the participating countries in the original and two translated versions, all of the writing on the site is available in English, Danish and German. Material is also translated into these languages from Welsh, Irish and Slovenian.
Read The Paradise Sexy Shop by Macdara Woods

Legendary poet/activist Gary Snyder finds his voice again [US]:
Now 74, the crusty, twinkling-eyed poet laureate of the high country has just published his first collection of new poems in 20 years. [...]

"Danger on Peaks" proceeds with a more supple line, often through urban areas as well as the back country.

From Hiroshima, it arcs through three more "blasts" — Mount St. Helens, 9/11 and the Taliban's demolition of the gigantic Buddhas in Afghanistan's Bamiyan Valley, offering a potent meditation on violence — and its antidote, compassion. [...]


A pink and purple page about a pert, precocious poet.

Dead poet becomes Russian pop icon [Russia]:
New Zealand's University of Canterbury associate professor Alexandra Smith delivered a lecture yesterday on Tsvetayeva's rising stardom. Smith is an expert on the works of Tsvetayeva and Aleksandr Pushkin, also a poet and considered the founder of modern Russian literature.

Smith's lecture focused on how Tsvetayeva's work has become a cultural commodity in Russia in the past few decades, elevating her image to that of a pop star. Smith's speech was supplemented with images and audio clips of Tsvetayeva's poems being used as song lyrics.

While Pushkin is still the most widely recognizable and popular Russian poet, according to Smith, she predicts that "Tsvetayeva's time is coming." [...]

In Russia today there are three museums, three monuments and a dozen documentaries dedicated to Tsvetayeva, as well as numerous songs that use her poems as lyrics.

Tsvetayeva's work has also become pervasive in the nationalistic trend of the Russian school curricula. She is "something that can sell," Smith said. "She is a product that could be worked with in many ways. That is what fascinates me."

"There are attempts to canonize her," Smith added, noting that Tsvetayeva has evolved from "an eccentric artist to a cultural figure, a brand name." [...]

"Aleksandr Pushkin, also a poet" -- They certainly don't assume much from the readership of the The Daily Pennsylvanian.

"William Shakespeare, also a playwright"

Guide to putting together a poetry pamphlet [UK]:
3. Sort out good poems that could start a collection and a few that could end the collection as well. Then try linking poems together to form mini-sequences. Then try putting in all the rest and read through what you have. That’s when you can recognise you’ve got (too many) poems that are saying very similar things and some poems which are satires that negate, or ironies that undermine, the more positive poems. The whole collection begins struggling to find its own voice (which is stronger than, and different to, the voice of any individual poem).

The competition winners are usually more like a Concept Album than a Greatest Hits. That’s why you need quite a few more poems than you’ll eventually submit because you may then find you have to drop one or two and (even) include a poem that may not be as brilliantly written as one you’re discarding. Almost every collection has fillers (weaker poems that work as links between the stronger ones) but the smaller the collection the less you should have. Be careful about including a poem you may later regret getting published—you can’t disown it once it’s there alongside your bright and shiny ones! If you’re choosing from far more poems than you’ll eventually need, you have more chance of selecting strong poems. Keep sorting and sifting, checking through, and trying again. The whole process seems like writing a poem in itself.
A reader might think 'Speak for yourself!' all the way through this, but there is a nugget or two here.

The Page is a fine place to find poetry links.

(From Andrew Johnston.)

Horse Less Press says:
Horse Less Cookbook: Ten Comforts
Our first cookbook contains recipes and writings from || Jessica Goeller, Conan Kelly, Jim Eberhardy, William Gillespie, Genevieve Laplante, Jesse Castaldi, Bronwen Tate, David deLeon, Erika Howsare, Benjamin Wiser, and Jen Tynes. || Small, softbacked, handmarked: a great holiday gift.

Ordering info + a bonus recipe from Benjamin Wiser here:

Monday, November 29, 2004
The Poetry Place has a (group?) blog and a wiki (whatever that is), and it's much prettier than this blog.

Poetry Film Festival 2004 [UK]:
Welcome to Newcastle's first Poetry Film Festival

Poetry films are not illustrated poems, nor are they texts combined with moving images. They are autonomous pieces which unify the spoken or written language of poetry with the visual language of film, creating a new form of 'image-language'. Poetry films have always been a part of the tradition of experimental film, usually without being granted the attention they deserve. Poetry films also allow poets to enter new domains and to release poems to a wider audience.

The programme that we have put together for the festival embraces the entire history of poetry films and includes screenings of rare films from the early part of the 20th century, courtesy of the BFI and Lux archives, alongside films made in the north east of England in the past year. [...]

Tuesday, 7 December, 7.30pm:
As part of New Writing North and Tyneside Cinema's Poetry Film Season, we present a programme, curated by Peter Todd, that explores the possibilities of the film poem, presenting work which in some cases draw upon an actual poem while in others they are 'film poems' in their own right. William C Wees defines them as offering “modes of communication that push against the limits of everyday use of language (as does poetry) and conventional forms of filmmaking (as does avant-garde film). They are, like all interesting art, greater than the sum of their parts.

The Side Cinema is on Newcastle's Quayside, next to the Side Cafe, 9 Side, Newcastle, NE1 3JE. [link: scroll to the bottom]

The Anne Winters Challenge: Should a Marxist poet be stylistically ornate?
Anne Winters is one of the scarcest talents in American poetry. Winters is the author of two books of poems, The Key to the City and the new The Displaced of Capital, published 18 years apart. The books themselves are slim, even by the standards of poetry books. Her reputation comes to rest on perhaps a dozen poems written over the course of 30 or so years. All of these poems take New York City as their primary subject, and all of them are written from an inveterately leftist, even Marxist, point of view. There are good and expert and delightful things throughout all of Winters' poems, but these dozen or so poems about New York are her best, and a few of these are so good that they do what R.P. Blackmur says great art does: They "enlarge the stock of available reality." [...]

The Overlooked Master: How poetic history conspired against Richard Wilbur.
There are two Richard Wilburs. One is the author of a half-dozen of the most perfectly made poems of the 20th century, poems whose quiet elegance is unexcelled by even the most illustrious names American poetry can offer: Stevens, Eliot, Moore. The second Wilbur is an emblematic figure—a poet whose steadfast embrace of meter and rhyme has made him seem (depending on who's making the call) like either a reactionary or revolutionary force. This Wilbur has been set beside other poets in order to represent one or another idea about American poetry—usually dull ideas, the kind embraced by people who enjoy poetry readings but rarely read poems. [...]

The Poetry of No Meaning [South Korea]:
Korea’s senior poet, Kim Chun-su, died on the morning of Nov. 29 after being in a coma for several months. [...]

As a poet, Kim was a purist and experimentalist. From the early 1970s, he repeatedly declared that he did not believe in ideas, let alone ideologies, or in history. He was most influenced by Rilke in the early phase of his career, but in later years he advocated what he called ``the poetry of no meaning.’’ The ’60s were a transition period between his early and later years. ``Taryongjo Kita (The Ballad Tune and Other Poems)’’ (1969), his fifth volume of poetry, contained poems combining the rhythms of Korean folk ballads with a technique of word play as an attempt to critique civilization. ``The poetry of no meaning,’’ which characterized his later years, began in the early ’70s in the second part of ``Choyong Tanjang (The Fragments on Choyong),’’ written on and off over a quarter of a century from the late ’60s and published in its entirety in October 1991. [...]

Great Modernist Poet Kim Chun-su Dies at 82:
Kim’s most famous poem is ``Flower,’’ which was written in his early days and showed the influence of the Austro-German poet Rainer Maria Rilke and the philosophy of existentialism. The poem has been ranked as a favorite poem among South Koreans in various polls.

Concerning ``Flower,’’ Kim once said: ``Some people view it as a poem of romance. In truth, however, it is philosophy about language and existentialism.’’ [...]


Until I spoke his name,
he had been
no more than a mere gesture.
When I spoke his name,
he came to me
and became a flower.
Now speak my name,
one fitting this colour and odour of mine,
as I spoke his name,
so that I may go to him
and become his flower.
We all wish
to become something.
You to me and I to you
wish to become an unforgettable gaze.

Unpleasant Event Schedule is fresh.

Sunday, November 28, 2004
Tridib Dastidar dead [Bangladesh]:
Tridib Dastidar, a well-known poet of the country, died of heart failure on the night of 24 November at his Green Road residence in Dhaka. A bachelor, he was to turn 52 on the coming 31 December.

Hailing from Chittagong, late Dastidar emerged as a promising poet in the mid-seventies when he decided to settle permanently in Dhaka. In the following years he became more serious with writing poetry, finally coming out as a remarkable poet presenting in his work a blend of love and nature and socio-political realities. Dastidar took part in the 1971 Liberation War as a Freedom Fighter. [...]

Poet Tridib Dastidar's flamboyant belligerent life is over
It's too late for you to arrive now, love
It's too late for you to come now, life
It's too late, it's all too late…

I don't know whether to feel glad that it's finally over or whether to mourn such a flamboyant life full of poetry and pain.
Belal bhai said that his last days had become wretched. " He had diabetes, blood pressure and abscess on his body. His heart was only half functioning. He was drinking, smoking and led a very careless life." [...]
His poems were fresh, full of surprises and musical. The early years were his happier moments because the future held promise and he was healthy and young and writing and already famous.

It was better that he went away in his sleep after suffering a cardiac arrest. I think he sort of just stopped living. [...]

Poetry emotion: Words set them free [US]:
[...] Places like the MCI-Framingham women's prison, where Elizabeth Lund teaches poetry.

''I was attracted to the idea of writing as a transformative experience," says Lund, who writes reviews for the Christian Science Monitor and is editor of its online poetry site. [...]

In describing another woman, who is mentally ill and takes strong psychotropic medications, Lund says, ''Poetry is one of the only things that keeps her balanced. I can literally see her stepping back from the edge when she starts talking about something she's writing.

So... Lund teaches poetry on a window ledge or something? I'm surprised the prison allows it.

Hills are alive with the sound of a poet:
Long inspired by Frost's close connection to the New England landscape and views such as the one outside her window, von Trapp [one of those von Trapps] began setting some of Frost's poetry to her own original musical compositions.

Nearly a decade later, she has begun a national tour to promote the CD that resulted, ''Poetic License." It contains five Frost poems set to song, as well as a Shakespeare sonnet, a 17th-century haiku, and her own arrangements of music as diverse as Sting's ''Fragile" and Franz Schubert's ''An Die Musik / Ode to Music."

That will bring us back to D'oh (oh-oh-oh)...

Bungling doctor sent poet 'into that good night':
DYLAN Thomas might have had good cause to rage against the dying of his own light after it emerged a bungling doctor, rather than chronic alcoholism, brought about the poet’s demise.

According to a new biography published tomorrow, the author of Under Milk Wood was found by doctors to be suffering from pneumonia when he was admitted to the New York hospital where he died in November 1953, aged 40. [...]

Thomas had complained he could not breathe and was "suffocating", but he was not diagnosed with pneumonia until nearly 24 hours later.

His personal physician, Dr Milton Feltenstein, initially decided he had delirium tremens and ignored the possibility of a chest infection.

Feltenstein injected the poet with three doses of morphine, which the biographers say restricted his breathing. After the third dose, Thomas’s face turned blue and he sank into a coma.

Doctors at St Vincent’s hospital, New York, took three hours to restore his breathing, but his brain had been too starved of oxygen and he remained in deep coma until he died four days later. [...]

A poet's cry for strength of heart and soul [Poland]:
A Defense of Ardor
By Adam Zagajewski, translated by Clare Cavanagh

Timing gives a special twist to Adam Zagajewski's "A Defense of Ardor." The unquestioned giant of Polish poetry, Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz, died in August. The crown is passing from an era of titans -- Milosz, Szymborska, Herbert, Wat -- to another generation, turning the spotlight to 59-year-old Zagajewski, pre-eminent among his peers.

Zagajewski is also the winner of this year's prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Awarded from the unlikely locale of Norman, Okla., it is generally considered to put one into the running for a Nobel. [...]

Saturday, November 27, 2004
Review: Occasional: 50 Poems - Owen Marshall [New Zealand]:
What's this? A book of poems from the short story writer acknowledged by absolutely everyone as New Zealand's best? It smacks just a little of greed, as if Stephen Fleming suddenly decided to join the New Zealand netball squad or Jonah Lomu had an abrupt bash at hockey. Surely mastery of one code is enough without laying siege to them all.

But Owen Marshall enters the field with such modesty, making so few claims for himself as a poet, that most of the home crowd will want to cheer him on. Besides, he has plenty of antecedents. Many top-notch fiction writers have tried their hands at verse. Dig into the darker reaches of their bibliographies and you'll discover poems by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, George Eliot, Aldous Huxley, F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. [...]

Love and Theft:
Friends such as Stanley Kunitz and Elizabeth Bishop (who a few years earlier had been dismayed to find one of her own distressed letters to Lowell recycled as a sonnet) begged him not to publish: ‘Art just isn’t worth that much,’ she insisted, asking if he ‘wasn’t violating a trust’ and declaring it ‘cruel’ to ‘use personal, tragic, anguished letters that way’.

Friday, November 26, 2004
The Art of Love [UK]:
For The Art of Love 2005, artists, poets and songwriters are invited to submit work inspired by or representing to them, love. To create a massive and diverse range of entries we are looking to encourage artists of all backgrounds to apply with their interpretation of the theme. [...]

The deadline for all entries is December 1st 2004. Entry fee: £3 per poem or written piece. Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate, has agreed to judge the poetry competition.

Nevadans: Poet Wanted [US]:
Arts council officials, in Carson City, announced a Tuesday deadline for nominations for a new poet laureate to serve from 2005 through 2007.

The chosen laureate would replace this guy:
Kaye acknowledges that holding on to the title has perhaps taken on some outsized importance in his life, as other parts of it have slipped away. His third wife, a former Miss Nevada who was one of five finalists in the 1964 Miss America pageant--to whom he was married 39 years--died last year. She was 59.

Kaye began his show-business career as a child. His father, Johnny Kaaihue, better known as Johnny Ukulele for the instrument he played, put Norman and his sister to work at an early age. They traveled the country as Johnny Kaaihue and the Royal Hawaiians.

After World War II, Kaye shortened his last name. He migrated to Las Vegas and started up the Mary Kaye Trio with his sister and an accordionist from Cleveland, Biagio Rossario Blogna, who later changed his name to Frank Ross. [...]

Poetry Aotearoa [New Zealand]:
New poetry from New Zealand, edited by Tony Beyer

Biannual, September and March
from Picaro Press
PO Box 853
Warners Bay, NSW 2282
jandr @ hunterlink.net.au

Volume 2, Number 2 features work by Robert James Berry, Owen Bullock, Iain Britton, Jill Chan, Janet Charman, Kay McKenzie Cooke, Riemke Ensing, Rangi Faith, Melanie Fisk, Katie Fitzpatrick, Bernard Gadd, Rob Jackaman, Robert McLean, Harvey McQueen, Mark Pirie, Alistair Paterson, Patricia Prime, Iain Sharp, Tracey Slaughter

Thursday, November 25, 2004
Rattapallax Readings [Brazil]:
Jerome Rothenberg, Cecilia Vicuña, Robert Minhinnick, Iwan Llwyd & Flávia Rocha. Tuesday, December 7, 2004 at 8 pm at Centro Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil. Sponsored by Rattapallax, Poetry Wales, Editora34 & Cult. Free.

Dromineer Literary Festival [Ireland]:
The village of Dromineer, on the shores of Lough Derg, in County Tipperary is organising its first Literary Festival with the help of the North Tipperary County Council.

This will be held from the evening of Friday 3rd. December until the afternoon of Sunday 5th December 2004.

Events will take place in different venues in the village and will consist of readings, workshops and competitions aimed at all age groups.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Poetry in Wartime [film]:
Poetry in Wartime is a feature-length documentary that sharply etches the experience of war through powerful images and the words of poets – unknown and world-famous. Soldiers, journalists, historians and experts on combat interviewed in Poetry in Wartime add diverse perspectives on war’s effects on soldiers, civilians and society. In Poetry in Wartime, poets around the world, from the United States and Colombia to Britain and Nigeria to Iraq and India, share their views and experiences of war. The film also brings to life how poetry and war have been intertwined since the beginning of recorded history--from ancient Babylonia and the fields of Troy--to the great conflicts of the 20th century and the current war in Iraq.

attack of the killer poets [blog]:
[...] welcome to the world's first experimental online poetry reading blog right here

[...] the basic idea is to write a fresh poem - right here in front of this computer - in any style, any theme, anything. write it as if you were going to a poetry reading...

you then post it here as a comment.

[...] make it as brief, fresh, fruity and punchy as you might do at a cranking open reading... pretend you've had a few wines or beers you and feel like impressing the punters. speech it out on the page here. the room is at yr mercy and all yr meaning belong to us...

and you don't even need to put yr name down on the open-mic list.

okay, so! there are TWO simple rules:

1. please you must keep it under 100 words of plain text
2. the poem is to be READ OUT LOUD at the other end if you can - like the consumer of the text becomes your voice kinda thing. [...]

WERD - have fun!
and remember folks - Poetry is Dead!

Poetry Crimes [Australia]:
Call for participants for Poetry Crimes, our new project to commission 12 Australian poets (9 based in Australia & 3 working overseas) of varying styles, to write one poem each, that is to be inspired by the theme of Crime & Justice.

Subjects explored in Poetry Crimes can range from convict tales to contemporary satires on corporate greed. Poets will also be interviewed by Johanna Featherstone, about their work. These original poems and interviews will be broadcast through Red Room radio networks and distributed, online to other stations nationally through the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia and internationally, via post and mp3 format.

Send no more than 4 poems to PO Box 1389 Darlinghurst NSW 1300 by December 13th. Please include a bio and SSAE if you want the poems returned.

Poems are selected by the crime squad featuring joanne burns, Johanna Featherstone, John Tranter and James Stuart

War Poetry Contest:
Here are the guidelines for our annual War Poetry Contest. This contest seeks today's best poems on the theme of war. The submission period for our 2005 contest is November 15, 2004 - May 31, 2005. We will award $3,000 in prizes, up from $2,250 in 2004.

Annual contest, perennial war.
In bombers named for girls, we burned
The cities we had learned about in school

Only now they don't even learn the names of the places in school.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Poets in their Thirties:
On this home page, we'll highlight work by poets in their thirties whether they appear in the Poetry 30 anthology or not. The goal continues to be to highlight the quality and diversity of poets in their thirties.

Online so far: Nov 22: Amy King, Nov 15: Tina Chang, Nov 1: Jeffrey Thomson, Oct 25: Cullen Bailey Burns, Oct. 18: Terrance Hayes, Oct. 4: Sarah Manguso, Sept. 27 Hayan Charara, Sept 20: Tamar Yoseloff, Sept 13: Ryan Van Cleave, September 6: Beth Ann Fennelly, Aug. 23: Noelle Kocot-Tomblin, Aug 9: Paisley Rekdal, July 26: David Hernandez, July 12: Christopher Bakken, June 28: Kevin Prufer, June 21: Jay Hopler, June 7: Crystal Williams, May 31: V. Penelope Pelizzon, May 24: Mark Yakich, May 17: Terrance Hayes, May 10: Adrienne Lewis, May 3: Matthea Harvey, April 26: Adrienne Su, April 19: Brian Clements, April 12: Sean Thomas Dougherty, April 4: Nicole Cooley, March 29: Jeffrey McDaniel, March 22: Tenaya Darlington, March 15: Lisa Lubasch, March 8: Kathleen McGookey, March 1: Gabriel Gudding, Feb. 23: Todd Davis, Feb. 16: Jendi Reiter, Feb 9: Elizabeth Treadwell, Feb. 2: Rigoberto González, Jan. 26: Arielle Greenberg, Jan 19: Erika Meitner.

Next Generation Poets [UK]:
Next Generation Poets—a Gala Celebration Reading hosted by Andrew Motion.

The Next Generation Poets include Patience Agbabi, Amanda Dalton, Nick Drake, Jane Draycott, Paul Farley, Leontia Flynn, Matthew Francis, Sophie Hannah, Tobias Hill, Gwyneth Lewis, Alice Oswald, Pascale Petit, Jacob Polley, Deryn Rees-Jones, Maurice Riordan, Robin Robertson, Owen Sheers, Henry Shukman, Catherine Smith, and Jean Sprackland.

Twenty exhilarating poets who published their first collections in the last decade, twenty distinctive voices, twenty writers who refresh our ideas about what poetry is and can do.

Workshops at the UCL Bloomsbury Theatre
Writing Poetry: 11am-1pm
Leontia Flynn and Maurice Riordan
Experiment with these poets' favourite writing exercises.
Price £9, Conc £7

Reading Poetry: 2-4pm
Henry Shukman
Discuss, debate and explore poems by some of the writers on the Next Generation List.
Price £9, Conc £7

Performing Poetry: 2-4pm
Patience Agbabi and Catherine Smith
A practical insight into the oral and stage techniques involved in performing poetry. Price £9, Conc £7

At time of writing, 17 of the poets have confirmed their attendance. Gwyneth Lewis, Alice Oswald and Deryn Rees-Jones will not be reading.

Geography teacher-poet aims to put rap on map [Wales]:
A TEACHER at a North Wales school will reveal his secret life later this week.

By day Hywel Williams teaches Welsh and geography at Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy in Llanrwst.

But in his spare time Hywel, who has taught at the school for more than 30 years, writes poetry.

On Thursday he will be mixing it big time with the professionals as he takes part in the Llanast Llanrwst Rappers v Bards competition.

The 54-year-old was one of the team of poets narrowly beaten by rappers last year.

Hywel, who has been writing poetry for 12 years, said: "The basic concept of the competition is both teams have to create poems and raps against each other.

"The meuryn (judge) awards points for the best poem or rap. Some of the competition includes live musical backing to help get the beat going.

"The competition started at Llanrwst last year and has been very popular throughout Wales since then."

Hywel will be joined by team-mates crowned bard Twm Morys, poet Dewi Prysor, and singer poets Geraint Lovgreen and Iwan Roberts.

They will be up against rappers Steffan Cravos, MC Saizmundo, Barry Thomas and singer Aron from rock-group Pep Le Pew. [...]

This should be very good or very bad. In either case, I wish I could be there.

Welsh rap: A brief history

Monday, November 22, 2004
Language of contemporary Nigerian poetry: A critical examination [Nigeria]:

MiPOesias is fresh.

Unpleasant Event Schedule is fresh.

Bulgaria Repealing Death Sentence of Great Poet [Bulgaria]:
The Prosecution Office has officially suggested the repeal of the death sentence of great Bulgarian poet Nikola Vaptsarov, sentenced and killed by firing squad by then ruling fascist regime on July 23, 1942 in Sofia.

Bio and poems.

Salmon Publishing [Ireland]:

  • Fire & Ice: Nine Poets from Scandinavia and the North
    Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic poets whose voices have not been widely heard in English translation.

  • Libido Café
    ...where monkeys are welcome, the piano has been drinking, and the coffee is always perfect.

  • Dark Pool
    Taking its title from the root meaning of Dublin, Ben Howard's fifth collection of poems probes the provenance of naming.

Meritage Press' Fourth Annual Holiday Poetry Contest [US/Philippines]:
Dear Filipino/a Poets:

You are invited to submit to a fun poetry contest. No submission fees. E-mail submissions. [...]

All poets are encouraged to submit by e-mailing 1 or 2 poems to MeritagePress @ aol.com. (Send no more than 2 poems). Please include your full name along with your e-mail address. However, the poems will be sent without your names to judge Sarah Gambito, thereby allowing the poems to be read on their own merit. All poets are welcome to submit -- it doesn't matter whether you're established or emerging as the work is read on its own merit.

There are no limitations to poetry styles or content. All types of poems are welcome. We are now taking submissions up to the deadline of December 31, 2004.

[link: scroll down to third section]

Baseball Poems [US]:
(OPENPRESS) November 22, 2004 -- Bear Shirt Press, located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee, has released Fair Territory by Jilly Dybka, a hard-charging book of baseball poems.

Fair Territory is a chapbook that will pack a therapeutic punch each off-season. I plan to keep it handy on those nights that I long for the smells of grass and beer and hotdogs under the lights: Michael Wells.

This 22-page chapbook, ISBN # 0-9706196-0-X, is cover priced at $6.00, and is available for purchase online exclusively at http://www.BearShirtPress.com. For a limited time, the chapbook is also available as a free download in E-Book format.

Jilly Dybka's poetry has been published in Elysian Fields Quarterly: The Baseball Review, Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine, Michigan Quarterly Review, Ink Pot, and many literary journals.

Detailed information about Bear Shirt Press may be had by calling 615 429 1873 or by e-mailing jilly9@gmail.com

Bear Shirt Press is a woman-owned business.

Jilly Dybka
615 429-1873

Contact Info
Bear Shirt Press

Phone: 615 429 1873

E-mail: Click Here to Send

Web site: http://www.BearShirtPress.com

Bear Shirt Press
PO Box 81
Kingston Springs TN 37082

Sunday, November 21, 2004
DMQ Review is fresh.

Saturday, November 20, 2004
32 Poems:
Win a Prize from 32 Poems!
Here's how the 32 Poems Contest works. Please follow these guidelines carefully to have your entry counted.

WINNER: Starbuck's gift card, poetry book, and subscription to 32 for winner or a friend
RUNNER UP: Subscription to 32 for runner up or a friend

1. To enter the contest, guess the number of subscriptions 32 Poems has now. (I'm writing down the number we have as of today.) The person with the guess closest to the correct answer will win a prize. The second closest guess will be a runner up and will also win a prize.

2. Send your guess to: poems at 32 poems.com AND include your address so we can send you the prize.

3. PLEASE write "32 POEMS CONTEST" in the subject header, so I know it's not spam.

4. Only one entry per person.

5. Deadline for entries is December 6, 2004. Winner will be announced by December 12, 2004.

Good luck!
PS: Don't keep 32 Poems a secret!

The Poetry Symposium [NY Times Book Review]:
The Book Review recently asked a handful of poets and critics to respond to this question: What book of poetry, published in the last 25 years, has meant the most to you personally -- the book you have found yourself returning to again and again? We asked them not to select reissues, or volumes of a poet's ''selected'' or ''collected'' work.

Their selections:
  • John Ashbery chose James Tate, Reckoner (Wesleyan University, 1986).

  • Jorie Graham chose Denis Johnson, The Incognito Lounge: And Other Poems (Random House, 1982).

  • Jim Harrison chose Gary Snyder, Danger On Peaks (Shoemaker & Hoard, 2004); and Ted Kooser, Delights & Shadows (Copper Canyon, 2004).

  • Robert Pinsky chose James McMichael, Four Good Things (Houghton Mifflin, 1980).

  • Mary Karr chose Zbigniew Herbert, Report From The Besieged City (Ecco, 1985).

  • James Fenton chose Thom Gunn, The Man With Night Sweats (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992).

  • Sapphire chose Lucille Clifton, Next (BOA Editions, 1987).

  • Harold Bloom chose John Ashbery, As We Know (Viking, 1979).

  • Sharon Olds chose Stanley Kunitz, Next-To-Last Things (Atlantic Monthly, 1985); Yusef Komunyakaa, Magic City (Wesleyan University, 1992); and Deborah Digges, Trapeze (Knopf, 2004).

'The Best American Poetry 2004': You, Too, Could Write a Poem [NY Times]:
What this series really stands for isn't excellence, aesthetic or otherwise, but the idea of poetry as a community activity. ''People are writing poems!,'' each volume cries. ''You, too, could write a poem!'' It's an appealingly democratic pose, and it has always been the genuinely ''best'' thing about the Best American series.

Friday, November 19, 2004
Just in from Fence [US]:
A reminder about the upcoming Alberta Prize postmark deadline: November 30th. See http://www.fencebooks.com for guidelines and entry forms.

Also, upcoming Fence and Fence Books events.

Value-adding saves poetry for the masses [Australia]:
[...] Basically, bookshops are a 19th century technology for the distribution of cultural products to an elite group. They still work fine for some things, but I'm always amazed at how committed poetry publishers and funding bodies are to pursuing this avenue, given that the best you could hope for is to get your poetry book into say, seven shops around Australia, instead of three. (The cultural equivalent of re-arranging deckchairs.)

And there is something so personal about owning a book by a local contemporary poet that, for many people, even if they do happen to know about - and live handy to - one of these rare poetry-stocking shops, hovering around the poetry section, choosing something and taking it to the counter can be as intimidating as going into a porn shop. [...]

So she's giving away her poetry at Beth Spencer's Home Page.

papertiger [Australia]:
papertiger #04 features over 150 poems from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Finland, Singapore and the USA.

There is a contemporary NZ poetry feature '50 poems by 50 poets: recent New Zealand poetry' edited by Mark Pirie, a contemporary Australian womens' poetry feature 'put on your red shoes and dance' edited by Melissa Ashley, a feature on the work of Melbourne poet Michael Farrell, audio and flash animated poems from around the world, a flash poetry retrospective, 'flashes before your eyes' from the world wide web's most prominent cyberpoet - Jason Nelson, poem art from Finland + elsewhere, + brand new poems from Philip Hammial, Todd Swift, Rebecca Edwards, Louis Armand, Jill Jones, Jaya Savige, Peter Boyle + a host of others.

The Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prizes [US]:
Now in its 31st year, the "Discovery"/The Nation contest, co-sponsored by the 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center and The Nation magazine, is designed to attract large audiences to poets who have not yet published a book of poems. Each of the four winners will be awarded $500, a reading at the Poetry Center on Monday, May 16, 2005 and publication in The Nation.

A $8.00US entry fee must accompany the submission. Entries must be received by Friday, January 21, 2005.

Wole Soyinka, Nobel Prize winner [Africa/US]:
Although Soyinka intended to stay at Harvard for much of his exile, which ended in 1998 with [General Sani] Abacha’s death, something made him change his mind.

“I must confess that the first winter drove me south,” says Soyinka (pronounced shaw-YIN-ka). “One winter blast and I realized that I was not as tough as I thought I was.”

Here is a man who lived in exile four different times during his life, who was arrested ten times and who spent more than two years in prison, most of it in solitary confinement in a 4-by-8 foot cell. He had a price on his head at least five times. He is tougher than most. [...]

There is no doubt in Du Bois Institute Chair Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr.’s mind that Soyinka deserved to be the first African to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

“Being with Soyinka is a bit like I imagine having had the privilege of being with Shakespeare four centuries ago,” Gates says. “After all, as many Africans point out, they have the same initials.”
Biography, poems & bibliography

Poet Bang to present for Writing Program Reading Series Dec. 2 [US]:
Poet Mary Jo Bang, associate professor of English in Arts & Sciences, will read from her 2004 collection, The Eye Is Like a Strange Balloon, at 8 p.m. Dec. 2 for The Writing Program Reading Series.

The reading is free and open to the public and will take place in Hurst Lounge, Duncker Hall, Room 201 [Washington University in St. Louis]. A book-signing and reception will follow, and copies of Bang's works will be available for purchase.

"Constantly challenging our human tendency toward easy narrative, Mary Jo Bang's work generates provocative reconsiderations as to what narrative might be, and asks us — as poetry must — to see the world as if for the very first time," said Carl Phillips, professor of English and of African and Afro-American Studies, both in Arts & Sciences.


Thursday, November 18, 2004
Yehuda Amichai, 1985 [Israel]:
'In Israel, poetry is tremendously popular outside universities. You don’t just look like a poet, you are one. The poet is involved with life. There are no special endowments for poets—you have to make a living, which means that a poet isn’t special, isn’t spoiled by society. We should be happy that we can write about ourselves, about what is happening to mankind. A lot of people experience death and wars and bad love affairs and can’t write about it. Poets not only write about it, they get paid for it. Whoever gets paid for a bad love affair? So we should be very happy we can do it.'
Three poems

Assistant Professor/Poet wanted [US]:
Assistant Professor, Creative Writing (Poetry), beginning fall 2005. We are currently seeking a poet with distinguished publications and substantial promise as a writer and teacher. Candidates must be committed to making a significant contribution to the intellectual life of the English Department as well as to broader discussions throughout the university. Please send a letter, cv, dossier, and 15-page writing sample to Nancy Gebhardt, Department of English (M/C 162), UIC, 601 South Morgan Street, Room 202, Chicago, IL 60607-7120. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue through December 7, 2004 or until position is filled. Inquiries only (no submissions) may be directed to nancyg @ uic.edu.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Griffin Poetry Prize [Canada]:
A quick reminder that the deadline for the C$80,000 Griffin Poetry Prize is approaching. Books must be submitted postmarked no later than December 31, 2004 for books published between January 1 and December 31, 2004. Please remember to complete all necessary customs/duties paperwork when shipping your entries to ensure delays are avoided.

Poetry Publishers‚ Electronic Newsletters
The Griffin Trust is pleased to promote poetry publishers‚ electronic newsletters and e-mail mailing lists on its Web site. Click here to view the listing.

If you are a publisher of poetry and you would like us to add information about your electronic newsletter, bulletin or mailing list to this section, please contact info @ griffinpoetryprize.com with the subscription instructions. If you have any questions regarding the rules, or would like to download an entry form, please visit our Web site: www.griffinpoetryprize.com.

Poetry Beamed Into Outer Space [Sweden, Vega]
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish poets have broadcast their work into outer space by radio to give alien life forms -- if they exist -- a taste of earthling literature.

"I can't think of anything more adequate than poetry to communicate what it means to be human," said Daniel Sjolin, editor of Swedish poetry magazine Lyrikvannen and organizer of the live reading at a Stockholm observatory.

The transmission Tuesday night was aimed at Vega, the brightest star of the Lyra constellation, which is 25 light-years from Earth -- meaning the poets will have to wait 50 years for alien reviews.[...]

Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize goes to poet Sanna Karlström [Finland]:
Sanna Karlström, a student of aesthetics at the University of Helsinki, has won this year’s Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for her collection of poetry Taivaan mittakaava ("The Scale of Heaven").

The EUR 11,500 prize, awarded for the best first work of literature, was handed out for the 10th time.

In the unanimous view of the panel of judges, in her literary debut Karlström "commands the structure of poetry exceptionally well. Every verse has meaning, and the perfection of the arrangements makes it necessary to use a word that has nearly disappeared from the language of criticism: beauty".

But what isn't beautiful in Finnish? Look at this:
Helsinkiläinen estetiikan opiskelija Sanna Karlström, 29, on voittanut runokokoelmallaan Taivaan mittakaava Helsingin Sanomain kirjallisuuspalkinnon 2004.

It's an extraterrestrial tongue. Primiti too taa.

A Call to Writers in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Area [Ireland]:
Opportunity for Writers:
The Arts Office is delighted to offer an exciting opportunity to writers in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown area. The Arts Office is now calling for application from writers interested in developing their writings skills in a workshop environment. The workshops will be led by the newly appointed Writer in Residence Caitríona O'Reilly.

About the Writer:
Caitríona O'Reilly was awarded the residency and started her term in September 04. Caitríona was born in 1973 and grew up in Wicklow. She was educated at Trinity College Dublin, where she wrote a doctoral thesis on American poetry. Her first volume of poetry, The Nowhere Birds, was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2001. It was short-listed for the 2001 Forward Best First Collection prize and was awarded the 2002 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. In 2003 O'Reilly held the Harper-Wood Studentship in English Literature from St. John's College, Cambridge. She is also a widely published critic. A second collection of poetry is nearing completion.

The writers' workshop will be located in the Institute of Art Design and Technology at Kill Ave, Dún Laoghaire. The workshops take place on Wednesday evenings over 2 college semesters: 12 January-9th March '05 and 6th April-4th May. Applicants are expect to commit to both terms.

How to apply:
Writers are invited to submit samples of their work, no more than five manuscript pages, to The Arts Office, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, The County Hall, Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire. Please include home and mobile number, address and email contact details.

Places are limited and application is on a competitive basis. Applicants will notified within three weeks of the Application
deadline. Deadline for application is Friday 10th December. Application may be made by email. Please title your mail 'writing workshops application'.

Please contact the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Arts Office arts @ dlrcoco.ie for further details

Mary E. Frye [US]:
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.

Baltimore housewife Mary E. Frye was acknowledged towards the end of her long life to be the undisputed author of 'Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep', the well-known bereavement verse which has brought comfort to mourners throughout the world for the past 70 years.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004
The DNA of Literature [US]:
...over 50 years of literary wisdom rolled up in 300+ Writers-at-Work interviews, now available online—free. Founder and former Editor of The Paris Review, George Plimpton dreamed of a day when anyone—a struggling writer in Texas, an English teacher in Amsterdam, even a subscriber in Central Asia—could easily access this vast literary resource; with the establishment of this online archive that day has finally come. Now, for the first time, you can read, search and download any or all of over three hundred in-depth interviews with poets, novelists, playwrights, essayists, critics, musicians, and more, whose work set the compass of twentieth-century writing, and continue to do so into the twenty-first century.
[via Whimsy Speaks]

Monday, November 15, 2004
Edouard J. Maunick interview, 1994 [Mauritius]:
It appears from your poems that wherever in the world your travels take you, you discover something of your native island.

Exile is fraught with a sense of loss, to make up for which some part of that which one encounters transforms itself into that which is missing. It is true that wherever I go I find scraps of my childhood, when everything was a source of wonder to me. My desire no longer to regard my island as a self-contained place, an outcast from the world, goes together with a desire, expressed through my verse, to bring my country closer to other countries.
Solstice islands

A Deaf Poetics [US]:
BLOB: Why is there no sign for poetry? What is it?

COOKIE MONSTER [aka Peter Cook]: That is not true! Liar! Murderer!! DEMYSTIFICATE! Yes, we do have a sign for poetry! In fact, we [...] have two signs! OK, I gotta get my drink now. <<>slurrrpppp<>>. OK, I'm ready. These two signs have different meanings: one sign for Hearing poetry and one sign for Deaf poetry. The sign for Hearing poetry is a generally traditional sign. The handshape is P (at dominant hand) and flat B (non-dominant hand). The P moves while the B stays. It is almost the same sign as for music. This sign is strongly associated with rhythms/rhyme.

The other sign was created at the Deaf Way Festival at Gallaudet University in 1989 (I think). Every Deaf poet from around the world came and performed together. I remember a meeting where we were discussing that we needed a sign that shows our poetry. Finally, we decided to use this sign: Handshape S, start at the chest then move forward into handshape 5. This sign is similar to Expression. It looks like this: HEART+EXPRESS. So since that festival, we have been spreading that sign. So yes, we have a sign for Deaf poetry!
The Word

Ted Kooser interview [US]:
You used to be an insurance executive. Did your coworkers know that you wrote and what did they think?

Yes, they were aware that I was a writer, and I think most of them thought well of me for it. Most people have a dream of something they'd like to be doing other than what they are doing, and I provided a handy example of someone doing just that.
Selecting a Reader

Sunday, November 14, 2004
Opposite sex contest [blog]:
Unprotected Texts wants you to submit an original, previously unpublished, poem about being the opposite sex for a day or two.

This isn't about where you normally spend time on the gender/sexuality continuum. Girly girls and girly men, manly women, bi's, het's, gay folks—all—and more are encouraged to participate.

Feel free to tit-illate or dick-tate. Take any approach you want, my dear peeps.

Just keep the length of your texts reasonable. Say, 100 lines or less. It's not all about size, necessarily. And please, mark "opposite sex contest" in the subject line of your submission.

Previous winners are eligible to submit.

Annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Heber City:
Cowboys, have converged on Heber City...for the Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

The 10-year-old event...attracts poets, musicians and fans ...from across the country.

Jed Boal will have more on the legends of the Old West...told by modern day cowboys...tonight at Ten.

Why cowboys? Are there annual gatherings of accountant poets?

I want to see an annual gathering of TV newswriter poets.
No, honey, working late again
you know how it is,
You cannot choose your hours when
you work in this biz.
I know this is seventh time
This week, but not again!
I swear I'll change. I'll tell you all
the details...tonight at Ten.

Saturday, November 13, 2004
Call for Contributions-Vole #6 Short Poems Anthology [blog]:
Submissions are rolling in for the vole series! There are many great small books in the works. I have been getting quite a few single poems. Where the series is for 10-15 page books, I am going to edit Vole Number 6 (vole #2 is coming out soon and I want to publish other books before this) as an anthology Poems for Small Spaces.

So, if you have single poems that will fit into a 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" format, send them along. I am looking for poems of all styles, but would like to include (but not limited to) haiku, hay(na)ku and any other small poems. King of Mice Press [email kingofmiceatjunodotcom]. Please reference Poems for Small Spaces in the Re: bar.

Anything Can Happen [Ireland]:
Anything Can Happen, the publication of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney's essay and translation of Horace's Odes 1:34 will be launched at a special ceremony and book signing at NUI Galway on the 17th of November. The book, a collection of 23 additional translations of the poem paired into 'languages of conflict' will benefit Amnesty International and the University will webcast the event.

In his essay Seamus Heaney recognizes the relevance of Horace’s Ode to the contemporary geo-political situation. The title itself, Anything can happen, is a modern take on the Latin words 'valet...deus' in the original version of the poem. Recent history has unfortunately demonstrated the discomfiting truth of the expression.

The Bad Poetry Seminar:
Bad poetry was invented in 1810, in Dovershire, England, by Reginald Sporson, a curate and minor rugby coach. The first bad poem was "The Dawn Upon the Lily," which consisted of two short stanzas, the second far worse than the first. Sporson went on to write for 35 years, and birthed the first wave of bad poetry. By 1847, there were 119 bad poets writing in Great Britain. Bad poetry quickly emigrated to America, France, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Norway, Nigeria, Turkey, Canada, Lebanon, Bolivia, Ghana and Mexico, in that order. The last place bad poetry reached was China (in 1894).

Bad poetry has a simple genesis: people who are not poets write poems. Before 1810, it never occurred to anyone who wasn't a poet to write a poem. People believed in the "Muse", a mysterious force that overtook the conscious mind, and forced it to write poetry. Reginald Sporson denied the existence of the Muse, and his theory has eventually taken hold: now no one (outside of Western Pakistan) believes in the Muse. Everyone thinks they can be a poet. That's why there is more bad poetry than ever before.

So join with us! Fuck the Muse! Every man a poetess! Every woman a poet!*

* Notice the non-sexist language.

MiPOesias [US]:
The Summer Edition is now open for submissions. The purpose of MiPOesias is to promote poetry and other forms of creative writing using the medium of the internet. [...] We highlight cultural diversity and personal passions.

Guest Editor Gabriel Gudding's Call for Poems:

Kidsread Ontario/Lecturenfants Ontario [Canada]:
The Ministry of Culture and the Ontario Media Development Corporation are sponsoring a program to get Ontario children's books, published by Ontario publishers, into libraries across the Province. [...]

The program is kicked off by popular children's poet Dennis Lee, until recently the poet laureate of Toronto and famous for his lyrics for the TV show Fraggle Rock and such children's classics as Alligator Pie and Wiggle to the Laundromat.

Alligator Pie:
Alligator pie, alligator pie,
If I don't get some I think I'm gonna die.
Give away the green grass, give away the sky,
But don't give away my alligator pie.

Alligator stew, alligator stew,
If I don't get some I don't know what I'll do.
Give away my furry hat, give away my shoe,
But don't give away my alligator stew.

Alligator soup, alligator soup,
If I don't get some I think I'm gonna droop.
Give away my hockey stick, give away my hoop,
But don't give away my alligator soup.

Contemporary Verse 2's Third Annual 2-Day Poem Contest [Canada]:
The rules are simple. You have from Midnight, (Central Standard Time) January 21, 2005 to Midnight (CST) January 23, 2005 (48 hours) to write the best darn poem you can, using all 10 words provided by CV2 (and a few of your own, of course!).

Pre-registration and an email address are required. At 12:00 midnight (CST), CV2's list of words will be emailed to registered participants. Participants have 2 days (48 hours) to write the poem and must use each word at least once in their final submitted poem. Completed poems should be pasted into the body of a return email and sent to: CV2 @ mb.sympatico.ca with 2-Day Poem Contest in the subject line. Submitted poems may not exceed 48 lines. Only one poem may be entered per participant.

$10 entry fee. Registration deadline: Wednesday, January 19, 2005.

The Cave Canem Poetry Prize [US]:
Established in 1999, the Cave Canem Poetry Prize supports the work of African American poets with excellent manuscripts who have not yet found a publisher for their first book. The winner receives $500 cash, publication of their manuscript by a national press, and 50 copies of the book.

2005 Judge: Sonia Sanchez. Manuscript Deadline: Postmarked on or before May 15, 2005.

Interview with Michael Cunningham, 2002 [US]:
What, specifically, attracted you to Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway?

Michael Cunningham: Mrs. Dalloway is the first great book I ever read. I read it in high school. I went to school in southern California at a not very rigorous public school where I was a not very dedicated student. I was sort of a skateboard kid and really more interested in smoking than I was reading. And a girl I liked kind of threw a copy of Mrs. Dalloway at me and said why don't you read this and try to be less stupid. I kind of liked the stupid that I was, but I read it for her sake and—on one hand—didn't understand it all all. But on the other hand, could see the density and beauty and complexity of those sentences. I have never seen written language like that before. I didn't know you could do that. I remember thinking, oh, she was doing with language something like what Hendrix does with a guitar. It was the book that made me a reader. I suspect that most of us had a first book, kind of like having a first kiss—possibly not a great book, but one that cracks it open for you. Made you understand how much books can mean to you. So, by happenstance it was Mrs. Dalloway.

Friday, November 12, 2004
pettycoat relaxer is fresh.

PoetrySz (poetry es zed) is fresh.

Thursday, November 11, 2004
Willis Barnstone Translation Prize [US]:
$1000 for a Translated Poem
Final Judge: Willis Barnstone

This award is named in honor of the distinguished American poet and translator Willis Barnstone, who serves as the final judge.

Guidelines for Submissions: The competition welcomes submissions of unpublished translations of poems from any language and time period — ancient to contemporary. The length limit for each translation is 200 hundred lines. Please staple the translation to a copy of the original which identifies the original poet, and put the name, address, and phone number of the translator (or translators) on the back of the translation page. Also, since entries will not be returned, please include an SASE if you wish to be notified of the contest results.

Please note: Translations of poems for which the translator has not secured the rights-to-publish are eligible for the contest, but only translations of poems in the public domain or with the rights secured can be considered for publication in The Evansville Review.

Limit: Ten submissions per translator. Entry Fee: $5 for the first poem; $3 for each subsequent poem. Please make checks payable to The University of Evansville.

Postmark Deadline: December 2, 2004. Please send translations to:

Willis Barnstone Translation Prize
The Evansville Review
University of Evansville
1800 Lincoln Avenue
Evansville, Indiana 47722

Please note: These are the complete guidelines.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Poet laureate visits Watseka [US]:
Promoting Illinois poets, visiting libraries and meeting people are some of the things Kevin Stein wants to do now that he is Illinois' poet laureate.

Stein visited Watseka yesterday and spoke to a group at the Watseka Public Library about poetry.
He was named poet laureate of Illinois by Gov. Rod Blagojevich in December of 2003. The position had previously held by Gwendolyn Brooks, who also had visited Watseka. Brooks died in 2000 and the spot was left empty until Stein was appointed.

Stein said he wants to share Illinois' rich literary history with the people of today.

One of the ways he has done that is through a website, www.poetlaureate.il.gov

The website, he said, includes not just text but also audio [and video] of poems from Illinois writers. [...]

Lily is fresh.

The Banana Republic of Letters:
According to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, there are 600 "active" literary magazines in the United States, with "another 400 to 700 that publish irregularly and/or in miniscule quantities." The CLMP's definition of active is rather broad, however—one published issue each year is the qualification. Again, it’s an impressive number until you look closer. What kind of readership do these 600 magazines actually enjoy?

The average press run for these journals is less than 1,000 copies, with little or no distribution. They don’t sell; in fact, they’re not intended to be sold. The open secret of the literary establishment is that these magazines have no readership, outside of the poets they print. In other words, hundreds of literary magazines are printed each year, but they never reach an audience of any kind. Where do they go? Why, they don’t go anywhere. They stay in boxes. Contributors get a few complimentary copies; others are given away free of charge. This makes perfect sense when you remember the purpose of these magazines: they exist to have poetry printed in them. After all, how else can those "24,000 writers" get publishing credits? Notice the emphasis here: it’s not about being read, it’s about being published. [...]

Interview with Helen Dunmore [UK]:
I asked Dunmore about "With short, harsh breaths", which shares these preoccupations:
You keep her letters in a box
and deal them out like patience
to lie on your breakfast table

stamps obsolete, envelope eagerly torn
by the man who once lived in your skin.
It's a tender, empathic piece of writing, and I wondered if the "you" in the poem was based on somebody specific. Dunmore sidestepped that question, suggesting a (perfectly reasonable) reluctance to expose the personal history behind her writing.

"That poem is about loss. Photographs and letters try to give you memory. And you can open a letter that somebody wrote to you 50, 60 years ago, and it's alive on the page, and yet you can't truly access it. It's a very curious feeling when you're handling documents, whether they're to do with your life or other lives. I think it's eerie."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Strokestown International Poetry Prize 2005 [Ireland]:
A rare opportunity for poor poets to enrich themselves, this competition offers €4000, €2000 and €1000 for an unpublished poem in English of up to 70 lines.

The Irish language poetry competition has been expanded so that, in 2005, poets who write in Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx, which are essentially variants of the same language, will be able to enter for prizes of equal value, thanks to the generosity of Iomairt Cholm Cille/The Columba Initiative. The competition is therefore truly international, multicultural and multilingual.

Poets and versifiers of a sardonic, satiric or cynical bent can enter for the €500, €200, €100 and other backhanders which the poet and wit Iggy McGovern will award for the best political and topical satire.

Closing date: Wednesday, 16th February 2005. Entry forms can be printed from the website www.strokestownpoetryprize.com or requested from Strokestown poetry Festival Office, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, Ireland or from slawe @ eircom. net
Yes, that's right: Strokestown. And this from their Philosophy page:
By offering large prizes, it hopes to line the pockets of imaginative and unwise spenders, and to report later on how they did spend it.

An Interview with a Poet [US]:
When did you start writing poetry? Why?

Kelli Russell Agodon: I think it was William Stafford who answered that question with:  It’s not when did I become a poet, it’s when did everyone else stop being one.

Qing emperor's poetry book to be auctioned [China]:
BEIJING, Nov. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- A book of poems believed to be written by the Qing Dynasty's Qianlong Emperor, will be auctioned on November 21, reported China Radio International on Tuesday.

The 40-page book, with an estimate value of 2.8 to 3.5 million yuan, or about 400,000 US dollars, was robbed from Beijing's Agriculture Altar by the Eight Power Allied Force a century ago.

The owner of the book, who is reluctant to give his name, says he bought the book some time ago from an elderly man.

Historians say the Qianlong Emperor used to visit the Agriculture Altar, where he wrote many of the poems that are contained in the book.

Sources say the representatives from the Agriculture Altar will bid for the book.

The book was robbed from Beijing's Agriculture Altar? By the Eight Power Allied Force? A century ago?

What? Who? When? You think you know something, and then you know nothing.

Eight Ancient Altars in Beijing:
The Altar of the God of Agriculture was the site of imperial sacrifices dedicated to the cult if Shennong, the legendary "first farmer" of China. It is located in the southern district of the city, directly to the west of the Temple of Heaven, and occupies a total area of three square kilometers. The altar itself, which faces south, is 1.5 meters. The hall to the north houses the sacred tablets and is provided with a platform for "observing the harvest."

The Eight-power Allied Forces Through Foreigners' Camera:
September 7, 2001 marks a special day for China and even some developed countries. On this day one century ago, namely, September 7, 1901, the Eight Power Allied Forces formed by Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Austria and Italy forced the Qing Government to sign the most insolent and unequal Protocol in human civilization. That year was the Year of Xinchou in Chinese lunar calendar, so the Protocol, officially the Protocol of 1901, is historically known as the Protocol of Xinchou. Photos in this illustrated book present a true picture of this period of history.

Qianlong Emperor:
The Qianlong emperor was also a major patron of the arts. The most significant of his commissions was a catalogue of all important works on Chinese culture, the Siku quanshu (????). Produced in 36,000 volumes, containing about 3450 complete works and employing as many as 15,000 copyists, the entire work took some twenty years. It preserved many books, but it was also intended as a means of ferreting out and suppressing those deemed offensive. Some 2300 works were listed for total suppression and another 350 for partial suppresion. The aim was to destroy the writings that were anti-Qing or rebellious, that insulted previous "barbarian" dynasties, or that dealt with frontier or defense problems.

Qianlong was a prolific poet and a collector of ceramics, an art which flourished in his reign; a substantial part of his collection is in the Percival David Foundation in London.

Why don't poets have this kind of commitment? [China]:
He is profoundly reluctant to talk about it ("that is in the past now"), but he was responsible for one of the most notorious events of the Shanghai art scene. In 2000, he ran a show on the unofficial "fringe" of the city's first Biennale, which operates from the government-run Shanghai Art Museum. Li Liang's show was, uncompromisingly enough, called Fuck Off, and it featured a photograph of a man eating a baby, by Zhu Yu. The work was one of the manifestations of the Chinese body art movement, in which, in a manner that makes the most violent excesses of the YBAs seem tame, human body parts, corpses, and leavings from medical operations were deployed as artistic materials. One artist reputedly even committed suicide as a performance work.

Iqbal Day today [Pakistan]:
ISLAMABAD: The nation will observe "Iqbal Day" on Tuesday with zeal and fervour to pay tribute to the great philosopher and poet, Allama Mohammad Iqbal, on his 127th birth anniversary. [...]

With zeal and fervour, eh? I'm sorry I can't be there. (No, really. My father spent part of his childhood in Rawalpindi. I'd like to see it.)

President Message on Iqbal Day:
Although his main interests were scholarly, Iqbal was not unconcerned with the political situation of the, country and the political fortunes of the Muslim community of India. Already in 1908, while in England, he had been chosen as a member of the executive council of the newly-established British branch of the Indian Muslim League. In 1931 and 1932 he represented the Muslims of India in the Round Table Conferences held in England to discuss the issue of the political future of India. And in a 1930 lecture Iqbal suggested the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of India. Iqbal died (1938) before the creation of Pakistan (1947), but it was his teaching that "spiritually ... has been the chief force behind the creation of Pakistan."2 He is the national poet of Pakistan. [...]

National poet donates his art collection for public viewing [Scotland]:
THEY adorned his flat in the west end of Glasgow for more than 40 years and Edwin Morgan, Scotland's national poet, could have sold them for a fortune.

But Scotland's makar has instead decided to donate his valuable, and very personal, collection of 70 works to be saved and displayed for posterity.

The 84-year-old has gifted all the paintings, sketches, drawings and prints to the University of Glasgow, where he studied and taught, because of his abiding affection for the institution.

I hope you're not planning on dying, Edwin, but I'm afraid you are.

Here's the Loch Ness Monster's Song from EdwinMorgan.com.

Book Launches by Academi [Wales]:
Academi would like to invite you to a series of book launches that form part of the Wales Millennium Centre's opening weekend celebrations.

On Saturday 27th November, Academi will highlight the new releases from Wales' leading publishers and there'll be a chance to buy your own signed copies of the latest books.

3.00 pm  Gwasg Carreg Gwalch introduce two new works by Merthyr authors: The Language of Flight by Mike Jenkins and A Bagful of Monkeys by George Evans, and a new collection of poetry by Meirion MacIntyre Huws. (Bilingual event)

4.00 pm  Seren authors Sheenagh Pugh, Paul Henry and Chris Meredith read from recent and forthcoming collections. (Event in English)

5.00 pm  Parthian introduce Trefn 1: Sideways Glances, an experimental collaboration between artists and writers including Megan Lloyd, Daniel Morden and Rachel Trezise. (Event in English)

Monday, November 08, 2004
Language of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry: A Critical Examination [Nigeria]:
Like a large chunk of well-prepared meat presented to you on a beautiful china at whose sight you salivate, but as it gets into your mouth, it quickly turns into some tiny gristly material, giving you little satisfaction and so much to chew on about not taking for granted anything you see presented to you on a beautiful plate. Lyricism in a poem could be wonderful if it is made to give further or deeper insight about the idea in a poem.
Unfortunately, this excerpt is probably the best morsel from this essay.

Unearthing gold rush poetry [Australia]:
"Buried under a mullock heap, in the shrub-and-dust expanse of the Western Australian goldfields, lies all that remains of the town of Day Dawn.

"It once boasted seven hotels, wide handsome avenues, shops, schools and a prosperous citizenry of several thousand people. A century later, zebra finches flit around the magnificent stone ruins of the Day Dawn Mining Office and the gold mine, a huge hole at its doorstep, is silent. Like the town, poetry and prose that once poured onto the pages of 60 newspapers on the goldfields have disappeared in the mists of time, after the goldrush of the 1890s subsided. [...]

"You have this critical mass of very fine writers who were all being published in at least 60 newspapers in the goldfields alone.

"The most popular was the Kalgoorlie Sun, which hired journalists who were also poets. They also bought poems from freelancers like the Boulder Bard, who wrote highly satirical poems."

Others wrote under colourful nicknames, too: including "Dryblower" Murphy, "Bluebush" and "Crosscut" Wilson, who produced thousands of poems each.

Yet by the 1940s and 50s, the poetry had fallen out of fashion. "People scoffed at a lot of the poetry and it was overlooked in literary circles," says Strickland. "It's only in recent years that academics have been rediscovering it. But I can honestly say there isn't a single poem we've selected where the lyrics are poor."

Poet's delight at prize shortlist [Wales]:
A Welsh poet is "absolutely thrilled" at being shortlisted for the £10,000 TS Eliot Prize for poetry.

Kathryn Gray, from Caerphilly, has been nominated for her debut volume The Never Never.

She is the first Welsh-born poet to make the shortlist of 10, which also includes broadcaster Tom Paulin. [...]

White House Poetry Revival [Ireland]:
On Wednesday, 10th November 2004 at 9 pm, Noel King will read at The White House, O'Connell Street, Limerick.

Noel King is a writer, storyteller and actor from Tralee, Co Kerry, whose poems, short stories, plays, reviews, photography and articles have appeared in publications in 28 countries.

The reading is preceded by an open mic session. Anyone who wishes to read is invited to do so.

Complimentary finger food is provided.

For further information, contact Barney Sheehan at 086 8657494 or email whitehousepoets @ eircom. net

website: www.limerick.com/whitehousepoets

Unpleasant Event Schedule is fresh. And has a picture of a nice doggy.

Hell Riders: The Truth About the Charge of the Light Brigade: nobody blundered?

The Victorian Web:
The army's problems were made public by the first real war correspondent, William Russell of the London Times. (Other outrages included the inability of the supply corps to get food to starving soldiers six miles away.) The exposure lead to reform. As the enemy killed fewer British soldiers than starvation and cholera, so the gallantry of the Light Brigade was less consequential than the actions of Florence Nightingale, who reformed the way the hospitals were being run and invented the nursing profession.

I'm wondering how much Tennyson's poem (manuscript here) had to do with any reforms that came out of the Crimean War. Was it just a reaction to the news or did it help to make the news? Any guesses? (I'm thinking about political poems and whether they're worth a damn politically.)

Heber City's Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Fair schedule [US]:
Heber City's 10th annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Fair is Tuesday through Sunday at locations throughout Heber City in Wasatch County. Tickets are available by calling 435-654-3666 or 800-888-8499, or by visiting http://www.hebercitycowboypoetry.com.

Git along, little doggerel.

DIAGRAM is fresh.

Sunday, November 07, 2004
AUGHT is fresh.

People like to quote Frost [US]:
Nature provides meaning, inspiration in new poetry book by Jonathan Stull
CEDAR FALLS --- Poetry is a way of "taking life by the throat," Robert Frost believed.

Jonathan Stull appreciates the imagery because he believes poetry "gives something you can't get from any other art form. I'm under no illusions about why people avoid reading poetry because it is challenging. But it also gives solace, creates a human connection. I write, read and listen to poems to hear the music of the words, something that has meaning --- that's the meat and potatoes of poetry. I can feel the emotion and be transported."

In his new poetry book, "Kyrie," the Cedar Falls poet explores understanding by exploring his own back yard. [...]

Di Piero poem engages subject's life, integrity
I've always loved Robert Frost's comment: "I'm only a poet when I'm writing a poem."

First, it emasculates the pretentious concept of the Life of the Poet, where the poet is considered a species apart from everyone else. But it also describes the act of writing poems: how a poet lets his imagination get seized by an idea, image, sound or word and then fashions that experience into a new shape, what we call a poem. The serious poet, I hear Frost saying, commits equally to both the act and the result of making poems.

To borrow a phrase from this week's poem, the poet's job is to "look to see" in order to remake experiences afresh. And not just that, but also to invent a real music with that language. In this way a poet documents ("I'm only a poet when I'm writing a poem"). If things go well, the poet says through his poem, "I'm alive, I'm human, and this is the meaning of it." [...]

East meets West, North meets South in Wright's poetry [US]:
Buffalo Yoga
By Charles Wright

Wright has staked his claim to be considered a legitimate, and, in some ways, more genuinely American heir to Ezra Pound. Like Pound, Wright is in love with Italian culture. Wright has translated the poems of Eugenio Montale, and the painter Giorgio Morandi also is a presence in his work. Also like Pound, and with a kind of cultural omnivorousness that is both modernist and American, Wright has fused Western sources with a detailed knowledge of the culture and literature of China. And, like Pound, Wright is a lyric poet capable of writing poems with a narrative or even epic architecture.

Unlike Pound, Wright has not spent half his life in Europe. Instead, his work combines a geographical consciousness of North and South in the United States, and of East and West, in all the historical tensions this consciousness involves. The details he extracts from specific landscapes (those of Virginia or Montana or California) resonate with wisdom about the importance of any landscape in the definition of human consciousness.

This background is necessary in order to appreciate the cocky title of Wright's 16th book of poems - Buffalo Yoga, which so characteristically balances both West and the East. It contains all those verbal pleasures that readers of Wright have become accustomed to, voice and imagery at once colloquial and brilliant: "Sunblade for just a second, then back in its scabbard of clouds," or "Jesus, it's all still a fist of mist, / That keeps on cleaning my clock, / tick-tock, my youth, tick-tock, my youth... ."

Saturday, November 06, 2004
Heaney’s Poetry Makes Past Present [US]:
While Heaney studied historical translations and their political implications in his translation, he also drew upon current events for inspiration. He says he saw clear parallels between President Bush before the Iraq War and Creon, the king of Thebes. Both were authoritative rulers who forced their people to make an absolute moral decision without full understanding of the moral ambiguity of their situation. [...]

Friday, November 05, 2004
The 2005 Alberta Prize [US]:
This prize is for a first or second full-length collection of poems by a woman writing in English to be judged by Fence editors and a representative of the Alberta duPont Bonsal Foundation, with a cash prize of $5000 & publication by Fence Books. Manuscripts will remain anonymous until a winner is selected.

Deadline: Envelope must be postmarked on or between November 1st and November 30th of 2004.

Thursday, November 04, 2004
Marsh Hawk Press’s Second Annual Poetry Prize [US]:
The Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize offers a cash award of $1,000.00 plus publication of the winning book. It is judged by a poet of national stature not connected with the press.

Deadline: April 30, 2005

Beullah Rose Poetry Prize [US]:
Smartish Pace will begin highlighting extraordinary new poetry by women with the Beullah Rose Poetry Prize. Winning poems will appear in the spring issue of Smartish Pace.

Creeley reading [US]:
In conjunction with Francesco Clemente's "Tandoori Satori" and "Commonplace" exhibition at The Rose Art Museum, poet Robert Creeley will read from his work. The exhibition will be on display until Dec. 12. The reading will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, at The Rose Art Museum on the Brandeis University campus in Waltham, followed by a book signing. Free. For information call 781-736-3434.

Poet urges students to 'resist' [US]:
Sonia Sanchez, the award-winning poet, activist and playwright, breezed into the library at Lincoln Middle School in East St. Louis Wednesday and delivered an impassioned plea to her audience to exercise their right to vote.

If Sanchez's pitch, made a day after Americans went to the polls, seemed poorly timed, consider her audience. The 45 eighth-graders who listened to Sanchez in rapt silence were too young to cast ballots for president on Tuesday, but Sanchez told them they stood to make a difference four or eight years from now. "If you remember only one thing I say today, remember this," she said. "When you come of age, you've got to get out and vote. This is your century and you have the right."

Sanchez was then escorted out the door by four men in dark suits and never heard from again...

The Seamus Heaney Lecture Series/Sraith Léachtaí Seamus Heaney [Ireland]:
The new series is entitled 'The Fire in the Flint': the creative imagination', and the first two lectures will take place between now and Christmas.

Seamus Heaney himself will give the first lecture in the series on Monday 15 November 2004 at 8.00 pm. He will speak on the subject of 'In a Mucker fog: Patrick Kavanagh's calling.'

The second will be by Susan McKenna Lawlor on Monday 6 December, 8.00 pm, and will be entitled 'Voyages to the edge of forever'.

You are strongly advised to book your place, as there is likely to be heavy demand for places. Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

This is a wonderful opportunity to hear Seamus Heaney and other world-class speakers speak on creativity and imagination.

Literary readings [Hong Kong]:
3 November, Wednesday, 8pm
Fringe Club
2 Lower Albert Rd, Central, Hong Kong
Pauline Burton
Alan Jefferies
Madeleine Marie Slavick, and
the American Community Theatre (ACT), presenting poems on stalking, the night & dark obsessions, such as, Shakespeare's Sonnet 147, "My love is as a fever, longing still"; Sylvia Plath's "Pursuit"; Robert Frost's "Acquainted with the Night"; and W.H. Auden's "As I Walked Out One Evening".

ACT will be staging Rebecca Gilman's 'Boy Gets Girl' (from 24 Nov to 1 Dec.) to raise awareness about stalking in Hong Kong which has no laws against it.

Author! Author!
5 November, Friday, 6:30-8:30
The Colour Bar Salon
19/f, Asia Pacific Centre
8 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
presented by Women in Publishing Society
HK$80 WIPS members / $100 non-members
Drinks and canapes served

Sarah Brennan, author of the children's book, A Dirty Story
Cindy Shyu, author of the novel, The Healer
Madeleine Marie Slavick, author of the poetry collection, delicate access

Look out for the launch of the next issue of Dimsum magazine & a night with Hong Kong authors, both on 16 November at the Fringe Club.

If you'll be in Tokyo on 27 November, stop by Caravan Books in Ikekuburo, for the Japan launch of Madeleine Marie Slavick's bilingual English-Chinese book, delicate access.