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

Thursday, September 30, 2004
A Windfall of Modern Poetry for Scholars:
ATLANTA, Sept. 23 - More than four decades ago, when Raymond Danowski was an unhappy teenager in the Bronx, he worked after school shelving books in the Burgess-Carpenter Library at Columbia University.

"It was like an oasis for me," Mr. Danowski recalled.

He has traveled a long way since then; his picaresque life as a thrice-married art dealer and book collector has led him throughout the world, and he splits his time between Britain and South Africa.

Now in an astonishingly literal fashion he has donated a library he himself created - some 60,000 volumes and tens of thousands more of periodicals, posters, recordings and other items devoted to 20th-century poetry in the English language - to the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory University here. [...]

Tuesday, September 28, 2004
The Alarming Spread of Poetry (P.G. Wodehouse):
To the thinking man there are few things more disturbing than the realization that we are becoming a nation of minor poets. In the good old days poets were for the most part confined to garrets, which they left only for the purpose of being ejected from the offices of magazines and papers to which they attempted to sell their wares. Nobody ever thought of reading a book of poems unless accompanied by a guarantee from the publisher that the author had been dead at least a hundred years. Poetry, like wine, certain brands of cheese, and public buildings, was rightly considered to improve with age; and no connoisseur could have dreamed of filling himself with raw, indigestible verse, warm from the maker.

Today, however, editors are paying real money for poetry; publishers are making a profit on books of verse; and many a young man who, had he been born earlier, would have sustained life on a crust of bread, is now sending for the manager to find out how the restaurant dares try to sell a fellow champagne like this as genuine Pommery Brut. Naturally this is having a marked effect on the life of the community. Our children grow to adolescence with the feeling that they can become poets instead of working. Many an embryo bill clerk has been ruined by the heady knowledge that poems are paid for at the rate of a dollar a line. All over the country promising young plasterers and rising young motormen are throwing up steady jobs in order to devote themselves to the new profession. On a sunny afternoon down in Washington Square one's progress is positively impeded by the swarms of young poets brought out by the warm weather. It is a horrible sight to see those unfortunate youths, who ought to be sitting happily at desks writing “Dear Sir, Your favor of the tenth inst. duly received and contents noted. In reply we beg to state....” wandering about with their fingers in their hair and their features distorted with the agony of composition, as they try to find rhymes to “cosmic” and “symbolism.”

And, as if matters were not bad enough already, along comes Mr. Edgar Lee Masters and invents vers libre. It is too early yet to judge the full effects of this man's horrid discovery, but there is no doubt that he has taken the lid off and unleashed forces over which none can have any control. All those decent restrictions which used to check poets have vanished, and who shall say what will be the outcome?

Until Mr. Masters came on the scene there was just one thing which, like a salient fortress in the midst of an enemy's advancing army, acted as a barrier to the youth of the country. When one's son came to one and said, “Father, I shall not be able to fulfill your dearest wish and start work in the fertilizer department. I have decided to become a poet,” although one could no longer frighten him from his purpose by talking of garrets and starvation, there was still one weapon left. “What about the rhymes, Willie?” you replied, and the eager light died out of the boy's face, as he perceived the catch in what he had taken for a good thing. You pressed your advantage. “Think of having to spend your life making one line rhyme with another! Think of the bleak future, when you have used up 'moon' and 'June,' 'love' and 'dove,' 'May' and 'gay'! Think of the moment when you have ended the last line but one of your poem with 'windows' or 'warmth' and have to buckle to, trying to make the thing couple up in accordance with the rules! What then, Willie?”

Next day a new hand had signed on in the fertilizer department.

But now all that has changed. Not only are rhymes no longer necessary, but editors positively prefer them left out. If Longfellow had been writing today he would have had to revise “The Village Blacksmith” if he wanted to pull in that dollar a line. No editor would print stuff like:
Under the spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands.
The smith a brawny man is he
With large and sinewy hands.

If Longfellow were living in these hyphenated, free and versy days, he would find himself compelled to take his pen in hand and dictate as follows:
In life I was the village smith,
I worked all day
I retained the delicacy of my complexion
I worked in the shade of the chestnut tree
Instead of in the sun
Like Nicholas Blodgett, the expressman.
I was large and strong
I went in for physical culture
And deep breathing
And all those stunts.
I had the biggest biceps in Spoon River.

Who can say where this thing will end? Vers libre is within the reach of all. A sleeping nation has wakened to the realization that there is money to be made out of chopping its prose into bits. Something must be done shortly if the nation is to be saved from this menace. But what? It is no good shooting Edgar Lee Masters, for the mischief has been done, and even making an example of him could not undo it. Probably the only hope lies in the fact that poets never buy other poets' stuff. When once we have all become poets, the sale of verse will cease or be limited to the few copies which individual poets will buy to give to their friends.

Monday, September 27, 2004
Are you fidgety?
ADHD was first described by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman in 1845. A physician who wrote books on medicine and psychiatry, he was also a poet who became interested in writing for children when he couldn't find suitable materials to read to his three-year-old son. The result was a book of poems, complete with illustrations, about children and their characteristics. The Story of Fidgety Philip was an accurate description of a little boy who had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

The Story of Fidgety Philip online.

Cloak of silence over murder that inspired a poet
At the end of an isolated track near the village of Nijar is a pile of stones where local people occasionally stop to make the sign of the cross and add a pebble to the cairn before silently walking on.

It marks the spot where Francisco Montes was shot three times in the head with his own revolver on July 22, 1928. The crime inspired one of Spain's greatest pieces of literature, the play Blood Wedding, written by the country's best-known 20th century poet, Federico García Lorca.

But the real story of the killing seems likely to remain a mystery as film-makers have run up against a wall of silence in their attempt to get to the truth. [...]

Debating the life of a long-deceased poet:
NEW YORK -- Inuhiko Yomota, one of the most well-read and prolific writers I know, was in town, and when I said I am working on a new book on the poet Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933), he told me that his friend, Masahiko Nishi, has written a book arguing that Miyazawa expressed strong anticolonialism through his children's stories. Miyazawa is famous for both genres of poetry and story-telling in equal measure.

I saw at once why such an argument may be made. Miyazawa is unique among 20th century Japanese poets because of the tendency to turn him into "a saint." The hagiography started a mere several years after his death, but recent years have also seen the suggestion that he most likely would have ended up a supporter of Japan's militarism had he not died at age 37 -- a year after Japan "recognized" the government it had set up in Manchuria through military machinations. [...]

Scenery (Kenji Miyazawa, tr. Bill Fryer)
Cunning clouds, made of acid
Cherries bloom and shine in the sun
As the wind blows the grass,
Clipped angelica trees tremble
We piled manure in the sandy soil
(the whole scene forms a picture on blue glass)
Like dum dum bullets
Skylarks shoot into the air!
Wind whistles in the spiritless sky
Golden grass shivers
The devious clouds are made of acid
Cherry blossoms shine in the sun country style

Who is Miyazawa Kenji?

Lamentations of a poet:
"Many teachers teach poetry as though it is just any other subject. In doing so, they take the music, the melody, out of poetry."

"Music has gone out of the poetry of today; so have rhyme and rhythm."

This lament is from no less a person than Keki N. Daruwalla, poet.

In a recent interview with The Hindu , Daruwalla pointed out that the sorry state of affairs of Indian poetry today is actually a commentary on the state of our civilisation. [...]
Fish are Speared by Night (Keki N. Daruwalla):
Fish are netted by day here
speared by night.
A tongue of coral protrudes under the tide
where the men stand loin-deep
in foam, their black-basalt legs
braced against the surf, legs like
an outcrop of the reef itself, so still
that moss moves towards it, impelled
by some primeval instinct of its own.

Flashlights stab the sea;
from shoulder-height javelins descend,
splintering the light as the fish is skewered
and forced down the spear-head,
still threshing the sand.

At the thatch village two hours before dawn
dogs bark tentatively and silhouette-wives
receive them with hurricane-lanterns
the men with their harvest on their backs,
shell-grit and sand still clinging to their feet.

But when clouds go about like shrieking gulls
and each wave descends from its cliff-top
like a cataract, and the wicker-lamps are snuffed out,
they spread their fishing-nets on the ground
and spread their women over them
Fish here are speared by night.

Sunday, September 26, 2004
Kim Addonizio:
I am writing & writing (prose), but I don't know if it's any good. I want to write poems but I can't. I tried reading a few poems from Best American Poetry 04, which I am in, but didn't find much inspiration so far. Of what I read, I liked Fanny Howe's piece, because it made me think without making me feel stupid or alienated, or as though my native language had been put through a food processor. I honestly wonder if I'll ever write another poem. I feel radically out of sync with where poetry seems to have gone/be going.

Saturday, September 25, 2004
Killer who became a poet on death row captivates India:
Doctor Johnson once said "when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully". He has been proved right in the state of Tamil Nadu, where the shadow of the noose has brought forth an acclaimed book of poetry written from death row by a convicted murderer.

India is a land that values its writers, but its newest poet is a little more recherche than most. Ten years ago, V Radhakrishnan was convicted of murdering a man ina courthouse. But while he has been on death row, he has been earning acclaim as a poet.

Not only have several literary figures hailed Radhakrishnan's volume- one said he was moved to tears - but some are backing his plea for a presidential pardon on the sole grounds that he is an accomplished writer. [...]

Anthology of poems from man in death row:
A man facing the gallows in a murder case has released an anthology of poems penned during his life behind bars in the Salem Central Jail in Tamil Nadu.

The anthology titled Sirai Muthukkal 3450 (Pearls from Prison) contains his poems on various national and international issues like the Iraq war and persons like US President George Bush and LTTE supremo Prabhakaran.

A man facing the gallows? The shadow of the noose?

Multimillionaire finds muse after giving up cocaine and takes his show on the road:
"Never go back, never go back," he said solemnly into the microphone. Video clips of nature scenes and country houses and young boys hugging dogs flashed on the monitors behind him. Moody electronic music filtered through the speakers. Dennis, bathed in blue and white lights, sipped from a glass of wine he kept on the lectern, which was decorated with a portrait of -- guess who? -- Dennis, holding his hands to his head in a modified "Scream" pose. He continued: "Never return to the haunts of your youth." The music, and his voice, got stormier. "Keep to the track, to the beaten track, memory holds all you need of the truth."

At intermission, reactions were mixed. After all, with all the special effects and Dennis' accent, its working-class edges blunted by the polished tones of wealth, the performance was at times eerily evocative of the scene in the 1984 film "This Is Spinal Tap," in which Nigel, the self-serious English rock star, recites a poem ("And, oh, how they danced, the little children of Stonehenge, beneath the haunted moon, for fear that daybreak might come too soon") as a comically miniature model of Stonehenge is lowered onto the stage behind him.

One young woman walked out of the performance room, stuck her hand into the street and shouted for a taxi. But another woman, in a rhinestone-studded tank top, was preparing to ask Dennis to autograph her body; she had not yet decided which part.

Poor bad poets just start blogs.

Friday, September 24, 2004
Columbia schools honor Lloyd Mifflin:
Columbia school district students took part in the 84th Annual Mifflin Memorial Service last Wednesday. A long-standing tradition, the service was held at 2:30 p.m. at the Mifflin plot in Mount Bethel Cemetery.

Columbia High School Dean of Students/Principal Jim Rhoads opened the ceremony. "Each year it is our practice to pay tribute to Lloyd Mifflin, an artist and poet and a true friend to Columbia," he said in front of the Mifflin grave. [...]

You don't suppose they're doing this just because it's a requirement of Mifflin's bequest to the school, do you?
Lloyd Mifflin is known as Pennsylvania's greatest poet and America's greatest sonneteer. He bequeathed to the Columbia Borough School District two lots of ground at Tenth and Walnut Streets. The land was to be used as a permanent playground for the students at Taylor School.

In addition, Mifflin's will stated that as payment for the land, a flower be placed on his grave, and that of his mother and brother, to commemorate his birthday every year. Mifflin inherited the land from his mother, who died when she was quite young. [...]

By and about the mighty Mifflin:

President's Poetry Gets Priority:
Turkmen state television broke into its regularly scheduled programming to present a live broadcast of President Saparmurat Niyazov presenting his latest poems about "love of the motherland."

It is the president's fourth volume of poetry, and like the previous three, it will be required reading for Turkmenistan's high school and university students – just like his code of behaviour that children and adults alike are required to study closely. [...]

From Fence Books:
In support of her new book The Commandrine and Other Poems, which will be out from Fence Books in time for at least the November portion of the tour:

Fri, Sep 24, 7:00 PM
Tina Brown Celona and Joyelle McSweeney
Underwood Poetry Series
The Common Space
615 N. Grand Blvd
St Louis, MO
Contact Phone: 314-725-6927

Sun, October 3, 7:00 PM
Joyelle McSweeney
Zinc Bar Series
90 West Houston Street NYC

Mon, Nov 9, 7 PM
Joyelle McSweeney
Cornell College
Mt. Vernon, IA
Location TBA; please see

Tues, Nov 10, 8 PM
Prairie Lights Bookstore
15 South Dubuque St
Iowa City, IA 52440

Wed, Nov 10, 7:30 PM
D.A. Powell and Joyelle McSweeney
The Danny’s Reading Series at Danny’s Tavern
1951 W Dickens (in Bucktown, near Damen and Dickens)
Chicago, IL

Thurs, Nov 11, 6:30 PM
Joyelle McSweeney
A Room of One’s Own Feminist Bookstore
307 W. Johnson St.
Madison, WI 53703

Thurs, Nov 18
Sean Singer and Joyelle McSweeney
CW Post Campus, Long Island University
Brookville, NY

Mon, Nov 22, 8 PM
Tony Tost and Joyelle McSweeney
The Poetry Project
St. Mark's Church
2nd Ave and 10th St
Call (212) 674-0910 for more information.

Saturday, September 18, 2004
Virginia Hamilton Adair, 91, a Poet Famous Late in Life, Dies:
Virginia Hamilton Adair, a California poet who published her first collection, "Ants on the Melon," when she was 83, died on Thursday in Claremont, Calif., her daughter, Katharine Adair Waugh, said. She was 91 and lived in Claremont.

Published by Random House in 1996, "Ants on the Melon" received wide attention, partly because of Ms. Adair's personal story (a retired English professor, by then blind from glaucoma, she had written poetry all her life but had published little since the 1940's) and partly for the unaffected style and universal themes of her work.

The collection sold more than 28,000 copies, which her editor, Daniel Menaker, yesterday called an "alpine" figure for a volume of poetry. [...]

Emerging glorious from the clouds
Lee Harwood, who is 65 this year, is still not much known outside the world of small press publications. His 20 or so volumes of poems and prose poems have been issued by tiny, often fugitive outfits, such as Pig Press, Galloping Dog Press, Slow Dancer Press, Transgravity Press, and Other Branch Readings. But, like Jeremy Prynne, whose work drew fire earlier this year from the heavyweight academic professors John Carey and John Sutherland, Harwood has cult status among followers of the alternative British poetry scene. And while the dauntingly rigorous experiments with poetic language of Prynne, despite being quoted on the Today programme, will probably always be caviar to the general, Harwood's poetry is not only not "difficult" - it is open, moving and exquisitely delicate in its attention to landscape, mood, and the pressures of time and history.

Like Prynne's, Harwood's work has generated its fair share of academic articles celebrating its discontinuity and indeterminacy, and connecting it with the thought of such as Derrida or Lyotard. Harwood is, however, the least academic of poets - indeed one of the most charming and disarming aspects of the persona his poems embody is the way he so frankly and uninhibitedly commits himself to poetry itself, rather than theories about poetry, as the fullest and most authentic way of engaging in life. [...]

Friday, September 17, 2004
Front & Center: Words help poet sift through challenges:
Her second collection of poems, titled ''Mattress Burn,'' will be released next year.
Mattress Burn?
As for Saturday evening, Mills said her reading will be geared more toward mature audiences.

Ah. Mattress burn.

SCAT hosts Word Play in Union Square (Somerville, Mass., USA)

Readings from Fence:
Please come out to a venue near you to hear a reading. Go to http://www.fencemag.com/events.html for an updated list of Fence Books events all over the country, and pay special attention to the below:

Catherine Wagner's Belated Tour in support of Macular Hole

Saturday, September 18th, 7:00 pm
Catherine Wagner with Rebecca Wolff
University of Michigan Business School, Room D1270
Ann Arbor, MI
Sponsored by Shaman Drum Bookshop and the University of Michigan

September 20, 2004, 6pm
Catherine Wagner with Rebecca Wolff
Rain Taxi Reading Series
Micawber's Books
2238 Carter Avenue
St. Paul, MN
(Take 280 to Como Ave. exit, go east for six blocks and left on Carter).

Tuesday, September 21st, 8 PM
Catherine Wagner with Rebecca Wolff
Prairie Lights Bookstore
15 S. Dubuque Street
Iowa City, IA
to be broadcast on WSUI's Live at Prairie Lights radio series:

Wednesday, September 22nd, 7:30 PM
Catherine Wagner with Ben Doyle and Rebecca Wolff
The Danny's Reading Series
(21 and over, please bring ID)
Danny's Tavern
1951 W. Dickens
Chicago, IL 773-489-6457

Friday, November 12, 7 pm
Martin Corless-Smith & Catherine Wagner
Bishop Barnwell Room
Student Union
Boise State University
1910 University Dr
Boise ID 83725
(208) 426-INFO

Friday, November 19, 7:30 pm
Catherine Wagner & Martin Corless-Smith
Skanky Possum Reading Series
12th Street Books
827 W 12th St
Austin TX 78701
Hand-silk-screened broadsides of work by Wagner & Corless-Smith, specially made for the event by Skanky Possum Press, will be available at the reading.

Thursday, September 16, 2004
Am I allowed to laugh?:
Mayor Hickenlooper Names Abelardo "Lalo" Delgado Denver's First Poet Laureate

Announcement Made at Memorial Tribute For Celebrated Chicano Poet

Mayor John Hickenlooper announced Friday evening the establishment of a new post of Poet Laureate of Denver and posthumously named Abelardo "Lalo" Delgado the first to hold the honorary post. The announcement took place at a memorial tribute for the nationally-known poet who passed away at the age of 73 on July 24, 2004. [...]

(Not at Degado, of course.)

While I was reading this piece about the fashion industry, I was thinking about the poetry industry.
Fashion is both democratic and exclusive. Some fashion is meant for broad audiences—New York showman-extraordinaire Isaac Mizrahi, for example, has revived his defunct high-priced label by designing clothes for Target—and some—like the extreme styles of Nicolas Ghesquiere's work for Balenciaga—is frankly not intended for uneducated eyes. The opinion of the man on the street is irrelevant when it comes to clothes designed for connoisseurs. When great designers such as Rei Kawakubo at Commes des Garcons or her protégé Junya Watanabe propose extreme—what some might call ridiculous—style, it is because they are working with the formal properties of fashion (cut, fabrics, complex finishing techniques) in an innovative way. Their client base is intentionally small because a larger business would require responding to mass market demands, and the influence of their innovation is felt primarily within the industry. But so what? Fashion is a community as well as a business, and communities have their own language. A unique use of lace or a well-cut dress are nuances that might be lost on your average shopper but provide secret thrills to fashion insiders.

On the other hand, it happens all too often that runway shows are filled with high jinks for high jinks' sake. Fashion has become entertainment, and so the thinking of many designers goes like this: Zany looks will get the attention of TV producers or stylists with celebrity access (and getting the name out there equals business success). Shenanigans like silly hairdos, exaggerated makeup, or overzealous styling can also hide a lack of skill or true ideas. [...]

Wednesday, September 15, 2004
3rd bed contest:
For the past six years, 3rd bed has celebrated innovative literature, conducting forays into uncharted and forgotten territories, finding new voices and forms in the work of authors both established and previously unpublished. We are particularly proud of our commitment to seeking out and publishing first-time writers of merit.

We invite you to join us for 3rd bed’s First Annual Prize for Poetry and Fiction. Prizes of $500 will be awarded to the winning poetry and prose entries. The prize-winning pieces—as well as the two runners-up in each category—will be published in 3rd bed #12. Fiction entries will be judged by Amy Hempel (Reasons to Live, Tumble Home); poetry entries will be judged by Keith Waldrop (The House Seen from Nowhere, Haunt) and Rosmarie Waldrop (Reluctant Gravities, Blindsight). All contest submissions must be accompanied by an entry fee of $15 and an SASE. Prose entries should be double spaced and no more than 5000 words. Poetry entries should be no more than 5 poems or 10 pages.

All entries should be postmarked by December 20th...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Unpleasant Event Schedule is fresh.

Oh, Anna Why Didn't You Appear
Oh! Death to Nancy

Grandmaster Flash Nominated for Rock Hall :
NEW YORK - Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five are among the nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — the first rap artists to get that distinction — joining U2, Randy Newman (news) and the O'Jays on the ballot.

Getting his start as a DJ at Bronx parties in the late 1970s, Grandmaster Flash later joined with the Furious Five for the social commentary of "The Message" and "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It").

"The Message": A Classic That Almost Never Was

Shakespeare's Leap (NY Times Magazine):
Around 1589, just as the 25-year-old Shakespeare's career as a playwright was beginning, Christopher Marlowe -- exactly the same age and from a similar middle-class, provincial background -- scored a great box-office success with ''The Jew of Malta.'' A black comedy, brilliant but exceptionally cynical and cruel, Marlowe's script was repeatedly dusted off and revived throughout the 1590's. Shakespeare, who was in the business of exciting crowds, undoubtedly noted the way his rival's play drew large audiences, particularly at moments of popular agitation against London's small Flemish, Dutch, French and Italian communities, which were charged with stealing English jobs. [...]

It was probably a successful revival of ''The Jew of Malta'' that prompted Shakespeare, sometime after 1594 and before 1598, to write ''The Merchant of Venice.'' As in our own entertainment industry, one success spawned another: after all, to stay afloat, each of London's theater companies had to draw some 1,500 to 2,000 paying customers a day into the round wooden walls of its playhouse, and competition was fierce. At some point in his restless, voluminous reading, Shakespeare had come across an Italian story about a Jewish usurer in Giovanni Fiorentino's ''Il Pecorone.'' As he often did, Shakespeare lifted the plot wholesale: the merchant of Venice who borrows money from a Jewish moneylender, the terrible bond with its forfeit of a pound of the merchant's flesh, a handsome young Venetian's successful wooing of a lady of ''Belmonte'' who comes to Venice disguised as a lawyer, her clever solution to the threat of the bond by pointing out that the legal right to take a pound of flesh does not include the legal right to take a drop of blood. And in creating the usurer Shylock, Shakespeare borrowed heavily from Marlowe. But he also went far beyond his predecessor. His half-villainous, half-sympathetic moneylender possesses a range of emotions utterly alien to Marlowe's villain Barabas.

Benjamin Zephaniah:
On school visits he reads the kids Romantic poetry and asks them to locate it within the framework of modern music lyrics. "We might have a discussion in which a kid says, well, I think Keats would be like a Morrissey figure, moaning and groaning about how ill he is. And Shelley would be like Jagger, smashing up hotel rooms, and Byron would be like the misogynist, like Eminem, with a limp, hee hee. I'm trying to get the kids to think how to be poetic. Or I might say to them, you're a bad motherfucking gangsta rapper and you're in love with this bitch. Now I want you to write a poem without using any of those words. And don't use the word love. Simple things. They're not academic. They're instinct."

Monday, September 13, 2004
Do you want a gmail account? I have 6 to give away.

Sunday, September 12, 2004
http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/ (via booksurfer):
Welcome to the new poetry magazines archive. This is a free access site to the full-text digital library of 20th and 21st century English poetry magazines from the Poetry Library collection. This site was launched on 22nd August 2003.

Heaney on Milosz

Saturday, September 11, 2004
Boston-area poet, poetry promoter, and ex-employee of ex-book store needs work.

(WordsWorth Books files Chapter 11)

Friday, September 10, 2004
The Analogous Series: Fall 2004 Calendar - Boston, Mass., USA, poetry readings.

Thursday, September 09, 2004
Daniel Nester says he'll be reading at these places:
+ Sunday, September 12, 7:30pm Reading Series at Magnetic Field Bar and Lounge 97 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

* Thursday, September 16, 7-9pm Brooklyn Brewery, 79 North 11th St., Brooklyn, NY

* Friday, September 17, 7pm Robin's Bookstore, 108 South 13th St., Philadelphia, PA

* Sunday, September 19, 3:30pm Olsson's Books Dupont Circle Store 1307 19th St. NW, Washington, DC

* Monday, September 20, 7pm Carytown Books 2930 W. Cary St., Richmond, VA

* Tuesday, September 21, 7pm Regulator Bookshop 720 Ninth Street, Durham, NC

* Wednesday, September 22, 7pm Malaprops, 55 Haywood, Asheville, NC

* Thursday, September 23, 5pm Watkins College of Arts & Design 2298 MetroCenter Blvd., Nashville, TN

Saturday, September 25, 4:30pm Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA DUCKY versus Small Spiral Notebook

Thursday, December 9, 7-9pm Readings @ The Contemporary
Bob Harrison, Devin Johnston, and Daniel Nester Contemporary Art Museum
3750 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, MO

+ with Jacob Slichter (So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star)
* with Derek McCormack (Grab Bag) and Joe Meno (Hairstyles of the Damned) from Akashic Press.

Donald Allen's obituary in the NY Times.
Mr. Allen's handiwork caused a literary stir and upset the poetry establishment in particular. It spotlighted some large new talents culled from small magazines and lent a degree of respectability even to fringe lyricists from San Francisco and its environs.

What united them, Harvey Shapiro noted in his review in The New York Times in 1960, was their disdain for traditional great English and American poetry and poets. More disapprovingly, the critic John Simon wrote, "Mr. Allen's anthology divides all gall into five parts." [...]

Wednesday, September 08, 2004
horse less press needs your recipe + your writing:
Call for submissions. Please contribute to our fine gastronomical index. Any recipe is welcome, so long as you have permission to share it. Paired with your recipe, a writing please. Song, story, anecdote, poem, context, explanation, utterance, elaboration, memory, reference, recollection, liturgy, theory, proclamation, etc. Anything that expands.

Please send your recipe and writing by email (RTF/Word attachment or in the body) to:

or by snail mail to:
jen tynes
attention: eat me
11 s angell st. #188
providence, ri 02906

Submission deadline is Oct 15, 2004. horse less cookbook will make a wonderful holiday gift. A complimentary copy for each recipe that cuts the muster.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Poetry Foundation develops plan for Lilly gift [from The Unruly Servant]:
The Poetry Foundation, no longer one of the arts’ little match girls, is prepared to spend more than $3 million a year to fire the public’s enthusiasm for verse.

The poetry world has been waiting almost two years to hear how the Chicago-based foundation will use a gift expected to exceed $100 million from Indianapolis pharmaceutical heiress Ruth Lilly. The foundation, publisher of the venerable Poetry magazine, is now revealing a strategic plan aimed at building the audience for verse. [...]

He also said the hope is to turn the foundation into a “think tank, a place where new thinking about poetry can occur.” [...]

Those initiatives include:

• A national research study of public attitudes about poetry and what verse is encountered and where. [...]

• A contemporary poetry database/search engine to be launched on the Internet sometime in 2005. [...]

• A program with schools that may include poetry recitation contests -- a throwback to school events once commonplace. [...]

• Reaching out to mainstream media -- print, broadcast and film -- to try to get them to publish or cite poetry.

• Introducing, at an awards ceremony this October, two prizes: a $50,000 Neglected Master Award for a living American poet whose work has been overlooked; and a $25,000 Mark Twain Award to recognize humor in American poetry. Barr said the foundation also will seek to find a publisher for a “neglected master” whose works are out of print. [...]

Bemsha Swing:
You shouldn't say: "this is a poetry that takes risks." You should specify what the risk is: this poet risk being arrested by the Secret Police. That poet risk her admirers abandoning her, thinking she's crazy. This other poet risks people thinking he's dull, or less intelligent than he really is.

Unpleasant Event Schedule is fresh.

Monday, September 06, 2004
Tay ethnic poet captures readers’ hearts:
When Y Phuong composed poems for a school newspaper in Trung Khanh District of the mountainous Cao Bang Province, he never expected to see them in Ha Noi’s Tap chi Van nghe Quan doi (Army Literature and Arts Magazine). He was even more surprised when his initial success was followed by more popular poems, poetry awards, and a life-long career in literature. However, despite his quick ascent to national [Vietnam] stardom, Phuong has not forgotten his roots in the Tay ethnic group, as evidenced by the rich native imagery in his work.

Y Phuong is now deputy director of the Viet Nam Writer Association’s Composition Committee.

Inner Sanctum: Do you remember your feelings when you saw your poems and your name in such a large national newspaper?

I felt very proud. At the time, I was in the army in a remote area of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta that rarely received books and magazines from the North.

However, I learned that the poems, which I wrote for a student newspaper at my high school before moving south as a soldier (during the American War), were copied and distributed around the lowlands by a correspondent.

It was very exciting to have a poem printed in a newspaper back then. It was also a significant turning point for me. It gave me confidence in my ability to compose poems, and I quickly became a regular contributor to the magazine. [...]

I would like to see a magazine that, if it selects one of your poems, lets you publish any other piece with the selected piece. A sort of foot-in-the-door policy. It would be your chance to publish the one you love but all the editors hate. Or you could bring a friend, so to speak: publish someone else's poem along with yours, assuming your friend doesn't object.

Local poet will work with fourth-graders:
Fourth-grade students will share a special educator this year with their own teachers. Natick poet Andrew Green will act as the districts' Poet-in-Residence, visiting each fourth grade class monthly until April. He will teach the students poetry and guide them in writing original verse that will eventually be published and displayed in town.

At the same time, Green - a former English teacher in Vermont - will work with the teachers, helping them "set up poetry based classrooms, where they can pay greater attention to language, word and sound," he said.

House of one-time poet priest of Confederacy on auction block:
BILOXI, Miss. - A Biloxi home named for Civil War chaplain Abram J. Ryan, who was known as the Poet Laureate of the Confederacy, will be sold at auction on Oct. 5.

The owners, Dr. Jefferson McKenney and Rosanne McKenney, are missionaries in Honduras. Money raised from the sale will be invested in Hospital Loma de Luz, which the McKenneys founded. [...]
Oh, that sounds nice.
Ryan, a poet and chaplain who was friends with Jefferson Davis, lived there periodically after the Civil War. In more recent years, the house and an adjacent property called the Sea Reverie have been used as a bed and breakfast. The McKenneys used profits from the business to fund their missionary work. [...]

Oh, that sounds nice.
Ryan, who died in 1886, became a folk hero of the post-Civil War period with poetry admired in both the North and the South. A collection of his poetry published in 1879 went through 40 editions and earned as much as $1.6 million before 1920.

His most noted work is "The Conquered Banner," a postwar salute to the Confederate flag. Margaret Mitchell incorporated the popular poem and its author into "Gone With The Wind."

Oh, that sounds.

I hope some nice black people buy it.

Spoken Word Poetry Club launched:
Accra, Sept 4, GNA - A poetry club aimed at developing the interest of youth in writing was on Friday launched in Accra. The Spoken Word Poetry Club, would create the platform for unknown poets, writers and musicians to share ideas and find ways of harnessing their talents.

Obituary: Donald M. Allen, editor of poetry anthologies
SAN FRANCISCO - Donald M. Allen, a poetry editor who celebrated the Beat writers, edited Jack Kerouac and published an acclaimed anthology of American poetry, died Aug. 29 in San Francisco after suffering from pneumonia. He was 92.

Friday, September 03, 2004
Seattle: Bumbershoot 2004 this weekend

I would like to see a magazine Y that publishes only pieces rejected by magazine X. An anti-X magazine. You have to submit a copy of the rejection from X with your poem. If Y chooses to publish your poem, it also publishes the text of the rejection from X. (X could be more than one magazine.)

Goat's Head Soup: New & Noted from the Lucifer Poetics Group

New Zealand's poet laureate draws crowd of more than 20

The Poetry Center of Chicago Fall 2004 Program of Poetry, Visual Art and Film

Thursday, September 02, 2004
poetic inhalation/tin lustre mobile is fresh.

RP teener 1st 'Struga' laureate:
NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD Filipino poet Angelo V. Suarez is the first laureate of "Bridges of Struga," a new international poetry prize created by the international festival Struga Poetry Evenings in cooperation with the Unesco to reward young poets from all over the world.

Suarez, a fourth-year literature student of the University of Santo Tomas, received the award for his collection of poems, The Nymph of MTV (UST Publishing House). He was chosen from among 24 candidates from 15 Unesco member states.

The prize-giving ceremony was held at the poetry festival from Aug. 25 to 29 in the town of Struga, Macedonia.

Located on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the town is laced with bridges and dotted with delightful architecture -- a romantic setting for the world's largest poetry gathering.

The most spectacular evening of the festival is one simply called "Bridges." This is when the poets address the audience with their poetry from the bridge where the Drim river exits from the Ohrid Lake.

In this perfect setting, visitors listen to verses from almost every part of the world including Portugal, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Croatia, Sudan, India, Turkey, Serbia and Montenegro, Peru and Macedonia. [...]

Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Donald Justice obituary in today's Guardian.

Hong Kong's poets are crossing cultural barriers:
Hong Kong is often portrayed as a city where happiness is a fake Rolex and artistic, spiritual and moral values bow to the pursuit of money. Similarly, Hong Kong's expats are sometimes disparaged for supposedly leading bubble-wrapped lives, concerned with nothing beyond the trivial.

The city's expat poets challenge both stereotypes. Five of them, Martin Alexander, Gillian Bickley, Kavita Jindal, Tim Kaiser and Mani Rao form a loose alliance called The Scorchers. [...]

The Scorchers write in English. "All communities need a voice that is heard," said Bickley, an academic originally from Britain. "English is the international language. Hence any work published in English is more likely to be heard worldwide than the majority of the literary work in Hong Kong, published in Chinese."[...]