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

Thursday, March 31, 2005
From Matthew Shindell:
I want to thank all of you who have responded to my initial call for submissions of recorded poetry. What you have sent me has exceeded expectations. All of the poems are wonderful and all will be used, though not all of them will be on the first show. I should be able to let you know soon which ones will be used on this Sunday's show.

Please check my weblog, http://poetrypostcardproject.com/blog/MGRH.html, for program information and announcements. I imagine I will have a tentative program posted by tomorrow afternoon. Since this will be the first show, don't expect everything to go as planned.

Having thanked you for what you've already so generously provided, let me now ask you for a second favor:

James and I will be dedicating the first hour of this first show to Robert Creeley, and will be playing some of Creeley's recorded readings. I hope you'll tune in -- 4-6pm (PST) Sunday -- by clicking on the following link and choosing your connection speed:

We'd like you to help us with this memorial. If you have written any elegies for Creeley, or would like to pay tribute to him in some other way (such as by reading your favorite Creeley poem on the air), please let me know. You can send me an mp3, or we can use the telephone. We will actually have to pre-record your reading over the telephone (there is no phone in the studio for some reason), so please send me an email if you are interested and we will set up a time to record your tribute. Please let me know by email as soon as possible.

In the second half of the show we will be playing some of the truly wonderful recordings we received in response to our first call for recorded poetry submissions. Thank you again for your support.

writers inc Writers-of-the-Year Competition 2005 [UK]:
Entries may be on any subject and take any form. Each poetry entry, whether a haiku, villanelle, short poem or extended sequence, will be judged in its own context, regardless of length or content. All entries are judged anonymously. Entries are welcome from anywhere in the world provided that they are accompanied by a sterling cheque for the entry fee.

Blasting the poet [Zimbabwe]:
As Zimbabweans go to the polls one writer and poet they may do well to remember is the late Dambudzo Marechera. Marechera, who died in 1987 at only 35, was one of African literature's most fascinating and unorthodox of figures. [...]

Not surprisingly, one still can find in Marechera's poetry sentiments that continue to resonate with ordinary Zimbabweans today. That dry cynicism, poetic activism, and a desire to reach out, which decades ago sounded like causeless mental banditry, fits so perfectly into Zimbabweans' circumstances. [...]

Poetry International Web has several poems.

Unpleasant Event Schedule is fresh.

Composing the Work an Ill-Fated Poet Never Began [Russia]:
Now, in a new book published here, Tzvetan Todorov, a Bulgarian-born French philosopher and literary critic, believes he has found a way of introducing Tsvetayeva to a larger public outside Russia. In "Vivre Dans le Feu: Confessions" (Éditions Robert Laffont), or "Living in Fire: Confessions," Mr. Todorov has organized extracts from nine volumes of her letters, notes and diaries into what he calls the autobiography she never wrote. [...]

Meanwhile, Mr. Todorov noted, Russia has totally embraced her.

"There is a real cult around her," he said. "The nail she used to hang herself has become a relic. The places where she stayed have become museums, almost shrines. She was the victim of two totalitarianisms, and her destiny has become the embodiment of the tragic destiny of the Russian people."

Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Robert Creeley has died.

Poet in Residence at the Dentist by Clive Kilgour

Magma #33 [UK]:
Editor Tim Kindberg invites poems on the theme of "40,733,985 minutes of obscurity" - of life beyond the Warholian 15 minutes of fame. The unnoticed, the ignored; an interstice between two blades of grass, in a municipal park you once walked across; an arm caught in the background of a photograph; the extras in last night's film.

A taste of Camille [blog]:
Camille Paglia: 'I realized that I knew Creeley primarily through readings, and that how many times and how many poets I was spellbound in the readings. That led me to realize that decades have passed, and the dust is settling, and we have to say, "What has lasted?"'
Previously on dumbfoundry

The Little Workshop is new.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Why I Refused Coca-Cola's Money [US, Colombia]:
Martin Espada: 'My poetry reading at Kansas University tonight (March 10) is co-sponsored by Coca-Cola, through the KU Endowment Association. After giving the matter serious thought, I have decided that I cannot accept funds from Coca-Cola due to the company's labor record in Colombia.'
Martin Espada's poem, Coca-Cola and Coco Fro

Previously on dumbfoundry

Marina Tsvetaeva resurrected [Russia]:
Marina Tsvetaeva has been ranked alongside Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova among Russia's greatest 20th-century poets. If she is not better known in the West, it is partly because the tragedy of her life did not end with her death. For decades after her suicide on Aug. 31, 1941, much of her writing was lost, banned or locked way. It took the collapse of the Soviet Union for her complete works to be published in Russian.

Adopt-a-Writer [Philippines]:
Students found the encounters exciting. At the end of each session, not a few students whipped out their camera phones and asked to be photographed beside their favorite writers. It was an altogether new experience for the Filipino writers as well. "I feel like a rock star!" [Luis] Katigbak grinned as he posed with the students.

"We hope other schools to come up with a similar project," An Lim said. "I am challenging other schools to create and implement their own programs so that we can promote the love of literature to all Filipinos."

All hail the 'new' [US]:
'We must get the word out to the people, the readers, by sharing and performing rhyming, metered poetry,' [poet Janet Carr] Hull says. She hopes that in this way, April, National Poetry Month, will never be the same.

Paths of democracy [India]:
Shikasta kar diye jhamuriyat ke raastey tum ne,
Ab in sadkon pe damar bichhane se kuch nahin hoga

(You have damaged the paths of democracy, what is the use of patching up these roads)
(Tanvir Ghazi, Amravati)

The couplets recited at the mushaira were mainly barbed comments at the politicians and were well received by the audience, who applauded understandingly.

Hedd Wyn means white peace [Wales]:
Ellis Humphrey Evans is better known today by his bardic pen-name, Hedd Wyn.

He signed that name, which means "white peace", under a poem he submitted to the 1917 National Eisteddfod, held in Birkenhead, Merseyside.

By the time that poem was announced as winner of the Eisteddfod chair, Hedd Wyn had been killed in action on the Western Front.

He may not have the worldwide fame of other celebrities who died young, including James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, but a film of his story was nominated for an Oscar in 1993.

And in Welsh-speaking society, Hedd Wyn is every bit as famous as Dean and Monroe are in the English-speaking world.

Sunday, March 27, 2005
'Break, Blow, Burn': Well Versed [US]:
CLEARLY designed as a come-on for bright students who don't yet know very much about poetry, Camille Paglia's new book anthologizes 43 short works in verse from Shakespeare through to Joni Mitchell, with an essay about each. The essays do quite a lot of elementary explaining. Readers who think they already know something of the subject, however, would be rash if they gave her low marks just for spelling things out. [...]

She flies as high as you can go, in fact, without getting into the airless space of literary theory and cultural studies. Not that she has ever regarded those activities as elevated. She has always regarded them, with good reason, as examples of humanism's perverse gift for attacking itself, and for providing the academic world with a haven for tenured mediocrity. This book is the latest shot in her campaign to save culture from theory. [...]

Performance Poet Sekou Sundiata [USA]:
A professor of English literature at the New School for Social Research, Sundiata is one of New York's notable spoken-word artists. His one-man show, about the year his kidney failed, runs at the Apollo Theater in New York City through April 10, 2005. This interview originally aired Nov. 20, 2002.

NPR audio.

Derek Walcott goes to Taiwan, Stephen Dunn goes to Alaska, and Angela Haley goes to jail.

Saturday, March 26, 2005
Hot+Cross Poets [Australia]:
In Melbourne, Australia, at the Victorian Poetry Centre, they do a thing called "Hot+Cross Poets", which is a reading featuring two poets "in dialogue", where the dialogue is composed of their own poems. One poet reads, and then the other poet responds to the poem by reading a poem that he/she feels answers or adds to the poem that was just first. The poets are expected to explain in whatever way they feel appropriate; the connection of the poem they are reading to the poem they are responding to. There is also much interjection and audience participation at this event, with the audience voting for which poet they believed had the best and most appropriate or imaginative responses.

Friday, March 25, 2005
2005 Maningning Miclat Poetry Award [Philippines]:
The Maningning Miclat Art Foundation announces the launching of the Maningning Miclat Poetry Awards competition for 2005. The competition is open to young poets age 28 and below. Contestants may join any or all of the three language divisions — Filipino, English and Chinese — but can submit only one (1) entry in every division. [...]

Named after the late multi-awarded artist, trilingual poet and writer, translator and teacher, Maningning Miclat left behind a book of poetry written in English, Chinese and Filipino, "Voice from the Underworld" (Anvil, 2000), a National Book Award finalist. Miclat was recognized during the International Women’s Year held in Beijing as one of the World’s top-rated 39 women poets writing in Chinese, having been included in an anthology published in China in 1995.

Deadline: April 15, 2005
[via Philippine Literature News and Announcements]

Judith E Wilson Visiting Poetry Fellowship [UK]:
Applications are invited from practising poets for a Visiting Fellowship of a period between three and six months (one or two academic terms) in the period 1 October 2005 – 31 March 2006.

The Visiting Fellow will reside in Cambridge during the tenure of their appointment, and work directly with students for at least three teaching contact hours a week. A stipend equivalent to £7,500 per term (3 month period), pro rata, is offered, together with an affiliation to Girton College, University of Cambridge.

Yes! I will support Native/First Nations survival! [US]:
Qwo-Li Driskill is changing the world. This year, Qwo-Li is in hir first year as one of only a few Native/First Nations PhD candidates in the entire U.S. [...]

Right now, Qwo-Li urgently needs our help and support.

Thursday, March 24, 2005
Rattapallax [US]:
Pulitzer prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa led a delegation of prominent African-American poets to Ghana, West Africa at the end of March 2004 to motivate a literary and artistic response to the AIDS crisis in Africa. He will share his experiences during a reading at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum on March 25, 2005 with distinguished poet Natasha Trethewey. [...]

Friday, March 25, 2005 at 8pm (reception is at 7:00 pm) at Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, One Copenhill, 453 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta. Free and open to the public.

Where poets lived -- Robert Penn Warren, Honor Moore, and W.S. Merwin (with a visit from Ted and Sylvia) -- three articles in the NY Times.

A paean of the female voice in poetry: Women of the Word Review [Jamaica]:
If you missed Earth Women's Women of the Word on the evening of Tuesday, March 8, at the Philip Sherlock Centre, you missed an evening of very powerful and potent on-stage performances of the spoken word. The event held in commemoration of International Women's Day, under the theme 'Breaking the Silence, Healing With Poetry', featured 15 exceptional women who showcased their poetic talents to a filled auditorium. [...]

Young Moroccan star shines at International Poetry Days [Morocco]:
Saâd Benabid was the star of the Second International Poetry Days, which took place between March 16 and 19 in Marrakech. Aujourd’hui Le Maroc reports that 15 years old Saâd Benabid writes poems in classical Arabic and with his style and fluent language he reminds of the famous poet Nizar Kabani. [...]

International poetry contest in honour of Chinggis Khan [Mongolia]:
International poetry contest in honour of Chinggis Khan
(TheUBPost, 23 Mar 2005 09:17 pm ULAT. 0 comments)
The National Organizing Committee of the 26th World Congress of Poets announced that this year's poem contest will come under the theme of Chinggis Khaan.

The official languages of the poetry contest are Mongolian and English and participating poets should submit the poems in their mother tongue and/or with an English translation.

Head of the committee, G.Mend-Ooyo, said that the finest poems would be selected for publication in a collection titled Golden Poetry to be released in three languages; the original language of writing, Mongolian and English.

Winners of the contest will be awarded the order of Chinggis Khaan, medals and a cash prize. Mend-Ooyo said that currently the prize fund stands at US$5000, but will be increased. [...]

Poet's family fights against sale of book [South Africa]:
The families of Afrikaner poet NP Van Wyk Louw and his brother WEG Louw have turned to the Cape High Court to prevent the public from getting hold of a book of letters between the two brothers.

They claim that the letters the two brothers had written to each other between 1936 and 1939 were private and showed that the authors entertained racist and anti-Jewish thoughts. The letters also contained the "k-word".

Herman Giliomee, one of the evaluators of the manuscript, commented that if the letters were published, they would be "the death knell for the Louws' reputation" and could therefore do enormous damage to Afrikaans and to Afrikaans literature.

He said the letters were "crawling" with positive images about Nazis. [...]

Biography of NP Van Wyk Louw at Oldpoetry.com

Wednesday, March 23, 2005
J. J. Jameson Arrested for Double Homicide [US]:
In a nutshell, apparently the poet we have all known (and some of us have loved) as J. J. Jameson came to Chicago twenty years ago after busting out of prison! According to police, J. J. Jameson's real name is Norman Porter, who was number one on the Massachusetts' most wanted list for escaping from jail in 1985. After discovering Jameson's fingerprints matched those of the murderer, the FBI did an internet search and, guess what, found out that Jameson was ChicagoPoetry.com's poet of the month. Porter (aka Jameson) escaped from the Norfolk Pre-Release Center twenty years ago, where he was serving two life sentences for shooting a store clerk in the back of the head with a shotgun. While awaiting trial for that, he escaped the Middlesex Jail with another inmate who killed the superintendent with a gun he had smuggled in. Jameson was arrested in the mid 90s in Chicago for traffic violations, and it took the police this long to match his fingerprints to those of the notorious murderer. The poet known as J. J. Jameson has been arrested at the Unitarian Church where he's been a worker for several years.


Audio from a reading here.

MSPs vote yes to poetry [Scotland]:
Poets and politicians may seem like strange bedfellows. But Members of Scottish Parliament [MSPs] from all over Scotland have been commissioning poets to write public verse, as part of the Holyrood Poetry Link 2005.

Cordite is fresh.

And check out Part I of the interview of poets Nick Carbó and Denise Duhamel.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Personal ads for poets [US]:
'Premillionaire seeks same. Pulse optional. No convicts, waiters. In search of post-Eisenhower realist with simian chest urges. 'Gray & distinguished' preferred, the 'balding, virile type,' OK, 'JFK Jr. great!—but I’m flexible. I am neither gorgeous nor linear, nor do I expect you to be. Rescue me from my Procrustean bed, trellised behind bean futures & nuclear fallout. I want to find you through skies so bright if our veins hadn’t stolen the purest blue first. Milky, as dropped aspirin in a child’s sweaty hair.'

Poetry Midwest is fresh.

Kulture Vulture is fresh.

How to Save Poetry [blog]:
[...] 6. Teach somebody else to read and love poetry. Kids are great, but any age will do.

Monday, March 21, 2005
'It Could Happen to You' by Kathryn Gray [Wales]:
These days, for young and/or new poets, prizes seem less like an honour, the cherry on the proverbial top of the cake, than a mandatory requirement—especially if you come from one of the independent publishing houses from across the UK—if you can expect to see your book comprehensively stocked in the retail outlets and acknowledged in the newspapers. In an age where poetry is read by about as many people who still watch TV in black and white (and often these two groups coincide), award nomination—with admittedly some exceptions—is often the only way in which people will actually bother to read—and hopefully buy—your work. And that’s if the whim takes them.

Best New Poets [US]:
Meridian magazine from the University of Virginia is pleased to announce its new anthology, Best New Poets, with the first annual edition reaching bookstores in November 2005. Best New Poets will feature the poetry of fifty emerging poets selected from nominations by writing programs, literary magazines, and an open Internet competition.
via The Poetry Blog

Cúirt International Festival of Literature [Ireland]:
Cúirt [pron. 'kersh'] 2005, from 19-24 April: festival launch by Robert McCrum, and during the week, includes speakers J.M. Coetzee and Helon Habila, a Poetry Masterclass with Li-Young Lee, Sasha Dugdale and Nick Laird, Poems for Patience: Poetry In the Waiting Room launch, and more.

Call for Essays on Writing [blog/Hawaii]:
Manoa seeks essays by Asian writers on the craft of writing. Not academic, please. Only writers, no critics. Any format or subject matter about craft, aesthetics, poetics, process, recipes are okay.

Sunday, March 20, 2005
Elvis Poetry Competition [US]:
Must be original unpublished poem by entrant, never submitted before, about Elvis Presley, any aspect of his life and work. Strong language might be acceptable, but no vulgarity or obscenity. Looking for positive poems, but angst and sorrow are allowed, too.

O my luve's like a summit of the G8 that's newly sprung in Auchterarder [Scotland]:
A poet has been given a £30,000 grant to wax lyrical about the leading industrialised nations

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH was inspired by daffodils and Robert Burns by the humble haggis. Now a Scottish poet is to take this summer’s G8 summit as his unlikely muse.

Robin Bell, 60, whose cottage in the small Perthshire town of Auchterarder overlooks the grounds of Gleneagles Hotel, where the world’s most powerful leaders will meet in July, has been awarded £30,000 to produce a collection of poems based on his observations of the international event.

Global poverty, the problems of Africa and climate change may not be the “universal themes” associated with poetry, but Mr Bell believes that, with the world gathered on his doorstep, he is ideally placed not only to capture the mood and debate of the G8 conference but also to examine how the world views Scotland — or, to quote Burns: “To see oorsels as ithers see us.”

Details of Proposed Project [PDF]:
Robin proposes to produce a book of poems and a feature length piece suitable for broadcast based on his observations of the G8 conference, examining Scotland’s place in today’s global culture. Robin will be ideally placed to capture the feeling of the G8 conference as it will all be happening next door to his rural Perthshire cottage. Robin says: ‘this is a once in a lifetime chance to look simultaneously at eight world leaders and their entourages assembled in Scotland to discuss a global agenda. I am lucky to have a unique opportunity to observe local, national and international viewpoints in depth and I hope to produce a new sequence of poems, looking forward at Scotland’s options in today’s global culture. Especially, I will use the G8 conference to “see oorsels as ithers see us”’.

A note from Matthew Shindell:
James Meetze and I are starting a poetry radio show titled "Talk to the Dead" (which, the way I prefer to say it, sounds kind of like "Talk to the Hand").

Starting in a couple weeks, you'll be able to hear James and me every Sunday from 4-6 in the afternoon (PST). All you'll have to do is go to http://scw.ucsd.edu/ and click on the appropriate link. You'll then be able to hear us through iTunes or whatever music program you happen to have.

We need your help...

Founding Beat generation poet Philip Lamantia dies again [US]:
SAN FRANCISCO - Philip Lamantia, who befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac as a young man and was one of the founding Beat generation poets, has died. He was 77.

Lamantia died of heart failure March 7 at his San Francisco home, said Elaine Katzenberger, associate director of City Lights Books, Lamantia's publisher.

Sonnets for 14 [UK]:
14 is a new poetry magazine specialising in the sonnet form.

All styles of sonnet welcomed—the unconventional and the traditional, rhymed or unrhymed—on any topic.

Celebration of World Poetry Day at UNESCO [World]:
On the occasion of World Poetry Day, celebrated on March 21, UNESCO will pay tribute to Hungarian poet Attila Jozsef (1905-1937). The Day will also be marked by the proclamation of the laureate of the Golden Crown of the Struga Poetry Evenings, American poet William Stanley Merwin. The name of the laureate of the Bridges of Struga prize will also be announced during the ceremony (7 p.m. Room XI).

Attila Jozsef published numerous collections of poetry and is considered to be one of Hungary’s greatest poets. The Hungarian-born writer and journalist Francois Fejto, who was a close friend of the poet, will pay tribute to Attila Jozsef and give a reading of his verse. An exhibition on Attila Jozsef’s life and work will be on show at UNESCO from March 30 to April 7 (Salle des Pas Perdus).

Saturday, March 19, 2005
A Conversation with Poet John Ashbery [US]:
Experimental poet John Ashbery won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for his 1975 poem, "Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror." Since then, he's published more than 20 books of poetry. Ashbery, now 78, tells Scott Simon about his latest collection: Where Shall I Wander.

He reads "Interesting People of Newfoundland" and "You Spoke as a Child" (audio from NPR).

Friday, March 18, 2005
Cock rings required for poem sculpture [blog]:
March 18 entry: '...it somehow came up—from Nick (since I've OBVIOUSLY never had reason to consider the matter—that those metal binders could be used as cock rings. He sipped his beer, and then continued on to say, but metal cock rings actually would be dangerous as there'd be no give. Sipped beer. Leather, Nick sez, would be better.

I groaned. Because what this means, peeps, is that based on what moi Muses—those now-cackling fallen angels beneath my ceiling—are telling me, I now gotta go find some cock rings to integrate into my next poem sculpture ...'

Grub Street Poetry Revision Fellowship 2005 [US]:
The Grub Street Poetry Revision Fellow will receive a $2,500 cash stipend, and an in-depth review of his/her manuscript by an established writer.

Applicants must have completed and compiled a draft of a book-length collection of poems. They must also agree to help other Grub Street writers during the six-month fellowship period by giving a reading and holding office hours twice a month.

Deadline: Grub Street will accept submissions of poetry manuscripts postmarked through March 31, 2005.

Eligibility: Any local writer who is working on his or her first major project will be eligible to apply. Anyone who has published a book-length work will not be eligible. "Local" is defined as anyone who can get themselves to our Somerville offices twice per month.

£1m spent on poet’s home well worth it! [UK]:
“We invested nearly £1 million in recreating the childhood home of William Wordsworth, but we wanted the whole of Cockermouth to benefit from the investment.”


“We know that William’s father John Wordsworth had a set of prints on the walls so we decided to make the contents of the house reflect what he would have had,” said Kate.

“As well as sourcing suitable prints, we have had to have the frames made specially with the correct style of mouldings.”

There are also some new furnishings which have beenadded over the winter, including specially woven bedspreads and curtains.

The process of recreating the house has not yet been completed.

But when they're done, they'll use the place as an incubator for many, many little Wordsworths who are acutely aware of the correct style of mouldings.

Delights and Shadows [US]:
So much is made of Ted Kooser's talent for exposing the extraordinary within the mundane that it is a wonder he hasn't become poetry's equivalent to a typecast Molly Ringwald, fleeing to Paris for a new identity.

Thursday, March 17, 2005
Tarpaulin Sky is fresh.

Niall MacMonagle asks, Why Poetry? [Ireland]:
Poetry, one of the oldest of art forms, is something that we've all encountered in school and it's something that we all have an opinion about. But in adult life do we take it or leave it? Do we read the poems on the DART, in the newspapers, do we steer clear of the poetry bookshelves in the Library or book shop? As part of the Poetry Now Festival, teacher and editor Niall MacMonagle will  give a talk on why he thinks that poetry matters. This talk is aimed at the reluctant or indifferent reader of poetry and will include a discussion of  poems by poets featured in this year's Festival.

1.15 pm, Thursday 24 March, County Hall, Marine Road, Dún Laoghaire

List of Irish poets [Ireland]

Who are you? [blog]:
Some poets loathe to write about their lives, and there are some poets who transform aspects of their lives into poetry. Many poets just write and write, and if their lives show up, fine, and if their lives don't show up in their work, fine. As poets we use our imaginations to construct our poems. Taking from the world, and taking from the ether to create something. I know all that, but I’m still freaking out: there is NO autobiography in my work ...

Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann [Ireland]:
Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann is the national organisation for poetry in Ireland.

We serve all 32 counties and receive support from The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Our remit is to act as a resource and information point for everything to do with poetry in Ireland. We serve poets, writers, academics and any member of the public with an interest in poetry.

CELT [Ireland]:
CELT, the Corpus of Electronic Texts, brings the wealth of Irish literary and historical culture to the Internet, for the use and benefit of everyone worldwide. It has a searchable online database consisting of contemporary and historical texts from many areas, including literature and the other arts.

The Poem [UK]:
Welcome to The Poem web site, a taster of contemporary poetry in Britain and Ireland.

We've been fortunate to get permissions for a number of significant contemporary poems, including Carol Ann Duffy's 'Prayer' and Derek Mahon's 'A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford'. We hope you'll find many other poems here equally memorable.

Boldtype this month: Creativity.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Wanted: Dangerous Poetry [US]:
"Violence has become an unavoidable subject for American poets. Too much contemporary poetry is platitudinous, full of blandly uplifting and usually self-congratulatory sentiments. We need darker, more dangerous poetry—not sensational but willing to probe uncomfortable areas."
—Dana Gioia, 1995

Is poetry dangerous? What can poetry do that advertising, political campaigns, fiction, reportage can't? Who decides what a 'dangerous' poem or poet is?

Seeking contributions for an anthology of Dangerous Poetry. Poets whose work is selected for inclusion will then write a brief (500-1000 word) essay on what makes poetry dangerous—their piece in particular and poetry at large. Is formal poetry dangerous? Is free verse dangerous? Is LANGUAGE poetry more dangerous than surrealist poetry? Can the State trust poets?

Dangerous times demand dangerous poetry. Deadline Dec. 1, 2005. Overseas submissions welcome via e-mail [Robin Kemp: rkemp1 @ KENNESAW.EDU] with prior query.

Send mss. and SASE to:
Dangerous Poetry Anthology
6656 Morning Dove Place
Jonesboro, GA 30236-1319 USA

"Danger, Will Robinson, danger!"

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Unpleasant Event Schedule is fresh.

SOFTBLOW is fresh.

Word Festival 05 [Scotland]:
Launched by Kathleen Jamie
The Creel

The world began with a woman,
shawl-happed, stooped under a creel
whose slow step you recognise
from troubled dreams. You feel

Obliged to help bear her burden
from hill or kelp-strewn shore,
but she passes by unseeing
thirled to her private chore.

It's not sea-birds or peat that she's carrying
not fleece, nor the herring bright
but her fear that if she ever put it down
the world would go out like a light.

Copper Canyon Press's free poetry books [US]:
As a celebration of National Poetry Month, Copper Canyon Press is offering free books to individuals and book groups who meet in their homes to read poems aloud. Submit this form by March 17 to request up to 6 copies of one title [...] Orders will be shipped the first week of April. Offer good while supplies last.

Megaera is fresh.

Monday, March 14, 2005
Poet Peter Finch's troubles with gluten and ink [Wales]:
Things which are okay:
cardboard, rice, corn, wine, cider, fish, veg and fruit, whiskey, most spirits, soap, salt, nuts, pure chocolate, meat, milk products, plain crisps, wool, sugar, grass, wood shavings, saw-dust, reconstituted potato, wallpaper paste, toothpowder, water, cat-litter and coffee. The Coeliac Society do a food list which contains such wonders as McDougalls Thickening Granules, Burger King Whoppers (without bun or mayonnaise), Whole Earth chilled Organic Smoky Bacon Flavour Tempeh Rashers and St Ivel's Miracle Milk Powder. Should be able to go the distance on that.

Update at almost two years
Many months of cat litter sandwiches, cardboard biscuits and long, difficult discussions with waiters, chefs and owners at restaurant tables take their toll. Tolerance is down. The lack of gluten sings on the skin like a cassette tape played with the Dolby off. Nothing seems to work.

Spork is fresh.

The Lovely Arc [blog]:
Sometimes, when I don't know how to finish up a poem, I'll just have a bear maul the hell out of somebody. I do it often, then throw the poem away. One of the poems though made it in. It's called the "Bear Mutilation" and you can soon read it in Parakeet.

Raising the Barr:
A Conversation With Poetry Foundation's John Barr
A year ago Feburary, a poet, investment banker, entrepreneur, college professor and founder of a successful investment banking firm, John Barr, was named president of the Poetry Foundation. The Foundation was formed to handle a bequest of $100 million made to Poetry magazine from pharmaceutical heiress Ruth Lilly, whose own poetry had been consistently rejected by Poetry. [...]

JB:The Foundation's budget for 2005 is approximately $4 million. It will increase in coming years to higher single-digit millions, as the money comes in from various trust funds. The important concept is that we are spending income, not principal, from the endowment. Unless we blow it, the Foundation should never run out of money. [...]

In collaboration with the Library of Congress, the Foundation will support American Life in Poetry, a new program inaugurated by Ted Kooser, the Poet Laureate, to make a weekly poetry column available, free of charge, to some 40,000 mid-sized and rural newspapers across the country. Separately, the Library of America will publish the first trade edition of poems by Samuel Menashe, the first recipient of our Neglected Masters award. Finally, we are very pleased to be coordinating with the NEA on the national program of recitation in the schools which I mentioned earlier. We look forward to more of these in the future.

Ama Ata Aidoo [Ghana]:
Ama Ata is a playright, poet and novelist, and has now set up Mbassem, an African women writers' centre in Accra.

She wants to give women the space and time to think and write: in the words of Virginia Wolfe, "a room of one's own".

Ama Ata talks to Jenni about Ghana's colonial past and her hopes for the future.

Audio interview.

Rhyme and reason:
In my new book, Break, Blow, Burn, I offer line-by-line close readings of 43 poems, from canonical Renaissance verse to Joni Mitchell's Woodstock, which became an anthem for my conflicted generation. In gathering material, I was shocked at how weak individual poems have become over the past 40 years. Our most honoured poets are gifted and prolific, but we have come to respect them for their intelligence, commitment and the body of their work. They ceased focusing long ago on production of the powerful, distinctive, self-contained poem. They have lost ambition and no longer believe they can or should speak for their era. Elevating process over form, they treat their poems like meandering diary entries and craft them for effect in live readings rather than on the page. Arresting themes or images are proposed, then dropped or left to dribble away. Or, in a sign of lack of confidence in the reader or material, suggestive points are prosaically rephrased and hammered into obviousness. Rote formulas are rampant - a lugubrious victimology of accident, disease, and depression or a simplistic, ranting politics (people good, government bad) that looks naive next to the incisive writing about politics on today's op-ed pages. To be included in this book, a poem had to be strong enough, as an artefact, to stand up to all the great poems that precede it. One of my aims is to challenge contemporary poets to reassess their assumptions and modus operandi. [...]

Sunday, March 13, 2005
National Book Critics Circle Honors Poets [US]:
As the first MTV decade came to a close and the fine arts struggled for survival, screenwriter Paul Rudnick hammered his own nail into the high-art coffin with the Spy Magazine article "Why It's Okay to Hate Opera, Poetry, and Ballet." Since then, opera, poetry and ballet have persevered, netting small numbers of passionate fans.

One such niche is the National Book Critics Circle, a group of critics that awards writers working in genres as varied as biography and young-adult fiction. In January, they announced the nominees for the 2004 awards -- among them, five poets. The winners will be announced on March 18.

The finalists in the poetry category are: Brigit Pegeen Kelly, The Orchard; D.A. Powell, Cocktails; Adrienne Rich, The School Among the Ruins; James Richardson, Interglacial; and Gary Snyder, Danger on Peaks.

NPR audio story and links.

Psst! Poetry manuscript advice—pass it on [US]:
Jeffrey Levine of Tupelo Press sez:
When ordering poems in your manuscript, pay no attention to which poems have been published (and where), and which poems not. At the conclusion of contests, I often (call me perverse) go back and look at ack [acknowledgement —I.] pages. I find that most poets place an inordinate (and mistaken) reliance on their publishing history in ordering poems, assuming that because such-and-such a journal took a poem, it must be better than the poems not taken, or that a poem taken by Poetry or the Paris Review must be better than one taken by a lesser known print or online publication. I am almost always amazed—amazed—by which poems have been taken and which not (and by whom). Believe in all your poems, and order them according to your sense of where they belong. Period.

saphusy | poetry prose e tea see [online]:
27 February 2005: Humbly, zafusy would like to thank the Poetry Society for listing us as a Poetry Landmark in the categories of website and magazine. We don't quite know what to say.

19 February 2005: zafusy is somewhat bemused to announce that it now has an entry on the UNESCO website under poetry organisation. (We are also on The Poetry Kit, Tim Love's Literary References, The Internet Poets' Cooperative and some other place that slips our mind). [...]

Donate chap/book to a student [US]:
Seeking poets who might have an extra copy of their chapbook or book they'd be willing to donate to a lucky student. Each week, during my 8-week undergraduate poetry class, there will be a drawing to see who wins the book a poet has been generous enough to donate. The winner will be responsible for reading your book and selecting a favorite poem to read to the class the following week. If you like, contact information and book price should be included so that others in the class can buy your book. Students will be strongly encouraged to buy the books of poets who, after all, were kind enough to contribute a book to their education. If you're willing, please send your book (autographed would be nice) and contact and price details to

Jeff Winke
Upper Iowa University - Milwaukee Center
6610 W. Greenfield Ave.
West Allis, WI 53214

Jeff Winke
jeff @ jeffwinke.com

Saturday, March 12, 2005
The Callum Macdonald Memorial Award [Scotland]:
This Award has been created to recognise publishing skill and effort; to validate the practice of poetry publication in pamphlet form [a.k.a. chapbook]; and to encourage the preservation of printed material of this kind in the national collections.

[...] The prize consists of the presentation annually in May (the month of Callum’s birth) of The Callum Macdonald Quaichand a cash prize of £500.

Publishers of Scottish origin, living in Scotland, or engaged with Scottish culture may submit up to three pamphlets, which should not be less than 6 pages or more than 30 in length (not including preliminaries). It is expected that the binding will be limp cover, folded, rather than case bound and the original print run will not exceed 300 copies. It is also acceptable for pamphlets to be published by poets themselves.

The comedian Dave Allen (1936-2005) was a nephew of Irish poet and novelist Katherine Tynan (1861-1931), who was a friend of Yeats:
In 1886, his friend and fellow poet Katherine Tynan brought him to his first seance, an experience that he found unnerving, but one which sparked his lifelong interest in the occult and the supernatural.

first met W. B. Yeats (‘all dreams and gentleness’), June 1885, in connection with C. H. Oldham’s Dublin University Review; advised by him in early correspondence to make a speciality of her Irish Catholicism; a first book, Louise de la Valliere and Other Poems (1885), heavily influenced by Christina Rossetti (and called by Yeats ‘too full of English influence to be quite Irish’ in his review of her Ballads and Lyrics in the Evening Herald during Jan. 1892); ... her suggestion to Yeats that he should try an Irish subject resulted in Wanderings of Oisin; ... life-long correspondent with W. B. Yeats, who described her as ‘very plain’ though always affectionate towards her;

Twenty One Poems by Katharine Tynan selected by Yeats.

What do you think about comedy and poetry? Do they come from the same odd bits of the brain?

Univ of Arizona Poetry Center nets a $million [US]:
The Arizona Board of Regents authorized several multimillion-dollar improvements at the University of Arizona yesterday, including $1 million for a new Poetry Center.

[...] UA President Peter Likins defended the project, saying it is in dire need of the money because the center is a repository for sensitive, age-old archives.

'It is one of the true gems of our university,' Likins said.

Can you write a sonnet? [UK]:
Anne Stevenson sez:
Poets these days, like artists and composers, have won for themselves almost unlimited freedom. You can pass yourself off as a painter without being able to draw, as a composer without being conscious of key relationships, and as a poet without making yourself familiar with traditional verse forms. Originality and inspiration can take you anywhere.

Or can they? Have you ever heard of a pianist who never had to practise - or of an architect who didn't bother to find out why buildings stand up? What I am asking you to do this month is to exercise your brain and put aside, as a first priority, the pleasures of self-expression. I want you to do what I do when I find myself short of inspiration, and that is, write a sonnet - in one or another of its traditional forms, 14 lines, iambic pentameter, with end rhymes that follow a regular pattern

Friday, March 11, 2005
Malleable Jangle [Australia] is fresh:
Malleable Jangle is a web-based poetry monthly which seeks to publish quality poetry and related articles. We look for new, original work that sings in a different way. The word "malleable" expresses a desire/love to see language manipulated into new ways of expression. "Jangle" defines a musicality which allows the work to resonate in the reader's consciousness.

Although based in Australia Malleable Jangle is produced with an International outlook. We encourage writers from all around the world to submit their best work.

Refugee-in-Residence at Windgrove, Tasmania [Australia]:
Similar in concept to being an 'artist-in-residence', the Windgrove 'refugee-in-residence' could be anyone.

Whether artist, scientist, poet, musician, minister, juggler or chef, the one common concern is to use the time here to help foster a sustainable peace in the world.

Peace here is defined as peace within oneself, peace between humans, and peace between humanity and the more than human world.

Poet to use Cola-Cola grant against company [US, Colombia]:
The Coca-Cola Co. provided $1,200 to bring poet Martin Espada to Kansas University on Thursday. Chances are, they'll be seeing the effects of that money in the near future.

Espada, a Latino poet who has published seven collections, plans to donate the money to a union for workers at Colombian Coca-Cola plants -- a union that Espada believes has been decimated by unfair and sometimes brutal labor practices.

Thursday, March 10, 2005
Meritage Press's Publisher's Column [US]:
The March edition of "Babaylan Speaks" is up, featuring Ivy Alvarez with a poem [yeah, that's me]; information on book launches for Nick Carbo's Andalusian Dawn and Luis H. Francia's Museum of Absences; Asian Canadian Writers Workshop reading during AWP this year, featuring several Filipino poets; among other offerings.

Writers' festivals are a waste of time [Australia]:
Bruce Elder for the affirmative: 'The writers' festival is a figment of the overheated, and frequently talentless, minds of the people who run PR for the publishing houses.'

Susan Wyndham for the negative: 'For the writers, there are book sales, free travel, adulation and, occasionally, sex. Such perks are not for everyone.'
Registration required: try bugmenot.com

Josh Corey [US]:
Poetry does make something happen, even if it's only to enrage those with extreme right-wing political agendas. I for one am pleased to hear it. And if you're making an enemies list of anarchists, poets, peaceniks, and intellectuals, I'd be glad if you'd add me to it. It is a roll of infinite honor.

Locating Asian-Australian Cultures [Australia]:
A one-day symposium focusing on research in Asian-Australian cultures and cultural production
28 June 2005, Monash University, Clayton Campus, Melbourne

This symposium, focusing on research in Asian-Australian cultures and cultural production, is particularly interested in the ways in which ‘Asian-Australian’ has developed as a concept and/or field since the publication of Alter/Asians and Diaspora: Negotiating Asian-Australia (both published in 2000).

What forms of Asian-Australian cultural production have taken place and how are they positioned? How have communities of Asian descent in Australia negotiated cultural, political and community spaces? Papers addressing East and South Asian-Australian contexts are welcome.

• Asian-Australian cultural production (including literature, film, performance, and the visual arts)
• Negotiating Asian-Australian identities
• The Politics of Asian-Australian representation

The Instruction Manual: How to read John Ashbery [US]:
John Ashbery wrote his first poem when he was 8. It rhymed and made sense ("The tall haystacks are great sugar mounds/ These are the fairies' camping grounds") and the young writer—who had that touch of laziness that sometimes goes along with precocity—came to a realization: "I couldn't go on from this pinnacle." He went on, instead, to write poems that mostly didn't rhyme, and didn't make sense, either. His aim, as he later put it, was "to produce a poem that the critic cannot even talk about." It worked. Early on, a frustrated detractor called him "the Doris Day of Modernism." Even today a critic like Helen Vendler confesses that she's often "mistaken" about what Ashbery is up to. You can see why: It simply may not be possible to render a sophisticated explication de texte of a poem that concludes "It was domestic thunder,/ The color of spinach. Popeye chuckled and scratched/ His balls: it sure was pleasant to spend a day in the country." [...]

Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Andrew Motion's pearls o' wisdom [UK]:
As someone with no natural poetic rhythm and no innate feeling for the art form, I have always wondered whether it could be taught. Fingers crossed, I offer this thought to him.

"No," he answers honestly. "I don’t think you can make something from nothing, but I do think there is a lot you can do with something that is already there. I couldn’t go around an oyster bed prising open the oysters and shoving the pearls in them but what I do think is that I could make sure there is some grit in the water so that oysters can make the pearl."

NY Times review of Ashbery's latest [US]:
Ashbery has been curating and rearranging this material for so long now -- since 1953, when his first book, ''Turandot and Other Poems,'' came out -- that, almost without our noticing, he himself has become a part of our mental furniture. Once thought to be willfully ''difficult'' and impenetrably obscure, Ashbery now, at 77, seems almost avuncular, the grand old man of American poetry, both wise and ironic -- the party guest he describes in one of his new poems, who is ''bent on mischief and good works with equal zest.'' We may not know much Ashbery by heart, but we recognize his voice the instant we hear it, because nobody else writes this way:
Attention, shoppers. From within the
commas of a strambotto, seditious
watermarks this time of day. Time to get
and, as they say, about.

And the Gawker's review of the review:
But we were rolling along, digging the flow of Ashbery’s block-rockin beats and McGrath’s elegant prose, when we got to this part: “Some of the poems from his 1962 collection, “The Tennis Court Oath,” were so dense and allusive, and so full of wild leaps and jarring discontinuities, that they should have come with a surgeon general’s warning.” [beat] “Reading them gives you a headache.” Bazzaam! This is the type of joke Uncle Joey used to make on Full House. Now, cut it out, McGrath! Seriously.

Smashed [US]:
Hamsun, like Dostoyevsky, shows that the most frightening symptom of madness is the immolation of self-esteem, the urge to humiliate oneself at the same time as one humiliates everyone else. And this is the risk that Bukowski never takes. Even at his most unheroic, he is the hero of his stories and poems, always demanding the reader’s covert approval. That is why he is so easy to love, especially for novice readers with little experience of the genuine challenges of poetry; and why, for more demanding readers, he remains so hard to admire.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Tim Yu says [blog]:
Why I (Finally) Quit the Poetics List

I was stunned last week to find an apparently serious discussion going on over the Poetics list over whether the term "Jap" should be used in polite company--a discussion that has been accompanied by all of the ignorance, "eye-rolling," juvenile humor, and outright racism that I have come to expect when such topics appear on the Poetics list. [...]

Clearly that vision of the Poetics list is no longer viable. That's in part due to some of the factors cited back in January, when Bruce Andrews suggested a restructuring of the list's digest form. Far from a forum for active discussion, the list has now largely become a bulletin board, dominated by announcements, as well as a medium for several members to post daily installments of ongoing projects. Those are perfectly valid functions, but they are largely static and unidirectional, and would probably be better served by a website or a weekly newsletter. mIEKAL aND made something like this point at the end of January, when he wondered whether "a listserv as a tool for organizing community has become somewhat outdated, especially when such large numbers are involved." In a way, the Poetics list has become a victim of its own success: its membership (and the community it serves) has grown so large that reasoned conversation is overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information traveling over the listserv.

It's no surprise, then, that large segments of the community no longer actively participate in the list. Many of the founding members have moved on to other forums, and many younger poets pay no attention to the list at all. But the list membership remains quite large. The result is the worst of both worlds: a forum that feels impersonal and anonymous, yet with an increasingly narrow spectrum of active participants. [...]

What is missing here? What have I missed? Maybe you e-mailed me and I was too much of a sloth to respond to it? If so, please put something in the comments to remind me.

PoetrySz is fresh.

Henry Gould of HG Poetics has a new and interesting audio blog called Go Little Sparrow.

Three blogs in Washington State, USA, that need to go to the list:

I'm sorry, Ivy. I'm awful. Indolence is a nice word for it. But now I'll try to be less distracted. More tracted.

chanticleer: win a copy of Poetry [blog]:
'Here's the challenge: Guess how much money is in this wine glass. I'll send this issue of Poetry to whoever comes the closest. There's pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters in the glass. It's approximately half full.'

Macdara Woods & Ben Dwyer poetry performance [Ireland]:
Poetry Ireland, in association with Gamelan Productions, presents the celebratory launch of a new CD In The Ranelagh Gardens, a unique collaboration of poetry and music by Macdara Woods and Benjamin Dwyer, along with other earlier and later work. Readings and music on the night, from poet and composer, and music from leading Irish flautist Susan Doyle.

Starts at 7 pm on Thursday, 10 March at Poetry Ireland, 120 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2. Admission free. Tel. 478 9974 poetry @ iol.ie

Foam:e is fresh.

Monday, March 07, 2005
rhubarb is susan [blog]:
Flash reviews of individual poems from a man in New Jersey, on a blog with a name from a poem by Gertrude Stein.
Via The Virtual World

Poetry readings as freak show [Australia]:
"Football freaks are not enough, anyone can become a Football freak. I was after a special kind of freak. And I found that freak at the poetry reading..."

Poetry International Web [online]:
Which do we prefer, the poem titled ‘Love’ by Indian poet Rukmini Bhaya Nair, or the poem titled ‘Love’ by Song Xiaoxian, from China? Is there any difference between Indian and Chinese love?

36th Stichting Poetry International Festival [Nederlands]:
Defence of Poetry address delivered by Lars Gustafsson
18 – 24 June 2005
Rotterdamse Schouwburg – Rotterdam City Theatre

During this year’s 36th Poetry International Festival lasting from Saturday June 18th through Friday June 24th, Rotterdam’s City Theatre will be the meeting place for poetry lovers and poets from around the world. The festival’s central theme this year is Poetry & Theatre. Throughout the festival week there will be events and presentations inspired by this theme. Poetry International has invited national and international poet-playwrights to present their work and views, and special theme nights will feature the poetry and plays of Federico Garcia Lorca and Judith Herzberg.

Among the events to be staged at the 36th Poetry International Festival are:
• The annual ‘Defence of Poetry’ address, delivered this year by the Swedish poet Lars Gustafsson
• Presentations of poetry from Australia and New Zealand
• For the first time in its history, the PI Festival will present an event featuring poetry in sign language.
• Eight national slam poetry champions will compete for the title at the second World Slampionship.
• For the second time – and already a regular item on the festival calendar – there is Poetry & Art, in which visual artists present work straddling the borderline between poetry and the visual arts.
• The annual presentation of the C. Buddingh’ Prize for the best Dutch-language poetry debut in the past year.

For the fourth year, he publishing house of De Arbeiderspers presents its anthology Hotel Parnassus, containing a broad selection of work from poets at the festival: Tusiata Avia (New Zealand), Gregory O’Brien (New-Zealand), John Tranter (Australia), Laurence Vielle (Belgium), Lars Gustafsson (Sweden), Ingrid de Kok (South Africa), Erik Menkveld (Netherlands), Judith Herzberg (Netherlands), Peer Wittenbols (Netherlands), Anne Vegter (Netherlands), Darek Foks (Poland), Gerrit Komrij (Netherlands), and many others.

The festival programme with information on participating poets and events is available free of charge from mid-May. The festival programme is posted on www.poetry.nl as from May 1.

Angry Utopias [US]:
Call for Submissions (deadline: May 1, 2005)

Burn Denver Down Press
Call for Submissions: Angry Utopias

Send your poems, stories, or creative essays to Burn Denver Down Press. Attach your work to your mail as a Word, Apple Works, or Rich Text document. Do not send Word Perfect or Works attachment; I cannot open them. Please send your submissions with the following subject line, "Submission: Angry Utopias".

Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2005. Accepted work will be published in a limited edition chapbook. (100 copies is the target number for the first chapbook from BDD Press.) Authors will receive a complimentary copy. All rights to accepted entries revert back to the authors upon publication.

Sunday, March 06, 2005
Drunken Boat is fresh.

Thursday, March 03, 2005
The Hamilton Stone Review is fresh.

west47 online [Ireland]:
The deadline for the April-June 2005 edition of west47 online has been extended to Monday March 7 2005. Poetry and prose submissions welcome at the postal address below.

Poetry: 75 line maximum; prose: 2000 word maximum.

Maura Kennedy, Assistant Editor, west47 online, Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, Galway, Ireland

Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Shampoo is fresh.