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

Saturday, April 30, 2005

'Black Maria': Verse Noir
However amusing it might be to imagine T. S. Eliot pitching ''The Wasteland'' to an Armani-clad studio executive -- ''It's the Commedia meets 'The Golden Bough' meets Baudelaire, with a cast of thousands of footnotes!'' -- the truth is that few books of poetry lend themselves to Hollywood-style synopsis. But then few books of poetry claim on their title pages, as Kevin Young's ''Black Maria'' does, that they have been ''produced and directed by'' the author. [...]

The Emily Dickinson First Book Award [US]:
The Poetry Foundation seeks one book-length poetry manuscript to be published in the forthcoming Emily Dickinson Poetry Series. The competition is open to any American citizen fifty years of age or over who has not previously published a book-length volume of poetry. In addition to publication and promotion of the manuscript, the winner will receive a prize of $10,000.
[via Whimsy Speaks]

Taslima stays away from programme after prohibitory orders [India]:
Midnapore (WB), Apr 30: Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen today did not attend a poetry recitation programme here after the administration slapped prohibitory orders around the venue in the town apprehending breach of peace.

Police said the prohibitory orders were imposed after a Muslim organisation, which dubbed Taslima as "anti-Islam and an enemy of mankind", objected to her presence.

From her biography:
they demanded her execution by hanging:
According to Taslima, the religious scriptures are out of time, out of place. Instead of religious laws, she maintains, what is needed is a uniform civil code that accords women equality and justice. Her views caused fourteen different political and non-political religious organizations to unite for the first time, starting violent demonstrations, calling general strikes, blocking government offices, and demanding her immediate execution by hanging.

Job opening for city: new poet laureate [San Francisco, US]:
San Francisco is on the hunt for a new city poet laureate, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced Thursday.

The two-year post will go to a San Francisco resident who has a substantial body of published work. [...]

Oscar Bermeo [Bronx, USA] says
The organizers of the Acentos Bronx Poetry Showcase today announced that the acclaimed reading series is moving to a new location. The Bruckner Bar and Grill, located at One Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx, will be the new home of the series as of Tuesday, May 10, with a show featuring Bronx native and nationally renowned poet and playwright Magdalena Gómez along with Minneapolis spoken word artist Emmanuel Ortiz. Acentos occurs every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m., with a featured poet and a full open mic.

Friday, April 29, 2005
Three Candles Prize [US]:
The Prize is awarded for a best first book of poems. This year's contest will be judged by Joseph Millar, author of the book Overtime.

Award: Winner receives $750.00 and 25 copies of the winning book. Deadline: April 30 extended to May 18th (post-mark date). The winner will be notified at the end of October. The book will be available on the three candles website, and through online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The winner will receive a standard royalty contract.

Anti/war poetry [UK]:
War poetry of the First World War (and information about its poets), plus poetry about, Iraq, Falklands, Sierra Leone, Palestine/Israel, Holocaust and Vietnam.

2005 Melbourne Emerging Writers' Festival [Australia]:
From Friday, 6th May to Sunday, 8th May at the Victoria Hotel, 215 Little Collins Street, Melbourne.

The best Australian writers you haven’t heard of – yet.

Poets – zinesters – novelists – scriptwriters – bloggers – journalists – and more.

Featuring readings, panel discussions, and an independent publisher’s trade fair, as well as workshops with

Dorothy Porter – Contemporary Poetry
Andrew Masterson – Publishing an Independent Magazine
Christos Tsiolkas – Secrets of Creative Writing

All workshops are now full, except for the Rap Poetic Workshop on Sunday.

Program & registration details available now.

Stickman Review is fresh.

Poet Russian National Prize [Russia]:
The first laureate of the Poet Russian National Prize will be announced by the Board of Trustees in May 2005. The laureate's name will be determined by secret ballot by a panel consisting of the members of the Board of Trustees, or formed on the latter's decision

The laureate of the Poet prize will receive a Diploma, a Badge, and a money prize in the amount equivalent to 50,000 US dollars.

Apart from awarding the Poet Prize, the Society for Encouragement of Russian Poetry intends to launch a broad campaign intended to draw public attention to the modern poetry, to encourage the creative endeavours by young and talented poets, and promote research in classical and modern Russian literature.

Thursday, April 28, 2005
safe word [US]:
'If Bukowski were a sex-starved woman, he'd write like this. Warning: crude language!'

Christine Hamm reads at Galapagos, May 16th, as part of the SMUT reading series.

Save Cowpastor [Barbados]:
Kamau Braithwaite writes, 'The plight of one person. the flight of one sparrow. is worth more than all the kingdooms of this world. But very few people can live this

'What I saying is that my micro case here, is the macro case of us all. The little done unto mwe, is the burden down upon us all upon us all

'All night long, the trucks trundle & boom. Two mornings ago, to destroy more duncks trees, so they cd swathe more space for the tractors, they set fire to the slope under Thyme Bottom. if the Fire Beegrade didn’t come, that fire might have swept down into our yard and run all the way down west to Parish Lands. It was a clear day and a high wind

'The destruction of CowPasture to put in an unnecessary and unethical road - when there are two perfectly good xisting road in this quadrant - for some new unxplained access to the airport, involves -'

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Poet to live in bird's nest [China]:
BEIJING, April 27 -- A man-made nest has been placed on a 10-meter steel shelf on the Jianwai SOHO Plaza, the most prosperous business area in Beijing. Chinese poet Yefu moved into the nest yesterday, where he will experience a bird's life for one-month. [...]

Pictures of the nest are included.

eratio is fresh.

An interesting family [UK]:
David Dunhill, who has died aged 88, was a well-known radio announcer with the BBC, and worked for the Corporation for nearly five decades. [...]

David Penrose Dunhill, one of three children, was born on March 1 1917. His father, Thomas F Dunhill, was a composer (a contemporary of Hubert Parry and John Ireland) and the brother of Alfred Dunhill, who founded the tobacco firm; his mother, Molly Arnold, who died from TB when her son was 12, was the great-grand-daughter of Dr Arnold of Rugby and the great-niece of the poet Matthew Arnold.

Synaptic Graffitti Collective [Australia]:
Synaptic Graffiti is poetry, art, music, spoken word, performance, image animation and text motion presented in a multimedia and live performance format ... with an Edge.

WARNING: May induce fits or seizures. Link to work here.

Angry Utopias [US]:
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. [...]

Use the notes below as an early guide for your work.

Some Notes Toward the Construction of Angry Utopias:

An author might consider,

• Angry is an adjective that accurately describes an individual dissatisfied with the prevailing state of affairs.
• Utopia is a noun that accurately describes any imaginary, indefinitely-remote region, country, locality, or object.
• A utopia is a nowhere, a no-place
• A eutopia is an expression of desire because it expresses what is desired to be good. A dystopia is an expression of fear because it expresses what is feared to be bad.

Cecil Day-Lewis was born today. [Ireland/UK]:
Cecil Day-Lewis (or Day Lewis) (27 April 1904 – 22 May 1972) was a British poet. Born in Ireland (at Ballintubber, County Laois), he was educated at Wadham College, Oxford, where he made the acquaintance of W. H. Auden. After working as a school-teacher for some years, he eventually became a full-time writer, supplementing his poetry income by writing crime novels. His twenty novels of mystery and detection, published under the pseudonym Nicholas Blake, include the classic whodunnits Thou Shell of Death (1935) and The Beast Must Die (1938).
[more from the BBC]

spork is fresh.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Love poem from Guantanamo Bay [Pakistan]:
At first, deprived of paper and pen, [Abdul Rahim Muslim] Dost memorised his best lines or scribbled them secretly on paper cups. Later, he was supplied with writing materials and made up for lost time by producing reams of poems and essays — only to have all but a few of the documents confiscated by the US government upon his release.

"Why did they give me a pen and paper if they were planning to do that?" Dost asked last week with evident anguish. "Each word was like a child to me — irreplaceable.""

Burmese lawyer and poet Tin Aye Kyu released after 16 years [Burma]:
Tin Aye Kyu is a native of Inwa (Ava) Tada-U region near Mandalay in central Burma. He went to study at Rangoon Institute of Technology (RIT) and arrested for the first time in 1976 in connection with the centenary memorial of Burmese poet and nationalist Thakhin Kodaw Hmaing. When he was released from prison, Tin Aye Kyu took a distant education correspondence course and became a lawyer.
[A list of lawyer-poets]

Martin Dibner Fellowship [US]:
Grant Size: $500-$1,000
Application Deadline: May 15

Martin Dibner was an author of numerous books, including novels and thrillers, on subjects ranging from the Maine coast to World War II. He served on both the Maine and California arts commissions, and was the first director of the Joan Whitney Payson Gallery at Westbrook College. Mr. Dibner was a delightful person with a wide range of friends, who worked with many nonprofits and especially encouraged the development of young writers. Upon his death in 1991, several of Mr. Dibner's friends created this memorial fund to continue the spirit of his interests.

Evaluation Criteria
Applications will be accepted from promising Maine writers to allow them to further their writing skills and experience. Attendance at writing workshops is the primary purpose for support, and secondarily for assistance with living expenses while finishing a writing project. Recipients will be selected in order of the following priorities: stage of development as a writer and financial need. In even years the award will go to writers of FICTION and in odd years to writers of POETRY.

Foetry.com vs Poetry.com [US]:
Talk of the Nation, April 25, 2005 · Our story last week about allegations of fraud in poetry contests prompted much e-mail from listeners. Plus, one listener writes in with a story of a family connection to the Underground Railroad.

Wanted: Poet Laureate [Israel]:
'We have no kings and queens, no princes and princesses, except for the "Likud princes," of course, whose splendor has already dimmed among the people. In spite of that, we cannot dismiss the national need for such a poet, which will only intensify, because when our creatures are drowning in the sea - we must recite poetry. And in general, who will set the tone for the public singalongs that are so popular in our country? Who here will arouse us to sing and to write poetry together, as the prophetess Deborah in her time was aroused to speak poetry?'

Poetry in practice: mistakes poets make [UK]:
Roddy Lumsden surveyed several poets and asked them to suggest what irks them about poets as writers and performers, to offer advice and to confess a few of their own foibles. Here are their anonymous responses (serious or tongue-in-cheek).

On writing
*To begin with, imitate as many major poets as possible: to imagine you have an innate 'voice' independent of other writers is pure vanity.

*'If only I had the time to write more...' is the emptiest threat in Poetryville. If kids and jobs are more important to you, stick to the odd spot of knitting ...

Book launch and poetry reading [Ireland]:
For Thursday, 19 May, 6PM. Free and open to the public.

Anthology Books is pleased to host the Dublin book launch of two fine volumes of poetry, Tracking a Ghost, by Nessa O'Mahony, and Blood, by Nigel McLoughlin. Both poets will be on hand to read from their work and to sign copies of their publications (both volumes published by Bluechrome, 2005).

Sugarmule is fresh.

Hay Festival schedule and highlights. [UK]

In a Jail in Cuba Beat the Heart of a Poet [Pakistan]:
PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Among the old leather volumes in the library of Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost is a black plastic binder full of rumpled letters he wrote, sent from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

At the bottom of each form is a perfunctory salutation. The rest is taken up with the poems that helped Dost keep his sanity during nearly three years of confinement.

"Bangle bracelets befit a pretty young woman," begins one of the poems. "Handcuffs befit a brave young man."

The letters were one in a series of measures the Afghan-born author said he took to record the torrent of imagery and insights that flooded his brain nearly every day of his captivity.

At first, deprived of paper and pen, Dost memorized his best lines or scribbled them secretly on paper cups. Later, he was supplied with writing materials and made up for lost time by producing reams of poems and essays -- only to have all but a few of the documents confiscated by the U.S. government upon his release. [...]

Making it big [US]:
Two Portland State poets get accepted to the Iowa Writers' Workshop

In August, PSU students Nico Alvarado and Janine Oshiro will enter the poetry-writing program at the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.

Admission to the Iowa program is the most highly sought ticket for student poets in the United States. If Harvard Law represents a pinnacle destination for aspiring lawyers, MIT for engineers, and Julliard for musicians, the Iowa Writers' Workshop - "Iowa" for short - is the mecca for students of poetry and creative writing. [...]

Moist [Canada]:
Moist (Ottawa, ON), a quarterly magazine of literary erotica, seeks erotic short fiction, flash fiction, poetry, features, and interviews. Payment: fiction: $50; flash fiction: $25; poetry: $25.
[via places for writers]

The Sydney Writers' Festival has started. [Australia]:
'And, what would a Writers' Festival be without a debate about the state of fiction and the literary canon? Who better to discuss such issues than the world's leading critic of the past 25 years? Professor Harold Bloom will join us via satellite from New York City for a conversation with Australian poet John Kinsella at Sydney Theatre.'
[via Stack]

Monday, April 25, 2005
Aaron Tieger says:
(Please forward, post, etc anywhere you deem appropriate).

I am pleased to announce that CARVE 5 is now available. Featuring:

[I added these links. Let me know if I got the right people. -- Malcolm]

Stacy Szymaszek
Jordan Davis
Guillermo Juan Parra
Cheryl Clark
William Corbett on Richard Caddel
Richard Caddel

32 pp., $5.

You can order via paypal at http://www.carvepoems.org or by sending a check (or
cleverly concealed cash) made out to Aaron Tieger at:

221 W. Lincoln #2
Ithaca, NY 14850

5 Tips for Reading [blog]:
1. Stamp out that poetry voice like a bad clove cigarette. Everyone hates it. Everyone offers this advice. Yet poetry voice persists.

Why? Well, you want to the audience to hear where you broke your lines. But rather than leaning into an extra-special monotonal moan and holding, try something more subtle: karate chop, fan kick, gong strike, or, best--a movement, pause, or pause for breath so slight it's barely noticeable. Think of how you'd naturally speak a sentence like "I'm not sure how to tell you this, but your child isn't 'gifted' after all." The slightest pause after "this" before rushing into the bad news (the next line in your poem) ...

Susan B.A. Somers-Willett and the Crab Orchard Poetry Award Series [US]:
'Well, the announcements went out Friday so I guess I can shout it loud: I won the second of two slots in the Crab Orchard Poetry Award Series this year!!! My first book of poetry, Roam, will come out in Spring 2006 with Southern Illinois University Press under my real name, of course, Susan B.A. Somers-Willett. It's a great series with a great press, and I'm tickled, despite the serious icon. I think we'll even be able to get the book out for AWP in Austin next year, which would allow for a great launch in my old hometown.'

A Poet's life
PART ONE: Reserved but raw, modest but gaudy, Thom Gunn covered an enormous amount of ground in his exquisite work and his raucous life
Thom Gunn, the San Francisco poet who died a year ago today at age 74, wore many skins in his lifetime and embodied wild contradictions. His poetry had a chaste reserve that reflected his Englishness, but off the page he was a merry wit who laughed loudly, told raunchy jokes and felt more at home in a leather bar than a stuffy literary function.

The author of the 1992 collection "The Man With Night Sweats" was "the best living poet in English," says author and Threepenny Review editor Wendy Lesser. But also uncommonly modest, unpretentious and wholly indifferent to the perks of celebrity. [...]

Poet Huu Thinh re-elected as head of writers association [Vietnam]:
The seventh congress of the Vietnam Writers Association (VWA) closed in Hanoi on Monday with the adoption of its resolution, and Poet Huu Thinh re-elected as head of the new executive board. [...]

In an interview with VOV about the new executive board’s tasks ahead, VWA chairman Huu Thinh said the most important task is to make the VWA’s operations more effective, with a focus on members’ activities. In addition, the association will build a contingent of qualified poets and writers to produce high-quality works for readers.

Qualified poets?

Anyway, here are three by Huu Thinh.

'Did anyone ever tell you I was your father?'
One admirer of his verse he never met was Marilyn Monroe. Playwright Arthur Miller, Monroe's husband in the late 1940s and early 1950s, remembered Monroe's discovery in a bookstore of Cummings's verse:

"It was odd to watch her reading Cummings to herself, moving her lips - what would she make of poetry that was so simple yet so sophisticated? ... There was apprehension in her eyes when she began to read, the look of a student afraid to be caught out, but suddenly she laughed in a thoroughly unaffected way at the small surprising turn in the poem about the lame balloon man - "and it's spring!" The naive wonder in her face that she could so easily respond to a stylised work sent a filament of connection out between us. "And it's spring!" she kept repeating on our way out to the car, laughing again as though she had been handed an unexpected gift. How pleased with her fresh reaction Cummings would have been."

And it is.

in Just...

Parallel lines [US]:
[John Ashbery] says while he still has sympathy for and is attracted to avant-garde art, "I've also always enjoyed more traditional art and poetry. I think there was a false division between abstract art and figurative art for instance. To like one and not the other was always ridiculous. As Schoenberg said sometime in the 1930s, 'there is still a lot of music to be written in the key of C major' and a lot of contemporary composers seem to be trying to write a new kind of music which also can sound traditional. This is kind of what I'd like to do myself. I'd like to write like Tennyson but make it new."

He says when he won the prizes it changed people's perceptions of his work: "They started to think that if they couldn't understand it there was something wrong with them. Then I think some people became a bit resentful and started saying that it's not their fault it was mine. But people without any background in literature began to read my work and I got letters saying they liked it. It was very gratifying. Despite what everyone said, I always thought that there was something simple and penetrable in my poetry screaming to be let out."

Poetry and Psychology [US]:
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether distinctive features of language could be discerned in the poems of poets who committed suicide and to test two suicide models by use of a text-analysis program.

Via Google Scholar

Making Poetry Submissions [UK]:
Why do I write?

Before considering making a poetry submission to any publisher it is important to consider what you want to contribute to a publishing relationship and precisely what you want to achieve within your writing life. This is certainly not a financial contribution, we’re not talking about vanity presses in these notes, it is a far more important contribution than just money. Understanding your intentions and efforts as a writer will, to a large extent, determine what choices are to be made and provide you with a few opportunities and very many challenges. It might surprise you to discover that being published may not be the best choice for you and your work.

Via Shanna Compton

Elegy [Australia and New Zealand]:
An elegy is a lament, a formal poem of loss and grief which pays respect to the attributes of someone who has died. Traditionally a public poem, the elegy reflected the mores and beliefs of the community. The subject was praised in terms of perceived social virtues.
By contrast, the modern elegy often focuses on private grief, reflecting the diminution of the role of public poetry in society. Nevertheless it retains its dignity and importance and can play a significant – and comforting – role in funeral ceremonies.
While an elegy does not seem to be wedded to any required pattern, it does have a fine tradition and many inspiring examples. In The Making of a Poem: a Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms we read: “The best elegies will always be sites of struggle between custom and decorum on the one hand, and private feeling on the other.”
For the Yellow Moon competition, you are asked to write a poem in 11-24 lines, free verse or traditional. Your elegy may be a formal poem for a public figure whose contribution to society you admire, or it may be a private poem for someone you loved and respected.

Book Smart [Online]:
The media have spent so much time gnashing their teeth over the influence of political bloggers that barely anyone has noticed something equally convulsive happening in the book realm. Despite the on-going panic about a contraction in both the audience for serious literature and the amount of mainstream print coverage books receive, literary conversation is erupting all over the Internet in the form of litblogs. Multiplying like the tribbles on Star Trek, these online journals suggest that reading is far from a dying pastime.

Oh blah, blah.

Foetry is back [US]:
Foetry! We missed you. Why did you come back? It's the biased and poorly researched article in the New York Times declaring a surrender. Reminds me of the Wicked Witch of the West flying through the sky, "Surrender Foetry." You can thank Foets, Janet Holmes who has threatened me with legal action, and Jorie Graham, who said that I lied. Well, Foets, the site's back up and I stand behind the information here. -- Alan Cordle

It's not over yet.

Call for Poems [online]:
The editors of No Tell Motel are looking for previously unpublished poems for a new print anthology The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel. This anthology will include some of the most seductive poems that have already appeared at No Tell as well as new ones from poets who have not yet appeared at the journal.

Sunday, April 24, 2005
Q&A on Allen Ginsberg [blog]:
PhillySound asks, 'Allen Ginsberg would be 79 years old this year. Although he has always been a controversial figure, a floodgate of vitriol against him has been released since his death. He has been publicly branded a misogynist, a pervert, a clown, and many other things. Not that he wasn't called these things in his lifetime, but since his death there has been a particularly intense wave of criticism coming from many different sources.

'Are you familiar with these things I'm talking about? If so, would you care to comment?

Also, what does Ginsberg's work mean to you and your own poems?

What else do you have to share with us about Ginsberg? Please tell us, thank you.'

Poet Allison Joseph #9, 7 and 2 on Mperia.com charts [US]:
Mperia.com sells mostly music tracks online—for poetry to do so well on this week's charts is notable. Download Allison Joseph's poems for twenty-five cents each.

Happy Bra:
Taking its title from Gary Sullivan's "Elsewhere" issue #1, Happy Bra is home of the unterview: a new literary sensation. Email jimbehrle at yahoo dot com.

The Pedestal Magazine is fresh.

Books vs. Goons [US]:
Powerful writing stumps ayatollahs and sets free vibrating broomsticks

By Salman Rushdie

Urdu society holds ninth monthly poetry session [Qatar]:
QATAR’S India Urdu Society has held its ninth monthly mushaira (poetry session) in Doha. [...]

The poets who presented their works were Dr Raaz, Naseem Kazmi, Rasheed Niaz, Jaleel Nizami, Ateeq Anzar, A R Sadaf, A H Qabil, Dr Shams Madani, Asfandyar Ansari, Jatender Baja, Maqsood Khan and A Nabeel.

Noted singer Abul Khair sang a ghazal of Jigar Muradabadi. Maqsood Khan Maqsood compered the session.

Celebrating the beauty of words in poetry [Cayman Islands]:
An Evening of Poetry will be hosted by the Cayman Islands Public Library at the Dart Family Park later this month, and a similar event is to be held at the Cayman Brac Public Library, in observance of April?s International Poetry Month.

The Evening of Poetry will be Grand Cayman?s first-ever involvement in celebrating the beauty of words, and was chosen as part of the library?s cultural and literacy outreach programme.

Jorie Graham, Superstar [US]:
In her new collection, OVERLORD: Poems (Ecco/HarperCollins, $22.95), Graham takes a gamble and tackles a straight subject. The book is largely a meditation on the current political atmosphere as filtered through World War II; the poet's general sense is that we're in big trouble. ''Overlord'' has some interesting poems, most notably the handful that closely track the experiences of veterans, and the collection as a whole is comprehensible, lyrical and obviously heartfelt. But it's also sadly diffuse. Consider the beginning of ''Praying (Attempt of April 19 '04)'': ''If I could shout but I must not shout. / The girl standing in my doorway yesterday weeping. / In her right hand an updated report on global warming.'' Well, at least it's an updated report; you'd hate to see her ''weeping'' (instead of plain old ''crying'') over last Tuesday's version. The poem continues in this hopped-up manner until finally plunging into Harvard Yard street preachin': ''Let the dream of contagion / set loose its virus. Don't let her turn away. / I, here, today, am letting her cry out the figures, the scenarios, / am letting her wave her downloaded pages / into this normal office-air between us.'' Putting aside the redundancies (''contagion'' and ''virus''?), the infelicities (''downloaded pages''?) and the cartoon setup (whoever ''the girl'' is, she sure needs to toughen up before she goes to camp), putting all of this aside -- what are these lines about? Generalized angst? Adobe Acrobat?

The point isn't that Graham's a bad poet -- she's not -- but rather that the fogginess that has been a chronic problem in her work becomes especially inhibiting in ''Overlord'' because, well, there's just no leeway for muddling. Graham is trying to write here in response to actual events in a full lyric voice and in a public manner. It's a worthy project. But this isn't the kind of challenge that can be bowled over with rhetoric, analyzed into submission or conquered with good intentions. In the achingly clichéd ''Posterity,'' for instance, Graham attempts to feed a homeless man chicken out of an aluminum wrapper while calling on ''Buber, Kafka, Dr. Robinson -- you, hunger specialists'' (but what about Colonel Sanders?) -- and somehow she burns the guy's hands. Unfortunately, that sententious, well-meaning blunder is ''Overlord'' in a nutshell; or rather, some tinfoil. [...]

Anne Bradstreet: America's First Poet [US]:
Anne Bradstreet was a reluctant settler in America, a Puritan who migrated from her beloved England in the 1600s. She became America's first poet, and a new biography details her life. Scott Simon speaks with poet Charlotte Gordon, author of Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Life of America's First Poet.

NPR audio.

Poets Up in Arms over Contest Allegations [US]:
Talk of the Nation, April 21, 2005 · The temporary closing of a tell-all Web site and its claims that many poetry contests are rigged in favor of the judges' students, friends or lovers has raised the hackles of poets across the country. [audio]
[via Whimsy Speaks]

Saturday, April 23, 2005
Litter is fresh.

Friday, April 22, 2005
pocast.com [blog]:
poetry for podcasters

pdizzle Says:
March 18th, 2005 at 9:51 pm
There is something both pleasantly vainglorious and yet selflessly gratifying sbout reading a poem aloud - and recording it - working on the words, reading and reciting, listening, wondering and carefully considering the right pitch, the right speed and tone and timbre. For as much as I like to hear my own voice, and even attempt interpretation, the more I read the poem, it itself instructs me how to read it, where to pasue and where to emphasize, how to articulate and communicate the words of the poet. The poem takes over and I am just a vessal, a very nobel vates vassale, bringing this words written by a stranger, meant for everyone and no one, to be both heard and overheard, brough to life one more time though my voice and breath, reshaping me and listener alike in the process.

And, it’s fun!'
[via PoetrySpace]

Word Wrestling Federation [Australia]:
The Word Wrestling Federation is proud to announce the Inaugural Australian National Team Poetry Slam Challenge!

At the Overload Poetry Festival 2005, NSW will challenge VICTORIA for the freshly minted WWF® Title Belt!

Are you ready to word wrestle?

word festival [Scotland]:
Aberdeen's book festival turns 5 this year with its biggest and best line-up to date, including Hari Kunzru, Sheena Blackhall and Colm Toibin.

The Outsiders
When Arnold Ludwig reviewed the lives of over one thousand ‘eminent figures’ in his book The Price of Greatness, he found that the creative artists were en masse nearly twice as likely to experience depression and schizophrenia, and four times more likely to suffer from mania. In all categories, writers of poetry and prose were over-represented.

The Faustian pact between literature and lunacy can be traced back to the madhouses of the 18th and early 19th century, where the poets Christopher Smart, William Cowper and John Clare all practised their trade for varying lengths of time ...

Poets pleased with response from baboons [Chile]:
A group of seven Chilean poets who held a poetry reading in a baboon enclosure have praised the animals' patience.

It had been feared they could attack the poets who wanted to demonstrate baboons are more receptive to poetry than their countrymen.

Happy to Feed 'Em a Line [US]:
SAN FRANCISCO — Old ladies prefer love poems. [...]

McIlvoy knows his audience. He knows that mothers and daughters like nature themes and will wait quietly through a five-stanza walk in the woods. He knows young radicals want shock treatment, outlaw verse with hip-hop immediacy. Hammer me, they say, with a bruising blow. Or an insult.

And McIlvoy complies. On days off from a community organizing job, the 20-year-old New Mexico native packs a dozen dog-eared tomes into an oblong red toolbox and takes to the street. He assumes a spot in a middle-class neighborhood called West Portal Village, just over the hill but a world away from counterculture Haight-Ashbury, where poets and philosophers rule the roost.

Outside a Charles Schwab brokerage office, he posts a sign announcing that all his offerings are free. Then he patiently solicits passersby to disengage from their cellphones and big-city routines and appreciate an all-but-forgotten public art form.

"Like to hear a poem?" he asks. "It's not a very long poem." [...]

American Life in Poetry: Column 004 [US]:

None of us can fix the past. Mistakes we've made can burden us for many years, delivering their pain to the present as if they had happened just yesterday. In the following poem we join with Ruth Stone in revisiting a hurried decision, and we empathize with the intense regret of being unable to take that decision back, or any other decision, for that matter.

Another Feeling

Once you saw a drove of young pigs
crossing the highway. One of them
pulling his body by the front feet,
the hind legs dragging flat.
Without thinking,
you called the Humane Society.
They came with a net and went for him.
They were matter of fact, uniformed;
there were two of them,
their truck ominous, with a cage.
He was hiding in the weeds. It was then
you saw his eyes. He understood.
He was trembling.
After they took him, you began to suffer regret.
Years later, you remember his misfit body
scrambling to reach the others.
Even at this moment, your heart
is going too fast; your hands sweat.

Reprinted from "In the Dark," Copper Canyon Press, 2004, by permission of the author and publisher. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

Poetry in the papers = good.

By the way, I asked about the circulation of this column and got this:
Approximately 50 newspapers, dailies and weeklies, have signed up so far, with combined circulation exceeding 4.7 million readers. These include, but are obviously not limited to, the Detroit Metro Times, Roanoke (VA) Times, Rapid City (SD) Journal, and The Lincoln Journal-Star.

This is only our third week, and I suspect that these numbers will change quite a lot in the coming weeks and months.

National poet Kamaruzzaman dies [Malaysia]:
SEREMBAN: National poet Kamaruzzaman A. Kadir, who is better known by his pen name of Dharmawijaya, died of lung cancer at the Seremban Hospital yesterday. He was 68. [...]

The body of the late poet was buried at Haji Said cemetery here after evening prayers. [...]

Kamaruzzaman won the Malaysian Literary Award in 1971, 1976 and 1982/83 in the poetry category and was the author of many books.

Thursday, April 21, 2005
UniVerse: World Literary Voices [US]:
Featuring Bei Dao, Breyten Breytenbach, Martín Espada, John Godfrey, Fadhil al-Azzawi, Dunya Mikhail, Oksana Zabuzhko, Joan Margarit Consarnau & Elif Shafak. April 21, 2005 at 9pm [today!]. Free. St. Mark's Church, 131 E. 10th St. & 2nd Ave., NYC.

Is That a Poem? The case for E.E. Cummings. [US]:
In 1957, on television's Nitebeat, Mike Wallace asked William Carlos Williams if he thought that E.E. Cummings' poem "(im)c-a-t(mo) / b,i;l: e" was really a poem. (Television was different back then.) Williams said no. Maybe the question was too blunt; maybe the poet considered this print ideogram of a motionless cat too juvenile. But if William Carlos Williams, himself a leading experimental poet of the time, was not able to recognize that outburst of phonemes and punctuation marks as poetry, what hope was there for the average readers of the time—"mostpeople," as Cummings liked to call them—not to mention all the folks residing in Televisionland? [...]

Billy Collins on E.E. Cummings.

Surrender in the Battle of Poetry Web Sites [US]:
W. H. Auden may have lamented that "poetry makes nothing happen," but that has not kept poets themselves - and their enthusiasts - from using the Internet to make trouble when they get riled up.

This week the poetry world is atwitter over the closing down of an Internet site that for the last year dedicated itself to exposing what it calls fraud among the small circle of poetry contests that frequently offer publishing contracts as prizes.

Alan Cordle, a research librarian who lives in Portland, Ore., has managed the Web site, www.foetry.com, anonymously since its inception a little more a year ago.

He called his site the "American poetry watchdog" and aimed to expose the national poetry contests that he said "are often large-scale fraud operations" in which judges select their friends and students as winners.

But Mr. Cordle's identity, which he says he protected to avoid recriminations against those who joined in his fight, was revealed earlier this month. [...]

This Sunday at My Vocabulary [US]:
'...join us at the regular time and place (4pm Pacific Standard Time at www.ksdtradio.org) to hear an invigorating mix of contemporary poetry and music ...

In the first hour, listen to the poems of Nick Piombino. And don't forget to stay for the second half of the treatment -- an hour of Ron Silliman ...'

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Bid to nominate Cohen for Nobel [Canada]:
A veteran Canadian journalist has launched a campaign to nominate the singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Canadian journalist Paul Kennedy, who has compared Cohen to the classical poet Homer, says he deserves the award for his lyrics wry self-irony.

The broadcaster has convened a public forum to nominate Cohen for the honour. [...]

C.K. Williams Wins 2005 Lilly Prize; $100,000 Award One of Largest to Poets [US]:
CHICAGO, April 20 /U.S. Newswire/ -- C.K. Williams, the author of nine collections of poetry and recipient of multiple awards, has won the 2005 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Established in 1986, the prize is one of the most prestigious given to American poets, and at $100,000 it is one of the largest literary honors for work in the English language. Christian Wiman, editor of Poetry magazine and chair of the selection committee, made the announcement today. The prize will be presented at an evening ceremony at The Arts Club in Chicago on May 24th.

C.K. Williams's first published poem, "Sleeping Over," appeared in Poetry in 1964.

In announcing the award, Wiman said: "C.K. Williams is a master at dramatizing complicated psychological states, but he is also always equally concerned with the self's relation to the larger world. He has created a signature style, which more and more seems a permanent part of our literature." [...]

Adrian Rawlins [Australia]:
Poet, performer, organiser, promoter, raconteur, ratbag, stirrer, hipster ... Adrian Rawlins is all of this and more. He was born in Melbourne, schooled at Yarra Park State School, Koorong, Melbourne High School and the Cash family kitchen. He was hailed as a poet by Hal Gye, Clair White, Dame Edith Sitwell (whom he met in the 60s) and Shelton Lea ...

Nominate the World’s First Elected Poet Laureate [blog]:
'The job doesn’t pay anything (we’re broke bloggers — sponsors anyone?) but whoever wins will retain the title for one full year and have the honor of passing along a Kudzu Laureate to the winner the following year.'

Poetry International Web [online]:
'Poetry International Web is kept going by editors in seventeen different countries with an absolute minimum of funding. Some of our editors — one only needs to think of Zimbabwe or Colombia — do their job under extremely difficult circumstances, or with limited technical means. Some of them offer their professional services free of charge, in order to enable our visitors to get acquainted with the poetry from their home country ...'
Donate. Schenk. Donnez. Spenden Sie. Doni. Doe. Done.

Delayed release [US]:
Publication of Andrea Baker's Slope Prize-winning book Like The Wind Loves A Window was pushed back so as not to compete for attention with another of her soon to be released books.

Monday, April 18, 2005
How to Make a Living as a Poet by Gary Mex Glazner [US]:
Review written by C. Hope Clark

I am in love with a new book written by a poet. Here I am a nonfiction writer steeped in facts and reality, enthralled with the mission of a bona fide poet. How to Make a Living as a Poet by Gary Mex Glazner is just what the doctor ordered for the poet struggling to make a living. Frankly, it's good for the writer who wants to make a living. I love this man and his ideas, and I don't spread my love around lightly.
Soft Skull Press

World Refugee Day [Ireland]:
Poetry Ireland, in association with the UN Refugee Agency and the Reception and Integration Agency of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, is hosting a poetry competition to mark World Refugee Day on 20 June. There are two categories, one for adults and one for under-18s, and entries should reflect the theme of New Beginnings. Send entries to Refugee Poetry Competition, 120 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2. The closing date is 31 May 2005.

Tryst is fresh. Ish.

Betty Crumrine Scholarship [US]:
The 2005 Antioch Writers' Workshop will award the Betty Crumrine Scholarship to a single parent who is committed to writing and who could not otherwise attend the workshop.

Shane Allison interviews Virgil Suarez [US]:
What pisses off Virgil Suarez?

Oh, there aren't that many things that piss me off. I'm pretty laid back, except for people who want to keep poetry in chains with their preciousness. With their pretense, with their god damned warped aesthetics. A good poem, they might say, takes years to write. They can go fuck themselves with their good poems. I write poems that call to me. I write them down and work on them for as long as they call out to me ...

Sunday, April 17, 2005
The Write Stuff Poetry Competition [Australia]:
This section is for a poem up to 200 lines in length. First prize: $700; second prize: $200 (Australian dollars). The judge for the poetry competition this year is Stephen Edgar, recipient of the inaugural Australian Book Review poetry prize.

The deadline is 30 June 2005 and entries must be postmarked 30/06/2005 or earlier.

Saturday, April 16, 2005
Fugacity [New Zealand]:
Canterbury English and the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre ( nzepc ) present three days of readings, launches, discussion and digital outreach with Christchurch poets, student writers and guest readers.

Featuring Tusiata Avia, Victoria Broome, Fiona Farrell, Brian Flaherty, Paula Green, David Gregory, Bernadette Hall, Michael Harlow, Claire Hero, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Jan Hutchinson, Michele Leggott, Graham Lindsay, Selina Marsh, John Newton, James Norcliffe and Konai Helu Thaman.

We aim to build a local and international poetry anthology over three days, launching Saturday 23 April at New Brighton beach. We welcome your poem. We’d like it to engage with time and place, transience and duration, memory and forgetting, coming and going – any or all of the FUGACITY (to use Canterbury poet Ursula Bethell’s fine word) of planetary life.

Bring a poem on a disk for posting to the online anthology, or send it in by email. Help launch the work of Ursula Bethell into cyberspace. Hear a dozen poets deliver five-minute bytes in real time. Contribute to New Brighton open mic and beach text event. Join poets Hall, Harlow, Leggott and Norcliffe as they launch new books and associated web pages


This is the first 500 of the 14,912 poetry books that Bookcrossing has on its... books. Poetry is well trumped by Fiction, as one would expect. I was still surprised at the number. Perhaps we should all join up and try and change that number.

Strokestown International Poetry Prize shortlist of winners [Ireland]:
The ten poets shortlisted for the Strokestown International Poetry Prize are, in alphabetical order, Michael Conaghan, Jennifer Copley, Mark Granier, James Greene, Gregory Leadbetter, Jane Lovell, John O'Donnell, Mario Petrucci, Sally Read and Dilys Rose.

Friday, April 15, 2005
Footy Poems Wanted [Australia]:
Do you have a footy poem kicking around somewhere? Huh huh?

Well, don't be a dropkick, get it into us for the chance to be in the next Melbourne Poets Union [MPU] chapbook anthology.

You have to be a member but membership is only a mere $20 for individuals or $12 concession, and for that you get our monthly newsletter poam, discount entry to our events, opportunities like this, and lots more.

That's great value!

So, whether you love it or hate it - footy is part of us.

Closes 31 May 2005

For lovers and haters of footy.

Must be an MPU member.
A poem between 14-50 lines. [...]
May submit any aspect/perspective on football, any code.
No tennis.

Rights For Sale [US]:
It's important to understand what rights you're selling or licensing away, not only to protect your interests, but to keep you out of legal hot water. Understanding rights can also help you make more money on a piece by — legally — reselling it again and again.

So, what are rights?

When you write something — be it an article, short story, book, even a letter — you automatically own copyright to that material. What you've written belongs to you. You don't have to fill out any forms or send away any registrations; the act of creation itself gives you copyright.

WSU to pay tribute to poetry legend [Detroit, Michigan, US]:
Wayne State University will host a memorial event for the late poet Robert Creeley (1926-2005) at the WSU Welcome Center on Wednesday, April 20 from 7-9 p.m.

The event, which will feature readings by eight Detroit area writers with ties to Mr. Creeley, will be hosted by poet and WSU English professor Barrett Watten. The memorial will also feature videotapes of Mr. Creeley reading. [...]

Readers at the WSU memorial event will include Lynn Crawford, Carla Harryman, Kathryne Lindberg, Glen Mannisto, Ken Mikolowski, Ted Pearson, George Tysh and Barrett Watten.

Poetry: a career with a future [Canada]:
The judges for one of the planet’s richest literary prizes agree: British Columbia makes great poets. All three of the Canadian poets on the shortlist for the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize have a local connection.

SFU professor emeritus George Bowering is nominated for the $50,000 award. His book, Changing on the Fly (Polestar/Raincoast), is a “best of” Bowering—Canada’s first poet laureate. He retired from his parliamentary post last November but has stayed in Ontario to live.

Don McKay currently resides in Victoria, but taught writing at the universities of New Brunswick and Western Ontario. The author of nominated collection Camber (McClelland and Stewart) was also up for the Griffin in 2001, for Another Gravity.

Even Roo Borson, author of Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida (McClelland and Stewart), once lived in B.C. The long-time U of T professor took her master’s in fine arts from UBC, though she was raised in California. [...]

Thursday, April 14, 2005
Name Your Own Scholarship [US]:
'I’m writing because 6 of our talented participants cannot afford the $300 for room & board for this Retreat. (Kundiman does not charge for workshops and programming) As Kundiman is such a new non-profit, we are not able to provide the type of financial aid we would like to be capable of.

'If you are interested in sponsoring a scholarship for one of our 6 poets, please let me know at sarahg @ kundiman.org ... Kundiman will name the scholarship according to your wishes.'

Reservation English
Most American Indians, even though they are acculturated, have grown up close to living oral tradition, in places where secular stories and local gossip–and, in many instances, formal recitals of origin stories, trickster tales, war narratives, and the like–still remain an important part of family and community life. Contemporary western American Indian poetry continues that narrative tradition. Simon Ortiz, for instance, a full-blood whose family is deeply involved in the religious life of Acoma Pueblo, incorporates oral formulae and a strong sense of tale-teller and audience into some of his poetry, calling loving attention to the pleasures and importance of repetition and of "telling it right." He and others like Leslie Silko (Laguna), nila northSun (Shoshone-Chippewa), Ted Palmanteer (Colville), Carroll Arnett (Cherokee), and Marnie Walsh (Sioux) also make poetry out of community anecdote and gossip, often writing in a colloquial "Reservation English" rich in idiomatic vocabulary and speech rhythms. As in this short poem by Walsh, they display an unselfconscious ease with and respect for the speaking voice that too seldom graces dialect poetry:
we all went to town one day
went to the store
bought you new shoes
red high heels

ain't seen you since

Walsh's poem is the third selection for Kooser's American Life in Poetry column, so I suppose people all over the US are reading that poem right about now. (Funk soul brother.)

Helen Schaible Shakespearean/Petrarchan Sonnet Contest [US]:
Open to all. Submit only one entry of either a Shakespearean or Petrarchan sonnet. The entry must be original and unpublished.

There is no fee. Winners will be notified by October 30, 2005. The poet keeps all rights. ... Mail entries, postmarked by September 1, 2005.
[via the excellent Creative Writers Opportunities List]

Poet Darling dies of cancer at 48 [UK]:
Award-winning playwright, novelist and poet Julia Darling has lost a battle against cancer at the age of 48.

Ms Darling, a mother of two, was a winner of the prestigious Northern Rock Foundation Writer's Award. She died of breast cancer on Wednesday.

Ms Darling, of Newcastle, was best known for her Booker Prize-longlisted novel The Taxi Driver's Daughter.

In recent years she has run workshops for GPs and hospital staff about using poetry to cope with illness. [...]

From her weblog:
I hate cancer. It's taken me away from such life. Tonight I'd like to strangle it the way that it is doing to me but I must look at the dark horizon of chimneys out of the window and imagine what is beyond. But count your blessings - a. No pain unless I try and dance the hokey cokey. b. fantastic cusine cooked by my mother. c. No family arguments. d. No fear. e. Cornflakes and milk. f. Trina's ice cream. g. my new NHS bath seat and squashy mattress. h. You only have to do death once.

The Poetry Cure

F A S C I C L E [US]:
From Tony Tost: 'This summer I will be launching a new online site called Fascicle with the help of Chris Vitiello and Ken Rumble. Another web journal, I know, but one with some focus, hopefully. We're looking at running a new issue twice a year.'

Seeking contributions for Essays/Reviews/etc., Local News, Word of Mouth, Family Tree and Translations, etc.
[via Asleep Inside an Old Guitar]

Formatting Help:
Tim Yu asked a question that you might already know the answer to. I only knew half of the story.

Retreat hosts poet and confidante of Sexton and Plath [US]:
The first event of "The Wilderness House Literary Retreat," located in Littleton, was a lunch with the late poet Robert Creeley. That event in December, 2004 provided participants with a rich trove of anecdotes and insights concerning the creative life of Creeley, as well as the Avant-Garde movement in poetry in post-World War II America.

The second event last week was with poet, biographer and psychotherapist Lois Ames, held at the headquarters of the New England Forestry Foundation in Littleton, the temporary home of the Retreat.

Ames was a confidante of the poet Anne Sexton, and has published many essays on Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath including: "A Biographical Note" in the "Bell Jar" and "Anne Sexton: A Self Portrait In Letters."

Among the guests for Ames' talk was Alex Beam, Boston Globe columnist, and author of the history of McLean Hospital, "Gracefully Insane." Also in attendance were Anne Tom, founder of the "Grange Hall Poetry Series", out in Cape Cod, as well as Jean Houlihan, director of the "Concord Poetry Center," in Concord, Mass. [...]

Jean is Joan's evil twin. The one with the goatee.

'Concrete' poetry may make mark [Canada]:
Hidden away near the University of Toronto, a back lane commemorates one of Canada's greatest poets, the late bp Nichol.

Perhaps fitting for a writer known for "concrete" poetry, he was honoured about 10 years ago, not just with the lane named after him, but with his own words carved into the asphalt: "A LAKE / A LANE / A LINE / A LONE."

Inspired by this tribute, City Councillor Cesar Palacio (Davenport) says he would like to see poetry engraved in select roads and sidewalks across the city to promote the arts. He is sponsoring a motion, set to go before city council today, that would instruct city staff to cook up a pilot project for what he calls "Poetry in the Street."

My Vocabulary [US]:
My Vocabulary is a radio show devoted to contemporary poetry and music. You can hear My Vocabulary on UCSD's KSDT radio station every Sunday from 4-6pm PST by clicking here and choosing your connection speed. Stay tuned to this blog for information about past and upcoming shows.

And they want to play recordings of you reading your poems:
Sending us poems for the radio

Don't be shy. Please send us your poems for upcoming shows.

You can send mp3s to myvocabulary at gmail dot com.

Or you can read your poems over the phone by following the following instructions:

1. Dial (661) 716-BLOG

2. When it asks for a primary phone number, input (858) IMA-POET

3. When it asks for your pin, input POET.

Then follow the instructions. It's really simple. Please don't forget to introduce yourself before you begin reading your poem.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
SET issue 1 (published 1961) now online from Christina Strong.

"Being called a poetess brings out the terroristress in me." -- from AWAD, attributed to Audre Lorde.

Seacoast Poetry & Jazz Festival [New Hampshire, US]:
Welcome to the first annual Seacoast Poetry & Jazz Festival, a celebration of poetry, spoken word, film and improvisational music brought to you by Harbor Arts and WFNX.

Legendary Beat musician & composer David Amram and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Charles Simic will headline a series of performances featuring some of New England’s most talented writers and musicians. The first event of its kind on the Seacoast, the Festival is sure to become an annual celebration of cool words and hot sounds!

It starts tomorrow, 14 April 2005.

Neil Astley : The StAnza lecture, 2005 [UK]:

Most poetry in Britain today is published for poets and academics, not for readers. Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley believes he has found a huge new audience for contemporary poetry at the same time as the poetry establishment has become narrow-minded, male-dominated and Anglocentric. Poetry publishing and reviewing is policed by a clique of academics who rail against 'populism', 'democratisation', 'marketing' and 'dumbing down' but (ab)use these terms to censor poetry they dislike - including much poetry by women and ethnic minority writers - in support of a damaging academic agenda. Astley argues that their attacks on anyone who addresses a broader readership or promotes emerging talents may threaten the survival of poetry. Incestuously fawning to their poet and academic peers instead of serving readers, the poetry police have become so out of touch with the grassroots readership that they should go.

The following is the text of the 2005 StAnza Lecture, given by Neil Astley at StAnza, Scotland's Poetry Festival, at Parliament Hall, St Andrews, on 18 March 2005. [...]

And the Guardian prints the responses of Sheenagh Pugh,Andrew Motion, Moniza Alvi, Anne Stevenson, Henry Shukman, Paul Farley, Sean O'Brien, Don Paterson, John Burnside, George Szirtes, and Kate Rhodes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Lyrical Miracle Press [Canada/Italy]:
... seeks Canadian-Italian poets

Lyrical Miracle Press is looking for budding Canadian-Italian poets for a new anthology. No limit on age; however, seeking new generation subject matter. Send at least 7 poems to rocco @ latchkey.net. Deadline: May 15, 2005.

Sunday, April 10, 2005
The Tranny Roadshow '05 [US]:
The Tranny Roadshow is a multimedia performance art extravaganza, which will be touring the country in the spring of this year. It is composed of an eclectic group of artists, each one self-identified as transgender, and includes poets, rappers, filmmakers, storytellers, breakdancers, rock bands, comedians, actors, folk singers, photographers, zinesters, and more. Stationary art (i.e. photography and sculpture) will be on display, but most of the presentation is the live show, a unique variety show where the expression of gender and the expression of self are inseparable.

Schedule here.

Saturnalia Event in Philly Featuring Fence Books Author Joyelle McSweeney [Philadelphia, US]:
Wednesday, April 13, 4 pm

TOMAZ SALAMUN, author of over 30 books of poetry in Slovenian, and 9 in English translation, is joined by poets JOYELLE MCSWEENEY(The Red Bird, The Commandrine & Other Poems) and SABRINA ORAH MARK (The Babies)

Reception and book signing to follow

Drexel University
MacAlister Hall (32nd and Chestnut)
6th Floor Honors Lounge

Call 215-895-6485 for more info

Octopus Magazine [US]:
New POETRY from Jean Valentine, Stan Mir, Craig Morgan Teicher, Wayne Chambliss, Dara Wier, Louis Armand, Paul Muldoon, Aaron Kunin, Standard Schaefer, Jennifer Knox, Kate Greenstreet, Matthew Thorburn, Daniel Coudriet, Shafer Hall, Bob Hicok, Joe Wenderoth, Barry Schwabsky, Christopher Janke, Jen Tynes, Rob Stanton, Paul Foster Johnson, Carolina Maugeri, Joshua Beckman & Matthew Rohrer, Jennifer Moxley, Chris Glomski, Shane McCrae, Dobby Gibson, Nathan Parker, Maureen Thorson, Lawrence Raab, and TRANSLATIONS of Daniil Kharms by Matvei Yankelevich and of Thanh Thao by Linh Dinh.

REVIEWS of Eric Baus’ The To Sound by Monica Fambrough, John Witte’s The Hurtling by Gina Myers, Matthew Thorburn’s Subject to Change by Richard Scheiwe, Noah Eli Gordon’s The Area of Sound Called the Subtone by Thomas Fink, Sarah Manguso (ed.) and Jordan Davis’ (ed.) Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books by Travis Nichols, and Peter Gizzi’s Periplum and Other Poems by Julie Misso.

ESSAYS including the first volume of The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming! by Matvei Yankelevich, a series of field notes on Russian-American poets and the question of bilingual poetry. This volume includes notes on Philip Nikolayev, Eugene Ostashevsky, Ilya Bernstein, and Genya Turovskaya. And including some thoughts on James Tate’s “Same Tits” by Ian Ganassi.

RECOVERY PROJECTS on William Heyen’s Lord Dragonfly: Five Sequences by Matthew Henriksen, and Kamau Brathwaite’s Ancestors by Joyelle McSweeney. [...]

Friday, April 08, 2005
American Life in Poetry [US]:
American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: America Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. There are no costs for reprinting the columns; we do require that you register your publication here and that the text of the column be reproduced without alteration.

The poem in each column is brief and will be enjoyable and enlightening to readers of newspapers and online publications. Each week, a new column will be posted. Registered publications will receive new columns by email. Our archive of previous columns is also available for publication.

And that is much longer than the "columns" themselves, which makes me wonder where Ted gets off calling his weekly paragraph a "column." Still, any poetry in the newspaper is better than none.

When do I get to be poet laureate, damn it?

Thursday, April 07, 2005
A Poet Laureate's Royal Call: Dreamy Ode to Ridiculed Love [UK]:
Mr. Raine said, though, that he sympathized with the laureate's enforced inoffensiveness. "Good taste is the enemy of literature," he wrote, imagining what might happen if Mr. Motion could let reality, rather than discretion, be his guiding force.

Referring to two of the many royal scandals that seem to cry out for comment by an anti-laureate, Mr. Raine wrote: "It isn't that I'd like laureate poems entitled, 'On the Occasion of James Hewitt Visiting Princess Diana for the Purpose of Consolation,' or 'Imagine Being a Tampax: Intimate Thoughts on the Mobile Phone.'

"Well, maybe I would."

2005 Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist [Canada]:
A record-breaking 433 books from 17 countries were submitted for the prize, awarded for the two best books of poetry, including translations, published in English the previous year. Each winning poet receives $50,000.

Canadians on the short list are Roo Borson for Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida (McClelland and Stewart), George Bowering for Changing on the Fly (Polestar/Raincoast Books), and Don McKay for Camber (McClelland and Stewart).

Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Streep, Rather lead celebrity reading to benefit poets [US]:
NEW YORK - The crocuses are blooming and the celebrity readers intoning. Yes, it's that time of year again, the third annual Poetry & the Creative Mind all-star benefit.

Actors Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson and Sam Waterston were among the luminaries at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall Tuesday evening, as the Academy of American Poets celebrated the 10th National Poetry Month. [...]

Poesy Galore

I, Too, Dislike It:
Slate this month will continue its tradition of taking both sides of the issue by publishing each week a poem that derogates poetry itself or kvetches about bad poetry or denounces public taste in poetry. [...]

Here for the first week of Slate's annual Month of Poetry Against Poetry is Ben Jonson taking both sides of the rhyme question. [...]

There is less and less to say about Ashbery, as with the pyramids.

Doctor's diary [UK]:
Daily, the surgery waiting-room is a witness to how surprisingly few people read - preferring to let time pass, very slowly, and to stare into space. The possibility that they might be diverted by poetry leaflets distributed by the charity Poems in the Waiting Room is thus very encouraging - particularly as it will provide an opportunity to reflect on the great issues of Life and Death. Surprisingly, perhaps, the most famous medical poem was written by a scientist, JBS Haldane, while a patient at the University College Hospital.

It opens:

I wish I had the voice of Homer,
To sing of rectal carcinoma,
Which killed a lot more chaps in fact,
Than were bumped off when Troy was sacked. [...]

Poems in the Waiting Room Interview:
What kind of writing are you looking for?

Our guidelines are very restrictive. Readers are patients waiting for a consultation and are probably anxious and concerned, and possibly even emotionally disturbed. A poem is acceptable only when it is sensitive to these feeling in ways that alleviate the pressure and avoid new emotional challenge. Poems should therefore flow from the springs of well-being. Hope is all-inclusive, but like images and symbols, such as home and acceptance, safe journey and arrival, friends and companionship, care and security, harvest and abundance, work and reward, books and learning, beauty and transcendence, spring and renaissance, together with all the joys of love and loving, are eminently appropriate.

But also: Elizabeth Bishop - In The Waiting Room
...Suddenly, from inside,
came an oh! of pain
--Aunt Consuelo's voice--
not very loud or long.
I wasn't at all surprised;
even then I knew she was
a foolish, timid woman.
I might have been embarrassed,
but wasn't. What took me
completely by surprise
was that it was me:
my voice, in my mouth.
Without thinking at all
I was my foolish aunt,
I--we--were falling, falling,
our eyes glued to the cover
of the National Geographic,
February, 1918...

Smelling of mice nests [US]:
Simic is not, clearly, a poet you turn to for vast variations in the literal or metaphorical landscape: he has a certain view of the way the world is, and each of his books illustrates this view, whether it be some versified tale of a rat being bludgeoned to death at a school nativity play ("Note"); a vision of a madwoman marking Xs with a piece of chalk "On the backs of unsuspecting / Hand-holding, homebound couples" ("Early Evening Algebra"); or the "Millions of empty rooms with TV sets turned on" in "Hotel Starry Sky". His work reads like one big poem or project, a vast Simic-scape of "eternal November" ("Classic Ballroom Dances"), where "It looks so dark the end of the world may be near" ("Blood Orange"), with "The weight of tragic events / On everyone's back" ("Toward Nightfall"), and where "a day doesn't go by without me / Sticking a loaded revolver inside my mouth" ("Mummy's Curse"). [...]

Obituary: Robert Creeley [US]:
These pared-down poems activate the nervous, interior measures of a restless underground man, with halting line-breaks determined by breath and bop jump-cuts. The speaker's stance is amoral and passive, more so when women are the subject (in life, the reverse was true). Phrases are terse and elliptical, devoid of argument, conceptualisation or characterisation; each work is a minutely detailed pressure point set into motion. I Know A Man is justly celebrated. [...]

I know a man

As I sd to my
friend, because I am
always talking, - John, I
sd, which was not his
name, the darkness sur-
rounds us, what
can we do against
it, or else, shall we &
why not, buy a goddamn
big car,
drive, he sd, for
christ's sake, look
out where yr going.

Vaticide: A murderer of poets

RATTLE's numbers [livejournal]:
From a RATTLE editor: 'First of all, this isn't submissions, it's individual submitters. Most of these people have submitted many, many, many times, and as you can see, about 1 in 10 are ultimately successful. In the past I've done a rough calcutlation that we accept just under 2% of the submissions we receive, so this makes sense -- an average of five submissions per person seems about right. With the average person sending about 4 poems, that means about 1 in 200 we read find their way to print.

'What I really did this for, though, was to see where we have the most 'presence', and which states best show up to the game. North Dakota, you got to represent.'

Tuesday, April 05, 2005
'American Life' from Its Poet Laureate [US]:
Fresh Air from WHYY, April 4, 2005 · Poet Laureate Ted Kooser has created American Life In Poetry, a free weekly column for newspapers and websites that provides a brief poem and description as a way to bring verse to the masses. His poems often include the details of everyday life. It was announced Monday that Kooser's Delights and Shadows won the Pultzer Prize.

For 25 years, Kooser worked in the insurance business, waking up early to write verse. He retired from insurance work in 1999. He is now a professor in the English department of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His many awards for writing include two NEA fellowships, the Pushcart Prize and Columbia University’s Stanley Kunitz Prize. He has published many books of poetry; his latest is Flying at Night.

Audio interview on NPR.

the poet in you [US]:
'This blog is dedicated to the celebration of National Poetry Month, my favorite of all dedicated months. I'd love to meet the poet in you ...

'Rules? I get to keep what's in my PO Box, you get your poem on my blog. No plagiarizing, this is about you, your inner poet. This blog will last through April, depending on submissions, maybe longer.

I know that I may not get any response whatsoever, if that's the case, I'll continue to post random poems that I come across. Send a postcard with your own poem to The Poet In You, P.O. Box 4572, Austin, TX 78765. Thanks for playing along.'

Poetry Daily needs your money.

Bookslut | An Interview with Camille Paglia [US]:
Paglia spoke to Bookslut.com about, among other things, the sorry state of academia, the "cowardliness" of Seamus Heaney, and whether it’s important that a poem is “self-contained.” [...]

Interview with poetry impresario Harris Gardner [US]:
Harris Gardner is a force-of-nature on the local poetry scene. He is the founder of the poetry organization “Tapestry of Voices,” that consists of multiple poetry reading venues including: Borders Books in downtown Boston, the “Chapel Series” in Jamaica Plain, “The Mad Poets Café” at the Warwick Art Museum ( Warwick, RI.), and the visiting poet series at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass. [...]

Poetry works wonders for brain! [Scotland]:
If literature is food for the mind, then a poem is a banquet, scientists say.

According to psychologists at Scotland's Dundee and St Andrews universities, poetry exercises the mind more than a novel since the former guaranteed far more eye movement associated with deeper thought, reported the daily Scotsman. [...]

They found poetry produced all the standard psychological indications associated with intellectual difficulty such as slow deliberate movement, re-reading sections and long pauses.

Even when they used identical content but displayed it in both a poem format and a prose format, they discovered readers found the poem form the more difficult to understand.

Stabler said: "When readers decide that something is a poem, they read in a different way."

City of Nawabs gears up for three days of poetry [India]:
Lucknow, April 3: LUCKNOW, the citadel of Urdu literature and poetry, will once again play host to a galaxy of poets at the three-day 16th International Literary Festival on renowned Hindi writer Kamleshwar and famous Urdu scholar and Sahitya Akademi head Gopi Chand Narang which begins tomorrow.

"Branching Out" for Poetry Month [US]:
Branching Out: Poetry for the 21st Century is a program designed to supplement the many local public library activities celebrating National Poetry Month in April. Ten talks are scheduled at libraries in Fresno, CA; Houston, TX; Kansas City, MO; Milwaukee; and New Orleans. Speakers Eavan Boland, Martin Espada, Eamon Grennan, Edward Hirsch, Robert Pinsky, Carl Phillips, and Vijay Seshadri will offer their insights on other poets. This pilot program, jointly organized by Poets House and the Poetry Society of America, is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The initiative will continue through spring 2006.

Poetry has been redesigned.

Poet in a new role [India]:
IT TAKES immense courage for a poet to shed all pretensions and express the desire to be forgotten as a poet. But then, this realisation is what separates Balachandran Chullikad from other poets of his generation.

"The complete collection of my poems, brought out in 2000, has only 79 poems. I could not write 100 poems in my 35-year career. This means I am not a prolific writer. I write only when I am inspired. In the absence of intense poetic inspiration, I stopped writing poetry." [...]

And went into the movies:

Rajat Kamal and a cash prize of Rs. 10,000/- to the



The best Narration/Voice Over award for 2003 is given to Balachandran Chullikad for the Malayalam film The Eighteenth Elephant — Three Monologues for lending feel and depth to the agonies of elephants through his voice.

poetic inhalation is fresh.

Rhyme and punishment [UK]:
DOES the fact that Philip Larkin was in many respects an unsavoury individual detract from his poetry? It is easy – and to an extent arrogant – to assume that it does not. As the decades drift by, Larkin’s admirers argue, we will forget his well-thumbed collection of pornography, his scatological sense of humour, the casual racism and derogation of women, of which there is ample evidence in his letters, and reach for the poetry, oblivious to the grubby life from whence it sprang.

I do hope so, but I’m not sure if we will. [...]

For many of Larkin’s admirers this frenetic posthumous activity has been hard to swallow. What they will make of this latest volume is surely predictable. The editor, AT Tolley, however, is not inclined to make excuses. Larkin’s writings, he opines at the outset, “have been the subject of many studies and learned gatherings”. Ergo, “everything he wrote should be available to those who study his work”.

I would like to know more about this "well-thumbed collection of pornography." I don't suppose anyone had the sense to note which books and magazines he had? Or which pages were stuck together?

Dentist named Suffolk poet laureate [US]:
As far as Daniel Thomas Moran can determine, he is the only published dentist-poet in America. And Tuesday he is expected to add another distinction by being named Suffolk County's poet laureate.

Every dentist should be a poet. But what is this "pulse in my bone" that you have when you're naked in the morning, Dan?

START Chapbook Competition [Ireland]:
Competition winners in three categories – Poetry, Short Story and Play - will have their work published in limited edition chapbooks produced by the South Tipperary Arts Centre and START magazine. They will receive fifty copies of their chapbook. The winning entry in each category will also receive a €1000 prize.

The closing date for all entries is Friday, 27th May, 2005 at 5.30pm. No late entries or email entries will be accepted.

Addendum from the Artistic Director: 'The chapbooks are for Irish-born writers (living/working here or abroad) or Irish-based writers (from another country, living/working here).'

American Life in Poetry ... [US]:
... provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: America Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. There are no costs for reprinting the columns ...

The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry [US]:
For a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Delights & Shadows by Ted Kooser (Copper Canyon Press).
[via Pugnacious Pinoy]

Monday, April 04, 2005
Babble! [Australia]:
Babble is a monthly spoken word event held in the heart of Fitzroy, Melbourne. Now in its sixth year, Babble has come to represent all things cool in the world of spoken word. Each month, Babble presents feature poets and the infamous Babble open mic.

You can download the monthly winner's poetry in MP3 format from the safety of your own home!
Go listen; ogle the beautiful poets.

Eclectica Magazine is fresh.

Poetry International Web is fresh.

My Vocabulary [US]:
Matthew Shindell, James Meetze and Michel Cazary are the DJs for My Vocabulary, a radio show devoted to contemporary poetry and music, broadcast on Sundays, starting from 4pm, Pacific Standard Time.
Previously on dumbfoundry: [1] [2]

Sunday, April 03, 2005
Poems in the Waiting Room [UK]:
Michael Lee, 72, a consultant economist by trade, came up with the idea for Poems in the Waiting Room nine years ago, having enjoyed poetry all his life. He drew up the guidelines with the help of a consultant psychiatrist.

Each edition runs to eight pages and includes a combination of traditional and new verse, passed by a psychologist. The themes of poems are consciously positive, says Mr Lee.

"They're poems of wellbeing. They tend to focus on themes about sewing, harvest, home, arrival. They have to be accessible, easy to read."

Friday, April 01, 2005
Lily is fresh.

Plagiarism [Netherlands]:
In preparation for an article on a poem by Roisin Tierney, the editor of Poëziepamflet.nl, A.T. van 't Hof, discovered published elsewhere "almost word for word" under a different title by Algerian poet Amari Hamadene. Upon further research on the internet, it also was discovered many of Hamadene's published poems are actually plagiarised from poems by other published poets, including a poem by Jared Carter that appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review.

Hamadene has published widely in Europe, but also has published poetry in a number of literary journals in the U.S., including The Mississippi Review, The Seneca Review, 13th Warrior, Main Street Rag, etc. In addition, Hamadene apparently has a U.S. publisher that is about to publish a book of poems.
Jonathan Penton writes:
This case is in progress and kind of bizarre; there appears to be a legitimate Algerian poet by this name and an English-speaking plagiarist who has stolen his identity.

Genius grants don't pay off in literature [US]:
As every American prone to envy already knows, each year the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation offers $500,000 checks to twenty or thirty writers, graphic artists, social scientists, real scientists, public officials, basket weavers, political activists, and general-purpose busybodies, in return for which the recipients are expected to do . . . nothing. The genius grants famously come with "no strings attached." And sure enough, the reporter for Crain's managed to follow up on a select group of genius grant recipients, those in the literary arts, and found that nothing is exactly what the recipients produced after they cashed their checks.

The Poetry Kit Awards 2005 [UK]:
2005 sees the introduction of what will be the annual POETRY KIT AWARDS. From early in December 2004, people were asked to nominate names to be considered for a short list for each of the awards ...