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dumbfoundry

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

Thursday, June 30, 2005
Aldeburgh Poetry Festival [UK]:
Poets confirmed for the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, 4 – 6 November 2005:

Carole Bromley
Julia Casterton
Peter Cole (USA/Israel)
Kate Clanchy
Russell Edson (USA)
Roy Fisher
Chrissie Gittins
Lorna Goodison (Jamaica/Canada)
Donald Hall (USA)
Jane Hirshfield (USA)
Lorraine Mariner
Adrian Mitchell
Sinead Morrissey
Aharon Shabtai (Israel)
Penelope Shuttle
Iain Sinclair
Piotr Sommer (Poland)
Michael Symmons Roberts

Sly library looter [France]:
The chief curator of France's national library was questioned by police yesterday as it emerged that the establishment is missing at least 30,000 books and manuscripts, including nearly 2,000 considered to be of "exceptional historical value".

Prestigious book prizes open to corruption [France]:
"When you realise the millions of euros that a good Goncourt winner can generate for its publisher, you start to see the immorality of the whole thing," said a series editor for a small, independent publishing house outside Paris who asked not to be named.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Rita Dove: Interview, 1994 [US]:
And there was a moment when you read a slightly rude poem by Sylvia Plath?

Oh, yes. That happened in college and it seems kind of late.

It was a poem by Sylvia Plath called "Daddy." Which is an amazing poem, a hate poem really, to her father, which ends up saying, "Daddy, Daddy, you bastard, I'm through." Now, it's an incredible poem because it's sort of like a nursery rhyme. It rhymes in that way and yet it has this incredible vehemence. And it was the first time that I realized that you didn't have to be polite.
'Slightly rude'? Ahem.

NASA's Scholar Space Poet: Interview, 1997 [US]:
You're a poet yourself. What's the connection between poetry and space?
[...]
I've already written 300 space poems. But I look upon my ultimate form as being a poetic prose. When you read it, it appears to be prose, but within the prose you have embedded the techniques of poetry. I look upon that as a really powerful way to communicate the experience of space.

Comedian as Dylan Thomas [Wales]:
A comic with an uncanny resemblance to Dylan Thomas has been cast as the poet in an independent film to be shot in Swansea in late August.

Dave Fellows has spent the past few years on the UK's stand-up circuit, but will return to acting for the role.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005
The Disappearing Poet [US]:
What ever happened to Weldon Kees?

It is almost half a century since San Francisco police found a 1954 Plymouth Savoy on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge. On Tuesday, July 19, 1955, a highway patrol reported that the car, belonging to a Weldon Kees, had been discovered with the keys in the ignition. Two of Kees’s friends, Michael Grieg and Adrian Wilson, went to search the apartment of the missing man. There they found, among other things, his cat, Lonesome, and a pair of red socks in a sink. His wallet, watch, and sleeping bag were missing. So was his savings-account book, although the balance, which stood at more than eight hundred dollars, would remain that way. There was no suicide note. [...]

Monday, June 27, 2005
Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf [US]:
POSTAGE DUE," a new call for submissions as of March 23rd, 2005. Poems sought on any topic as long as they touch, in some way, on modes of written communication, i.e., faxes, email, traditional letters in longhand, postcards, notes found in snow banks, etc. Those selected will be published on java jackets distributed by Michelangelo's & Fair Trade coffee houses or laminated onto bookmarks given out with purchases by Avol's Bookstore, Abebooks.com/home/avols and A Room of One's Own, a feminist bookstore. These four independently-owned businesses are located on-&-just-off State Street in Madison, Wisconsin. Previously published poems especially welcome with mention of prior credit.

ENDS JULY 31ST, 2005.

Poetry columnist wanted [US, online]:
Columnist wanted to write a short (roughly 600 word) ongoing column on diverse subjects related to poetry and the poetry world/community for Dragonfire (www.dfire.org)—a new multidisciplinary, online journal at Drexel, set to launch July 5. We're looking for articles that are smart but fun and accessible. Pay is approximately $100 per issue and could be either every 2 or 4 weeks. If you're interested, please contact Henry Israeli (hpi22 @ drexel.edu), as soon as possible, and send a sample column.

Sunday, June 26, 2005
Ruth Padel [UK]:
The great great granddaughter of Charles Darwin, Ruth Padel has spent the last few years travelling the world investigating the life of the tiger, and trying to save it from extinction in the wild. An award-winning poet, shortlisted for the Whitbread and TS Eliot prizes, Padel's studies have resulted in the travel memoir, Tigers in Red Weather (Little, Brown), which is available now.

First Boredom, Then Fear [UK]:
IS THERE any way back for the severely damaged reputation of Philip Larkin? The publication of his letters in 1992 condemned him through his own words as a foul-mouthed and persistent racist, not to mention a misogynist with an appetite for pornography.

Children of Malley call for work [Australia]:
2005 marks the 62nd anniversary of the death of The Great Dromedary of Australian poetry, Ern Malley. To commemorate this momentous occasion, Cordite would like to invite Malley's progeny to submit poems for The Children of Ern Malley edition. Dedicated to celebrating "No-Man's Language", the Malley edition will feature poems published under noms de Malley (for instance Vivian Malley, Aloysius Malley or plain old Bert Malley). It is worth remembering that Cordite has a preference for poetry that tries to split the infinite. Beyond is anything.

Saturday, June 25, 2005
Browning's torture trap [UK]:
Of the many displacement activities known to temporarily blocked writers, browsing among second-hand books has always been one of the most common, and one of the least productive. The exception, famously, is Robert Browning, and the occasion of his shopping trip to the stalls in the Piazza San Lorenzo in Florence, in June 1860 ...

Books & Poetry podcasts [online]:
NEWEST EPISODES
June 25
•OT!OM! Podcast
Teratology Part 7 by Dave O'Meara

June 25
•The Bookcast
Sean Wilsey "Oh The Glory of It All"

June 24
•Who Said -- a literature game delivered as a podcast
Who Said literature game - Passage #34

Students' Artists' Books [online]:
Mattie S. chose a picnic theme for her end of the year book, Swallowing My Emotion. But this was no ordinary picnic, no easy chewing, swallowing, and digesting. Mattie chose the most edgy writing from her notebook and from class essays and research. The first photo below shows the packed picnic basket. The second shows the basket's contents spread out, each small box containing the writing skewered by knives, forks, spoons, and a corkscrew. This is a selection of writing made even more forceful through its presentation.

Robert Lowell [US]:
Lowell's poems proved that if writing is a form of therapy, it's a uniquely unsuccessful one, at least in medical terms, and that insights into the larger human predicament don't guarantee their author a good night's sleep, a stable marriage or a dignified passing. Winning Pulitzer Prizes and the like is no balm either. Nothing (even lithium, it seemed) could halt Lowell's slide into miserable ill health and psychological chaos.

A message from Eeksy-Peeksy [blog]:
'Dear Patrons of the Internet

'It has been brought to my attention that some of you are a little worried about Mr. EP himself. After a great deal of effort I managed to track him down, in Poland, obviously. ...'

My Vocabulary wants more audio poems [US]:
How can you help us? Well, there are many ways. No money. We just want your poetry. Preferably sooner rather than later.

1. As always, individual poets who want to contribute a few poems here and there to the show can visit our website at http://myvocabulary.blogspot.com, read the instructions for using our audioblog, and go ahead and leave poems there. We've been very impressed with the work we've received on the audioblog this year and we have used all of it. The audioblog will be open all summer so feel free to leave us a message anytime you feel like it. Remember to introduce yourself before you start reading. Tell us who you are and where you are from. ...

Friday, June 24, 2005
The Gerard Manley Hopkins International Summer School/Literary Festival [Ireland]:
From Saturday 23rd to Friday 29th July 2005:
International Poetry Readings (daily)
Lectures (daily): 'Each morning, we have lectures on the theme of the influences of Hopkins.'
Workshops - Translation, Poetry and Song
Read Poetry in Monasterevin House where Hopkins used to stay: tree-planting in The Hopkins Garden; International Poetry Reading at The Hopkins Monument; Whispers From the West - and much more.

Still no poems at Little Emerson [online]:
The first batch of poems out and already some editors are coming back with their sort of editorial comments on the process.
The blog/zine/experiment has sparked speculations at Ironic points of light and Avoiding the Muse, with further discussions at Barbara Jane's New Blog and The Hermit Poet.

Sally Potter's 'Yes' [US]:
The first thing to say about Sally Potter's "Yes" is that it is written in verse - rhymed iambic pentameter, to be precise. This curious feature may not, however, be the first thing you notice about the movie, given Ms. Potter's knack for enjambment and her cast's impressive ability to make highly artificial language sound like natural speech. The rhythms of their dialogue are at once odd and familiar, and the meter gives the picture a brisk momentum, making it feel like the expression of single, sustained impulse. "Yes" is not just a movie, in other words, it's a poem.

A bad poem.
[For passwords, try bugmenot.com]

Choice by Roger Bonair-Agard [online]:
I want to tell you
that I threw my babies
into the river

banded my belly
tight – until the ninth month
and on a hot June night

when everything was finally
quiet, I slipped out the back porch
headed down to the river
birthed them by my lonesome – twins
one boy, one girl.
[rest here]

Starfish is fresh.

The Writer [UK]:
A table and chair the size of a house have been captivating visitors to north London's Hampstead Heath. The 30ft (9m) sculpture, The Writer, will be on Parliament Hill for four months before returning to Italy.

The tribute to the loneliness of writing is meant to inspire visitors to the heath, which has associations with writers Keats and Coleridge.

Thursday, June 23, 2005
Call for Work [online]:
Josh Corey writes: "On behalf of editor Robert Strong, I'd like to invite all and sundry to submit work to The Autumn House Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry."

Dear Mr Blue [US]:
"She sent my husband laughable love poems and talked trash about me. He says the affair is finished, but how do I get over it?"
Mr Blue was Garrison Keillor, who now hosts The Writer's Almanac.

Port Eliot Lit Fest 2005 [UK]:
Port Eliot Lit Fest features a rich contempory mix of writers, poets, filmmakers, digital artists, sculptors and musicians, this three-day event attracts a wide range of visitors, who can enjoy the performances in 100+ acres of 18th century landscaped parkland and walled gardens in the grounds of an ancient stately home.

The third Port Eliot Lit Fest will be held at Port Eliot, St.Germans, Saltash, Cornwall on Fri 22nd, Sat 23rd and Sun 24th July 2005.

Aisle 16 [UK]:
'Poetry. Think you know what that is? Think again. This isn’t a showcase for nervous performers reading their innermost, Aisle16 take a switchblade to any pre-conceptions of poetry as a stale and inaccessible art form and highlight the stale inaccessible nonsense of corporate communication. And they’ll make you laugh whilst they’re doing it.'

Introducing the world's only Poetry Boyband, Aisle 16.
[also here]

Writing in a post-feminist world [world]:
'... gender equality in literature still faces obstacles. The Prix Femina in France has an all-women jury, but is open to all writers, while the United States also has no women's literature award with the prestige of the Orange Prize. Indeed, when all five finalists for last year's National Book Award for fiction were women, the critical response -- supposedly to the books, not the women -- was generally negative.'

Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Be a mentor [online]:
'The Absynthe Muse Mentoring program is a joint effort between Hope Clark, editor of FundsforWriters.com, and Elisabeth Wilhelm, editor of Absynthe Muse. We connect young adult writers (13-22) with experienced adult writers who mentor their younger counterparts in some aspect of writing for a set period of time. Whether the young adult writer’s interest is poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or drama, he or she will be paired with an approved mentor who will work with him or her on accomplishing an agreed upon goal.'

Become part of the 'Digerati' [US]:
From Steve Mueske: 'I am going to be putting together an anthology tentatively titled "Digerati" for three candles press that will feature ten poems by twenty poets who have a blog presence, participate in public or private workshops, and/or publish in online literary journals ...'

Receive a sample copy of Poetry Flash [US]:
Poetry Flash is dedicated to providing the widest possible access to poetry and literature.

'To receive a sample copy of Poetry Flash, please fill out and submit the following form. Due to cost constraints, we can not guarantee delivery to locations outside of North America. Sorry!'

Pettycoat Relaxer is fresh.

The Pedestal Magazine is fresh.

Litter is fresh.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Anti-MFAs [US]:
Elizabeth Clementson writes: "During my junior year of college, I locked myself in my apartment during spring break and wrote a short story about my father and my glory days on the swim team. I submitted the story to the Seventeen Magazine Fiction Contest and won second place. I had always wanted to be a writer, but now it was official. My plans to do graduate work in cultural studies were quickly forgotten as I decided pull a Sylvia Plath—move to New York and get a job in publishing.

"As I moved within New York literary circles while working in publishing, it came to my attention that I couldn't be classified as a literary writer unless I had an MFA in Creative Writing. Unlike most aspiring writers, I didn't need to enroll in an MFA program in order to find an agent or a publisher, as I had already made numerous contacts inside the publishing community. What I wanted was to develop some discipline in my writing habits and perhaps, bond with fellow writers in a like–minded literary community. An MFA degree seemed like a good method to achieve these goals."

Monday, June 20, 2005
Charles Bernstein's List of Notable Books (Summer 2005) [US]:
From Will Alexander, Exobiology as Goddess (Manifest Press)
'An exuberant excursion into the hyperreality of the cosmos. William Blake merges with Sun Ra in the ecstatic flicker of evanescent transience. This work blazes with an holographic imaginary that is our only defense against the Dark. The search for intelligent life on Earth begins here.'

to Keith Waldrop, The Real Subject: Queries and Conjectures of Jacob Delafon with Sample Poems (Omnidawn)
'Each new book of Keith Waldrop is a distinctive treat in its specific graviity and grave irony. I can't think of any American poet who has so consistenly provided delight, intelligence, charm, wit, and prosodic intelligence in so many divergent yet interconnected volumes.'

Sunday, June 19, 2005
Poetry: A rush of blood [UK]:
Alan Brownjohn on three poets with the power to deliver sudden, surprising insights.

Shead, and the life of Malley [Australia]:
Garry Shead says it was getting dangerous just how much he started identifying with Ern Malley, the 1940s poet who both did, and didn't, exist. Malley's evocative verse might have been penned as a hoax but both the man and his modernist poems have taken on a life of their own.

McGrath’s poem, ‘Zeugma’ [US]:
Campbell McGrath (born, 1962) has won several prizes including the MacArthur “genius” award, but one should not hold the prizes against him. He is rare among recipients of poetry awards, in that he deserves the prizes. His poems are intense, and packed with specificity. “Zeugma” is an ingenious poem. I have selected it to review because it was the most difficult to decipher and resisted attempts to decode it, and because it yielded unexpected surprises with each attempt.

The poetic image [Philippines]:
IN LYRIC poetry, nothing can be more distilled in thought, emotion and image than the haiku, one of the glories of Zen. Not even the constraint of the sonnet's 14 lines can quite compare in couching a world in language so spare.

Minimalist art, often described as Zen-like, should therefore find a counterpart in the haiku, at least in theory, not necessarily in content. The two would make a perfect fit.

Kathleen Jamie [UK]:
She makes about £7,000 to £8,000 a year from her writing. "It is difficult not to sound churlish," she says. "If you get an award of £10,000, that's wonderful, but it's what a dentist makes in three months. It is put up by philanthropic people, so, of course, I wouldn't dream of complaining. The perks of the job?" She looks around her. "Here we are on a Thursday morning."

Saturday, June 18, 2005
MNMLST POETRY [US]:
It is not clear when contemporary minimalist poetry began, or who "invented" it, but it's probable that one-word, one-phrase, and other very compressed poems were among the oddities thrown together by the dadaists in the twenties.

Who is Ivor Cutler? [UK]:
'Ivor Cutler is a Glaswegian whose humour is surreal, to say the least. He is a master of anecdotes, monologues, comic songs and poems, commentaries on the more neglected aspects of everyday life, and just sheer nonsense. But very often, if one looks beyond the nonsense facade, there seems to be a glint of a message in it all -- whether or not he intended it to be, we will never know.'

Tribute to the Seiko Messagewatch [online]:
Feeling nostalgic, I thought a good way to honor the memory of the Messagewatch would be with a poem about it.

The decapitalisation of E E Cummings [US]:
Interestingly, he wrote in a letter to his mother, September 3, 1925 (Selected Letters, F. W. Dupee and George Stade, eds., 1969, pp. 108-9): "I am a small eye poet."

Photo haiku [Japan]:
along the fence
tasting a grape
from each vine

—Michael Baribeau

Denise Duhamel's Smile! [US]:
Contents
PRINCESSES

Ten Qualities As A Cosmo Girl I Really Want In My Man
A First-Love Poem
Asthma
The Pink Bubble Technique
Four Hours
Fear On l1th Street And Avenue A, New York City
Mr. Donut
Bird
Bulimia
High School Reunion
Song For All The Would-Have-Been Princesses
As If Lovers, By Virtue of What They Are Called, Are More Attractive Than Husbands Or Wives Or How
Sometimes The First Boys Don't Count
Chlamydia
On The M104
Reminded Of My Biological Clock -- While Looking At Georgia O'Keeffe's Pelvis One (Pelvis with Blue, 1944)
Testament of Sex
David Lemieux
The Big Black Book Is Not In Heaven
Mary Moppet's Daycare Center
My Mother Dreams: If Her Husband Dies, Who Will Cut The Lawn?

BOY

What Happened This Week
From Lorca's Deli, New York City
Stories From The Body
The Boy Who Dimmed Light Bulbs
Not Much Difference Now Between The Sky And The Lake
Departure To The Depths Of Heaven, Via Grand Central Station.
On Being Born The Exact Same Day Of The Exact Same Year As Boy George
Every Movie
April 18, 1990
Pollution
Riding The Subway In New York, I Remember
Easy
Assumptions
The Night Before Father's Day
Ernest Hemingway, Your Mother Made You Wear Dresses Until You Were Three
Buying Stock
Boy

SMILE!

Smile!
Dream, Vagina Dentata
Clitoris
Just Saying
Kitchen
Communion
Jung Says The Soul Is Round
Prayer, Or Nostalgia For Heaven
An Answer To A Question
The Sky Sings
Mrs. Shaw's Cadillac
Nearly Drowning At Six
A Conversation In Stereo
That's Going To Mean Something Later On
Love-Struck In New York
Ode To The Ferris Wheel, On Its Ninety-Ninth Birthday.
Why, On a Bad Day, I Can Relate To The Manatee
Pork
For The One Man Who Likes My Thighs

Let's Keep Sylvia Plath Buried [online]:
"Am I the only one who thinks that we ought to stop digging up Sylvia Plath's body so we may once again gawk at her bony remains through a lens of deferred yearning? Generation after generation discovers and rediscovers her work, which is fine, but the grave robbing worship that goes on here elevates her literary worth beyond sane judgment."

Winner of International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award announced [Ireland]:
In their comments on the novel, the judges said, "The Known World begins with the death, at the age of 31, of Henry Townsend, a black farmer in Manchester County, the largest county in antebellum Virginia. Among the property bequeathed to his widow are 13 women, 11 men and 9 children -- for Henry, once a slave, was an owner of slaves himself...

Edward P. Jones has created a richly imagined novel, in which a multitude of moral contradictions are revealed and explored.

Friday, June 17, 2005
A solitary birthday toast to Edgar Allan Poe [US]:
Continuing a 54-year tradition, the man, whose identity remains unknown, put his hand on Poe's tombstone, bowed, placed three red roses and a half-empty bottle of Martel cognac on the grave and then silently slipped back into the shadows.
[via Paperback Writer]

Thursday, June 16, 2005
A Poet as Guest at a Party of Misfits [US]:
These more appealing aspects of "Specimen Days," however, are completely buried beneath a heavy lacquer of self-conscious writerly effects. Chief among these superfluous devices is the author's clumsy invocation of Walt Whitman in all three stories. Although Whitman is presumably employed to underscore the author's musings about the cyclical nature of existence and the evolving state of America, he never feels like a natural fit for this novel: the poet's optimism and utopian yearnings stand in sharp contrast to Mr. Cunningham's dark view of American life, just as his tireless self-promotion stands in sharp contrast to the solitary, inward lives of these stories' characters.
[Requires registration. Go to http://bugmenot.com/ for a password.]

Festival winner returns crown [Wales]:
A writer has given up the crown she won at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Cardiff after a complaint she used work from another person in a composition.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Poets talk about their underwear [blog]:
Yes, [some] poets do wear 'em.

'The Girl God Cheats On' [online]:
Isinglass in combat       boots
all the lies your mama taught you rolled into one
I would fly but Henny stole my helium
last night - the Barricade - 47th - fuck
[rest here]

Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Between the Lions Poetry Grant [US]:
'This competition is open to single mom poets with two or more children under the age of 13. It carries a cash award of $500 (hopefully to go up in years to come) and one week of childcare AND maid service in your home, provided your home is within a 3-4 hour flight from Washington, D.C. or Philadelphia, because I can't take flights much longer than that and I, Emily Lloyd, will be providing the childcare.'

Deadline: August 1, 2005

reVerse [US]:
An intersection of poets, songwriters, spoken word and music on CD.

'reVerse is the 4th best poetry CD of 2004...'
[via tympan]

Patrick Rosal vs. Ross Gay: The Sonnet Battle [blog]:
'We each gave one another seven rhymed pairs of words (which gives us the flexibility to do a more Petrarchan style or Shakespearean style joint -- or some other invented thing). I have to admit, I gave him a dope set. The set he gave me was pretty nice too. I'm working on my spot right now (Ross, you better be workin' on yours). If it's cool with him. I'll post the rhymed pairs and then, when the poems are done, I'll post what becomes of the battle.

'(Gotta get back to writing. This final couplet is kicking my ass. Yeah, man. You betta motivate, Cousin.)'
[via Barbara Jane's New Blog]

Shampoo is fresh.
A special 5 year anniversary issue.
[via The Chatelaine's Poetics]

Monday, June 13, 2005
My Writing World [UK]:
My Writing World is a specially created website, designed to let you share your writing. Whether you have never written before, or are an experienced author, this is a chance to contribute to an exciting new project, and receive valuable feedback from one of our on-line editorial experts.

Write and Recite Open Mic [Ireland]:
Venue: The Left Bank (behind the Oliver St John Gogarty's Bar, Fleet St; Temple Bar)
Date: Every Tuesday night
Time: 7.30 pm 'til 10.30 pm
Open Mic. Everyone welcome!
Write & Recite page [not updated since 2004]

Another chapter of Cordite's history [Australia]:
The achievement of publishing 21 issues, which fills us with a kind of wonder, has been due in no small part to the work of our volunteer editors. To this end, our next issue, #22, will be entitled EDITORIAL INTERVENTION and will feature the work of various Cordite editors as well as poetry editors from Australia and overseas. In keeping with the voluntary nature of most editors' work, no contributors fees will be paid for this issue. Expect its appearance online in July.

Naomi Horii, interview [Canada, US]:
Writer’s Block: Do you find you have to be more flexible when editing work submitted by writers of different nationalities and backgrounds, or do you take the same approach with everyone?

NH: The quality of the writing is the ONLY thing that counts. We certainly welcome and hope that writers and artists from all different walks of life will submit their work, but we don't give preferential treatment to anyone because of their nationality or background. Sometimes, because the subtitle of our journal is "a literary journal of diverse contemporary voices," I believe writers think they can't submit because they're white or think that they need to write about some sort of "multicultural" issue. This is not at all what Many Mountains Moving is about. We're publishing a wonderful poem by Rita Kiefer, who wrote about being an ex-nun — that is certainly a unique and interesting background and it is, most importantly, an incredible poem. That's all that matters to us.

Robert D. Wilson interviews David Barnhill [US]:
RW: Why do you not agree with the one-lined method of translating Japanese haiku?

DB: I have been persuaded by the argument that a traditional three-line method of translation separates the poem more than in the original. But I also think that, because of the different conventions in our language and the limitations of translation, a one-line method is too prosaic. The original was not three lines, but it has a strong three-part 5-7-5 rhythm. My staggered lines attempt to keep the sense of rhythm while suggesting how one part flows into the next.

The Most Fantastic Queer Poet You've Ever Seen: Ragan Fox, interview [US]:
Can you tell us about your writing technique (i.e., how you get from an idea to a poem)?

I love dramedy. Many of my funny poems are dramatic at the root. “Suburbia” is a good example of a hysterical piece that is dark. I mean, spousal abuse isn’t funny; taking pills to get through the day isn’t a belly laugh-inducer. I think I’m at my best when I use humor to get to pain or work through it. You’ll notice that a lot of the poems in the collection start as funny and then turn on you. I love emotional turns. I love crafting pieces that crash in on themselves, poems that make the audience feel guilty for laughing.

Todd Swift talks to Poetry Kit [UK, Canada]:
Why poetry?

Poetry is the highest art - to touch with care. It truly combines the supposed objectivity of science; the contemplation of philosophy; the mysticism of religion; the movement of the dance; the colour and shape of art and architecture; the energy of sport and love; the passion of war; the subtlety of diplomacy; and the beauty of music. Each well-made poem is a microcosm of what is best (and perhaps worst) about us. Poetry very definitely can and does have a social impact. I was editorial coordinator for Poets against the war, and also led the peace poetry e-book revolution of 2003. We staged readings around the world, and were able to bear witness. I think performance poetry has a place. At its best, it returns us to the necessary communal, organic, ancient and mysterious power of poetry. At its worst, it is an embarrassment: beer-farts and cheap gags, trivializing the goddess we crave. Slam was a vital movement of the 90s. It is still growing, but I think it may have peaked as a movement. We need to move beyond competitions, to projects of conciliation, sharing and community-building. Poetry should not be marketed only as entertainment, but as something ubiquitous and necessary, like water.

Interview with William Marr [US, Taiwan, China]:
William Marr (Fei Ma) is the author of fourteen books of poetry (all in his native Chinese language except Autumn Window which is in English) and several books of translations, including the bilingual anthology Let the Feast Begin—My Favorite English Poems. He has also edited and published several anthologies of contemporary Taiwanese and Chinese poetry. A longtime resident of Chicago, he served from 1993 to 1995 as the president of the Illinois State Poetry Society.

Angel Perales interviews Rick Bursky [US]:
AUP: You have an excellent introductory poem, "The Necessity of Beginning", that is not included in any of the sections. At what point in the development of the book did you feel you needed an introductory poem and what is the poem's full importance?

RB: This is the newest poem in the book. Beth asked if I was writing anything interesting since submitting the book. I sent her a couple of things. "The Necessity of Beginning" was among them. She thought it would be a good opening for the book. The poem is sort of written for my friend Ian Randall Wilson. In addition to being a terrific writer he is the muckity-muck in charge of on screen credits at MGM. He’s had the job for some seventeen years, just about as long as we’ve been friends. I’ve been trying to get him to slip my name into the credits somewhere. He refuses. What’s up with that, Ian?

The new Poetry Now [Taiwan]:
WHEN THE journal Xiandai Shi, or Modernist Poetry, gave up the ghost almost a decade ago, it was like the klieg lights went out on the poetry scene here on the island of Formosa. To be sure, there were still plenty of Chinese-language journals burning a candle for local poetry. But most were rather gloomy affairs dedicated, by and large, to advancing the careers of frumpy septuagenarians, who may have been stellar poets in their day but were hardly up to the task of galvanizing younger generations of readers accustomed to a steady diet of the infinitely more alluring "virtual genres" of cable television and the World Wide Web.

The Stigma of Self-Publication

'If you are a poet with good taste...' [online]:
'...who is struggling with certain aspects of voice and composition, I recommend you edit a magazine or publication. It will make you conscious of so many more aspects of your own work and creative discipline.'

Sunday, June 12, 2005
Green Shoots Magazine [Scotland]:
'Green Shoots is an occasional magazine of poetry, verse and prose by the people of Edinburgh. It is available in hard copy from Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services.

'We accept poetry of not more than 20 lines and prose up to 1500 words. There are four editions in the year and works are selected by an editorial team. We welcome submissions throughout the year.'

Blue Dog Poetry Reviewing Competition [Australia]:
Poetry reviewing is at a low ebb at present. The number of reviews published continues to shrink alarmingly, and the quality of the reviews that appear is extremely variable, even in newspapers and journals of national significance. There are some excellent reviews being written, but there are also too many that, even when they praise the book being reviewed, show little genuine engagement with the book or its matter or stylistic concerns. This competition is intended to reverse these twin downward trends: to make it possible for readers to get a sense of what poetry is available, and what they might find if they open the books reviewed.

horse less press news [US]:
Belated but here: the first week of June at 42, including reviews of books by Roxanne Carter, Ivy Alvarez, Merrill Gilfillan, Joseph Massey, Nate Pritts, and Kate Schapira.

Saturday, June 11, 2005
Felix Cheong interviews Frieda Hughes (2004) [Singapore, UK]:
FC: How much of your work as a painter has influenced you as a poet?

FH: Not at all. One answers a need in me that the other can’t take care of. With painting, I can be a lot more expressive. Poetry requires a definition, a caution, an absolute directing of the thought. For me, that’s how I look at it.

I always see things as a film clip in my head anyway. When I’m writing a poem, I’m actually writing a vision in my head that’s happening. I’m trying to express it in that way.

What I can’t do in a poem is to get really wild about it. And now that I’m painting in abstracts – and I’m painting quite large – I can really get out a lot of the energy on there. Whereas, the poem is a condensation of emotion.

Interview with Paul Vermeersch (2002) [Canada]:
You are also involved in the publication and promotion of poetry as the poetry editor at Insomniac Press and as the long-time host of the I.V. Lounge Reading Series in Toronto. Your various hats give you a strong vantage point in who’s publishing what in Canadian poetry these days. What’s your sense of what’s happening out there? Do you see any major trends or issues?

PV: Poetry in Canada is all over the map. I’m not certain there is any one defining trend at the moment; the various schools of style and aesthetics are too fractured. I could start listing the geographical stereotypes, like prairie poets all write endless craft-worthy treatises on rivers and irrigation while Toronto poets are all post-post-modern cleverphiles "mapping out new lexicons" for some inexplicable reason, but what good would it do? It’s simply not true on the whole.

...

Other than that, I suppose it’s important to acknowledge that our literature is still in its youth. That has its pros and cons. We don’t have any foundational traditions to live up to, which gives us a lot of inventive wiggle-room, but by the same token we don’t have a preset bar of literary accomplishment that we are all working collectively to raise. I think many people are perhaps too eager to publish without giving much thought about what they’re contributing, or contributing to. I certainly get a lot of manuscripts submitted to me through Insomniac Press that were clearly written by people with little or no knowledge of poetry, and some of them come with publishing histories. If the situation is going to get any better—if our juvenile national poetry is going to grow and develop into a big, strong national poetry—then poets and editors alike are going to have to get more discerning and work a little harder, and I do not exempt myself from this opinion.

Poets on Poets [US]:
The Poets on Poets project is an audio archive that testifies to the continued importance of Romanticism in the contemporary poetry world. The premise of the collection is simple: we have asked practicing poets from around the world to read a Romantic-period poem that they particularly admire and that has influenced the way in which they think about their craft. The results are gathered here.

Call for work [blog]:
From d i f f e r e n t i a : I am producing and editing a chapbook anthology for differentia books called, thematically, High Plains Drifting.

Friday, June 10, 2005
A call for insects [online]:
From Sawako: Dear (anonymous) Friends,

I am writing a book about insects. If you would like to participate, please write back with a story or some other grouping of words about
insects
your relationship to them
or a particular one
or anything however suchly related
[via chris murray's tex files]

MUDLARK is fresh.
found via chris murray's tex files

1001 nights cast: a durational performance [Australia]:
Each morning, Barbara reads journalists' reports covering events in the Middle East. She selects a prompt word or phrase that leaps from the page with generative potential. She renders the prompt in watercolour and posts it in its new pictorial form on the website. Participants are then invited to write a story using that day's prompt in a submission of up to 1001 words. The writing deadline expires three hours before that night's performance.

1001 nights cast is a project generated by the forces of that great compendium of Arabian tales, The 1001 Nights also known as The Arabian Nights. The project explores the theatrics of the voiced story, the need for framing devices, the strategies for survival, the allure of the Middle East and its contrasting realities.

Thursday, June 09, 2005
Melic Review is fresh.

Job at The Sherlock Holmes Museum [UK]:
The Sherlock Holmes Museum in London is seeking an Events Organiser -- a convivial 'Mrs Hudson' or a Victorian 'maid', who is able to receive visitors to the Museum. A costume consisting of a long green dress with a white apron is provided.

HOWTO: Interview an Artist [US]:
It must be fun to play all the time. When do you actually work?
Ouch! This question is universally loathed. Artists understand very well that they're not coal miners, schoolteachers, or insurance adjusters. But they work very hard, and consider their work to be work, not play.

And the corollary: What do you do for a living?
The goal of almost all artists is to make their art pay for itself, though many have to supplement their income in other ways. But making art is what they do for a living ...
[via Utne]

Tryst Poetry is fresh.
Mia, editor of Tryst: 'We want you to keep writing no matter how many times you've been turned down.'

Wednesday, June 08, 2005
The Poetry Blog: end of the Poetry Blog? [online]:
Harry R: "I'm going on holiday for a week starting tomorrow, but when I get back I'll probably close this blog down. Any regular readers that I have left will have noticed that I haven't posted much recently, anyway. When I started it, it was always intended as a communal venue for sharing poetry-related links, news and information, rather than a place for me to provide a one-man poetry news digest. Maintaining it single-handedly has just become a chore. There's a small chance that a week in the sun will make me change my mind, but I can't see why it would."
Other group blogs:
PoetrySpace -
cafe' cafe'
takingthebrim

Christopher Tower Poetry Prizes: Winners 2005 [UK]:
Six young writers are enjoying their success today after fending off strong competition to win the prestigious 2005 Christopher Tower poetry awards with their fresh and original poems on the subject of "Gravity". The Christopher Tower competition, launched in 2001, is itself celebrating five years as one of the most respected and lucrative poetry competitions for young adults in the UK. It is a major focus for poetry writing in schools and colleges, and plays a vital role in Tower Poetry's commitment to introducing educational initiatives which encourage and promote the writing talent of young people in the UK.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005
MiPOesias is fresh.

Monday, June 06, 2005
Delimir Rešicki [Croatia]:
Delimir Rešicki, poet, writer, literary critic, editor of the daily newspaper Glas Slavonije, was born in 1960 in the Baranja region of Croatia. He is one of the leading contemporary Croatian poets and his poems have been included in various anthologies and translated into several languages.

The Clouds Float North: The Complete Poems of Yu Xuan Ji [online]:
Outside her remarkable poems, we know very little about Yu Xuanji. Her surname, Yu, which means "fish," is unusual. Her given name, Xuanji (Hsuan-chi in Wade-Giles romanization), means something like "dark secret" or "mysterious luck." She was born around 844 and died around 871, at the age of twenty-eight.

...

We owe the survival of these poems to the ancient Chinese anthologists' urge to be complete. To their comprehensive period anthologies of what they thought counted most--the poems of men who were also government officials of varying degrees of importance--they couldn't resist adding curiosities: poems by ghosts, poems by monks, priests, and foreigners, even poems by women "and others whose efforts," as The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature notes, "might provide amusement."

A conversation with Peter Bakowski [Australia]:
Peter Bakowski is a Melbourne poet, and the author of five collections of poetry. He is constantly on the road, presenting his work at readings and in workshops. In October 2004 he was in Tasmania after securing a residency with the Hobart City Council, and I met with him at the Writers' Cottage in Hobart. As is the case with many of his ventures on the road, Bakowski is accompanied on this occasion by his family. Peter sits opposite from me across the kitchen table, while Helen pops in and out of the room. Their son Walter sits on his lap, regarding my tape recorder with quizzical attention.

...

"I've always had a long term view of my poetry career," he replied, adding that he now has a reputation for his poetry tours, one he's keen to maintain and expand upon. "You might do a poetry reading in Canberra, and nine months later someone will come to a poetry reading in Richmond in Melbourne and say, 'I heard you read in Canberra nine months ago and I've come again tonight and I've brought my friend along'. You can never underestimate the snowball effect. I'm simply trying to maintain and elevate my profile, both on a domestic and an international level."

'Few Shall Answer' by C Dale Young [US]:
C. Dale Young practices medicine in northern California and is the poetry editor of New England Review. He is the author of The Day Underneath the Day.

Spork is fresh.

mark(s) is fresh.

Saturday, June 04, 2005
Lovely Nowhere Two [US]:
La MaMa Theater's Poetry Electric presents The Lovely Nowhere 2: New Works by Filipino American Poets

Charles Valle
Patrick Rosal
Lara Stapleton
Sarah Gambito
Joseph O. Legaspi
Jessica Nepomuceno O'Connell
Oliver de la Paz

Friday, June 03, 2005
contemporary haibun online is fresh.

Thursday, June 02, 2005
especially when the october wind [Wales]:
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the death of Dylan Thomas, twelve printmakers from the Swansea Print Workshop collaborated to create a box of twelve original prints in a limited edition of one hundred. Each artist used the poem 'especially when the october wind' as their starting point and stimulus to develop the images.

Bookslut interviews 32poems [US]:
Deborah Ager had wanted to start a literary magazine for a decade. When she finally decided to turn her ambition into reality, she recruited fellow poet John Poch, a classmate from the University of Florida's M.F.A. program, to share editorial duties, and published their first issue in the summer of 2003. With Ager as Publisher and Poch as Editor, 32 Poems has grown to over three hundred subscribers and has become a non-profit, a move that Ager hopes will facilitate fund raising for the journal.

By design, the journal includes nothing but poetry. Ager sees this as a differentiator. When asked what makes 32 different, she says, "Smaller, thinner. No reviews or interviews. No essays, though we did that at first. Only poetry. There aren't that many journals doing that these days -- poems front to back, poems in the middle, nothing in the way of the poems." Focusing on one thing has worked. When you pick up a copy and flip through the pages, you find nothing but poetry. While that's not unexpected for a poetry magazine, more often than not you'll have to filter book reviews, essays, interviews, and articles. While those things have merit, by leaving them out, the emphasis stays on the poems.

Dream of the Cancer Cure by Peter Pereira [US]:
Imagine: instead of fighting the tumor
with knives, radiation, chemicals,
we feed it — like summer picnickers who,
tired of swatting the buzzing swarm,
lay out a separate plate of meat
and cheeses for the bees.
More...

Little Emerson [online]:
Alberto Romero Bermo: '"Little Emerson" is an experiment, of sorts. It is a blog entirely dedicated to the publication of poetry. There is no formal definition for this blogzine. There is no theory, no clique. I initially chose—quite randomly ten bloggers as possible editors for Little Emerson. When I say randomly I lie, of course, because I had to think of different sensibilities and then picked as “randomly” as I could within those sensibilities. Mind you, I had to pick some people I don’t particularly agree with, but which I respect. Nine of the ten chosen agreed to participate. These editors do not know each other. This is important. They only know me as they must since I will act solely as messenger. The editors represent various personalities, various ways of looking at poetry, various styles. My job is not to get them to agree, but to get them to read, individually, poems submitted by others for publication in this cheap medium.'

Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Makata is fresh.

Graceful Insanity: A History of McClean [US]:
Famously, Sylvia Plath indelibly etched McClean into our consciousness with her thinly veiled descriptions of it and her electroshock therapy in her book The Bell Jar (published in Britain three months after her death in 1963, Plath had called it her “pot boiler.” It became one of the most well-read and influential books for women of the twentieth century. An ode to depression and to a certain otherness that so many young girls and even women could relate too.

The same was true for poet Anne Sexton who had originally taught poetry at McLean, apparently pestering the administration until she was granted her wish to teach a class and evaluate the work of the residents. Sexton loved the work and while many were skeptical of her motives (was this part of a book deal she was hoping for, some prestige perhaps); she would have her own breakdown and was eventually placed in the very same ward where she had taught. How the mighty fell, and by most accounts, the stunningly beautiful Sexton (who could have, it is said, easily passed for a model), roamed the hallways of her ward in a trance-like state, barely speaking to anybody. True enough, she would go on to write about her experiences at McClean, but there is little doubt that her breakdown and break from reality was real. Like Plath, Sexton needed to be there.

Robert Lowell, a friend of Plath’s and a great admirer (whom she too admired) was also a McClean resident in the earlier days, and while little is known of the actual reasons for Lowell’s stay, one can easily guess they had to do with depression and a general breakdown of sorts – those very things that had brought and would bring some of Boston’s finest Brahmins and others from all areas of the country to McClean.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin: Poet-politician [France]:
The latest in a long line of French poet-politicians, this dashing aristocrat is a prolific author with a taste for old-fashioned grandiloquence. He can turn a simple radio interview into a torrent of vivid nouns and dramatic verbs.

United Arab Emirates poet stamped [Dubai]:
Emirates Post has issued a set of commemorative stamps to honour distinguished UAE poet, Al Majedi Bin Dhaher, who has left a rich legacy of poetic work. The stamps have been issued in coordination with the Ministry of Information, Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi, and Cultural Scientific Association, Dubai.

Halifax Regional Municipality's second Poet Laureate, Lorri Neilsen Glenn [Canada]:
Lorri Neilsen Glenn is the author and editor of seven books, including All the Perfect Disguises. Currently, she is completing another poetry manuscript, researching the role of place in contemporary Canadian women'?s poetry, and writing a collection of essays on grief and loss. Her poetry has won awards and nominations from foundations and literary journals. She was one of the 19 Canadian poets who committed Random Acts of Poetry last October, and will do so again this year.

Psychology, giants and journeys [New Zealand]:
Peter Simpson: 'The audience for poetry may be small but it is surprisingly well served by local publishers. As a category advisor for this year's Montana Books Awards I read 29 books of poetry published in 2004, an impressive number.'

Poet Owen Neill [Canada]:
“In Ireland, if you’re a poet, you’re apt to be rushed!”

Ireland has been kind to Neill in ways Canada has not, having invited the poet over several times to participate in cultural events, according a respect for poetic wordsmiths largely absent in North America. One particular honour is close to the poet’s heart:

“They’ve put up a Poet’s Chair on Rathlin Island off the northeast coast of Ireland near Ballycastle, where my dad was from,” Neill explains. “They hold a festival of readings there every year, and mine was one of the first 5 names on the plaque attached to it.”

He is in good company: famed poet Seamus Heaney and novelist Colin Bateman have their names affixed as well, as having helped launch the Chair.

Jericho Rosales: actor-poet [Philippines]:
Rosales said he’s been writing poetry since when he was in high school. “I write about the situation I’m in,” he explained. Thus, his poems, he pointed out, could either express anger or joy. They could be fun or depressing and they could also be romantic. As an actor, Rosales has effectively expressed the same range of emotions in the few films he’s starred in. Yet when asked if he intended to spend his time writing poetry or surfing in Siargao once he found the time to go on vacation, he chuckled and remarked, “I’d like to go to Europe and meet Audrey Tautou.”

Poet as product [Philippines]:
Abroad, publishers would rather do novels and magazine editors would rather put out short fiction, reflecting the tastes of the reading public. In the Philippines the opposite is the case—no one writes novels because the public won’t read them, and out of the dozens of magazines that resulted from the publishing boom of the 1990s, only one or two consistently devote space to short fiction. However, there is always room for poetry, because it’s short, and won’t gobble up the kind of editorial space publishers would rather sell to advertisers. There’s a perception that a poem will always do as a space-filler in a pinch, and so, reinforced by the constant if rather haphazard appearance of verses in local publications, Filipino would-be poets crank ’em out by the dozen.

Greek Poetry on a Wall [Bulgaria]:
"Even if you cannot shape your life as you want it, at least try this as much as you can", reads the poem written in the beginning of 20th century.

SOFTBLOW is fresh.