Finalists in the categories of beauty, poetry, prose and congeniality had their nails, hair and makeup done by a nonprofit group that provides make-overs to underprivileged women. Female prison guards also helped out.
Many contestants wore donated evening gowns and talked about how the experience gave them a renewed sense of self-respect.
Ladies, don't forget to submit your manuscripts to the Alberta Prize.
Postmark deadline is Wednesday, November 30th.
Visit http://www.fencebooks.com for complete guidelines and required entry form.
This volume of essays and interviews is published to mark the 50th anniversary of Allen Ginsberg's famous poem 'Howl'. On one level it succeeds: it certainly inspired me to reconsider the poem (not one I have ever particularly admired) and it throws up some interesting connections between Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Bill Haley, and the 1950s' roots of 1960s' counterculture.
Jim Behrle recorded portions of my reading with David Shapiro as part of the Jim Behrle Show, a relatively fugitive effort that you can view (or even download) here. Once you sort of conceptually peel off Jim’s overly energetic mode of hosting (and you thought Conan O’Brien was servile!?!), Jim actually does a good job of capturing the feel of the event at the Bowery Poetry Club. I would go so far as to recommend this to anyone whose only exposure to poetry readings is through those deadly little state college reading series where everyone sits silently absorbing the text. Those are readings rather in the same way that those ashes in an urn are your grandmother. Jim has done a good job representing how a reading looks & feels when a poet is any part of a community – my own relationship to New York is fairly distant, having not spent a full week there in one continuous period since 1964. Hint: it’s not silent, rapt attention. And there is laughter.
The 16 pages of poems hand-written in pencil formed the earliest Dylan manuscript ever offered for auction and it fetched the highest auction price to date for the acclaimed songwriter, according to Christie's.
A title page was inscribed in blue ink "Poems Without Titles," with the majority of the poems signed Dylan or Dylanism.
The cold is as real
as conscience. It's 11:39 AM,
I'm naked writing this
in the sun through
green grass blades
haven't yet got the message,
winter's here but dawdling
or dandling its hands
over our town, not
really a village
but a valley, channel
cut to Canada—
the garden's dead I
can't name the plants
but thought I saw
not so very long ago.
Emily's out, the dog
peed but hasn't yet
walked, he'll have to wear
his doggy fleece. Me,
I finally broke down
and acquired the Collected Poems
of James Schuyler [...]
I first met John Ashbery in 1965, in a laundry room in Louisville, KY. He was short, dark, with a pronounced limp in both legs, & he spoke with a pronounced Canadian accent, probably due to his years in Saskatchewan as a member of the Canadian Mounties. [...]
HEFEI, Nov. 4(Xinhuanet)-- More Chinese poetry fans are being drawn to the Internet with its features of openness, convenience and interaction.Great leap... great leap... now where have I heard that before?
China, known as a nation of poetry, has undergone a profound change in poetry delivery methods from oral chanting and paper-based publication to online exchange.
The great leap has not only changed poets' minds and mode of writing, but also the style of contemporary poetry and poetry appreciation. [...]
Michael Thwaites, who has died in Canberra aged 90, was an improbable spook - a poet who became director of counter espionage in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and supervised the defection of the head of Soviet intelligence in Australia, Vladimir Petrov, and his wife, Evdokia, in the 1950s. [...]
Dot mobile, a British mobile phone service aimed at students, says it plans to condense classic works of literature into SMS text messages. The company claims the service will be a valuable resource for studying for exams.
Did Post-Modernism—in this instance, some twilit mélange of Gadamer and Lyotard and Habermas and Kuhn and Latour, many of whose original beachhead in America had been the credulous English department—overreach in taking on science? Maybe. But on its way to producing a new generation of lawyers and engineers and surgeons (and risk arbitrageurs and pharma lobbyists), was it so wrong for a university to indulge one department whose time was spent agonizing over the entire mission of knowledge production itself? By never firmly establishing what it itself was for, the English department cultivated habits of withering self-reflection and so became one mechanism by which the university could stay in touch with its nonutilitarian self and subject its own practices to ongoing critique. Did the theory era produce bullshit by the mountain-load? Of course it did. But by allowing "literary theory" to turn into a pundit's byword, signifying the pompous, the outmoded, the shallow, the faddish, we may have quietly resolved the argument over what a university is for in favor of no self-reflection whatsoever.
Returning to verse form after 15 years of prose poetry, Shurin has given us a book as dense as & more faceted than, say, Zukofsky’s 80 Flowers. It is not merely a masterwork, but the evolution of a confident & still growing, ever questing imagination never content to settle for whatever he’s done before. I am so friggin’ jealous that it’s obscene!
The poetry prize was awarded to W. S. Merwin, the Pulitzer Prize winner and one of the great American living poets, who had been nominated seven previous times for the National Book Award but never won. His most recent volume, "Migration: New and Selected Poems," was published by Copper Canyon Press.
Jordan confirms my intuition that the only way to teach someone how to feel is by modeling affect. That's the brilliant basis of his Million Poems Show: the host sits onstage with the poet, listening and reacting and giving the audience permission to share the many facets of his enjoyment. He proposes that teachers can do the same thing, that teachers are like actors and performers. But there's a difference: while talk show hosts generally play the role of your appealingly goofy uncle or aunt, dismissable at a touch of the remote, teachers are in loco parentis, authority figures that students naturally want to please, defy, or elude. All three of these desires (each of which can easily occupy a single student simultaneously) inhibit the experience of the freedom or enlargement of perceptions that ought to be generated by the encounter with a poem. Or if they don't inhibit the experience of the poem they color it, sometimes indelibly. This is why I wonder if a teacher can ever do more than provide an opportunity for the expression of what's already in the student...Bemsha Swing:
Surely nobody needs to be taught how to feel? The point is that students approach literature as any other academic subject, and are judged by their intellectual responses, their knowledge of the field, their interpretations, their mastery of critical language--everything except their emotional response. It's as though the reason for reading poetry in the first place were removed from serious discussion, made virtually unmentionable. Then we can complain that the students don't get it at a fundamental level, that they are not feeling literature as they should.
Many young people who would never pick up a poetry book are downloading verse from their computer...Not "to" their computers?
...or buying odes being read on CD...Recordings of people reading poetry? New idea!
...then absorbing them while they travel to work or to meet friends.Oh, those young people.
For some, Byron and Shelley are up there with rappers Eminem or 50 Cent. Far from eroding the love of fine literature, modern technology has brought the Romantic poets to a younger generation who listen to verse as part of an oral tradition – most typically through the lyrical work in rap music.Gah.
WHEN poet Fay Zwicky had a telephone call to tell her she'd won one of Australia's top literary prizes, she thought it was a hoax. "I was completely bowled over," she said. "I lead a very reclusive life and I never expect anything. I always think I'm drifting along and nobody knows I'm here, and it's great. And suddenly this happens."[Logins at bugmenot.com]
The 72-year-old Perth writer, who was born and brought up in Melbourne and has been writing poetry and prose for half a century, has won the $25,000 Patrick White Award.
Within the history of the School of Quietude, there may not be a better – nor more problematic – poet than Elizabeth Bishop. More problematic, because to call Bishop a member of that tradition is to point to all of that concept’s leaks & gaps. Yet how else could one characterize somebody who published fully 32 of her life’s slim output of poems in The New Yorker, or who was perhaps the most significant influence on Robert Lowell, the central figure of the SoQ during its most cohesive & successful historical moment, and who published her poetry exclusively with major trade presses? When it first came out in 1969, winning the National Book Award, her Complete Poems contained just 83 works. [...]
His driving passion is his writing. He believes that within him lurks the soul of a poet and the heart of a writer. The words pour out in short stories striving to express some kind of profound truth about his life and the lives of those like him who are marginalised and unheard. Every rejection slip is accepted with a wry shrug. Every polite refusal is just another war wound in the battle to be heard. He is a stoical kind of rebel who veers between the admirable and the reprehensible.
This Directory of Events is maintained by AustLit as a free service and contains information on literary festivals, seminars, conferences, speaking tours, book launches, Australian theatre events and other activities of interest to the Australian literature teaching and research communities and to the general public.
[...] Yet even if the arguments are taken at face value, both Keillor (playing populist) and Kleinzahler (playing elitist) are hoping to hold back waters that can't be dammed. When Keillor writes that poetry "is entirely created by peasants" and that "the intensity of poetry . . . is not meant for the triumphant executive, but for people in a jam - you and me," he's assuming that poetry is a tool to be used, rather than a force capable of doing a little using of its own, not all of it wholesome. And he's assuming, along the same lines, that "you and me" are bound to like a certain kind of thing; that "we" won't turn out to be as strange and unknowable as all those "lit'ry" poems out there. Similarly, as a talented poet, Kleinzahler would like to believe that poetry is split between "real originality" and pointless mediocrity; in an art so divided, there's little doubt where a strong writer like Kleinzahler would end up. But great poets often produce mediocre work, bad poets can be surprisingly good, and very good poets are frequently no better than consistently above average - all of which is to say that it's far more difficult to isolate "great poetry" than Kleinzahler (and most critics) might like to believe. We're forced to live with a chaos of styles and a muddle of best guesses. This makes everyone uncomfortable; we're much happier when we can have well-worn arguments about populism and elitism, about Good Poems and High Brows. But what Elizabeth Bishop once said about knowledge may be equally said of poetry itself; that it is "dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free"; not a sure matter of sides, but a fleeting balance of currents. The best we can do - the best we have ever been able to do - when faced with the words "Good Poems" in a book's title, is to turn the page hoping to say yes they are, or yes they were, or yes (believe it or not) they will be.
[...] The eight-month-old American Life in Poetry project's free columns have been printed at least once in 58 newspapers and are e-mailed regularly to about 134, according to the Poetry Foundation, a literary organization that helps run the project. It estimates that 1 million people read the column each week in various newspapers, such as the Ellsworth American in Ellsworth, Maine, or the Grinnell Herald-Register in Grinnell, Iowa.Ted's dad.
Overall, the papers that run the column carry a combined circulation of about 4 million people, the Chicago-based foundation says. [...]
MOST AMERICANS would not recognize the name of Robert Conquest, but the history of the 20th century would not have been the same without him.
This week, Mr. Conquest -- a historian whose books themselves influenced history in a profound way -- joined familiar figures such as golfer Jack Nicklaus and actor Andy Griffith in receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It's the nation's highest civil award, given for extraordinary accomplishments related to world peace, American security or culture.
It can be argued that Mr. Conquest, uniquely, contributed mightily in all three realms. [...]
PETERBOROUGH - At the MacDowell Colony, where isolation spurs inspiration, artists emerge from their cottages at midday to find picnic baskets left quietly on their doorsteps.More here and the minutes of a 2001 meeting here.
But when it comes to property taxes, the town insists there's no such thing as a free lunch.
For nearly a century, the famed artists'retreat has welcomed thousands of writers, composers and others who enjoy up to two months of rent-free solitude and support. Within its rustic stone and clapboard cottages, Thornton Wilder wrote Our Town, Aaron Copland composed Appalachian Spring and Dubose and Dorothy Heyward wrote Porgy and Bess. More recently, Jonathan Franzen finished writing The Corrections and Alice Sebold worked on The Lovely Bones.
This year’s winners include one playwright, three fiction writers, five poets and one who writes both poetry and fiction. [...]
Thomas Sayers Ellis, poetry. His first book, The Maverick Room (Graywolf Press), was published this year. He teaches at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. [...]
Ilya Kaminsky, poetry. His book, Dancing in Odessa, was published this year by Tupelo Press. Born in the former Soviet Union, he now lives in Berkeley. [...]
John Keene, fiction/poetry. His first novel, Annotations, was published by New Directions in 1995. A professor at Northwestern University, he lives in Chicago and Jersey City.
Dana Levin, poetry. She is the author of two books, In the Surgical Theatre and Wedding Day, both published by Copper Canyon Press. She lives in Santa Fe.
Spencer Reece, poetry. His book, The Clerks’s Tale, was published by Mariner Books in 2004. He lives in Juno Beach, Florida.
Tracy K. Smith, poetry. Her first collection of poems, The Body’s Question, was published by Graywolf in 2003. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
As you enjoy your holiday weekend, I hope you won't forget to tune into KSDT radio (available online at http://scw.ucsd.edu/) for this week's instalment of My Vocabulary this Sunday from 4-6pm PST (that's 7-9pm for you East Coast folks). It's going to be a great show. Great poets. Our biggest lineup yet!
[...]I AM proud - but also deeply humbled - to deliver this unofficial and unsolicited reminder that next Wednesday, Nov. 16, the National Book Awards will be distributed in New York City. (I know! I can hardly wait, either.) These awards will, as always, add incomparable and well-deserved luster to the reputations of the lucky - that is to say, the absolutely worthy and painstakingly chosen - winners, and also reveal the vibrancy and diversity of American literary endeavor in all its forms. (All four of its forms, that is, since that is how many categories the N.B.A. has these days. Sometimes there have been as many as 27, sometimes as few as two. But now there are four: fiction, nonfiction, "young people's literature" and poetry.)From the N.B.A. site:
Or, to put it another way, the prizes, transparently trivial, implicitly corrupt and utterly detached from any meaningful notion of literary value, will be greeted with cynicism, derision and, if we're lucky, a burst of controversy. It will escape no one's attention - not even the winners' - that the very idea of handing out medals and cash for aesthetic and intellectual achievement is absurd, if not obscene. Furthermore, the selections will inevitably reflect the rottenness of the literary status quo, which is either hopelessly stodgy and out of touch, or else distracted by modish extraliterary considerations - hobbled, that is, either by conservative complacency or by political correctness. As if that weren't bad enough, the N.B.A.'s will force upon the public the startling revelation that book publishing is a commercial enterprise. Unless of course they uphold the idealistic principle that it isn't. Anyway, the winners will be the obvious choices, authors who have already won plenty of prizes and acclaim, in which case what's the point? (Does John Ashbery really need another medal to accompany the N.B.A., the Pulitzer and the National Book Critics Circle Award he won for "Self-Portrait in a Convex-Mirror"?) Either that, or the winners will be people nobody outside a tiny elite has ever heard of (Vern Rutsala? René Steinke?), in which case . . . well, see above. [...]
John Ashbery, Where Shall I Wander (Ecco)
Frank Bidart, Star Dust: Poems (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Brendan Galvin, Habitat: New and Selected Poems, 1965-2005
(Louisiana State University Press)
W.S. Merwin, Migration: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press)
Vern Rutsala, The Moment’s Equation (Ashland Poetry Press)
To call what Braxton does jazz is to use that category historically more than descriptively. Like many of the current generation (he turned 60 on June 4) of jazz-based virtuosos, from the late Steve Lacy to John Zorn, Henry Kaiser, Rova, & many other veterans from Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM), everything is available, from medieval to tribal to blues to classical to post-contemporary. And while improvisation is always close to the heart of what is going on at any given moment, much of the music is scored, even tho the score looks like this...This reads almost like an answer to what I said a few posts ago (in the comments) that "...I would expect someone who makes a point of reading only the most experimental poetry available (and maybe scorning the mainstream stuff and its readers) to do a little more with music than just turn on a local pop radio station or buy the latest hit recordings."
Incommunicado will be published in March 2006, in Australia, as part of the 2006 Next Wave Empire Games (in conjunction with the Melbourne Commonwealth Games). If you are a Commonwealth citizen and are under 30 years old, this is an amazing opportunity for your writing to be published in an international context, as part of a major event. You will be paid for your efforts – $50AUS, or the equivalent in your own currency. [...]
Tell me more about this Incommunicado theme ...
Misunderstanding is the basis of much comedy, and much tragedy. Incommunicado will bring together very short (250 word or 500 word) stories, poems, anecdotes and reflections from across the Commonwealth about people trying -- and often failing -- to communicate. Lost tourists unable to ask for directions; parents who can't understand their children's slang; workers forced to sign contracts they don't understand.
We want to hear about communication breakdowns that break hearts, make fortunes, start wars, and everything in between. These stories will be as factual or fantastic, as epic or microscopic, as you make them.
Incommunicado submission deadline: 30 November 2005
For more information about submitting to Incommunicado, go to www.expressmedia.org.au
For more information about the Next Wave Festival's 2006 Empire Games, go to www.nextwave.org.au
I'm all fur little projects and such, yippee-ki-yeah, but if the poem doesn't ~rise~ above the gimmick then snore. I don't care if you wrote 500 sestinas about Mother Teresa, they won't let you into heaven.
Final Judge: Charles Martin
Deadline: November 15, 2005
[...] Sonnets must be original and unpublished. No translations. Writers may enter as many sonnets as they wish. Sonnet sequences are acceptable, but each sonnet will be considered individually. Entry fee: $3 per sonnet. Author's name, address, and phone number should be typed on the BACK of each entry.
[...] To pick this year’s winning entry the judges measured the quality of performance by each poet’s mastery of language and the chosen poetic genre as well as the potential contribution to the evolution of Nigeria’s literary culture and, of course, the social relevance of his or her themes. It is taken for granted that a poet should not divorce himself or herself from our social condition as human beings and as Nigerians, and would show concern for the health of the body politic. He or she would certainly not be unaware of the global character of our century.
At the end of this exercise, ladies and gentlemen, the judges are unanimous in selecting joint winners in addition to a third contestant who is listed for honourable mention. The joint winners are, in alphabetical order,
1. The Chants of a Minstrel by Ezenwa Ohaeto
2. The Dreamer His Vision by Gabriel Okara
Listed for Honourable Mention is Naked Among these Hills by Promise Okekwe, which the judges commend for the very high quality of its physical production. It is an important achievement that demonstrates the production standard that one may expect of the Nigerian printing and publishing industry. [...]
[Kamau Brathwaite] is involved in a struggle to save his home, CowPastor. Due to city planning, residents in the area have been asked to relocate in order to give way for roads or airport landing strips. The poet is protesting this situation as he is obviously not keen on leaving his home - a place he had hoped to turn into an archive for his poetry, his works and his papers. He is 75 years old and despairs of having to find/write himself a new home [...]
A computer-generated Dylan Thomas reading one of the poet's most famous works is due to be launched in Swansea.[via Guardian Unlimited: Culture Vulture]
A 3D film version of Thomas, recreated from his death mask, old photographs and voice recordings will read Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.
No moving film footage of the poet, who died in New York in 1953, is believed to have survived. [...]
Of all the types of book-mad runoff, the bookmark has the greatest capacity for unintended frisson, offering up not just an act of reading, but beautiful clues as to how that reading, the book itself, intersected with the verities of modern existence in the outside world. Books themselves are more valuable with the lingering love of past readers scarring their pages; given the choice of a new edition of, say, Manhattan Transfer or that 1925 copy, barnacled with eighty years of readerly experience, how could you opt for the new? Who were these readers of my used books, and why did they stop where they did? There’s something Walter Benjamin–ish about a bookmark’s serendipitous, colliding vectors of significance: making real a book’s fourth-dimensional life, sanctifying it as a historical integer that has been held, owned, used, like a tool, and passed on, not merely written, published, and sold.
The Making of Peace Poetry Broadside Series is a response from poets who are working towards peace and goodwill in the world and want to see an end to the war in Iraq.
This project will produce a series of finely designed broadsides to be displayed in independent bookstores, libraries, and museums across the US during National Poetry Month 2006. Each broadside will be 4.5” x 5.5” and printed on environmentally-friendly paper.
[...] Deadline: Submissions should be postmarked by November 30th, 2005.
[...] Note to Poets Living Outside the US: Poets living outside of the United States may submit via email. Please include your cover letter, bio, mailing address, and poems in the text of your email. No attachments please.
Please spread the word to poets and writers displaced by Katrina and Rita. Artists in other genres will not be accepted because there are already several systems in place to help them, and because it is easier for performers and visual artists to sell their works quickly. Writers, especially poets, are generally the most starving of artists, and this is for their benefit. These donations come mainly from poets and writers and are meant to go to poets and writers. Known, established performance poets from the oral tradition (e.g., NOMMO Literary Society, etc.) are indeed eligible.
Pinning down who's a "real" poet or writer is tricky stuff, but I think most folks here know each other and can vouch for those who might be newer or less-well-known as legit working poets or writers. When in doubt, ask.
John Fowles, the author of The French Lieutenant’s Woman and cult novel The Magus, has died aged 79.[via Bookslut]
Mr Fowles, considered a master of multi-layered storytelling and ambiguous fate, died on Saturday, said a spokeswoman for his publishers, Jonathan Cape.
He had been unwell for several years following a stroke in 1988.
Mr Fowles was born in Leigh-on-Sea, in Essex, the son of a tobacconist and a school teacher. He loathed his suburban background and once said that he had spent the rest of life trying to escape.
These stand-up desk calendars in original English (Poetry Calendar 2006), French (L'année en poèmes 2006. Calendrier de la poésie francophone), and German (Jeder Tag ein Gedicht 2006. Der deutsche Lyrikkalender.) and English contain 365 poems by more than 250 poets each. There is an index by author and by first line. Poetry from different eras and poetry movements is included. Contemporary poetry is also well represented. The calendars are bound in a spiral so there is no need to tear off pages and they can be used later as a book.
The Astrobiology and the Sacred project announces a national poetry competition sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, the Metanexus Institute, and The University of Arizona.Deadline: December 2, 2005
* How did life come to be on Earth?
* What is the future of life on Earth?
* Is there life elsewhere in the universe?
* How strange might life be beyond Earth?
* What would it mean if we were truly alone?
* Do art or ethics have a universal meaning?
* Would the discovery of aliens affect our self-image?
* Can we communicate with an alien intelligence?
* In what way is life in the universe sacred?
FIRST PRIZE: $1,000 plus an invitation, including travel and lodging to read at The
University of Arizona in the Astrobiology and the Sacred Lecture Series, and publication in Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing [...]
Magazine for contemporary literature from Australia and Austria.
In other words, modern artists have been less and less concerned with appealing to a mass audience and more and more concerned with responding to sophisticated critics and to other artists. In fiction, film, poetry, dance, and music, such insular emphasis on a genre's own technique is dubbed "experimental." The experimental style is distinct from "mainstream" work, which consists of attempts to communicate with an audience of nonspecialists, and places less emphasis on leaping beyond what has been done before. The difference between the modern visual arts and fiction, film, etc., is that in the former, experimental and mainstream are often the same thing. Why is this the case? [...]
William Butler Yeats had strong opinions about the poets of the First World War: Rupert Brooke, he said, was “the handsomest young man in England”; Wilfred Owen’s stuff was “all blood, dirt & sucked sugar stick.” It is interesting to imagine how he would have sized up Brian Turner, a thirty-eight-year-old former Army sergeant from Fresno, California, and the author of a book of poems about a year he spent deployed in Iraq. [...]Also, an interview and two poems.
Poet Billy Collins admits he's a thief. Instead of nabbing jewelry and picking locks, he pilfers from other poets. At least that's what he claims in his new collection, The Trouble with Poetry: And Other Poems.NPR audio.
Collins says the central theme of poetry is death. [...]
Read two poems from Collins' latest collection [...]
The promoters of the concert "Pan, Poetry and Jazz", which was advertised for tonight, announced yesterday that the event has been unavoidably postponed.
The concert was billed to begin at 7 p.m. at Queen's Hall, St Ann's, but Lisa Nicole-Best-communications director for Ravenlite Connections Ltd- said her company had to reschedule at the last minute.
Officers found the body of Nadia Anjuman, 25, at her home in the western city of Herat.Also: Middle East Times:
A senior police officer said her husband had confessed to hitting her during a row.
Nadia Anjuman, a student at Herat university, had a first book of poetry printed this year. She was popular in Afghanistan and neighbouring Iran. [...]
"She was especially famous among the female poets in Herat," said a lecturer at Herat University, Ahmad Sayeed Haqiqi.Update:
The editor of the Itfaq-e-Islam daily newspaper, Naqib Arween, said that Anjuman had this year published a collection of her poems calls Gul-e-dodi, which means dark red flower. [...]
NINE-year-old Virginia Woolf, her sister Vanessa and brother Thoby hatched the idea for a weekly family newspaper based on happenings at their house, 22 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington. The children would put the latest issue by their mother's armchair and then hide, delighted to hear her say "rather clever, I think".
The newspapers are preserved in the archives of the British Library, and are now published for the first time. The earliest extant copy dates from April 6, 1891 and further issues exist from 1892 and 1895 (when Woolf was 13). They provide a rich source of information on Woolf's childhood.
Q: As a symbol of the 50's counterculture, do you care about winning establishment prizes like the lifetime achievement award you will be receiving from the National Book Foundation this month? Is it gratifying?[Logins at bugmenot.com]
I hate to use a word like "gratifying," which sounds so fatuous. But it's wonderful to receive honors. And it's high time we honored this endangered species.
Which endangered species is that? Poets?
No, the literarians in the world, and there are millions of them. They are not considered the dominant culture in this country. What's called the dominant culture will fade away as soon as the electricity goes off.
I also decided that if I found a dead one-eyed kitten and a burial-appropriate shovel anywhere NEAR each other in my apartment complex's side lot, I would promptly move. And I sure as hell wouldn't touch either one of them.
Looks like Microsoft just trumped Google on the digitizing of ( ! "100,000 books") books from the British Library for unlimited online access [...] To writers of books everywhere, then, I'd say beware: Microsoft seems headed in ways that could toy with your writerly presence, perhaps once again playing their appropriating games over rights, as they've done with other matters (cf the lawsuits over the last decade over operating systems & etc) and all under the seeming guise of attempting to create a more "democratic" consumer context. An interesting ploy, that, use of the term "democratic" to appropriate rights... for, as consumers, who would not be drawn to endorse such a project of apparently democratic dissemination, eh? And without being aware of the conflict it could cause for writers. Shades of Barthes ("The Death of the Author"), Kristeva (on intertextuality, "Poetics"), Foucault ("What is an Author?"), and Derrida (Dissemination), rising up to echo that their researches had predicted (as well as, in some ways, predicated) this problem of fluidity in textuality. Fluidity of text is inevitable given that textuality cannot be a static or a concrete thing as it passes from one mind to another--the book is one of the most solid manifestations of it--but once it is cast in relation to virtual space, capitalist agendas and culture, and the privileging of ownership, textuality reaches moments of crisis such as the implications here, or so it seems to me, and it's sure I'm not the only one wondering at this turn of events. [...]
The Thylazine Foundation attempts to ensure that poets work and review books are not lost in the post by paying for registered post from Darwin to other locations within Australia and overseas and by suggesting that poets and publishers do the same when they send their books into us.And get this:
While we do our best we cannot be held accountable for the theft of books by reviewers when it occurs and when it is willful and malicious. I am one individual doing my bit for Australian poetry, that in my opinion needs all the supporters that it can get, so when reviewers deliberately choose to steal review books from poets and publishers, it makes this task increasingly difficult, since we have not got the resources, in order to purchase stolen copies or ask publishers to resend them.
Amazing Literary Connections: New York poet Richard Ryan was recommended to The Thylazine Foundation by Ram Devineni of Rattapallax Press (a publisher who had to be told firmly and for a second time to stop selling my work outside of a contract). Ram Devineni is an associate of John Kinsella (Salt Publishing) who continues to sell my books illegally in both Australia and overseas.There is also mention of some cyber-stalking going on.
Ashbery is doing a kind of sleep-prophecy, akin to Edgar Cayce. Purifying the mots of the tribu by channeling it through his tenderizer-hypno-voice.
How to Contribute
The contributions during each calendar month explore a common theme or question under the direction of a single editor or editorial team, which changes from month to month. Contributions of non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, reviews, or interviews (with a maximum word count of 750) are welcome, as are photographs or digitized artwork. All text submissions should be in Word or RTF format sent as an attachment to your e-mail. Potential contributors should contact the Managing Editor, K., for more information at qarrtsiluni at gmail dot com.
Theme for November: science as poetry
With a prize fund of 17,000 euros, the Féile Filíochta is recognised worldwide as a springboard for emergent poets and a celebration of the plurality of poetry.
As the murky waters swelled in his New Orleans bungalow, Niyi Osundare's first instinct wasn't to preserve himself. Instead, he frantically moved his manuscripts from file cabinets and bedside table to higher bookshelves until his wife, Kemi, warned, "Niyi, we'll drown trying to save the poems. Let's go to the attic."
After 26 hours trapped in the attic, the couple was rescued. But Mr. Osundare, widely considered Nigeria's leading poet, still mourns his lost "babies" -- 300 unpublished poems, written in longhand over 20 years, ranging from satires on Nigerian political corruption to a meditation on the beauty of Mt. Monadnock in southern New Hampshire.
• poems must be previously unpublished and this includes web appearances
• we do not accept simultaneous submits
• for poetry, submit anything, any length, up to 3 poems
[...] If a student of mine wrote this poem, I might wince internally, but I wouldn't really be able to say anything negative other than that the student had produced a kind of poem that I'm not particularly interested in, a poem whose philosophical underpinnings I find questionable at best. And even here, as I said earlier, I myself would be guilty of concealing the fact that the poem put a lump [I wrote limp accidentally first] in my throat. What kind of dishonesty is that? Whence my wince? Mary Oliver appears to have written the poem she wanted to, in the way best suited to the ends she wanted to achieve. Is it a bad poem? Is it "objectively" funny as a result of some failure of consciousness on Oliver's part? Is it possible to make the argument that a certain type of poem should not be written at all? Such an argument would clearly have nothing to do with craft per se, but would at base be a position founded on attitudes--many, though not necessarily all of them, unexamined--surrounding taste. Too often, these attitudes give rise to a weird process of reification in which the persons possessing them feel justified in projecting such taste onto matters of technical execution. If we set out to wage war against poems like "The Kitten," we should not fool ourselves into thinking that we can deploy an ideologically neutral appeal to craft as our sole weapon. Nor should we pretend that the ideologically loaded appeal of the poem in question is one to which we are immune purely by virtue of announcing our staunch resistance.
Five things I’d like to see vanish from all poetry and poetics discussions:And the fifth item is...
• The School of Quietude vs. the Avant-Garde (as well as all of the various permutations of this dichotomy--it's so tired)
• Billy Collins (such an easy target; I’m starting to think that people who haven’t even read his work diss him simply to appear cool)
• Irony and/or Indeterminacy (ugh)
• Marxism (sorry, but I find Marxist poetics as both irrelevant and myopic in our current aesthetic and political climate—and if you want to know more about my position on the subject, just ask)