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dumbfoundry

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

Thursday, December 29, 2005
The year in books [Lebanon]:
[...] Victims of a Map; Adonis, Mahmoud Darwish and Samih al-Qasim; Saqi Books; 168 pages, $17

The indefatigable Saqi Books has released a reissue of this stunning bilingual poetry edition, featuring 15 poems by each poet, English on one side, Arabic on the other. "Victims of a Map" includes 13 poems by Darwish never before published in book form, and a long work by Adonis written during the 1982 siege of Beirut, also published here for the first time.

Man bailed in Tennyson murder hunt [UK]:
A man arrested over the murder of the great-grandson of Victorian Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson has been bailed.

Hallam Tennyson, 85, was found with serious head injuries and several stab wounds at his flat in Crouch End, north London, last week. The retired BBC executive, who was gay, was found by a former partner, with whom he had shared the flat. [...]
Background gossip:

Tennyson's gay great-grandson, 85, is found dead with knife in his neck:
(Filed: 23/12/2005)

A murder inquiry has been launched after the great-grandson of the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson was found dead at his home with a knife plunged into his neck.

The naked body of Hallam Augustine Tennyson, 85, was discovered at 11.20pm on Wednesday at the north London flat he is understood to have shared with his boyfriend, Kevin. [...]

However, police sources said the author, who was openly homosexual, lived a "colourful" life and had "an open relationship, bringing back up to three men a week". [...]
Oh, and did we mention that he was gay?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Special postmark on birth centenary of UAE poet [UAE]:
Dubai, 27 Dec, 05 (WAM) - Emirates Post has created a special postmark (cancellation imprint) to mark the birth centenary of the UAE poet, Rashid Al Khadar. All mail is being stamped with the Arabic message "Birth Centenary of Rashid Al Khadar, 1905-1980, UAE Writers Union" between December 26 and 31, 2005. [...]

Kerry poet takes centre stage [Ireland]:
KERRY poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill took centre stage at the launch of a new anthology of Irish writing.

The book, edited by the Dingle poet, is titled The Incredible Hides in Every House, and it features a diverse group of new Irish writing talent.

All proceeds from sales will benefit the Irish division of Habitat for Humanity, the International housing charity. [...]

Only one race in poetry [Vietnam]:
US poet Paul Hoover and Vietnamese poet Nguyen Do have translated around 150 of Nguyen Trai’s revered poems into English. Hoover talked about the project.

How has a Vietnamese author, who lived seven centuries ago, touched a modern poet such as yourself so deeply?

After translating 4-5 of Nguyen Trai’s poems, I think that there is no such thing as “modern creation”. Intelligence is separate from time. Nguyen Trai wrote about life with deep experience and clarity, such as the meaning of dark and light. Similarly, creations of other poets such as Basho, Emily Dickinson, and Octavia Paz all transcend the boundaries of time and culture. [...]

Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Ghalib homeless in his place of birth [India]:
Agra : This is the city of the Taj Mahal, but it is also the home of legendary Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib who born here on this day 208 years ago - and is homeless in the place of his birth.

English poets like William Shakespeare or William Wordsworth still live on, not just through their works but also through their memorial homes in Stratford and Lake District in England visited by tens of thousands of tourists every year. Mirza Ghalib holds a similar place in Urdu poetry, but his birthplace in Kala Mahal in the heart of this city is in the possession of an educational institution run by a trust. [...]

Linton Kwesi Johnson: A (chanting) voice of reason [Jamaica]:
It was a mixture of the spoken word and lyrical chants from Linton Kwesi Johnson at the fundraising poetry recital, at Liberty Hall on Thursday evening, at the event dubbed Legacy of Garvey. The international poet had the fair-sized audience hanging on to his every word whether he was chanting poetry or sharing his philosophical position on life.

The 'edutaining' programme was divided into three segments, first his performance from his collection of poems, then Johnson rapping with Dr Carolyn Cooper about his works and experiences at home and abroad, followed by a short stint of questions and answers.

One of the world's greatest reggae poets, Johnson warmed the hearts of the gathering with his collection of oral verses titled Mi Revalushanary Fren, beginning as he usually does with the poem, Five Nights of Bleeding. [...]
Jim start to riddle
Di police dem
start to giggle
Mama mek a tell yuh
weh dem do to Jim
Mama mek a tell yuh
weh dem do to him
Dem thump him
in him belly
and it turn to jelly
Dem lick him pon
him back and
him ribs get pop
Dem lick him
pon his head
but it tuff like lead...
[...]
Also: Linton Johnson reads, speaks at Liberty Hall

A Wounded Poet Who Sang the Crucible of a Generation [US]:
In many quarters these days, Siegfried Sassoon is best known as one of the principals in Pat Barker's exceptional 1992 novel "Regeneration," about the real-life Sassoon's treatment for shell shock while at Craiglockhart - or "Dottyville," as Sassoon called it - a Scottish sanitarium where he had been sent in 1917 after denouncing British participation in World War I and refusing to return to the front. Sassoon was remanded to Dottyville because it would have been too embarrassing to court-martial him: he was a decorated war hero and a best-selling poet, one of that talented generation of World War I writers who in spare, colloquial language evoked the horror and ultimate meaninglessness of war. [...]

Old Harvard Sq. Faces Brand-Name Onslaught [US]:
Maybe it was the last greasy burger served at the Tasty Diner, or the final copy of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" sold at Wordsworth books, or the last Hohner harmonica discovered amid the dusty bins of sheet music at Briggs and Briggs. [...]

"I do think Harvard Square, unless something drastic is done, is dying," said Louisa Solano, owner of the storied Grolier Poetry Book Store, a one-room shop stuffed floor to ceiling with poetry. [...]

Solano fell in love in Harvard Square - in particular, the Grolier - as a high school student some 50 years ago, and has owned the bookstore since 1974.

The store, frequented over the years by T.S. Eliot, e.e. cummings, Marianne Moore and Allen Ginsberg, is still a mecca for poetry lovers. But it is struggling to survive, a victim of what Solano described as a steady erosion of intellectual fervor in the square. [...]

The trouble with this book [US]:
The newest book by Billy Collins was probably on the wish list for many poets this holiday season. But if you didn't find The Trouble With Poetry: And Other Poems, Mr. Collins's seventh collection, under your tree, it may be just as well. [...]

This is not quintessential Collins. There's little spark or imagination [...]

While Collins points a finger at other poets here - there are more people who write verse than read it these days - his message may apply to himself as well. Cranking out book after book, trying to keep an audience happy, can lead to unsatisfying results.

Monday, December 26, 2005
Asian-American Poetry: David Lehman Takes a Swipe at Bloggers:
Let me preface this entry by saying that I have a certain fondness for poet/editor David Lehman. I think of good ol' Dave as one of the greatest American poetry pimps that America has witnessed in the past two decades. The guy knows how to market poetry, and for that, he deserves a woot, woot! In many respects, my views on the commercial aspects of poetry resemble his. Like Dave, I don't have a problem with Rosie and J-Lo writing poetry -- the more, the merrier. I think Dave's a cool guy with a cool anthology series.

Sunday, December 25, 2005
A Woman of Verse [US]:
A short stint as a copywriter at an advertising agency was quickly followed by a job as poetry editor at Scholastic, and then she became poetry editor of Ladies' Home Journal, based at the time in Philadelphia. From 1948 to 1962 she published some 900 poems by authors like Maxine Kumin, Randall Jarrell, W.H. Auden, John Updike, Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Marianne Moore. While much of what she published is not considered the best work of those poets, she tended to select their most accessible, uplifting poems and turned many of the top poets of her day into household names. She also published 70 of her own poems. [...]

In 1962, the magazine was sold and soon stopped publishing poetry. At age 40, Elizabeth Hoffman found that her career was over. There was no other suitable employment near home in Swarthmore, Pa., where Daniel was a Swarthmore English professor. So while Daniel published two dozen books of poetry and criticism during their 57-year marriage, Elizabeth raised their two children, entertained visiting writers, kept a summer house, gardened and traveled, including a trip with Daniel to Dublin, where she had tea with Mrs. Yeats and discussed linens.

Saturday, December 24, 2005
Silliman's Blog [US]:
I have been, I hope, reasonably out front about my own predilections, my likes & dislikes. I’ve insisted on a concept like School of Quietude because there is, and has been for over 150 years, a disequilibrium of power in American letters predicated on control of the publishing lists of the trade presses – the Gang of Eight I referred to in my note on the New York Times last week – and, at least once upon a time, around jobs within the academy. The most destructive and oppressive thing an elite group can do in our society is to pretend that it is the unmarked case, as if Robert Pinsky and John Hollander wrote poetry, but Kasey Mohammad wrote post-modern or New Brutalist poetry, Geof Huth wrote vispo, Erica Hunt & Harryette Mullen wrote langpo. That allows the unmarked set the opportunity of acting as if its monopoly of such traditional institutions as the trade presses and the awards conferred by the publishing industry – there’s that Gang of Eight again – were “normal” & anything outside of that were “exceptional.” In fact, the SoQ is one interest group among many, privileged more by history than by the bad acts of its current practitioners, but real nonetheless. It’s a little like white males coming to own their own whiteness & their gender. It really will be good for the SoQ to own their own heritage – they have more disappeared poets to recover than almost anyone. [...]

HG Poetics [US]:
& what do I want to say, again, about Ronville Sillimanville? What is it he doesn't get?

Ron reduces poetic history to a squabble between competing "schools". Essentially, this is a rationalization : a reduction of something which is more accurately, if more vaguely, termed "tradition".

Poetic tradition is ecumenical and welcoming : that is, membership is open to individuals from nowhere, everywhere. Yet once in the door, tradition is extremely demanding. [...]

Friday, December 23, 2005
Wicked Alice Poetry Journal is fresh.

Brosnan invests in new film on Dylan Thomas

Kinemapoetics: What Work Is:
"If you're the kind of poet who likes to measure, get your tapes ready: because I'm going to ask you now how you choose to measure success."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Poet shunned by Church for being raped [UK]:
Tom Leonard, the poet and essayist, has attacked what he calls a "cult of virginity" surrounding the institution, a mindset he claims prevents the church from providing solace to survivors of child abuse.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005
A House at the Edge of Tears [US]:
Halfway through "A House at the Edge of Tears," Khoury-Ghata reveals, "I write my first poem, the same night, with your pen, on the page that you hadn't been able to fill." The night in question is the one upon which her brother is first taken away to an asylum, after which he stops writing for good. If plot links event to consequence, then this novel is also about how and why Venus Khoury-Ghata and both of her sisters became writers. (Her sister May Menassa wrote a novel, published in Lebanon, that Venus Khoury-Ghata describes as a "double" to this one.) "I write the poems he could no longer write," she says. "We hope the dead poet applauds us from his grave."
[via Poetry Hut Blog]

rhubarb is susan: Anne Waldman : Home In On

Genome Literary Project [US]:
...calls for submissions to an anthology of powerful, original creative writing responding to the field of animal and human genomics.
DEADLINE: April 1, 2006 (receipt deadline)

Monday, December 19, 2005
NCCA Writers Prize awarded [Philippines]:
Joel Toledo: 'Mga friends, bayaw, at hipag, ang saya. I read in the Philippine Star issue today (Monday) that I got the NCCA Writers Prize For Poetry! It's a grant of P250,000 (taxable pa) to write my first poetry book, "What Little I Know of Luminosity". This is slated for publication by the end of next year (hopefully).'

Meritage Press' 2005 Holiday Poetry Contest:
Dear Filipino Poets:
You are invited to submit to a fun poetry contest. No submission fees. E-mail submissions. Details below:

FIFTH ANNUAL HOLIDAY POETRY CONTEST
Sponsors: Meritage Press and the NPA (New Poets Army)
Judge: Jean Vengua
Deadline: December 31, 2005
There are seven, count 'em, seven books to win.

I Love My Love by Helen Adam
In the dark of the moon the hair rules.
--Robert Duncan


There was a man who married a maid. She laughed as he led her home.
The living fleece of her long bright hair she combed with a golden comb.
He led her home through his barley fields where the saffron poppies grew.
She combed, and whispered, "I love my love." Her voice like a plaintive coo.
Ha! Ha!
Her voice like a plaintive coo.
[rest here]

Saturday, December 17, 2005
Contrastes / Contrasts by Blaise Cendrars
Les fenêtres de ma poésie sont grand'ouvertes sur les
boulevards et dans ses vitrines
Brillent
Les pierreries de la lumière [...]




The windows of my poetry are wide open to the
boulevards and in the showcases
Shine
The precious stones of light [...]
[Rest here]

places for writers [Canada]:
Resources for Canadian (and international) writers. Updated daily with contests, submission calls, news, author profiles, writing events, and other literary tidbits. [...]

Friday, December 16, 2005
Sharon Olds, interview, 1999 [US]:
Can you write a poem in half an hour?
Forty-five minutes is much better [laughs]. Many, many poets whose work I love, they take longer than I do to write a first draft. In a way, it doesn't matter how long it takes, if we can each just find the right way to do it. Everyone is so different. I sometimes wish I wrote in a different way. You know, that feeling of: So-and-so writes slowly, if only I wrote slowly. But it's just the way I work. I feel a very strong wish, when a poem does come to me, to write it and get to the end of it.

So you don't sit down every morning at 9 a.m. and say: Now I'm going to write a poem.
No. I don't know if there are many poets who do that. I think that there are fiction writers for whom that works well. I could never do it. I feel as if, by the time I see that it's a poem, it's almost written in my head somewhere. It's as if there's someone inside of me who perceives order and beauty -- and disorder. And who wants to make little copies. Who wants to put together something that will bear some relationship to the vision or memory or experience or story or idea or dream or whatever. Whatever starts things out.

Charles Dickens to give festive reading [Wales]:
CHARLES DICKENS is alive and well and living in Wales - well, his great-great-grandson is, at least.

Raymond Charles Dickens is one of the author's descendants and he has been discovered living and working in Caerphilly.

Paradise revisited [Australia]:
IT'S almost 400 years since John Milton was born, on December 9, 1608. Shakespeare may have been putting some finishing touches on The Tempest as the man who would write Paradise Lost, the greatest epic poem in English literature, first saw the light of day.

Someone to watch over me [Australia]:
... [Toni] Morrison tells Review that initially, "I had misgivings about what it [the mentoring scheme] could possibly be. It sounded very large, very ambitious and it was only [for] a year." She signed up anyway. No doubt the $US50,000 ($67,000) that Rolex pays its mentors helped.

Thursday, December 15, 2005
Neil sez:
...I’m building a list of first books of poetry published in 2005. It’s not complete by any means — if you know of books I’m missing, please comment with the author and title, and I’ll add it to the list.

Poems on toilet doors [Australia]:
Toilet Door Poems will commission 6 emerging poets and 6 visual designers, to create 6 posters for display on the backs toilet doors during April 2006, in domestic Qantas terminals, and Greater Union cinemas, in Sydney and nationally.

The project will also commission 1 poet to write a mini-essay about an aspect of poetry in the public space, to be published online at www.redroomorganisation.org and presented publicity, at the project's launch.
Must be something in the water.

Pun much? Burglar’s entry is bard by poet [UK]:
RENOWNED poet and playwright Copland Smith took a more prosaic stance when confronted by a burglar inside his home.

Pushcart nominees around blogland:
Reb Livingston for the poem "Rare Hawk Evident"
Laurel Snyder
Rae Pater for the poem "Dreaming Dark"
Jilly Dybka for "The Retired Vietnam Munitions Loader Attempts To Open A Can Of Biscuits"
Neil Aitken for the poem "After Neruda"
Jake Adam York for "South of Knoxville" (Thanks, Kevin)
Anne Haines (Thanks, Pamela)
Know of any others?

Calling all mop jockeys and professional scrubbers! [Australia]:
Have you ever cleaned toilets for a dollar?
Pursued other people's pubes across the tiles for a pittance?
Scrupulously avoided eyeing other people's underwear as you made their beds for a buck?

Then we want YOU, and all your dirty laundry, for toilet paper origamí, an A5 zine to be launched during the Hobart Fringe in March 06.

Applying the white glove to all things cleaning-related, we want your poems, anecdotes, cartoons, collages, anything we can fit onto an A5 page that relates to gainful employment within the realms of cleaning and housekeeping. All contributors will receive a copy of the final product, on the condition that it is immediately placed within arm's length of your toilet.

Please forward this on to anyone you feel may, at any time, have had a professional relationship with other people's filth.

Direct any enquiries, submissions, bank account details to toilet_paper_origami @ yahoo.com.au

Submissions are due by 31st January, so roll up your sleeves and get to it!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Boxcar Poetry Review

Box of Birds: Publishing Workshop Synopsis [blog]:
Jennifer Drake Thornton: 'I went with Jeannine and Lana to Hugo House on Saturday, for a Cranky-sponsored publishing workshop with Jeffrey Levine of Tupelo Press. It was informative, although I think a lot of the advice was definitely from his personal perspective as a publisher, being actually in direct contradiction to what I've heard others say. Which I suppose should serve to remind me that there is in fact a live human being on the other end of the envelope, and not an evil (or beneficent) publishing machine. Anyhow ... highlights of what he had to say.'
[via Jeannine Blogs]

Monday, December 12, 2005
Poems, Pastries and Politics [US]:
Susan Rich: 'I admit it. When pomegranate crisps and madeleines first appeared in my work, I was horrified. My years with Amnesty International, Oxfam America and as a Peace Corps Volunteer imbued me with a belief that poetry is serious business. I’ve worked in countries where famine was far more present than French cuisine, where neighbors shot neighbors for sport. Food kept me alive, and ready to dodge land mines and sniper fire for another day. So how could I move from poems about civil war in Somalia to poems of the cereal aisle?'

Sunday, December 11, 2005
A wee book review [Scotland]:
Michael Donaghy, who died last year at the age of 50, was one of the most formally fluent, emotionally eloquent poets of his generation.

Nick Flynn gossip:
My friend Addie just told me that Columbia bought the film rights from Nick Flynn (her good friend and next-door neighbor when he's here in Houston) for his astounding memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.

The Hay(na)ku competition
To cyber-celebrate the release of THE FIRST HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, Meritage Press is delighted to sponsor a

HOLIDAY HAY(NA)KU CONTEST [...]

Poets' Graves

Saturday, December 10, 2005
Poetry night for Lit fest climax [Wales]:
THE Dylan Thomas Centre's 2005 literature programme draws to a close with this month's Last Thursday live music and poetry night.

The Rise of Illiterate Democracy [US]:
Over the ensuing decade, The Democratic Review flourished as an excellent, up-to-date literary magazine as well as a political organ of the more radical currents within the Jacksonian coalition. In addition to stories by Hawthorne (who, in 1852, would write the official campaign biography of his old college friend Franklin Pierce), The Review's notable pieces included tales and poems by Walt Whitman, essays by and about the historian George Bancroft, and a handsome early review of the first novel by a promising newcomer whose name was memorably misrecorded as Sherman Melville. [...]
Darles Chickens.

Urban Appetites [US]:
Yet it quickly becomes apparent to a reader of his collected works that the most notable quality of Koch's lifetime of poetry is not jokiness but lyricism - a Whitman-like enthusiasm for cataloging sensual experience. Many of his poems, like Whitman's, include litanies and lists, as in "Faces," where Koch writes: "The face of the clouds; / The face of the targets when all the arrows are sticking out of them, like tongues; / The face of insects; the tiny black mustachioed ineptitude of a fly . . . / The face of Popeye; the face of Agamemnon; the face of Ruth in the Bible; the face of Georges Simenon." "In Bed" strings together teeny poems from "My Intoxication In Bed" to the one-liner "The Holidays of Bed" ("Are when no one is there"). [...]

Body/Language: An Interview with Shen and Jonathan Wonham

Editor Didi Menendez interviewed [US]:
AG: Okay, if you only just started writing in 1998, how did you get so immersed? You have the website, some printed things, organized events, radio shows. Is your love of poetry a new-found thing, or have you always read and been interested in it?

DM: Oh, poetry is not my love at all. It is simply a medium that works well on a web page.

Friday, December 09, 2005
War Poetry and the Aesthetics of Anonymity

Kritya [India]:
Kritya is six months old. Indeed a long way to come, for an E-Journal like “Kritya,” which does not have any type of support. While this is nothing less than a miracle for me, deep inside I feel that this miracle was worked by my readers. [...]

An unpredicted event took place with this issue. Kritya was planning to devote this issue to Telugu poetry (poetry of a south Indian language), but due to the inconvenience of our Telugu editor we could not work according to our plan. When I started collecting other submissions for this issue, to my surprise most of them were female voices. That is how in the section “Poetry in Our Time” 10 out of 12 poets are women. [...]
[via Stick Poet Super Hero]

New York on the Missouri [US]:
Belz writes a clean sort of post-NY school poem with a dry wit that belies his MA in creative writing (with Galway Kinnell as thesis counselor, no less), his current Ph.D. studies at the University of St. Louis (Devin Johnston nearly as improbable as his dissertation director) nor his graduate certificate in theological studies. With Jonathan Mayhew & David Perry, one might even start to detect a kind of trend here – writers with strong NY or NY School aesthetics all across the southern half of Missouri.

John Wilmot's short life and sensational legacies
Johnny Depp, whom women friends tell me is the handsomest man on the screen today, does Rochester a service in this messy film biography by embodying the quality which insinuates itself into literary discussion of him – his palpable physical attraction. Physical, because, while Rochester is a great metaphysical poet, he projects across the centuries a presence which is not only sexual but profoundly social: he was the celebrity everybody wanted to know. He was so unlike us, we reviewers, academics and tame poets. The self-destruction, the agonized late repentance, even the fate he selfishly thrust on his family, cannot dissipate the nimbus his name evokes. Seldom has glamour cohabited with intelligence so forcefully and so seductively. [...]

Vertical readings of Herbert's The Temple
George Herbert scholarship has so far overlooked the fact that in “Prayer (I)” the poet advises the reader to “point east”. “Love (III)” alludes to the Eucharist and advocates a “daily table”. Herbert’s “Divinity” celebrates the mysteries of the cabala, while his poem “Misery” concludes, “HAA HAA”. If these readings appear strange and unfamiliar, they derive from reading Herbert in a strange and unfamiliar way: vertically. Herbert’s much-admired collection of religious verse, The Temple, published in 1633, contains innumerable acrostics and anagrams, discoverable by reading the first letter of each line down the left-hand column of text. [...]

Thursday, December 08, 2005
What is it with all these established writers crapping on younger writers—and prominent features of our landscape, like workshops, the AWP conference, and email—in major publications lately?, asks Dargie Anderson.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Holy Tango of Literature has some pretty funny bits.
THE QUESTION of what would happen if poets and playwrights wrote works whose titles were anagrams of their names is one that has been insufficiently studied in the past...

Get your Bush out [Pakistan]:
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan has ordered that a poem in which the first letters of each line spell out the name "President George W. Bush" be deleted from a school textbook.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Book Review:
If America's greatest living poet dies, does he (or she) become America's 200th greatest dead poet? In the case of Kenneth Koch, I'd argue he's STILL the greatest living poet. [...]

Indiana Judge Sides With Bank, Against Arts Groups in Lilly Case [US]:
A probate judge in Marion County, Indiana, has dismissed claims by two charitable groups that alleged the bank overseeing pharmaceutical heiress Ruth Lilly's estate mismanaged two trusts, costing the organizations tens of millions of dollars, the Indianapolis Star reports.

Washington, D.C.-based Americans for the Arts and the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation, both beneficiaries of the trusts, claimed in their suits that National City Bank of Indiana failed to adequately diversify the funds in the trusts to minimize investment risk. In making his summary judgment, Judge Charles Deiter found that the trust documents give the bank broad discretion in estate investments and that it acted in good faith. The organizations are expected to appeal the ruling.
That link to the Ruth Lilly bio sure is something else:
Sole living heiress to the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical fortune, built by her great-great grandfather. Lilly is confined to a wheelchair and hooked on Prozac, a product of Lilly, to treat her lifelong clinical depression. She nonsensically gave a stock pledge of $100M to Poetry magazine, which at the time had only four employees. In total, Ruth has given away a cumulative $740M as of February 2004, mostly to the arts.
Italics mine.

For Nguyen Tuong Van by Gilbert Koh
Death came on its usual Friday, at 6 a.m,
Slow as the final footsteps to the prison yard
[Rest here]

Monday, December 05, 2005
Bid on Ashbery, Auster, Gizzi, Waldman... [US]:
Reb sez: 'Rain Taxi is having an eBay charity auction of signed books and broadsides.'

Porny Poetry [US]:
More analysis by Eve Grubin on that Fence cover...

Writers and the Golden Age [UK]:
Artists as citizens may belong to right or left, and some of their work may be inspired by political sentiments. [...] But their serious work is different. It’s not a matter of opinions, but of feelings and perceptions. In serious work the distinction between right and left has little to do with party politics, or even with immediate political issues. It’s to do rather with two things, which are closely connected: the nature of man and the location of the Golden Age.

The Left, ever since Rousseau, has seen man as essentially good, in chains only on account of the institutions of a cruel and corrupt society. [...] For the Left the Golden Age is still to come.

The Right, however, sees our nature as essentially flawed. [...] So the Golden Age is always in the past.

Left-wing artists, however angry, are optimists; right-wing ones, however serene or witty, are pessimists. [...]

Christmas Carol [UK]:
It has taken motherhood to bring out the conservative in poet Carol Ann Duffy. The bisexual daughter of a Labour councillor, she seems an unlikely cheerleader for tradition, yet her latest book for children, Another Night Before Christmas (John Murray, £9.99, pp64) is a very loyal retelling of Clement Moore's Victorian classic. [...]

Sunday, December 04, 2005
Asian and American, entranced by words [US]:
It's a tricky business, being a poet. You don't get anywhere near as much attention as the fiction writers. And you write slim books that maybe get you a grant here or there. The rest of the time, you support yourself with a day job or teaching.

And yet, somehow, if you are an Asian American poet at the beginning of this century, you sense something in the air. In spite of the terminal confusion that seems to be afflicting much of the country right now, it seems as if this could be the beginning of something.

Three young poets -- Victoria Chang, R. Zamora Linmark and Ed Bok Lee -- have books out in 2005, and the fact that their work has surfaced together, at this time, says lots about the state of small-press publishing -- because most poetry books are from small presses -- and bodes well. [...]

Suck-up interview question of the year [US]:
She revitalized poetry, is an award-winning, best-selling author, actor and activist. And at 77, she continues to inspire with her work and words. Maya Angelou will be hosting a special holiday celebration in the one-hour Hallmark Channel Original special, "Celebrate! Christmas with Maya Angelou," scheduled for 7 p.m. EST Dec. 9.

Here are excerpts from an interview: [...]

Q: Dr. Angelou, your wisdom intrigues me. When did you uncover it?

Gertrude Press Fiction & Poetry chapbook contest [US]:
In 2006 Gertrude Press will begin publishing limited-edition poetry and fiction chapbooks. These attractive collections will include a letterpress cover and will offer a limited and numbered press run of 200.

Writer Compensation:
$50 cash award
50 complimentary copies of the chapbook


Chapbooks will be distributed to subscribers, libraries, and bookstores carrying Gertrude, the Press’ annual literary journal.
[via Queer Writers]

Saturday, December 03, 2005
The 2006 Summer Literary Seminars Fiction and Poetry Contests [Canada/US]:
The authors of the winning poem and prose entries will receive airfare, accommodations, and a full tuition waiver to the 2006 Summer Literary Seminars program in St. Petersburg, Russia, AND publication of the winning entry in The Walrus. Second place receives a full tuition waiver to SLS 2006, and third place receives a substantial tuition scholarship. Other hand-picked finalists will be offered tuition scholarships as well.

Thursday, December 01, 2005
Blurb Requests by Margaret Atwood
(I blurb only for the dead, these days.)

Voice recognition [UK]:
What a treat this morning to hear, among the Today programme’s usual roll-call of bombs, pensions and global warming, the measured tones of the poet laureate talking about a new website, the Poetry Archive, on which are stored recordings of poets reading their works. “Poets,” Andrew Motion said, “have unique rights to their work, and unique insights to offer as we hear their idiom, pacing, tone and emphases.” The job of the archive, which was the brainchild of Motion and recording producer Richard Carrington, is, Motion says, “to preserve the mystery of poetry while tearing away some of the prejudices which can make it appear unduly 'difficult' or separate from familiar life.” [...]

'Oranges and Rust: An Interview with Jeannine Hall Gailey and Jill Chan', my recent contribution for qarrtsiluni's themed issue on Science as Poetry, is very fresh.