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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Sillyhow Stride by Paul Muldoon, a poem in memory of Warren Zevon.
Warren Zevon, born in Chicago in 1947, was a writer and performer of rock songs with a satirical streak. [...] Latterly he acted as musical co-ordinator to the Rock Bottom Remainders, a band of writers, including Stephen King and Amy Tan, who performed at book fairs and like events. He died of mesotheliomia in September 2003.
It does not seem right that a poem should be so dominated by an advertising block, though... Shame, TLS, shame.

A Poem Before Your Eyes in 15 Minutes...:
Kelli Russell Agodon writes:
"Quick Muse

"Two poets write a poem in 15 minutes. You can see the letters as they type them in, and if they decide to delete them or change something, you see that too. You can read the 'finished' poem or watch it appear over 15 minutes bit by bit."

Call for haiku about British birds [UK/world]:
Given the nature of the book, we request that potential contributors honestly appraise their own work and submit only haiku that involve: (a) British birds; (b) wild birds; and (c) genuine ‘real life’ experiences, which must have occurred in Britain.

(For the purposes of this book we are considering Britain to be ‘Great Britain’ and not ‘The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’.) Please do not, therefore, send anything that is:

(a) about a bird that does not occur in Britain;
(b) about pets (budgerigars, cockatoos etc.), domestic birds (hens, farmyard geese, etc.) or any birds held in captivity (ostriches, condors,etc.);
(c) made up; or
(d) about an experience that did not actually occur in England, Scotland or Wales. We are relying on the integrity of authors to ensure that the book will have genuine value as a record of wild bird life in Great Britain, as well as being a collection of fine haiku.
Deadline: July 31, 2006

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Poetry of a battle against cancer [Wales]:
Ifor Thomas wrote the poems in Body Beautiful during the period between when he was first diagnosed with the illness through to his surgery to remove the tumour and his recovery.

"Howl" Fifty Years Later' [US]:
If "Howl" has an essential lesson, it is that even as Ginsberg aspires to the universal, his sensibility isn't, nor can it be, transferable. He speaks from a single imagination rather than a collective mind.
[via ArtsJournal]

Saturday, May 27, 2006
Foundation created to honour Zulu poet [South Africa]:
Prof Mazisi Kunene is a Zulu warrior poet who has never been recognised for his magnificent work. However, this is about to change.

A newly formed foundation, the Mazisi Kunene Foundation, was created in his honour, and ensures that Kunene's work is identified, archived, translated and published.

Campion turning Keats into a "Star" [NZ]:
"Bright Star" revolves around the three-year romance between Keats and Fanny Brawne, which was cut short by Keats' untimely death at age 25 in 1821.

MIT Poet Helps Create Seeing Machine [US]:
Poets try to use words to see what normal people cannot see. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a nearly blind poet has helped researchers create a machine so she can see things normal people do, like words.

Donne's portrait is saved after £1.4m public appeal [UK]:
A portrait of the metaphysical poet John Donne, incalculably romantic and described as being of major national significance, has been saved from being sold abroad.

Seamus Heaney, the mythmaker [UK]:
Seamus Heaney: "I always said that when I met [Hugh] MacDiarmid, I had met a great poet who said 'Och'. I felt confirmed. You can draw a line from maybe Dundalk across England, north of which you say 'Och', south of which you say 'Well, dearie me'. In that monosyllable, there's a world view, nearly."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Dublin Writers Festival [Republic of Ireland]:
The 2006 Dublin Writers Festival will take place from Wednesday June 14 to Sunday June 18 inclusive, and will feature some 40 Irish and international poets and writers in readings, lectures, panel discussions and public interviews. Some of the many highlights include lectures by John Carey and Ziauddin Sardar, readings by Seamus Heaney, Nancy Huston, Jeanette Winterson and Alex Barclay, a public discussion between Roddy Doyle and Anne Enright [...]

Tuesday, May 23, 2006
The Snapshot Press Haiku Collection Competition 2006 [UK/world]:
Deadline: Entries should be postmarked by October 31, 2006.

Overseas (non-UK) entries mailed in the month up to and including this closing date must be sent by airmail.

First Prize: £200/US $300 and publication of collection as a perfect-bound book by Snapshot Press in 2007.

Runners-up: Snapshot Press reserves the right to publish further collections resulting from entries to this contest.

Regulations: Haiku may be free-form or 5–7–5 and must be the original work of the individual entrant. No collaborative entries will be considered. [...]

Any number of manuscripts may be entered provided each is accompanied by the entry fee. Collections should comprise of 50 to 100 haiku.

Monday, May 22, 2006
Online poetry: A thriving community [online]:
Choosing three winners turned out to be harder than I anticipated, because just about all of the poems had obvious merit. This wasn't doggerel, or prose arbitrarily divided into lines. There was real word-music on display, fresh imagery, and genuine sentiment. I ended up reading through the whole batch several times and going with the three that more than any others stuck in my head.

Something else stuck in my head: the notion that poetry online might be worth looking into.
[via Carter's Little Pill]

Following the enthusiastic response to THE FIRST HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, copublishers Meritage Press and xPress(ed) are pleased to announce a Submissions Call for THE HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, NO. 2, co-edited by Jean Vengua and Mark Young.

Submissions Deadline: September 31, 2006.

Sunday, May 21, 2006
Where everything old is new again: Wellesley College professor revitalizes Grolier Poetry Book Shop [US]:
If Ifeanyi Menkiti runs his new business the way he writes poetry, the venerable Grolier Poetry Book Shop will display a new international flavor.

The Nigerian-born writer who teaches philosophy at Wellesley College purchased the nation’s oldest bookstore devoted exclusively to poetry in April from Louisa Solano. He is only its third owner in 79 years.

"Since my student days at Harvard in 1969, this has always been a special place for me," said Menkiti on a rainy Tuesday afternoon. "I want to add to its international holdings but also preserve its unique character." [...]

Darwish wins top Dutch prize [Palestine]:
Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish has been awarded the Dutch Prince Claus prize in recognition of an "impressive body of work" written while in exile, the royal foundation said on Wednesday.

"In his work, he manages to highlight the consequences of forced migration and also shows the power of beauty in difficult times," the Prince Claus Foundation said in a statement.

Darwish, 62, is one of the best known contemporary Arab poets. Born in Palestine in 1942, he fled along with his family following the creation of Israel in 1948. [...]

'101 Selected Poems' from a poet of 102 [Lebanon]:
"My years waxed old and my shoulders began / To sway like a sparrow hawk in the air / That's the natural destiny of man / Who wears out in the waste of Time un'ware."

These are the whimsical opening lines of "Old Age," one of Jawdat Haidar's "101 Selected Poems" (2006). They are all the more poignant for the fact that the poet is himself 102 years old. [...]

Urdu forum launches poetry book [Qatar]:
BAZM-e-Urdu - Qatar (al-Qalam), a literary forum of expatriate poets and writers from the sub-continent, launched a poetry book authored by the Bazm chairman Mohamed Mumtaz Raashed at a function held over the weekend.

Retired Indian bureaucrat and former editor of Urdu magazine AAJ-Kul, Shahbaz Hussain, presided over the function while Bazm patron A K Moonis was the guest of honour. [...]

Saturday, May 20, 2006
Zoo Press Authors Asked to Rescue Their Books [US]:
In an e-mail to Zoo Press authors on April 18, [Neil] Azevedo wrote that the press has indeed discontinued publication operations and that he was planning to destroy the backlist of Zoo Press books unless authors bought them from him for $1.49 per book. He gave a deadline of April 25.
cf. Neil Azevedo's Open Letter/Public Apology
Please forgive the way I sound in the most recent Poets & Writers article. I am horrified by what they printed, making me sound glib, uncaring, solipsistic and sarcastic. Those of you who know me well know I am none of these things. I have given several interviews and never have I been so grossly misrepresented. My goal in giving the interview was to express my sadness at the dissolution of Zoo, explain how the death of my father left me emotionally paralyzed, apologize and assert my respect for all the Zoo Press authors, David Baker, Richard Howard and everyone I let down. The tone of the interview, which lasted about ten minutes, I'd characterize as sedate and deferential (for my part). I'm deeply disappointed P&W decontextualized me at my most vulnerable for what I can only assume was for a story with a neat villain. I am sorry if this misrepresentation hurt anyone personally and I can only beg for your forgiveness.

Yours remorsely and in genuine deference, Neil

Revisiting Allen Ginsberg's 'Howl' at 50 [US]:
Allen Ginsberg said in a 1985 interview that "Howl" began with another poem. Ginsberg, who had studied at Columbia University, sent a poem called "Dream Record, 1955" to poet and essayist Kenneth Rexroth.

"It still sounds like you're wearing Columbia University Brooks Brothers ties," Rexroth told Ginsberg. "You know, it's too formal." So, Ginsberg says, "I sat down and just started writing what I thought about." [...]
NPR audio.

Peter Viereck, Poet and Conservative Theorist, Dies at 89 [US]:
Peter Viereck, a noted historian, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and a founder of the mid-20th-century American conservative movement who later denounced what he saw as its late-20th-century excesses, died on Saturday at his home in South Hadley, Mass. He was 89. [...]

A specialist in Russian history, Professor Viereck was an emeritus professor at Mount Holyoke College, where he had taught since 1948. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1949 for his first collection of poems, "Terror and Decorum" (Scribner, 1948).

Professor Viereck is also widely credited with helping to bring conservatism out of the margins and into the mainstream as an intellectual movement. [...]
Also: Peter R. Viereck, 89; Pulitzer-Winning Poet Spurned by Fellow Conservatives:
Because Viereck wrote rhymed verse, Andrew Glaze, in a review of "New and Selected Poems 1932-1967," wrote that it was "hard to imagine a poet more out of style at this moment than Peter Viereck." Yet, he noted, "no one has created more wonderful poems out of near-doggerel rhythms and unlikely rhymes, as though from the pure pleasure of barely skirting disaster."

Thursday, May 18, 2006
Billy Collins and 'Poetry on Record' [US]:
In the first part of a two-part interview, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins guides us through the new spoken-word four-CD box set Poetry on Record: 98 Poets Read Their Work, 1888-2006.
25 minutes. Recordings of poets reading their poems: William Butler Yeats ("Lake Isle of Innisfree"), William Carlos Williams ("Red Wheelbarrow"), Robert Hayden ("Those Winter Sundays"), and Muriel Rukeyser ("The Ballad Orange and Grape"). Also, Leonard Cohen sings Byron ("So We'll Go No More a'Roving") quite cheesily.

Contemplating Emily [US]:
Reflecting on a past relationship, Elizabeth Richards, an English as a Second Language teacher writes to the woman who captured her heart some time ago. Jumping back in time, 22 year-old Lulu Yao, a modern day Emily Dickinson, travels from Taipei to New York City. Re-inventing herself for the occasion, Lulu assumes the name Maggie and enrolls in English classes in a Manhattan college. Elizabeth, Maggie's teacher, reads Dickinson's poetry in class and privately lays claim to a deep and wild fantasy affair with the dead poet, Emily.

Remembering Creeley - A Poet in Buffalo [US]:
To celebrate Robert Creeley’s 80th birthday, the poet’s friends, family, colleagues, students and an array of special guests who have felt his influence will present a weekend’s worth of readings, music and multimedia, as well as displays of archival treasures, including rare books and Creeley’s collaborations with visual artists. [...]

Turkmenistan marks National Revival, Unity and Magtymguly Fragi Poetry Day [Turkmenistan]:
This morning, Turkmen president Saparmurat Niyazov attended a wreath laying ceremony on the occasion of Day of National Revival, Unity and Poetry of Magtymguly Fragi which is widely celebrated in Turkmenistan. This day is harmoniously connected with such important milestone as the adoption of Turkmenistan's Constitution 14 years ago that proclaimed Turkmenistan a secular and democratic state. [...]
Also: Turkmenbashi Everywhere:
He's not only a brutal dictator, but a dictator who runs his country like it's his own private Disney World. That country, Turkmenistan, is a former Soviet republic sitting strategically between Iran and Afghanistan. And the man who runs it is Saparmurat Niyazov. [...]

The Gardener [US]:
In 1946, just after being discharged from the Army, where he underwent infantry training four times and then refused a commission when it was offered, the poet Stanley Kunitz got a letter from Bennington College inviting him to come and teach. He was baffled—he had no teaching experience—until he learned the origin of the proposition: his friend and fellow-poet Theodore Roethke had had one of his periodic manic episodes, and, holed up in his faculty cottage, had said he would emerge peaceably only if Kunitz was hired to replace him. [...]
A 2003 New Yorker piece on Stanley Kunitz.

Last battle over the fate of 'Greater Serbia' [Montenegro]:
The people of Montenegro, a tiny territory on the shores of the Adriatic, will vote on Sunday whether to become independent from their giant neighbour, Serbia.

From a distance, there is something of the comic opera about the vote. Montenegro has fewer than 700,000 people and is more than half covered with thickly forested mountains, though it has fabulous beaches, occasionally spoiled by the villas of rich Russians.

The last, and only, time Montenegro was an independent state was from 1878 to 1918, under the warrior-poet King Nikola I, who gave a church in his capital a fence made of 3,000 Turkish rifle barrels. Serbs and Montenegrins have been part of the same country for 87 years. [...]
Every country should have at least one one warrior-poet-sovereign in its history. Or at least a poet-sovereign. And I like the name: Montenegro, Crna Gora, Black Mountain.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
The Cultural Society is fresh.

Jacket is fresh.

Monday, May 15, 2006
P'town loses its poet [US]:
Stanley Kunitz, former U.S. poet laureate and one of the founding members of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, died yesterday in his New York City home.

He was 100.

Born in Worcester when Theodore Roosevelt was president and in the year that nearly saw San Francisco destroyed by the worst earthquake in U.S. history, it was not the span of Kunitz's life that affected those who knew him. It was the breadth and depth of his intellect, his passion for words, and the magnitude of his generosity toward young artists and writers that served as the hallmark for this remarkable talent and life. [...]
Is this true? I haven't seen it elsewhere.

Later: yes, it's true.

Sunday, May 14, 2006
In Egypt, poet keeps his words sharp [Egypt]:
"This is my sweetheart," said Ahmed Fouad Negm as he gently kissed the dried, motionless head of a dead tortoise, patted its shell and tenderly placed it back onto the ground. [...]

Negm is among Egypt's most popular poets, and has been for four decades. He is regarded as the first to have written in colloquial Egyptian, and from Gamal Abdel Nasser to Gamal Mubarak, the son of the president, he has skewered those he feels have led a once great country to the tangle of poverty and indifference played out in the fetid landscape beneath his rooftop. [...]

Poet's Choice [US]:
What is a prose poem? Who knows? Usually, the term is defined in contrast to poems written in lines that printers call "ragged right." Instead, maybe it should be defined in contrast to conventional prose narratives. For example, here is Elizabeth Bishop's translation of "Brazilian Tragedy," a prose poem by Manuel Bandeira. [...]

Knightley to team up with mum [Movieland]:
British actress Keira Knightley has agreed to play a small part in the upcoming movie 'The Best Time Of Our Lives', which has been written by her mother. [...]

The film apparently follows the mysterious story of how a friend of Dylan Thomas' was shot with a machine gun in the famous poet's house in 1945. [...]

Goan Poet Pobre Fernandes Enthuses Poets and Poetesses in City [Mangalore, India]:
Eminent poet from Goa Pobre Fernandes enthused the Konkani poets and poetesses gathered at the Konkani poets' meet held in the Bishop's House hall here on Sunday May 14. [...]

At the 'Kavigosti' which followed the 'Kavisandhi' well-known poets and poetesses from the undivided Dakshina Kannada district participated. Dr Mohan Pai, Indira Jodumatt, Titus Noronha, Wilfred Lobo Padil, Lloyd Rego Taccode, Wilson Kateel, Wilfy Rebimbus, Avina Miyar and Kalarani Kulshekar recited their poems.
And all of them would say "Who?" if they saw a list of your names, too.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Swansea lecturer wins £5,000 poetry prize
SWANSEA lecturer John Goodby has taken the £5,000 first prize for his poem The Uncles in the 2006 Cardiff International Poetry Competition.

Art in a convent [Australia]:
Visual artists, sculptors, writers, poets, arts organisations, filmmakers, animators and musicians have already taken up residency at the convent. Chief executive officer of the Abbotsford Convent Foundation, Maggie Maguire, says a "a critical point of selection" for tenants is that people want to get involved, heart and soul, in this community of artists.

Mizu No Oto: Some random notes on Nature and Poetry [blog]:
(ya: "In Japanese, kireji—"cutting-words, used to separate or set off statements"—are onomatopoeic, and 'have the meaning that lies in themselves as sounds.'" (Sato, One Hundred Frogs.)... Another quote from Sato: "Basho himself simply said, 'Every sound unit is a kireji.'")

Friday, May 12, 2006
Every picture tells a story for aspiring writers [Scotland]:
Winning poems and stories inspired by works of art in the National Galleries of Scotland collections...

In poetry-loving Yemen, tribal bard takes on Al Qaeda - with his verse [Yemen]:
[...] Crammed into a mud-brick shop, his audience, some with their hands resting on their gold-trimmed daggers, listen to his verse denouncing violence and Islamic militancy. When he finishes, there is silence. Then the room erupts in applause.

"Other countries fight terrorism with guns and bombs, but in Yemen we use poetry," says Mr. Mashreqi later. "Through my poetry I can convince people of the need for peace who would never be convinced by laws or by force." [...]

Editrixie for editing.

Thursday, May 11, 2006
A Bohemian Poet Seen in Rare Spotlight [US]:
[...] There are two obvious reasons for Menashe's relative obscurity. A native New Yorker (born in 1925) with a degree from the Sorbonne in Paris, Menashe has chosen to live a rather bohemian life, plugged into neither the academy nor the publishing and literary worlds. He also writes very short poems made up of very short lines, and we live in an era that is suspicious of such brevity. More important, though, Menashe's poetry is essentially very foreign. We should take seriously the fact that his first language was Yiddish and that he was schooled in France. His sensibility is epigrammatic and French, while his metaphysics are transcendent and Jewish. On top of that, he shows an alien's abiding fascination with the sheer peculiarity of American speech. [...]

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Wave Books Poetry Farm [US]:
A 12-acre (uncertified) organic fruit & vegetable farm is open to poets willing to work for four good hours a day in exchange for room, board, and a new environment in which to write. There are no workshops, there is no formal or official feedback on poems, no academic credit, and no money exchanged.
[via fringe matters.]

Tuesday, May 09, 2006
bear says:
dear people,

ellen kennedy's book, yesterday i was talking to myself and i told myself that i was going to write a book and give it to you so i put paper in my bag and put a pen in my bag and rode my bike to the river bank and then sat on the ground and thought 'i will never write a book' and watched ducks swim away from me, can be read at bear parade.

thank you for your time.


Monday, May 08, 2006
Beloved poet Tess Gallagher flirts with ghosts [US]:
It doesn't take long in a conversation with Tess Gallagher for the topic of mortality to spring up. She has titled her latest book of poems, "Dear Ghosts," and she says the comma is intentional.

"This is a book full of mortality, but it also a book about how we survive in another dimension," she says of her seventh book of poems. "It is about how we shuffle through with these wonderful ghosts." [...]

Carver, of course, is one of those ghosts, one of a half-dozen. Included in the cast is Theodore Roethke, the writer who inspired Gallagher to begin a path toward poetry more than 40 years ago. After working briefly as a newspaper reporter as a teenager, she studied with Roethke at the University of Washington.

"I took the very last class he taught," she says. "That was the crucible, that class, because it was so intense, and his presence was so pervasive. He was such a maestro; it was like being in an orchestra of one. You could feel the emotional power of poetry. He would read people's letters in class so you got this sense that it wasn't just the poetry that mattered. Even your letters were literary events."

At Roethke's funeral, Gallagher met Stanley Kunitz, who would be another mentor. She says the most important accolade the new book has earned has come from Kunitz. He's now 100 and not quite yet a ghost, but a character in the poems nonetheless. "He said the book was 'a gift to the world and to the imagination,' " she recalls. [...]

The Kate Greenstreet interviews [US]:
My first book will be published in September and I wonder: what kind of difference will that make? I mean, will it change me? Or will it inspire me to change--to do things to help the book find its audience?

Curious about how others were finding their first-book experience, I made a list of questions to ask a few poets who have one full-length book out so far [...]

Tony Tost:
I'd actually daydreamed about this exact sort of thing happening, getting some sought-after award or publisher, but that it'd happen right before my graduating reading and it'd be announced then, and then I'd laugh in everyone's face. But I think that's the kind of thinking that hyper-competitiveness can bring, or at least it's the kind of thinking that it bred in me. I feel pretty distant from that mindset now, but it was there, definitely.
Stacy Szymaszek:
I've been calling myself a poet for a long time. I was 35 when Emptied of All Ships came out. I think my need for the affirmation of a book was much greater in my 20's. I remember telling my therapist that if I didn't have one by the time I was 25 I would consider killing myself, and I was speaking earnestly! Wow, to remember that kind of young inner despotism.
Andrea Baker:
I have also come to understand that I had expected the book to transform me on some level... Make me smarter?? Bring me money?? Make writing easier??
Shanna Compton:
So the book existed but wasn't officially "out" for several more months. The publication date wasn't until October. So nothing changed then, not really. It was exciting to show it to my friends and just to say "hey, this thing exists." But I think my take on the experience might be a little different from some first-time authors because I've been through the process with so many people as an editor and publicist. I think I had a better idea of what to expect, and what not to expect. Still, after the book was officially out, now, it's great to be able to answer that inevitable question "do you have a book?" with a yes.

Sunday, May 07, 2006
Tagore's birth anniversary today [Pakistan, India, Bangladesh]:
The 145th anniversary of birth of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore is being celebrated today (Monday).

Born in 1861 in a wealthy family in Kolkata, Rabindranath Tagore is probably the most prominent figure in the cultural world of Indian subcontinent and the first Asian to be awarded with the Nobel prize. [...]
Also: My poet of the green mango season

Are you a teacher of creative writing or contemporary literature? [US]:
Free subscriptions for use of 32 Poems in your classroom.

Saturday, May 06, 2006
Immanuel Mifsud's latest poetry collection available locally [Malta]:
Immanuel Mifsud's latest poetry collection Confidential Reports is to be distributed locally after an agreement was reached between Sierra Book Distributors Ltd and Irish publishers Southword Books. This book was published last year in Cork, Ireland.

Confidential Reports is a collection of poems written in Maltese by Immanuel Mifsud and translated into English by Adrian Grima and the prominent Irish poet Maurice Riordan. [...]

The Legend of 'Howl' [US]:
POETRY MAKES NOTHING happen, Auden duly informs us, but when mythology takes over, anything goes. Or so it would seem, to judge by a new collection of essays, ''The Poem That Changed America: 'Howl' Fifty Years Later" (FSG), commissioned by Beat hagiographer Jason Shinder to mark the golden anniversary of Allen Ginsberg's epochal barbaric yawp. [...]

Friday, May 05, 2006
"Shahnameh": Persian history retold in prose, poetry [US, PersiaIran]:
In the beginning was the king, and the king had farr, the mystical light that emanates from God's chosen rulers.

Thus begins the Persian epic "Shahnameh," composed between 980 and 1010 by the poet Abolqasem Ferdowsi. Translated for the first time into English by a professor of Persian with the unlikely name of Dick Davis, "Shahnameh" is Persian history viewed through the triumphs and tragedies of its royals, who ruled the country now known as Iran from mythological times until the seventh century, when Arab invasions subsumed Persia into a burgeoning Islamic empire.

While the repetitive plot lines characteristic of epic poems will ring familiar to fans of the genre — tales of Eden lost, of conflict, war, jealousy and greed, and of Eden restored by conquest — the book's exotic Persian settings and ornate, often metaphorical narrative style set this epic apart. King after king, here, is described as being "like a tall cypress tree, topped by the full moon." [...]

Fence [New York] says:
Fence is having this chi-chi benefit on Sunday; it's a poker tournament. See http://www.fencemag.com/v9n1/text/poker.html for details.

We're offering a special rate for artists and writers: $25 to be an onlooker and $100 to play. That's a 50% discount: Not Bad. We encourage artist- and writer-type folks who want to take us up on the discounted play rate to RSVP by 2pm tomorrow afternoon if possible so we can reserve any extra tables we might need. RSVP to: fencepokerparty@gmail.com.

We have literally 20 (substantial) boxes of stuff to give away. Hardcover and softcover books from Random House, visors, sunglasses, blankets (???), b-ball hats, t-shirts, and lots of poker sets.

We hope to see you there . . .

Search is on for new Canadian poet laureate [Canada]:
Ottawa has posted the want ad for Canada's next poet laureate.

The two-year term of current poet laureate Pauline Michel runs out Nov. 16.
[via ArtsJournal Publishing]

Donne: poet, politician, playboy, priest, paradox [UK]:
[...] He lived, at first, a rackety, rock star life. Born a Catholic, he saw his brother perish in prison, and an uncle hanged, drawn and quartered for his religion. He sailed on the 1596 naval expedition against Cádiz. He knocked around London in his show-off hat and frilly shirt, went to the theatre, wrote exquisite poetry and fell in love, a lot. The Newbattle portrait may well be an elaborate chat-up routine, a love letter in paint: Donne strikes the pose of the melancholy lover, and in the corner is written the inscription illumine tenebr(as) nostras domina: oh lady, illuminate our darkness. History does not relate who the lady was, or whether she succumbed.

In a scandal that would sit easily in the 21st century, Donne eloped with the teenage Anne More, the niece of his powerful patron. Her outraged father had the poet imprisoned. With bleak wit Donne wrote: “John Donne, Anne Donne, Undone.” Their marriage produced 12 children and some of the most delightful love poetry in any language: To His Mistress Going to Bed, The Flea and A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning. When Anne died, at the age of 33, Donne was heart-broken: “She whom I lov’d hath paid her last debt . . .” He is thought never to have written another love poem. By then, he had been adopted into the Establishment: he renounced Catholicism, become MP for Brackley, took holy orders and ended up as Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral. [...]

Tributes flow for 'Waltzing Matilda' expert [Australia]:
Tributes are still flowing for well-known western Queensland poet and historian Richard Magoffin, who died in Sydney this week after a long battle with cancer.

The 69-year-old was best known as the foremost authority on the history of Waltzing Matilda and was awarded with an Order of Australia medal six years ago in recognition of his contribution to folklore and history. [...]

Thursday, May 04, 2006
Dylan Thomas's ink-stained suit handed on [Wales]:
The suit has wide legs and huge cuffs and was bought in New York by Fick.

It still bears specks of red paint after he wore it while working.

However, the centre expects that the ink stain on the trouser pocket will prove to be of most interest.

Michael Cross says:

If you've got some free time on your hands this Saturday (May 6th) come on down to the Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery) at 2pm for a reading by Stephen Ratcliffe, Geoffrey Young, and Michael Cross. And then, leave and do other things! Or else, stay on for Marcella Durand and Erica Hunt at 4pm!

Hope to see some friends, new and old!


Wednesday, May 03, 2006
otoliths is fresh.

bear parade is fresh.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Poet portrait appeal gets boost [UK]:
A bid to buy an iconic 16th Century portrait of the English poet John Donne has received a £750,000 boost.

The portrait - created in about 1595 by an unknown painter - has been the subject of a major National Portrait Gallery appeal since January.

The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) has given the appeal £750,000, taking the total raised to date to £1,283,943.

The rest of the money must be raised by June to reach the £1.4m target.

The painting, regarded as the most important painting of Donne, has been privately owned for 400 years.

The artist behind the portrait is not known but it was bequeathed to an ancestor of the current owner in Donne's will. [...]

Outwardly Serene [India]:
At the time Tagore was writing, traditional Indian literature was seen (as it still is sometimes) to be almost indistinguishable from mythology and religion; Tagore himself, although his own poetry and imagination were radically secular, was translated as a public figure into the realm of mythology and mysticism, partly because of this reason, and partly through his own connivance. Yet the nature of his engagement with Kalidasa tells us of a very different concern, a different agenda, which also brings him much closer to the modernist preoccupation (prevalent in Europe at the time) with exactness, concreteness, and sensory perception than one would ordinarily think. [...]

The Makata is fresh.

MiPOesias issues to be deleted [online, US]:
Please be advised that I am deleting from the MiPOesias (www.mipoesias.com) server previous issues published before the Gabriel Gudding edition. Please stop by and copy onto your hard drives any work you wish to keep. I need to make room because of cost factors.

Please share this information and get the word out for me.

The deletion of previous Volumes will take place May 7th, 2006.

Thank you for your time.

Didi Menendez

Monday, May 01, 2006
Lily is fresh.

BlazeVOX [ annual fund drive ]:
"We publish 10 books a year and to buy 10 ISBN at half the cost of 100, we could spend the equivalent of two years of resources and be set for the next ten! You can help insure that we are here to stay around that long and give a wonderful present to some young poet far into this decade!"
One of the more interesting fundraising offerings is this:
7 course meal prepared by Geoffrey Gatza -- chef to the stars will travel to anywhere and prepare a meal for up to 6 people. (Northeast US desired or if you are willing to provide travel, then anywhere in the world) $1000

Govt unveils new arts funding [Australia]:
ACT artists are being encouraged to apply for Government support through the new round of arts funding announced today.

Funding for arts organisations, community groups, and poetry and book prizes are up for grabs. [...]