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

Thursday, March 29, 2007
Whose fine poetry blogs have I failed to link up to?

The lyrical Democrat [US]:
Under water grottos, caverns

Filled with apes

That eat figs.

Stepping on the figs

That the apes

Eat, they crunch.

The apes howl, bare

Their fangs, dance,

Tumble in the

Rushing water,

Musty, wet pelts

Glistening in the blue.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007
The Makata is fresh.

A lesser known form of poetry [India]:
According to the well- established tradition of poetry, first rate poetry is marked by suggestiveness called Dhvani. But even great poets are seen to indulge in composing Chitra-type of verses, where there is not much aesthetic charm. Rhetoricians like Mammata classify `Chitram' as inferior kind of poetry which creates a sense of wonder in the reader, with no explicit suggestiveness. It is twofold: Sabdachitra and Arthachitra, if the word and sense are embellished respectively with poetic merits (gunas) and figures of speech (alankaras). They are hard to compose and difficult to understand. Some poems lend themselves to three or four interpretations; conundrums, puzzles, riddles, and hard to crack questions; and contain verses within verses, verses with a single consonant, two consonants and the like. In some verses, the subject, object and verb lie concealed. Such poetic gymnastics are mostly for the amusement of the wise and the learned. They serve the purpose of testing the mettle of poets, secretly conversing with intelligent people, confusing others and for exciting those who are not familiar with this art.

The word `Chitram' also means picture. Some poets have shown another amazing craftsmanship in handling Sabdachitra. The letters and words, when arranged in a particular pattern, look like sword, arrow, wheel, chariot and lotus. The Agnipurana has mentioned 24 varieties of such pictorial patterns. Poets in the classical period had to compose such verses just for the amusement and entertainment of their patrons. Even great poets like Bharavi and Magha are seen to indulge in Sabdachitra. Anandavardhana in his Dhvanyaloka has discouraged such an effort since the main sentiment suffers a death blow in the process. [...]

Poet Barlow wins national prize [UK]:
Lancaster-based poet Mike Barlow has won the National Poetry Competition - Britain's longest-running poetry prize. [...]

Monday, March 26, 2007
Iran's poet of loneliness passes away [Iran]:
The contemporary Iranian poet, Yadollah Behzad, passed away early Sunday morning in his hometown Kermanshah. [...]

Ranjish hi sahi, dil hi dukhaney ke liye aa... [India, Pakistan]:
It’s a rare treat to come up close and personal with the sartorial wit of Pak poet Ahmed Faraz who was in the city on a short visit. Our correspondent catches up on some cerebral musings [...]

Friday, March 23, 2007
Poet Mahon scoops £40,000 honour [UK]:
Northern Irish poet Derek Mahon has won the £40,000 David Cohen Prize recognising a lifetime's achievement in English-language writing. [...]

'A ban on feeling' [UK, Ireland]:
[...] The propaganda battle over neutrality began in earnest when Ireland refused to lease back its ports to Britain during the Battle of the Atlantic. As the idea began to take hold in Britain that neutrality was a wilful act of hostility against the allies, John Betjeman was drafted in to the Ministry of Information to help calm the situation. Betjeman divided his Irish targets into the following categories:
1) pro-British with relations fighting, but above everything pro-Irish

2) pro-Irish and not caring who wins, so long as Ireland survives as a united nation

3) pro-Irish and anti-British, but also anti-German

4) pro-Irish and pro-German

But it doesn't really matter what they think. One friend gained for England is one enemy for Germany and that is my job.
The British media were swamped with propaganda stories against neutrality - German submarine crews were being entertained in remote villages in the west of Ireland, wireless transmitters up in the mountains were at the heart of a vast espionage system against Britain - and Betjeman did his best to rein them in. Luckily for future Anglo-Irish relations, he managed to put a stop to the ministry's plan to disseminate propaganda leaflets in packets of tea, soap and toilet paper. [...]

Saudis Celebrate World Poetry Day [Saudi Arabia]:
JEDDAH, 22 March 2007 — For the first time in city’s literary history, the poetry group at the Jeddah Literary Club on Tuesday celebrated the International Poetry Day with several poets reading poetry accompanied by lute played by musician Abdul Rahman Al-Marbaani.

Ahmed Qarran, poet and the group’s founder, described the day’s attendance as “beyond description.” Such literary events are usually at best only attended by 30-40 people. However, on Tuesday over 160 poetry lovers, both men and women, attended the event. Sixty women sat in the library on the second floor while over 100 men sat in the main hall on the first floor of the literary club. Women had the advantage of watching the poets reading their poetry on a TV screen.

“Surprisingly, it was crowded. That’s good. But the poetry recital was not that good, especially on the women’s side. They were just over-sentimental. Saudi women poets sure need a lot of practice before facing an audience,” said Norah Muhammad, one of the participants. [...]
Well, yeah: Riyadh Literary Club Opens Door for Women just last January:
[...] Literary clubs, located in the Kingdom’s large cities, play an important role in promoting intellectual and artistic events. Riyadh’s Literary Club is the last of the country’s clubs to facilitate women, who have been able to participate in events in Jeddah, Dammam and Abha for years, albeit in gender-segregated settings that provide better seating for men who can be present in the hall where the event is taking place. Women, on the other hand, must watch events unfold in a separate room through a television screen. [...]

Saluting Poetry That Lifts the Spirits [Mongolia]:
THE OPENING event of celebrating O. Dashbalbar’s “Spiritual Poetry” book was held on March 20 in the Zanabazar Museum”. The late Dashbalbar, the leading light in the Mongolian poet circle in the second half of the 20th century, was known as an innovator, an ardent patriot and outstanding social cultural and political figure. Mongolians like to read his poetic works such as “Amiddaa Bie Biesee Kharla Khumuusee” (Let’s Love Each Other In Our Lifetime).

For his best works, he received the State Prize and the award of the Mongolian Writer’s Union.

His poetry is comprehensive, symphonic, lyrical, of profound thinking and wide scope. And poems are cosmic and also have a worldly nature as he tells of nature, land, a common interest in humanity, compassion, sadness, and love. [...]

Poetry workshops inspired by aerial photography [UK]:
Breathtaking images from Norwich's Earth from the Air exhibition will be the inspiration for aspiring poets on March 31 during two free workshops. [...]

'Poetries' Symposium Aims To Expand Definition Of Poetry [US]:
"A Poetries Symposium" April 5-7 at the University of Iowa aims to expand people's understanding of what constitutes poetry. The free, public conference features a series of talks by scholars from the UI and other institutions. [...]

Entries Sought for Migraine and Headache Poetry Contest

Former poet laureate of US state loses free-speech suit over lost post [US]:
PHILADELPHIA: An appeals court ruled against a former New Jersey poet laureate who lost his job after suggesting Israel had advance knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Former New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey repealed the post in July 2003 after Amiri Baraka wrote a poem suggesting that Israel had advance knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Baraka, a native of Newark, New Jersey, had claimed his rights to free speech were violated when he lost the post and its $10,000 honorarium. [...]

Year of the 800-year-old poet [Canada]:
`Love's nationality is separate from all other religions.

The lover's religion and nationality is the Beloved (God).

The lover's cause is separate from all other causes.'

Eight centuries after his birth, Sufi mystical poet Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi still speaks to a huge international audience in a universal language.

On Saturday at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, "Whirling into Peace: A Festival of Sufi Music" presents Ahmet Ozhan and his 10-piece Turkish orchestra and whirling dervishes from the Mevlevi Sufi Order celebrating the life of Rumi. [..]

National poet’s stones on display [Iceland]:
Four samples from a stone collection that belonged to one of Iceland’s most treasured poets, Jónas Hallgrímsson, are on display in an exhibition in the Municipal Library of Akureyri that opened yesterday.

Hallgrímsson collected the stones in the summer of 1839 in the valley Öxnadalur, northeast Iceland, where he was born in 1807 on the farm Hraun. Morgunbladid reports.

The exhibition also includes Hallgrímsson’s scripts on poetry and natural science. The poet was also a natural scientist and he collected about 1,200 stones and fossils in his lifetime. [...]

The exhibition is part of Hallgrímsson’s birthday celebration; on November 16 this year, 200 years will have passed since his birth.

His life as a poet and natural scientist will be celebrated both in Iceland and Denmark, where Hallgrímsson lived as an adult.

Aleksandr Galich. Downtrodden Singing Poet [Russia]:
Aleksandr Galich became one of the brightest representatives of the genre of Russian author's song (on a par with Vladimir Vysotsky and Bulat Okoudjava), which was developed by bards and became very popular in the epoch of tape recorders. [...]

Mi'kmaq poet laureate Rita Joe dead at 75 [Canada]:
SYDNEY, N.S. — She was known as the poet laureate of the Mi'kmaq nation for her powerful portrayal of Canadian natives.

A quiet force who took up the pen to challenge stereotypes about aboriginals, Rita Joe became an icon for a people she felt were widely misunderstood.

Joe died Tuesday at age 75. [...]

County settles with wife of poet who died in custody [US]:
LOS ANGELES The wife of a noted Beat poet who died in L-A sheriff's custody after his jailers allegedly failed to provide him adequate medical care is getting a nearly a half-million dollar settlement from the county.

The wife of John Thomas Idlet alleged in a lawsuit that the 71-year-old was in poor health when began a four-month jail sentence for a sex offense, but that he did not see a doctor for over two weeks.

The lawsuit alleges that -- the night before his death -- Idlet went unexamined for three hours after he was found on the jail floor suffering from shortness of breath. [...]

R u a poet bt dont noit? [UK]:
IT’S World Poetry Day and the search is on for Britain's first TEXT Laureate.

Judges are looking for the guy or girl who is best at sending romantic ditties by mobile.

Latest research shows Britons dispatch three times as many love texts as letters.

Phone company T-Mobile is sponsoring the search by putting up a £1,000 first prize. [...]

Thursday, March 22, 2007
The StAnza lecture [UK]:
The terms of the discussion were confrontational: issues of populism, selling out, the publishing and reviewing of women and ethnic minorities, and the value of thematic anthologies as therapy or literature among other things. I have not checked the facts Neil Astley produced for the original StAnza lecture, but my impression is that they are generally correct, that women and ethnic minorities do get much less reviewing space than certain white male poets, an issue that certainly ought to be addressed, though I can assure him that there are many white male poets that don’t get reviewed either. In fact they don’t even get published. Bloodaxe’s noble act of redress in favouring women poets means that very talented young male poets have really only had Michael Schmidt’s Carcanet to go to, before applying to less influential publishers, since houses such as Faber, Cape and Picador take on very few new poets of either gender.

this morning in poetry

Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Interview with Jill Jones [Australia/US]:
"There are the early influences, and the forebears, as it were, but you're not asking me about them. But I do think, even now, there's a lot of dead folks who affect me. Funny, I don't think about them as dead. They are also contemporaries if I am reading the words they wrote right now. That's contemporary."

Larkin's books are no load of crap [UK]:
I was told to read Larkin because he swore a lot. The advice came from a friend at school, and a few weeks later I found a copy of the Collected Poems in a bookshop on Charing Cross Road. It was the first edition, with a pale cream cover and a drawing of Larkin's bulbous head floating in the centre like a slightly bookish alien. The first poem, which I read standing at the counter, was Going, which begins,
There is an evening coming in
Across the fields, one never seen before,
That lights no lamps.
And ends,
Where has that tree gone, that locked
Earth to the sky? What is under my hands
That I cannot feel?
What loads my hands down?
I remember being hooked by that, and it's a feeling that hasn't diminished in the 10 or so years I've been reading Larkin. [...]

By the way, this is the first day of spring and World Poetry Day.

Guru Krushna Goswami: Where the lyre and the lyric meet [India]:
Q. What, according to you, should be the theme of lyrics and poetry?

A. Poetry/ lyrics should be written in an introspective, contemplative, spiritual and philosophical mood. Not that it should be written professionally to gain fortune and popularity. It is a very sacred pursuit. In poetry, empirical philosophy of the poet should metamorphose into soul-elevating and soul-emancipating lyrics in simple, common man's language. If this is not followed, it will cause immense harm to the readers/ listeners as well as to the poet himself. I don't wish to elaborate further as it will only smirch my tongue. [...]

Bagh-e-Bedil [India, Tajikistan]:
[...] I myself learnt of Bedil outside India. During the US bombing of Afghanistan, many journalists, including yours truly, travelled to the areas under the control of the Northern alliance (which was helping the West in ousting the Taleban) via Tajikistan, where Ahmad Shah Masood, the great Afghan patriot, found frequent sanctuary.

In Dushanbe I located people who told me about Masood’s love for Bedil’s poetry. Since the spoken language in Tajikistan is Persian (it is called Tajik in Tajikistan and Darri in Afghanistan), I mentioned a few Persian poets I thought would be high in their esteem. Not only did they not know much about Ghalib’s Persian poetry, they did not seem to place great store by the poets of Shiraz in Iran, like Hafiz or Saadi.

This was astonishing, because Hafiz was something of an icon for ‘cultured’ Indians in the first half of the 20th century. Rabindranath Tagore made a special pilgrimage to Hafiz’s tomb in Shiraz. His photograph at the tomb, reading Hafiz, adorns the wall of the library attached to the tomb. Tagore, like Raja Ram Mohan Roy (he edited a newspaper in Persian) considered Iran to be the repository of Persian culture.

I conducted my own opinion poll in Dushanbe: who is the greatest poet Tajiks know? There is absolute unanimity in Tajikistan and Afghanistan that there has been no greater poet than Bedil. [...]

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Win Leonard Cohen and Anjani CDs in Our Bad Poetry Contest [Hungary/internet]:
Leonard Cohen is considered by many to be one of the best poets of the last 50 years. Still, that's not going to stop us from giving away Leonard Cohen and Anjani CDs to the person who can send the worst possible poem imaginable. [...]

Lily is fresh.

The latest Jacket is still kinda almost not quite ready.

Makata is fresh.

Diagram is fresh.

A new chapbook from horse less press

Autumn Sky Poetry is fresh.

In the mail:
You are invited to a celebration of the life and work of kari edwards (1954-2006)

This event will celebrate kari's indomitable spirit and compassionate revelation of body and language. The tribute will focus on kari's considerable legacy and include, poetry, music, performance and presentations of visual art.

Friday, April 27, 2007 at 7:30 PM
San Francisco Campus of the California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Thursday, March 15, 2007
Q&A with Frieda Hughes:
TIME: You were 14 before you learned the truth about your mother's death. How did you find out?

Hughes: I was in a literary course, a little weekend course or something, and the girl in the room I was sharing was reading The Bell Jar. Normally when people would say, "are you related to Sylvia Plath Hughes?" I'd go, "well, I can't imagine why you'd think that," and pass it off. I was very shy about it. But on this occasion, I couldn't help myself. I said, "oh, that's my mother." And she looked out of the window and she said, "but it can't be. Sylvia Plath committed suicide and your mother is walking across the forecourt with your father." [My father and stepmother] had just dropped me off. And I remember sitting on the bed, so shocked. I didn't really believe her.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Call for Chapbook Manuscripts [US/world]:
MiPOesias Magazine is now seeking submissions of chapbook manuscripts. Send manuscripts January 1st through April 1st. Manuscripts should include between 17-25 pages, a title page, a table of contents page and a page including your name, email address and mailing address.

Please DO NOT send illustrations or an acknowledgements page for previously published poems. We are not interested in where you've been published. Just send us your best work. Poems from the manuscript may be previously published, but the chapbook as a whole should be unpublished.
This is not a contest. There are no reading or entry fees. The chapbook selected will be published by Didi Menendez (Menendez Publishing) through Lulu. Please visit our print publications at www.lulu.com/mipo to get an idea of our style. The art work for the cover of the chapbook will be designed by Didi Menendez. Author will receive twenty copies.

Monday, March 05, 2007
Guest Researchers Wanted [US]:
[...] Are you a student, librarian, or just a library geek? Would you like to contribute to continuing scholarship on an overly-anthologized, under-appreciated poet? Want to own a rare piece of Reedsh? Then become a Reeding Lessons Guest Researcher! [...]
There's a prize!

Friday, March 02, 2007
Poetry's capacity to rattle governments [US/Guantanamo Bay]:
"The first poem I saw was sent to me by Abdulsalam al Hela," he says. "It's a moving cry about the injustice of arbitrary detention and at the same time a hymn to the comforts of religious faith."

"It was interesting to me because I did a PhD in literature, but I didn't think too much about it."

A second poem from another client followed soon after, and Falkoff began to wonder if other lawyers also had clients who were sending poetry. It turned out that Guantánamo Bay is "filled with itinerant poets".

Many of the poems deal with the pain and humiliation inflicted on the detainees by the US military. Others express disbelief and a sense of betrayal that Americans - described in one poem as "protectors of peace" - could deny detainees any kind of justice. Some engage with wider themes of nostalgia, hope and faith in God.

But most of the poems, including the lament by Al Hela which first sparked Falkoff's interest, are unlikely to ever see the light of day. Not content with imprisoning the authors, the Pentagon has refused to declassify many of their words, arguing that poetry "presents a special risk" to national security because of its "content and format". In a memo sent on September 18 2006, the team assigned to deal with communications between lawyers and their clients explains that they do not "maintain the requisite subject matter expertise" and says that poems "should continue to be considered presumptively classified".