Friday, July 31, 2009
The Ghost Poetry Project
"A father of four young children, poet Nathan Curnow became increasingly interested in how language works to both terrify and embolden us. This was most apparent when his daughter became afraid of bunyips, a fear that could not be relieved by any amount of her parents’ loving persuasion. After months of sleepless nights it was suddenly undone by the words of another child who told her that bunyips only eat avocadoes."
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
"Sometimes I worry about being a copy cat and worse yet, being one and then having to defend myself at some future date when I am somehow poetically famous (note this is at least partially sarcasm)."
Review by Silke Heiss
"It is more than a year since the perfectly named Letters to the World was born. The book emerged out of the collaborative efforts of members of the Wom-po LISTSERV, an electronic discussion group of mainly women poets, which has been going since 1997. It is of particular interest for South African literary life - the original driving force behind the book came from local Moira Richards.
Wom-po, says Moira, “lift[s] me out of the small country on the southernmost tip of Africa where I live” (p.337), and “the thing that drove/ sustained me in the beginning was the picture of this book of poems in my hand, on my shelf."
How to win a copy of Sandra Simonds's Warsaw Bikini
1. Write a poem (or very short prose piece) based on a line, title, image, or whole poem by Sandra Simonds. (See list of suggestions below.) You may tweak the original in any way you like. You may illustrate it or respond to it visually or in music, if you are so inclined.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
"In June, I wrote a blog post titled 'A Bird In The Mail,' celebrating what I thought would be the beginning of a new friendship and correspondence with Bobby Swain, a poet-sculptor living in Onancock, VA.
We'd exchanged only two letters since then. And I did not know that already, he was (as his wife put it) 'in decline'... Bobby suffered a severe back injury when he was only twenty years old and in college, and has been in a wheelchair since then; and, thirteen years ago he was diagnosed with Parkinson's. Nevertheless, he never went into any of these in great detail, and instead wrote about how he got into the carving/sculpting of the bird figures he has become famous for, and about his lifetime love affair with poetry (what he called his 'unfinished business')."
"And since this is a poetry blog, if you believe poetry is marginalized in today's (U.S.) culture and want to know why poetry is marginalized, it's NOT BECAUSE POETS ARE WRITING IRRELEVANTLY. It's not because poets aren't writing about what's 'important' to write about like politics (what's 'important' is subjective, yah?). It's not because poets are writing 'elliptically'. It's not because poets are writing 'narcissistically'. It's not because poets are 'writing to each other.' It's not because poets are flarf-in'. It's not because they're too 'quiet' or too 'avant'. It's not because too many poets write 'academically' or got their MFAs. It's not because poets aren't doing their job -- anyone who feels they can define a poet's 'job' is generally just arrogant or looking for a way to grab attention for himself (yes, it's usually a him).
If you believe poetry is marginalized (and that is an 'if'), then poetry is marginalized today in large part because K-12 (Kindergarten to 12th grade) education has, in too many cases, eliminated the relevance of the arts....including any notion that a particular art form can be expanded beyond what is inherited by an artist."
...at the Kitchen Garden Café
Presenting Luke Kennard, who lectures at the University of Birmingham. His second poetry collection, The Harbour Beyond the Movie, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize in 2007, making him the youngest writer ever to be nominated. His fiction and criticism has been published all over the English-speaking world. His third collection, Migraine Hotel, is out in April 2009. The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph and The Independent have all described him as “brilliant.”
Poetry Bites also includes floor spots where you can share your own poetry with an appreciative audience. Please arrive early to book a spot.
7.30pm, Tuesday 21st July, 2009 (Food available from 6.30pm)
Kitchen Garden Café , 17 York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7SA. £5 (£4). To reserve a place email jacquirowe @ hotmail.co.uk or pay at the door.
Nathan Hamilton [UK]
"That the upper canopy-dwelling TV producers have allowed a little light to reach the forest floor, where the poets beetle about, is of course, a good thing. But the starting point – 'poetry is in decline' or 'poetry needs saving' – is the wrong one. The Newsnight Review's angle typified the position: poetry, they suggested, has 'an image problem'. It really doesn't. The good stuff just doesn't care about image in the first place. The problem lies with those in the media who don't understand this way of being, or who want to make very obvious the public service aspect of featuring poetry. Poetry is also 'too difficult' or 'too obscure', say critics. It really isn't. It should be addressed with punchy self-confidence and passion, not tip-toed around."
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Cha seeks "Lost Teas"
We at Cha realise that sadly online journals often fold leaving countless works without a home. If you have lost a work in this way, Cha may be interested in republishing your work in our new regular section, "Lost Teas". Please see our submission guidelines for more details: http://www.asiancha.com/guidelines.
"In this age when letter writing is almost a lost art, and we see written communications mostly in printed text format, I thought it would be interesting to collect a number of samples of handwriting from different individuals and treat them as though they were each individual pieces of artwork. I would then select four or five of these and write a poetic expression of what the artwork speaks to me. I don't mean the words but rather the lines on the page. This would not be really any different then writing a poem inspired by a painting or a picture."
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Pascale Petit: How did Interlitq get so high quality and so international so quickly?
Peter Robertson: "Thank you for your kind words, Pascale. I have worked very hard and continue to do so. As I mentioned before, the review’s particular brief was to be international and I approached authors, who might prove to be potential contributors, from many different continents."
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
One of the rituals I have is to play with words. Artists are always sketching, right? Musicians are always practicing. So sometimes I hear or see a word and think 'sestina,' and I write the actual end-words I might use if I had the time to write the poem. For example, this morning I was reading the poet Honor Moore and I thought: Honor Moore, Michael Moore, More cigarettes, more or less, moreover, morbid, moral, mortuary, Maury Povich, forever more, one more time, and that disco song 'More more more, how do you like your love?' I'll probably never write such a poem, but writing notes, however silly, keeps my brain constantly making connections with words. Good triggers for me are often visual. I have a game called 'Go,' cards which come with reproductions of miniature paintings (some more abstract than others). I pick a card at random and place it into a frame with words like 'Justice,' 'Love,' 'Death,' or 'Peace' on the border. And I find an automatic trigger from which to begin writing.
[Please feel free to forward]
A Call For Submissions
SPECIAL LITERARY ISSUE FEATURING FILIPINO POETS NOT LIVING IN THE U.S.A.
Guest Editor: Eileen Tabios
Deadline: Sept. 30, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Tony Williams quotes
"In The Triggering Town Richard Hugo writes:
Please don't take this too seriously, but for purposes of discussion we can consider two kinds of poets, public and private. Let's use as examples Auden and Hopkins. The distinction (not a valid one, I know, but good enough for us right now) doesn't lie in the subject matter. That is, a public poet doesn't necessarily write on public themes and the private poet on private or personal ones. The distinction lies in the relation of the poet to the language. With the public poet the intellectual and emotional contents of the words are the same for the reader as for the writer. With the private poet, and most good poets of the last century or so [Hugo is writing in 1979] have been private poets, the words, at least certain key words, mean something to the poet they don't mean to the reader. A sensitive reader perceives this relation of poet to word and in a way that relation – the strange way the poet emotionally possesses his vocabulary – is one of the mysteries and preservative forces of the art.