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

Tuesday, June 29, 2004
riley dog has moved URLs but is still living in Beaver Creek, Yukon.

Monday, June 28, 2004
Carl Rakosi [Guardian obituary]:
A protégé of Ezra Pound and member of the Objectivists in the 1930s, he took a 30-year break from poetry to work as a psychotherapist

Only one degree of separation links Carl Rakosi, who has died aged 100, with the poets of Victorian England, and that link is Ezra Pound. Rakosi made his mark in the Objectivist issue of Poetry magazine, in 1931, as a Pound protégé. But Rakosi and his fellow poets, George Oppen, Charles Reznikoff and Louis Zukofsky, were already moving past Pound's modernism, which seemed to them almost as moribund as the tradition it was trying to overthrow. [...]

Although the Objectivist issue of Poetry magazine linked them as a group, to Rakosi, Zukofsky's strict formal experiments and Reznikoff's "found poetry" were as different to each other as Oppen's pared down lines were to his own relaxed, almost casual rhythms. [...]

By then, Rakosi had earned an MA in social work at the University of Pennsylvania. As a Marxist, he became convinced poetry was not an instrument for social change. "I fell in love with social work, and that was my undoing as a poet," he said later, and for nearly 30 years he worked as a psychotherapist with disturbed children in St Louis, Cleveland, and Minneapolis.

Then, in 1965, Crozier, then a student of Charles Olson's at State University of New York-Buffalo got in contact with Rakosi, and his interest inspired Rakosi to begin writing again. [...]

Also this at the Wikipedia.

A goalie, a poet aims for political big leagues:
Many people know Ken Dryden as a hockey player. Some are now getting to know him as a politician. But as a poet?

That uncharted side of Dryden is discovered on a visit to his storefront campaign headquarters from where he's running as Liberal candidate in York-Centre in tomorrow's federal election. [...]

He played hockey well enough to become a gold-standard legend in his time on the ice. He was the goalie in the 1970s for the last Montreal Canadiens dynasty, with six Stanley Cup wins in the eight seasons he backstopped Les Glorieux, the last time they truly lived up to the name. He was in goal for the country's team in the greatest hockey series ever played, the immortal 1972 Canada-Russia showdown.

And now he writes bad poems. But, well, that's nothing. Did you know that John Dryden played a little hockey?
But wide Ambition loves to slide, not stand;
And Fortunes Ice prefers to Vertues Land...

Saturday, June 26, 2004
Carl Rakosi has died.

John Tranter reports:
Tom Devanney writes with this sad news:
Poet Carl Rakosi died on Friday afternoon June 25 at the age of 100, after a series of strokes, in his home in San Francisco. He was with his family and they were reading Mark Twain and listening to music when he died. Jen Hofer writes that Carl's last words, or nearly-last words were these: ‘A hospice worker had come by in the morning to set things up with them and she was asking Carl if he knew what day it was (he didn’t); or what month (he thought it was September); or what year (he didn’t know); and then she asked him who the president is. He hesitated and Barbara (his daughter) was thinking that maybe he didn’t know that either, but after a pause he said “Bush — that bastard!”’
You can read a poem by Carl (with a photo) in the very first issue of Jacket, from 1997:


Jacket will publish more material, including a conversation between Carl and Tom Devanney, in Jacket 25.

A recording of his 99th birthday celebration at the Kelly Writers House, October 30, 2002, is here.

Friday, June 25, 2004
Festival remembers clean, honest official
The Double Fifth Day, known through the West as the Dragon Boat Festival day, is another significant lunar holiday for the Chinese around the world, as it serves to commemorate the grim crusade against corruption and ineffectual government. This year, it fell June 22.

On the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, a great patriot poet Qu Yuan (c. 340-278 BC), a formerly high-ranking official at the Kingdom of Chu, drowned himself in the Mi Lou river after he learned about his country's downfall at the hands of another powerful state, the Qin. [...]

With grief, Qu Yuan saw the gradual decline of the Chu state, his mother country. Despair and frustration led him to suicide -- and he leapt into the river.

Upon learning of their beloved poet's death, his followers were terribly dismayed. Fishermen raced to the spot in their long boats, beating drums to scare the fish away and throwing zongzi (rice dumplings) into the water to feed the fish so they would not consume Qu Yuan's body. [...]

Thursday, June 24, 2004
EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts (via Mappemunde) is new. Tim says:
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to announce this new journal, which features the following writers from Tucson, AZ:

Charles Alexander, Deborah Bernhardt, Wendy Burk, Sue Carnahan, Lisa Cooper, Barbara Cully, Dan Featherston, Andrew Foster, Maggie Golston, Annie Guthrie, Elizabeth Landry, Tony Luebbermann, Eric Magrane, Andrew Milward, Sheila Murphy, Tenney Nathanson, Dlyn Parra, Lyn Pass, Tim Peterson, Austin Publicover, David Ray, Kari Redfield, Matt Rotando, Richard Siken, Frances Sjoberg, Sharon Wahl, Joseph Wood, and Jason Zuzga

Hobart is fresh.
We're in the lastest stages of Hobart/Monkeybicycle #3! Files have been sent, payments made, proofs checked and sent back and every passing mail truck holds the possibility of boxes of issues of our long in-progress double issue with Monkeybicycle. Hobartpulp.com has been updated, commemorating our excitement, with excerpts from some of the stories in Hobart #3. [...]

~ Hobart #4 is done and will be out... before year's end, and you can now pre-order it, along with our double issue with Monkeybicycle. [...]

~ Friends and friends of friends have launched a new online audio magazine featuring short fiction and poetry - www.RADIOSYNCRATIC.com. [...]

~ Jon Swan (Hobart travel issue contributor) has just begun as fiction editor at The Citizen (www.thectzn.com) and is looking for fiction submissions. Nothing specific, just strong stories of 800 words or less, he says. Send submissions directly to him at: swanjon@optonline.net. Subject should be "fiction submission."

Friday, June 18, 2004
Wife slavery (TLS):
Charlotte Smith’s adolescence is racy even by today’s hectic standards. Having lost her mother at the age of three, she left school at twelve, married at fifteen, and at sixteen gave birth in the East End of London. By the time she separated from Benjamin Smith, in 1787, a month before her thirty-eighth birthday, she had had twelve pregnancies, done time with her debtor husband in the King’s Bench Prison (where the inmates twice attempted to blow their way out) and joined him in exile in France (where child number twelve was stolen by the local priests for Catholic baptism). [...]

Such an existence does not seem best calculated to produce works of art. Yet what made Smith unlucky in life was in many ways what made her lucky in literature. [...]

Some poems.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Poetry in motion contest begins
Get your poem on the bus!

Idaho poets are invited to submit their own work for Boise’s Poetry in Motion contest. Four winning poets will receive $150 each, a one-year membership to Poetry Society of America, and have their winning poems printed on posters displayed on ValleyRide buses to be read by ValleyRide’s daily riders. Alice Quinn, poetry editor of the prestigious magazine The New Yorker, will select the winners.


Poet as war correspondent (Tony Harrison interview):
Q: How did you get involved in writing on the Bosnian conflict and the first Gulf War?

A: It actually did come from the controversy surrounding V. [British national newspaper] The Independent… published the whole of the poem in the news section… Ezra Pound said that poetry is news that stays news… In this case, everybody saw the poem… and this made me think, ah, there's a place for poetry there.

And when the Gulf War started, the Guardian [another British national] said, "Have you got a poem?"… and I said, "Will you… put it in the news section?"

The feedback… was extraordinary, and the editor said, "Well, next time there's a war, why don't we just send you?"

I… didn't think about it again, till I was directing a play of mine in Greece, one of my kamikaze projects on a mountainside, and… the Guardian rang up and said, "Come to the office and get a helmet and a flak jacket, and go to Bosnia." I've got into the habit now of writing… poems for the newspapers.

Listen to the entire Tony Harrison interview here. (.ram format, click the 'Ide hallgass' link)

From Indiana Review:
Due to the number of last minute inquiries, we've decided to extend the postmark deadline for our '1/2 K' Prize for Short-Shorts and Prose Poems!

Please mail us your prize submission by no later than this Monday, June 21st (postmark). Julianna Baggott will be our final judge this year. For guidelines, please go to:


Tuesday, June 15, 2004
California poet wins Lilly prize:
NEW YORK -- Like many poets, Kay Ryan values time more than money -- a preference that has left her savings account lean. [...]

Now, though, her financial picture has brightened. The 59-year-old writer is the 19th recipient of the $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, established in 1986 by the Indianapolis heiress. [...]

After dropping out, she settled in Marin County near San Francisco, where she still lives with her partner, Carol. For the past 33 years, she has taught remedial English at the College of Marin. She has never taken a creative writing class and, other than a semester at San Quentin Prison, has never taught one either. [...]

After "dabbling" in it for many years, Ryan committed herself to poetry when she was in her 30s. She has contributed to numerous publications, published five volumes of poetry and received several prizes, including two Pushcarts and a Guggenheim fellowship. [...]

Monday, June 14, 2004
Octopus is fresh.
The third issue of Octopus is now available on-line at http://www.octopusmagazine.com. In this issue: prose and poetry by: Ronald Johnson, Jaime Saenz (translated by Kent Johnson & Forrest Gander), Eleni Sikelianos, Jerome Rothenberg, Ben Lerner, Yang Lian (translated by Jacob Edmond), Lee Upton, Peter O’Leary, Jonah Winter, Joyelle McSweeney, Ian Ganassi, Peter Jay Shippy, John Latta, Matthew Henriksen, Danielle Dutton, Zafer Senocak (translated by Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright), Tara Bray, Jenna Cardinale, Alex Lemon, Julie Larios, Mark Yakich, Carolyn Guinzio, Tom Horacek, Paul McCormick, Max Winter, Kent Johnson, Daniel Nester, Matt Hart, Joshua Kryah, Julia Story, Jeff Morgan & Kevin Larimer.


An interview with Peter O’Leary on Ronald Johnson’s legacy.

Essays on Ronald Johnson by Joshua Corey and Aaron McCollough.

Jeff Encke’s essay “Why I Am not a Manifestor: Post-War Avant-Gardism and the Manifestos of Frank O’Hara”

Reviews of John Koethe, Matthew Rohrer, Khaled Mattawa, Peter Gizzi and Noah Eli Gordon.

Recovery Projects on Edward Dahlberg and Wong May.

A Poet of Belief:
Vijay Seshadri’s second book, “The Long Meadow,” was published this May, and won the James Laughlin Award, presented by the Academy of American Poets. Six poems from the book were originally published in The New Yorker, including “The Disappearances,”“North of Manhattan,” and “The Long Meadow.” Here Seshadri, who teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and is a 2004 Guggenheim Fellow, talks with The New Yorker’spoetry editor, Alice Quinn, about the creative process and the poets who have influenced him the most.

Three poems (audio) here.

2River is fresh:
2River released today the 8.4 (Summer 2004) issue of The 2River View, with new poems by Michael Brosnan, Rosemarie Crisafi, Judy Kronenfeld, Patrick Loafman, Joseph Massey, Frances McConnel, Shawn McLain, William Reichard, Amie Sharp, and T. L. Stokes; and monotype prints by Cristina Carroll. You'll find a link to the issue at www.2River.org.

Saturday, June 12, 2004
'Dylan's Visions of Sin': It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Reading):
CHRISTOPHER RICKS and I share a privilege. It's one you share too, assuming you join in our almost fathomless esteem for the songs and performances of the sui generis poet-singer Bob Dylan. That is, to have had our lifetimes overlap with an artist whom stone Dylan fans like Ricks and I suspect future generations will regard, in his visionary fecundity, with the awe reserved for Blake, Whitman, Picasso and the like. [...]

That Christopher Ricks? Yes, that one -- the great British literary critic, newly elected Oxford Professor of Poetry, to succeed Paul Muldoon in September. Ricks is an exemplar of the diminishingly seen art of ''close reading,'' an explicator of Milton, Keats, Tennyson and Eliot, praised by none other than W. H. Auden as ''the kind of critic every poet dreams of finding,'' and now the author of ''Dylan's Visions of Sin'' -- a volume perhaps ipso facto to be regarded as either the most intimidating rock-critical treatise ever published, or the silliest, or both. Or, as one friend blurted when I'd said I was reviewing the book: ''Does that mean you have to read all the way to the end?''

Friday, June 11, 2004
This just in:
Announcing Jacket 23: details below! Over 60+ files, 200 + (print) pages, with (poetry + jazz) audio! [...]

Jacket 23, soaked with hi-test literary fuel,
awaits the spark of your attention at http://jacketmagazine.com/

A l f r e d L e s l i e / F r a n k O ' H a r a

Olivier Brossard:
The film "The Last Clean Shirt"
by Alfred Leslie and Frank O'Hara

F e a t u r e : K e n n e t h R e x r o t h

When We With Rexroth: A Jacket Tribute,
edited by Kevin Gallagher

Kevin Gallagher: Introduction: Natural Numbers
Sam Hamill: The Poetry of Kenneth Rexroth
Lise Haines: Dower House
>>>>> Audio: Poetry and Jazz at the Blackhawk
>>>>> (4 groovy tracks!)
Homero Aridjis: Los Espacios Azules de la Iluminacion
Anastasios Kozaitis: Rexroth Today
Jerome Rothenberg and David Antin:
Unpublished Interview with Kenneth Rexroth: April, 1958:
"...today the social fabric is falling apart so fast,
it makes your head swim."
Jerome Rothenberg: Variations & Visions, from a poem by Rexroth
Eliot Weinberger: At the Death of Kenneth Rexroth
Eliot Weinberger: Rexroth From the Chinese
Steve Bradbury: Reading Rexroth Rewriting Tu Fu
in the 'Permanent War'
Mark Lamoureux: On Kenneth Rexroth's
100 Poems from the Chinese
Samuel B. Garren, The Influence of Kenneth Rexroth's
"Bird in the Bush" and "Assays on North
American Poetry" in the 1960s
Beatrice Farwell Duncan: The Paintings of Kenneth Rexroth
Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno: Rexroth Memories
Link to Ken Knabb's Kenneth Rexroth Archive

D a v i d S h a p i r o

Thomas Fink: David Shapiro's 'Possibilist' Poetry
David Shapiro (in conversation with John Tranter, 1984)
David Shapiro: Six poems (from A Burning Interior, 2000)
# The Weak Poet
# Light Bulb
# After Three Chinese Poems
# A Poet Named Open
# Henry Hudson Looks at the Hudson
# After Poetry
Carl Whithaus: Immediate Memories - (Nostalgic) Time and
(Immediate) Loss in the Poetry of David Shapiro
Nathan Hauke: Meditations on David Shapiro: Memory and Lateness
Kent Johnson: Poem Upon a Typo Found in an Interview
of Kenneth Koch, Conducted by David Shapiro

I n t e r v i e w s

Film and Literature: Michael Wood (in conversation with Noel King)
Leslie Scalapino (in conversation with Sarah Rosenthal)
Nada Gordon (in conversation with Tom Beckett)
Lytle Shaw (in conversation with Gary Sullivan)

A r t i c l e s & R e v i e w s

Douglas Barbour: Fq, Alan Brunton's final book
Douglas Barbour: "Inside Out: an autobiography", and
"Mulberry Leaves: New & Selected Poems 1970-2001",
both by Robert Adamson
Thomas Fink: Ugh Ugh Ocean, by Joanna Fuhrman
Skip Fox: Edward Dorn: A World of Difference, by Tom Clark
Brian Henry: Dear Deliria:
New and Selected Poems, by Pam Brown
Tom Hibbard: Affordable Poetry,
a brief chapbook of poems by Larry Sawyer
Subhash Jaireth: Poetry, Resistance and City-Space:
Reclaiming the City through Poetry
(poetry in Moscow under the Soviets)
Hank Lazer: Lavish Absence: Recalling and Rereading
Edmond Jabès by Rosmarie Waldrop
Geraldine McKenzie: Calques, by Javant Biarujia
Ben Mazer: Monkey Time, by Philip Nikolayev
John Olson: Everwhat, poems by Clayton Eshleman
Marjorie Perloff: The Oulipo Factor -
The Procedural Poetics of Christian Bök
and Caroline Bergvall
Patrick Pritchett: Apprehend, by Elizabeth Robinson
Patrick Pritchett: The Monster Lives of Boys and Girls,
by Eleni Sikelianos
Gilbert Wesley Purdy: Ca Dao Viet Nam transl. by John Balaban
Gilbert Wesley Purdy: Between Zero and a Hard Place
(on Roland Barthes' Writing Degree Zero)
Larry Sawyer: AsEverWas:
memoirs of a beat survivor, by Hammond Guthrie
Michael Scharf: Cable Factory 20 and The Lobe by Lytle Shaw
Gerald Schwartz: Engravings Torn From Insomnia by Olga Orozco
Eileen Tabios: Serious Pink by Sharon Dolin
Mark Wallace: Writer and Self in the Work of Nick Piombino

P o e m s

Christopher Barnes:
- After Rabi Paneloux's Reading of the Torah;
- Rue du Coq D'or, Paris
Bruce Covey: - Nurse's Song;
- 10 Pins, 10 Frames
Katia Kapovich: - A Komsomol Act;
- They Called Them 'Blue';
- Christmas
Denis Gallagher: - the habit of irony
Joel Lewis: - Snowstorm looming;
- Poem;
- Entering Whitehall Terminal
Chris Martin: - G;
- Q
Geraldine McKenzie: - Currency
Mark Pallas: - Scopolamine
Eleni Sikelianos: - from The California Poem
Evan Willner: - Fluity

========== Futurama:
========== Jacket 24 is almost complete: a special issue
========== devoted to the poetry of J.H.Prynne.

Good time for poets who rhyme:
At their conference in West Chester, formalists declare a victory over free verse. [...]

The locus of the pro-rhyme-and-meter camp is West Chester University, where in 1995, nearly 90 poets first gathered to explore and tout traditional forms of poetry. Sonnets, for example.

They met again this week - nearly 300 this time - for the tenth annual conference, and they declared victory. [...]

One of the most outspoken critics has been Ira Sadoff, a poet and professor at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, who once declared that sound and meter were "poetic decorations" that got in the way of - or worse, masked the absence of - poetic vision.

"I haven't mellowed," he said this week from Maine. "I've always liked some good poems in form," but for him, there's too much in fixed-form poetry that "promotes dead white males, and some live ones, whose poetry is often deadly."

On the other side of the debate are the formalists, who say it's free verse that too often masks a lack of skill, too often amounts to little more than self-absorbed thumb-sucking. [...]

Longing for nobility:
In our era of homogeneity in everything, including literary celebrity, the publication by Anvil of this slim volume of translations of a Polish poet presents the English reader with a rare opportunity. Here's a famous name, on a par with Lermontov's or Browning's, yet it can be dropped with every expectation of silence and a blank stare in reply. "Norwid? Who he?" Why, Cyprian Kamil Norwid, 1821-83, peer of Mickiewicz, friend of Chopin, part of the Polish school curriculum.

It is equally rare, in the English-speaking world, to come across a work of translation that is a labour of love, a painstakingly crafted instrument that resonates with the melody and the mystery of the original, rather than a factory-made music box. Adam Czerniawski has been working on his English Norwid since he was a schoolboy, publishing his versions in magazines from the 1950s onward. He translated only what came - only as much as he could - never aiming for monumentality or completeness. These are telltale signs of a conscientious translator of poetry, and the translations collected here are an exercise in sensitivity and precision. Useful as they ever are, these qualities are indispensable in approaching Norwid.

Thursday, June 10, 2004
No one gets out awake:
Any poetry aficionado will have had more than their fair share of evenings straining to catch the words, and drift, of the figure hunched over the lectern. During a reading by Auden at the South Bank in the 1960s, Patrick Kavanagh even fell asleep on stage. In my own years of presenting and promoting the stuff, I've developed a polite smile that friends tell me later can, at times, look rather fixed. There was the poet who spent the entire reading jangling the change in his pockets in a metallic symphony that drowned out all the words. And the one who, after too many vodkas, lurched up to the microphone and launched her reading with a loud burp. And the Aboriginal poet who, if I hadn't started clapping and leapt up to thank him, would clearly have gone on all night.

"It would be very odd," said James Fenton in a lecture on poetry a few years ago, "to go to a concert hall and discover that the pianist on offer wasn't any good at all, in the sense that he couldn't actually play the piano. But in poetry this is an experience we've learnt to take in our stride." No wonder there are pleas to hand the whole thing over to the professionals. If poets can't be trusted with their own work, the argument goes, then actors must take over. [...]

Another review of Mortification: Writers' Stories of Their Public Shame:
The collection hinges on a simple understanding: Writers aren't actors or politicians for a reason--we are best suited to work alone, in the dark, without human interaction, or else the results can be deadly. [...]

Real public shame occurs only when you are responsible for your own demise, as when a drug- and booze-addled Niall Griffiths decides to conclude the celebration of his first book release party by knocking one out in the restroom to a picture of Kylie Minogue, only to have one of his buddies walk in at the zenith of the experience, or when James Lasdun recounts the ill-made decision to perform with his band without actually knowing any songs, or a young Julian Barnes who cannot recall the title of his own work while trying to woo an influential editor at a cocktail party (a party where he'd already made a notable ass of himself with another author). [...]

Wednesday, June 09, 2004
FLASHP0INT is fresh. It includes a Zukovsky Centennial.

The Politics and Poetry of Langston Hughes:
In recent appearances, the Democrats' main man has invoked the opening lines of a 1938 poem by Langston Hughes. "Let America be America again," the poem begins, before offering a searing indictment of our nation's failure to meet its glorious potential. I'm pleased whenever poetry captures a bit of attention, although Hughes' lifelong affinity for leftist politics initially makes him seem an odd choice for a candidate clinging so tenaciously to the timid center. [...]

Hughes' populist inclinations earned him the scorn of critics more than his socialist leanings did, according to Maryemma Graham. She is a professor of English at the University of Kansas and co-chair of the Langston Hughes National Poetry Project, which attempts to build a broader audience for Hughes' work and poetry in general. (I have served as one of several unpaid consultants to the project.)

Graham told me, "He was misread by the vast majority of critics, and I think that led them to characterize him as simplistic and not complex enough. He refused to put poetry on such a high pedestal that it was not accessible to the average person. He was writing at a time when poetry was getting farther and farther from readers and moving into the academy, where Hughes felt it didn't belong. He was saying to critics, 'I don't need your approval because what I have is readers."'

Hughes continually devised new ways to communicate with his audience, Graham says, including blues poetry, jazz poetry and gospel plays. "This man was an inventor of new forms that we still don't have the language to talk about yet," she added.

Writers Don't Shape Society:
Elechi Amadi is one of the first generation of Nigerian writers. He has to his credit 12 books, the most popular being The Great Pond, Sunset in Biafra and The Concubine. Amadi turned 70 recently. He talked to Betty Abah at his country home in Aluu, on the outskirts of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on his writing career, Nigerian literature, piracy, and the Ikwerre dream, among others. [...]

Newswatch: In a society like Nigeria, what place do you think a writer should hold?

Amadi: There is no special place. Every profession has its place - the engineers, the doctor, the lawyer, the writer- all these people have their proper place in the society. I don't see the writer as somebody who is exceptional. It's just that he writes what many read.

Newswatch: But they shape society through their pens...

Amadi: But to begin with, I don't think writers shape society. I think writer depict society as they see it, and they bring to the consciousness of the people what society looks like ... The lawyer helps to frame law for the society, so he influences society very seriously ... so, all these people are equally important, I don't believe that the writer has a special place. Yes, he should be given some money, some respect and all that is due to other people who contributed to society. ... I am not talking of political writers such as Karl Marx and Machiavelli, Plato and the rest, we are talking of the creative writer of fiction… every body contributes to the society though you can say that the writer has some considerable influence but he is not the only one. There are also many others contributing to society as well. For example, lawyers who draft the constitution or those who run the monetary system so we don't collapse economically, they all shape our lives.

Profile at kirjasto.

Berkeley bookstore reads tradition:
BERKELEY -- As the new owner of Shakespeare & Co. Books, Jon Wobber plans some upgrades, such as creating a Web site and adding to the used bookstore's collection of 60,000 books.
But Wobber, a multitasking book maven, also will keep many things the same at the compact 40-year-old Berkeley shop, including its job-interview process.

A young job seeker found this out recently after dropping off his resume to the frizzy-haired Wobber, a former 14-year Shakespeare employee. Wobber asked him the same question the previous owner asked prospective workers: who wrote "Finnegans Wake?" The job seeker said he hadn't heard of the book, so Wobber noted that. The job seeker stormed out, returned and wrote his own note: "(expletive) elitist."

Wobber, 50, laughed and shrugged it off. His employees need to be well-versed in literature to serve customers. If they don't know the classics, then they shouldn't be working in an independent bookstore, he said.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004
can we have our ball back is fresh.

Monday, June 07, 2004
Agenda is one of the best known and most highly respected poetry journals in the world, having been founded in 1959 by Ezra Pound and William Cookson.

It is now edited by Patricia McCarthy, who co-edited the magazine with William Cookson for four years until his death in January 2003. She is continuing, as Seamus Heaney says, ‘to uphold the lofty standards of Agenda’.

Tool for people who publish books and magazines: free notification list:
What is NotifyList.com?
NotifyList.com is a service that lets you sign up for a 'notify list', which is a one-way mailing list you can use to let your website's visitors know when you update your site.

Are there other uses for it?
Sure thing! You don't have to just let people know when you update your website. Maybe you'd like a handy one-way list to keep your family or friends updated on what you're up to, or you'd like to have a personal mailing list for some other reason, that's cool too!

Why do I need to use NotifyList.com?
The short answer is that NotifyList.com lets you keep easy-to-use notify lists that will help your website out and keep you connected to your visitors. The long answer is here.

And if you use it for a poetry magazine, please add me to the list:
eeksypeeksy [at] gmail [dot] com

Living poets' society: a new generation is tipped to scale the literary heights:
They are the nascent standard bearers for British poetry. And among the list of the 20 Next Generation Poets named today are two writers in their twenties, who have each published only one collection of verse.

The Ted Hughes-inspired Jacob Polley and Belfast's Leontia Flynn, who describes her main theme as "angst youth crap", have been awarded an accolade which helped create unprecedented interest in the art form 10 years ago.

The list, compared to that produced by the literary magazine Granta, also includes established writers such as Robin Robertson, Tobias Hill and Sophie Hannah. Funded by the Arts Council and chosen by a distinguished panel chaired by the Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, organisers hope it will have a similar impact on the careers of those included in 1994's New Generation Poets.

Then, artists including Don Paterson, Lavinia Greenlaw and Simon Armitage were hailed for bringing a rock'n'roll chic to poetry. They were given the full celebrity treatment, even appearing in a Vogue photoshoot. All went on to achieve significant success. But this year, the Poetry Book Society (PBS) which has organised the award, is keen to play down talk of rock'n'roll. It has removed the upper age limit of 40 after several important writers narrowly missed out last time.

Avant garde Tamil poetry to the fore:
TAMIL has its own share of "avant-garde" poets, whose works invariably appear only in literary magazines (kuru patrigaigal). Many literary figures say several such poets have gone unrecognised and there is no forum to honour them.

To fill this gap, Kavidhaikkanam was launched on Tamil's New Year Day in 2003. Poets Nakulan, Vaidheeswaran and Gnanakoothan were honoured then. This year, the forum met on May 29 to present awards to three more poets - Kalapriya, Abi and R. Rajagopalan. The award ceremony marked the culmination of day-long literary activity, which included sessions on translation and poetry-reading.

Lincoln's suicide poem?
Miller went back and studied “The Suicide’s Soliloquy.” He found that it has the same meter as Lincoln’s other published verse, with characteristic references, syntax, diction, and tone. It fit the date given by Speed. Announcing the find in the spring, 2004, newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Miller wrote, “We might be justified in wondering if the mystery of Lincoln’s ‘suicide’ poem may now be solved.”

Have you been to wood s lot yet? It's a fine place.

Saturday, June 05, 2004
Poet in a doughnut shop:
Just about everybody in town stops by the tiny corner shop at least once a day - the electrician, the postman, the college professor - to get a cup of coffee, a fresh-baked snack and a rhyme. [...]

"She's a real asset to the town," said Town Clerk Lois Abare. "Both her poetry and her doughnuts."

Poet on a tractor:
No-one turned up to hear Halifax-born poet Craig Bradley while he was sitting on the Fordson Super Six agricultural machine outside Queensbury Library. [...]

He said the Calderdale public can look forward to a lot of events taking place in the district's libraries and maybe next time he sits on his tractor he might attract interested listeners.

"It has been a bit of fun on a Friday afternoon,'' he said.

But I guess it wasn't.

Friday, June 04, 2004
poetic inhalation is fresh.
art + literature = poetic inhalation

dear respected colleagues, friends,

the june issue of www.poeticinhalation.com is now online featuring...

the poetry of cheryl snell, eric beeny, doug draime, sheila murphy, john grey, vernon waring, pedro trevino-ramirez, rosemarie crisafi, timo korento, alexandre amprimoz, and yermiyahu ahron taub accompanied by the artistry of filiz emma soyak... and the creative writing of david bromige, richard denner, sarah rosenthal, and pat lawrence...

new feature ebooks include "4 from 4 does not equal zero" by mtc cronin with art by ursula diaz and "[div]versions" by jukka-pekka kervinen with art by drew mariano...

ric carfagna reviews "fusion" by tim miller and tom hibbard reviews the work of vernon frazer in "impression face: an overview of the poetry of vernon frazer"...

as always we accept poetry... translations... reviews...short fiction... artwork... for more info visit

poetic cheers!
andrew lundwall + jeannie smith
co-founders/managing editors

xStream is fresh.
Issue contents:
camille martin: three poems
gregory vincent st. thomasino: rummy
vernon frazer: two poems
jean vengua: poem
john m.bennett: three poems
nick e. melville: four poems

About XStream:
xStream is ezine focused to experimental poetry,collage,cut-up, computer-generated texts etc. Published 4-8 times in a year. The magazine welcomes any kind of poetry. Please send within the body of the email or as TXT/RTF-file.
Every issue consists of two parts: Regular issue which is a selection of poetry submitted to xStream, and Autoissue which is computer-generated version of regular issue. There is also a Collaborative which is a human-machine interaction between poet and computer, and a Wryting Issue, a selection of works from WRYTING-L listserv.

Send submissions to xstream@xpressed.org

Editor: Jukka-Pekka Kervinen

Nova Scotia poet takes home the Griffin
Nova Scotia poet Anne Simpson was named the Canadian winner of the $40,000 Griffin Poetry Prize for her work Loop, during a raucous ceremony last night in Toronto's historic Distillery district. [...]

Simpson's second collection of poetry, meditative lyric poems illuminating emotional states, was selected by the jury over Di Brandt's Now You Care and Leslie Greentree's go-go dancing for Elvis.

In their praise for Loop, the jury, consisting of former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins, former New Zealand poet laureate Bill Manhire and Canada's own Governor-General's award-winning poet, Phyllis Webb, released this comment about Simpson's work: “A troubled and generous spirit pervades and inspired Simpson's achievement of craft and lyric in these poems.”

In an International category dominated by American finalists, two from the same publisher, Louisiana State University Press, August Kleinzahler won the $40,000 prize for his work The Strange Hours Travellers Keep.

The other books shortlisted for the International prize were Suji Kwock Kim's Notes From the Divided Country, David Kirby's The Ha-Ha and Louis Simpson's The Owner of the House.

The Griffin Trust web site

Wednesday, June 02, 2004
nthposition is fresh.

(Sign up for the notification list here.)

Dom Moraes has died:
There were many liaisons and loves, none very enduring. Henrietta Moraes, the first wife, describes how they parted in her eponymous memoirs, Henrietta: "One fine morning Dom said, 'Look darling, I'm off to the pub, just going to get some cigarettes. See you in about ten minutes.' He didn't come back…". It was a life of alcoholic binges, whimsical travel, and mindless partying.

In India, of course, he was envied for his second marriage--for marrying the woman whom Vogue called "one of the ten most beautiful women in the world", Leela Naidu. If poetry came and went, so did the women. [...]
Dom once told me about receiving instruction at the feet of W.H. Auden, then the world's most celebrated poet. Dom said he would show up with the draft of a poem at 10 in the morning. Auden would be in the darkened living room, all the blinds drawn.
"Boy," he would say straight off, "can you find your way to the bar?"
The prodigy would say, yes.
"Then fix me a martini."
"Well," said Dom, "when you fixed Auden a martini you fixed yourself one. And when you fixed him a second, you fixed yourself a second."
"With examples like that," sighed Dom, "how could one fail to learn to drink?" [...]

From another reminiscence:
But that first night in Colaba all of this was still far away. We spoke of many things – food, Bombay's terrible humidity, drinking at the Harbour Bar in the Taj hotel, love and its loss. The one thing we did not talk about was poetry. He did not seem to want to. But as I said good night, Dom took my hand.

"You know about the handshake, don't you," he said.

I said I did not.

"Well, this handshake goes all the way back to Shakespeare, the first poet," he said. "You see, just as you're shaking my hand, I shook Eliot's hand, he shook Yeats' hand, Yeats shook Tennyson's hand, Tennyson shook Keats' hand…" and so it went, all the way back to Shakespeare.

A couple of poems
And another

Night of poetry reading flops (Daily News -- Botswana)
MAUN ­ To many Batswana, reference to poetry invokes images of a poet clad in leather or some sort of traditional garb, brandishing a fly whisk and accompanied by one or two women ululating.

Invite Batswana to a night of poetry reading the event is bound to flop. A recent "poetry night" billed for the French connection restaurant in Maun, was a disaster.

Not only was attendance poor, but only one poet, Shirley Banda, showed up.

She told BOPA that she showed up because of her love for poetry. "I like reciting my life experiences especially about my feelings. I am a staunch Christian, so most of my poems are derived from the bible." She said she liked to share with others what God has done for her in her life. Some of the poems she recited included "Oh god you are infinitely better than me" and "why did Jesus weep?" [...]

Tuesday, June 01, 2004
The comet's trail -- Tomaz Salamun in the Guardian:
"Tomaz Salamun is a monster. / Tomaz Salamun is a sphere rushing through the air. / He lies down in twilight, he swims in twilight. / People and I, we both look at him amazed, / we wish him well, maybe he is a comet."

And elsewhere:

Poet, author Lionel Abrahams dies:
Lionel Abrahams, poet, author and unofficial literary executor of Herman Charles Bosman, died on Monday morning. [...]

Abrahams was born in Johannesburg in 1928. He was the author of six volumes of poetry, with another in preparation. He also wrote two novels, "The Celibacy of Felix Greenspan" and "The White Life of Felix Greenspan". [...]

Abrahams published the first volumes of black South African poets Oswald Mtshali and Mongane Wally Serote. Mtshali's anthology "Sounds of a Cowhide Drum" appeared in 1971, at a time when few black authors were published in South Africa.

Abrahams encouraged a number of aspirant writers through a weekly creative writing class he conducted.

From Rob Rummel-Hudson's Snobby Americana Project:
Scott Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag; Heliotrope Bouquet


The music of Scott Joplin has become such a deeply ingrained part of the American musical consciousness that it might surprise you to learn that before the early 1970s, when it was used in the movie "The Sting", Joplin's music had all but disappeared from the music world since World War I. [...]

From Grant Barrett:
I am pleased to announce the launch of a brand-new web site, Double-Tongued Word Wrester. After months of work, it is live as of midnight Tuesday, June 1, 2004.

Double-Tongued Word Wrester is a growing dictionary. Every day I find words from the fringes of English, each word researched and defined, then posted for your comments. There are more than 100 words on the site already.


This also marks the permanent closing of the weblog World New York, marking five years, hundreds of thousands of words, and more than a million visitors since the beginning.