Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September 30th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

September 30th forum announcement


Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

We begin this week with what we can only hope is a thoughtless statement from the Swedish Academy by permanent secretary Horace Engdahl, a statement reducing the Nobel Prize selection procedure to a sports grudge match and himself to a fanatical Fenway groupie. He basically said to all American writers, "Yankees suck!" If he does not see any problem with what he said, if he thinks it is an astute opinion, then what we have is petty national politics that would disgrace any respectable worldwide committee, even the ones geared toward national competitions, the Olympic committee for instance. Is it truly the Nobel Prize any longer, or just by name? Apparently, there has not been and there will not be any worldwide search for the most deserving recipient. If there is no apology forthcoming, there is no more prestige.

Here is an excerpt from Alfred Nobel's will:

The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: The capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.

The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.


There is no mention of competition, especially at the national level.

Thanks for clicking in. We have many more stories than this, of course.

Yours,
Rus

Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

IBPC Home

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News at Eleven: As the Swedish Academy enters final deliberations

for this year's award, permanent secretary Horace Engdahl said it's no coincidence that most winners are European.

"Of course there is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can't get away from the fact that Europe still is the center of the literary world . . . not the United States," he told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Tuesday.

from Associated Press: Nobel literature head: US too insular to compete

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News at Eleven: "My foster mother said,

'You don't love us, do you?' I said, 'Well, I do.' She said, 'Go away and think about it and come back tomorrow.' I studied the Bible and came up with what I thought was a perfect answer, which was that I would be able to learn to love them. I thought it was like a biblical story, having to go away and find the answer. [. . .]" [--Lemn Sissay]

from The Times: Growing up in care: I felt like somebody's experiment

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News at Eleven: I put my cell phone number in the note.

I folded it into fourths, wrote the words "H.D. fans" on the outside and put it on her grave, holding it in place with one of the round red rocks already there.

About a week later I returned to the grave. My note had been moved, and it was now folded inside-out. The words -by now browned and blurred by the elements--were on the outside, but the note was in the same spot. But whoever saw my note never called.

from The Express-Times: Hilda Doolittle's Bethlehem grave at Nisky Hill Cemetery still gets visitors who leave shells. Who that is, and why, is a mystery

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News at Eleven: The Dodge Poetry Festival made its 12th

biennial return to Sussex County Thursday. Tents dotted the site, and the schedule kept the verses, passion and occasional laughs running inside and outside and everywhere in the village.

Poet Laureates, masters of the craft and some 5,500 high school students walked the historic site and read, listened and wrote--and were hit by inspiration from the gathering of like minds.

from New Jersey Herald: Festival kicks off at Waterloo Village with motivational poets

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News at Eleven: Kay Ryan did not know

she could be a writer until she had a brief talk with the universe. She was on a very long bicycle trip, from the West Coast to the East, in nineteen seventy-six. Riding through Colorado's Rocky Mountains, a question came to her: "Can I be a writer?" Ryan said the universe answered, also with a question: "Do you like it?"

from VOA News: For Kay Ryan, Poetry Is 'the Most Private Form of Communication'

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News at Eleven: [Jeet] Thayil does not restrict himself

to Indian nationals alone, but throws open his net to include all those born in India, or to Indian parents or grandparents, and now living in Denmark, France, China, Canada, Australia, the US and UK. "Indian poetry, wherever its writers are based, should really be seen as one body of work," Thayil argues in his preface, which he aptly titles, "One Language, Separated by the Sea".

In the process, Thayil brings to light some really exciting voices among this, mostly younger, lot.

from Business Standard: Revisiting 'Indian' poetry

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News at Eleven: I'm fond of some humans, but

I'm not so sure about humanity. Some humans are very amusing. Humanity can be pretty creepy, just like some humanities departments. I would like to be a soulful ivory-towerist, but I'm not sure I'd last.

from Twin Cities Daily Planet: Interview: Transfixing poet Andrei Codrescu

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News at Eleven: [Heinrich] Schliemann soon reported to the world,

breathlessly, that he and his diggers had found the charred remains of a grand citadel destroyed in prehistory by hostile men--that he had found Troy just where Homer said it would be. The news was a worldwide sensation, and Schliemann's view that the Homeric epics were fairly accurate chronicles of Late Bronze Age history--that is, the Greek world of around 1200 BC--dominated scholarship for more than 50 years.

But, in fact, Schliemann hadn't found Homer's Troy.

from The Boston Globe: Hidden Histories

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News at Eleven: In Salvina molesta, [Victoria] Chang finds

a ready metaphor for the horrors of our modern age and the greed and fast pace of our society. While many of the poems collected in this volume cover expansive events, it appears to me the most effective of her poems are the more personal ones where she considers, in instance, a boy drowning and another boy injured in a car crash prior to moving into mulling over the actions we all take each day as we get dressed and go off to work . . .

from North Florida News Daily: Book of poetry is about finding solace in the worst of times

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News at Eleven: My area was the Victorian novel,

and I had to do a lot of Americana at Harvard. The 19th-century novel is very driven by money: If you peel off the very sentimental characters and get to the skeleton, it's a money skeleton. It's 'Who's paying for Pip's education?'" You don't notice it much when you're young, because you're more interested in the psychosexual. [--Margaret Atwood]

from The Globe and Mail: Margaret Atwood's old-fashioned approach to debt

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News at Eleven (Back Page): Simply put, too many poets composed works

they could not justify. We are seeing the impact on poetry, with a massive loss of confidence on the part of readers. What began as a subprime poetry problem on essentially unregulated poetry websites has spread to other, more stable, literary magazines and presses and contributed to excess poetry inventories that have pushed down the value of responsible poems.

from Harpers: Poetry Bailout Will Restore Confidence of Readers

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Great Regulars: [Alfred Russel] Wallace made important journeys

to the Amazon and Indonesia, and [Anne] Cluysenaar's delicate and graceful poems (framed with quotations from Wallace and images of the animals and plants he collected) deftly explore the channels that these journeys opened up.

from Charles Bainbridge: The Guardian: Batu-Angas

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Much of [MR] Peacocke's writing is a captivating mix of everyday detail with a finely judged sense of otherness, of larger vistas suddenly opening up.

from Charles Bainbridge: The Guardian: In Praise of Aunts

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Both of these enable [Paul] Batchelor to adopt a voice surviving on the edge of things, set further and further apart not only from those around it but also from its sense of self: "I watch you wave and when you disappear/become a house where nobody lives".

from Charles Bainbridge: The Guardian: The Sinking Road

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Great Regulars: The inauspicious opening,

which consists of two lines, sounds rather comical: "I became a criminal when I fell in love./Before that I was a waitress." The speaker has set the reader up for a smack by claiming she "became a criminal" after falling in love. One might immediately be put in mind of Bonnie and Clyde by that claim.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Louise Glück's 'Siren'

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He then queries why he never seems to look anywhere for inspiration other than his usual place. He never explores any new ways of expression or any other "compounds strange," or other topics.

The reader who has examined all of the sonnets from 1 through 75 can well understand the questions.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Shakespeare Sonnet 76

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But the mirror can be used as a motivational tool if the speaker/poet will keep in mind the image of "mouthed graves." The open grave waits for the speaker who has ceased his work and can no longer create his valuable poems. Such an image is offered to spur the writer to greater effort that he stops wasting his precious moments.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Shakespeare Sonnet 77

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Great Regulars: There's no agreed-upon Syracuse "school."

But all these luminaries--however different in sensibility and style--move me without verbal frou frou or puffed up pyrotechnics. In "What Goes On," [Stephen] Dunn describes a marriage coming apart, then, after the wife's illness, repairing itself:

After the affair and the moving out,

from Mary Karr: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice

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Great Regulars: Confederates

by Neal Bowers

My father was only two in 1915

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Confederates by Neal Bowers

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May Day
by Phillis Levin

I've decided to waste my life again,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: May Day by Phillis Levin

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The Pennycandystore Beyond the El
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The Pennycandystore beyond the El

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Pennycandystore Beyond the El by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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Purring
by Coleman Barks

The internet says science is not sure

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Purring by Coleman Barks

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Smoke and Ash
by David Budbill

I spend every fall out in the woods, felling trees, cutting their trunks

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Smoke and Ash by David Budbill

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When I Call
by John Brantingham

As I talk to her,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: When I Call by John Brantingham

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Youth
by W. S. Merwin

Good Night
by W. S. Merwin

Youth

Through all of youth I was looking for you

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Youth by W. S. Merwin

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Great Regulars: Perhaps you made paper leaves

when you were in grade school. I did. But are our memories as richly detailed as these by Washington, D.C. poet, Judith Harris?

Gathering Leaves in Grade School

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 183

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Great Regulars: On Nov. 19 Mr. [Barney] Rosset

will receive a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in honor of his many contributions to American publishing, especially his groundbreaking legal battles to print uncensored versions of "Lady Chatterley's Lover" and Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer."

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Publisher Who Fought Puritanism, and Won

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Great Regulars: "I told them that when I got to the outside

I would talk. I wanted to talk, and that there will be people who will want to ask me questions. In the end, they told me that if I wanted to talk, I could do so, and do whatever I wanted."

Win Tin was held for the last 12 years of his jail term in solitary confinement after being sentenced to 21 years' imprisonment in 1989 following a crackdown on the student-led pro-democracy movement.

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: Freed Burmese Dissident Urges Talks

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Great Regulars: In this sense, [Clive] James

is firmly situated in the sociable, plainspoken tradition that runs from Auden through Larkin and on to contemporary writers like Les Murray and Glyn Maxwell. This approach calls for a special sensitivity to tone, and it typically relies on forming a bond with the audience, either through a “we” to which the reader consents or an “I” the reader finds attractive.

from David Orr: The New York Times: The Roustabout

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Great Regulars: A very important part of writing for children

is appearing at book festivals, and in libraries and schools. An important part of becoming a writer for children is seeing what published writers do and say when they appear. Writing children's books may be as lonely as any other kind of writing, but there is a big social element in how the books are taken to the readers.

from Michael Rosen: The Guardian: Child's play

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Great Regulars: The lover himself is a strange figure,

almost ship-like, "alone and too tall here". After the brilliant and disturbing visionary flights ("all the argosy of your bright hair"), the final weary pleasure in relinquishing desire might, at least with hindsight, be read as a death-wish. The last stanza suggests, perhaps, a source for Auden's more famous and psychologically reconciled "Lullaby".

[by Hart Crane]

Voyages, V

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Poem of the week: Voyages

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Great Regulars: Yet while I agree with that,

I also believe that some books truly are dangerous, and to ignore that is simply disingenuous.

Lest this make me seem an apologist for the book banners, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I'm against restricting anything other than material that graphically portrays certain illegal acts.

from David L. Ulin: Los Angeles Times: Banned Books Week a thorny issue

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Great Regulars: Mandelstam

by Glyn Maxwell

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Mandelstam by Glyn Maxwell

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Great Regulars: So, using Neruda's phrase as a kicking off point,

write a portrait of yourself. If you like, you can write under the working title "Self Portrait as an Animal of Light", but by all means come up with a title of your own. Of course, if you really believe you aren't an animal of light in any way, then you can pitch your self-portrait against that image

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Michael Symmons Roberts's workshop

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Great Regulars: By Todd Hanks

A bloody sunrise bluesman,

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: 'Sunset Bluesman,' a poem by Todd Hanks

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Great Regulars: Romanesque

by Rosanna Warren

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Romanesque





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Tag
by Anne Carson

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Tag





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Great Regulars: by David Lehman

In temple, I prayed

from Nextbook: Days of Penitence and Awe

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Great Regulars: At the September Hoot, Tammi Truax read

this poem during the open mic. Her imagery, never quite letting us in on what (or who) is being "downsized," is a wonderful mix of classic and modern allusions. Not often you get Sisyphus and "The Donald" in one poem, but here it is used to great effect.

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poems from the Hoot: Downsizing

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If This Be Love

If this be love, why does my heart not soar away?

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: If This Be Love by E. Bernard Arnold

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Great Regulars: Few who enjoyed [Frank] O'Hara's presence

in the avant-garde scene seem to have noticed that his jokes, gossip, and wild associative leaps tended to culminate in sermons about the ultimate value of one-to-one relations. "The only truth is face to face," he wrote in "Ode: Salute to the French Negro Poets," a poem partly about the prejudicial falsehoods that blur individual faces.

from Powells: Review-A-Day: Frank O'Hara: Selected Poems by Frank O'hara

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Great Regulars: "The Crying Hill"

By Yusef Komunyakaa

from Slate: "The Crying Hill" --By Yusef Komunyakaa

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Poetic Obituaries: Over the course of her marriage,

which saw one son, four daughters and 10 grandchildren, [Vicki] Briggs extolled the virtues of the written word in and out of the classroom. She often helped students off campus and loved to write poetry and chronicle her life in personal journals. And she always packed the suitcase with children's books whenever she visited her grandchildren--each of whom has a blanket or quilt their grandmother made for their births.

from San Antonio Express-News: Briggs was a 'teacher's teacher' who loved to write poetry

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Poetic Obituaries: [Hayden Carruth] won the Pulitzer Prize

and the National Award for Poetry for his book, "Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey."

Carruth published more than 30 books and was known for his poems about the people and places in northern Vermont.

from Vermont Public Radio: Poet Hayden Carruth dies

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Poetic Obituaries: [Enoch Dillon] was an economist

for the National Science Foundation for nine years until his retirement in 1980. He then wrote two books, "The Bicentennial Blues: 200 Years of the American Presidency," 1988, and the poetry volume, "Love, From the Ends of the Earth," in 1990.

from The Hillsboro Argus: Enoch Dillon, 82, economist, Army vet

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Poetic Obituaries: [Patricia 'Pat' Gasner] participated in

Birthright, a child foster care program, was a pro-life advocate, and a published poet.

from Post-Bulletin: Patricia 'Pat' Gasner--Rochester

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Poetic Obituaries: [Michael Johnson] moved back to Payette

in 2003 and began writing fulltime. He was a prolific poet and managed to publish his grandfather's novel, "The Bitterroot Trail," as an e-book. He was compiling an anthology of short stories at the time of his death.

from The Hillsboro Argus: Michael Johnson, 53, poet, mathematician

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Poetic Obituaries: [Charlotte] Kohler, who was known to recite

Greek poetry and then provide the translation, was the first American editor to publish South African writer Nadine Gordimer, who later earned the Nobel Prize in literature.

She didn't shy away from controversial figures, featuring drawings in 1945 by Mexican artist Diego Rivera, who was affiliated with the Communist Party, and in 1958 published Ezra Pound, an American poet who was arrested for treason after World War II.

from Times-Dispatch: Charlotte Kohler dies; had edited literary magazine

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Poetic Obituaries: "He was a model student," said

Saul Gonzales, the school's principal. "He had a shy side and he was very intelligent."

A poem [Martin] Leon had penned recently in an AVID class surfaced Monday: "I see my future in college," he wrote.

from Tulare Advance-Register: Teen fatally shot in Richgrove

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Poetic Obituaries: [Kayla Lynette McBride] loved to write

and wrote many poems and a couple books all of which were enjoyed by all who read them.

from Bemidji Pioneer: Kayla Lynette McBride, 21

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Poetic Obituaries: [Of Christina Mellen,] FSU instructor Sandra Simonds

said, "Christina was a quiet but intense presence in my poetry class this summer. Her poems spoke of a deep love for her community and friends. Her writing had tremendous potential and she was always supportive of her classmates. She will be missed."

from Tallahassee Democrat: Family, friends reflect on two killed in crash

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Poetic Obituaries: A poem Alexander [Milne] had written

about driving quad bikes in the fields was also read out.

The service closed with a speech he had written about leaving his primary school. It told how much he was looking forward to going into secondary school – his only fear was getting lost.

from The Press and Journal: Hundreds remember Alexander

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Poetic Obituaries: Only in recent years was he acknowledged

for his contribution to modern Bulgarian poetry and literature. In 2000, he was awarded the Nikola Fournadjiev national poetry award, and in 2005, he received the Hristo G. Danov national literary award that honors efforts in building civil society in Bulgaria.

[Konstantin] Pavlov's works have been translated into French, English, Spanish, German, Russian, Polish and Hungarian.

from Sofia Echo: Konstantin Pavlov, Bulgarian poet and screenwriter, dies at 75

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Poetic Obituaries: [Andrew Prak] enjoyed computers, music, poetry,

drama, basketball and riding his motorcycle. He enjoyed talking and hanging out with friends.

from The Hillsboro Argus: Andrew Prak, 17, liked music, poetry

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Poetic Obituaries: [Edna B. Turner] retired in 1975,

after teaching in the Roseburg School system for 28 years. After leaving teaching, Edna traveled extensively and maintained a large collection of photographs taken during her visits. She also regularly attended stage performances and other artistic media presentations. She was an avid reader and wrote some poetry.

from The News-Review: Edna B. Turner

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Poetic Obituaries: [Tania Sikorsky von York] was an avid

lover of classical music and an accomplished musician herself, playing piano and violin. She wrote a book, "Russia's Road to Revolution." She has written extensively about her experiences as an émigré and her upbringing in the Russian community in Stratford. She has also written poetry and essays.

from Connecticut Post: Tania Sikorsky von York, dead at 90

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

September 23rd Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

September 23rd forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags


Most of the cramming for this week's Poetry & Poets in Rags took place first at the Comfort Inn in Yulee, Florida, just north of Jacksonville before the Georgia line, and then at a Holiday Inn Express just outside Myrtle Beach last night and this morning, just before the North Carolina line. I ran out of internet time for my room there. Instead of asking for more, I hit the road and arrived here at my daughter's house in Holly Springs, near Raleigh, North Carolina, where I will finish things up tonight. On Thursday, I am off to stay in Parsippany, New Jersey, to be at The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival close by there in Stanhope. One of our stories this week is on The Dodge. But in the last few days, I have been to the magical Florida Keys, where I had one of the best meals ever (King Fish with great friends); swanky South Beach; beautiful, amazing Fort Lauderdale, which I loved, and Savannah, Savannah, which I drove all around and into, and loved so much it held me up a day's travel time, and many spots, plus all pavement in between. This is an extraordinary vacation. I am inhaling and exhaling life, flooded with senses and spirits of place, magic and deja vu, all as I free myself from my workaday habits and emotions. Anyway . . .

For some time, I thought that surely the top story of the week would be the series by the Guardian on how to write poetry. This is a great, great thing for that newspaper to do. I'm just floored by it--cannot be topped, right? It would take a story of earth-shifting and poetically cosmos-shaking proportions to top that series. And it happened. At 79, U Win Tin is finally freed. It all finally worked. He is free, as he still speaks.

I leave the rest of this week in poetry to your discovery. Happy traveling.

Yours,
Rus

Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

IBPC Home

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News at Eleven: Win Tin was Burma's longest-serving political prisoner,

according to the UN and human rights groups which had repeatedly called for his release.

A poet, editor and close aide to Ms Suu Kyi, he was originally arrested in July 1989.

Once in jail, he received additional sentences for agitating against the military junta and distributing propaganda.

from BBC News: Burmese democracy veteran freed

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News at Eleven: Where poems come from

What makes a poem? Today's tutor Lavinia Greenlaw says a poem arises out of tension rather than subject

from The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Wendy Cope: Poetic license
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Lavinia Greenlaw: Where poems come from
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Lavinia Greenlaw: How to start
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Lavinia Greenlaw: Writing outwards
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Lavinia Greenlaw: Aspects of a poem
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Lavinia Greenlaw: Developing and editing
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Lavinia Greenlaw: Form
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Lavinia Greenlaw: Voice
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Lavinia Greenlaw: Meaning
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Lavinia Greenlaw: Beauty
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Lavinia Greenlaw: Difficulty
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Lavinia Greenlaw: Some forms
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Simon Armitage: Checklist
also The Guardian: The Observer: How to write poetry: Neil Astley: What next?

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News at Eleven: You might have seen them in person,

in the classroom or on PBS television. Now the poets of the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival are coming to YouTube.
Advertisement

The 12th and latest edition of this four-day poetry bash begins Thursday at Waterloo Village in Byram. But you can get a preview this week in the form of online video.

"We're going to launch our Geraldine R. Dodge YouTube site," said Jim Haba, director of the festival since its inception in 1986. "In the first installment we will feature 19 video pieces from the 2006 festival.

from Daily Record: Where words matter

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News at Eleven: [Andrew] Motion, too, was only yards

from Larkin during his time teaching in Hull.

Unsurprisingly, for a poet who places himself firmly in the English line, there are pieces here on Thomas Hardy and Edward Thomas, on Wilfred Owen and John Betjeman. The Thomas essay, 'An Imaginary Life', allows the poet to live through the First World War and imagines him evolving into 'an English modernist' by the Twenties.

from The Guardian: Transported by the art of Motion

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News at Eleven: [John Betjeman] wrote: "Oh God,

the Royal poem!! Send the H[oly] G[host] to help me over that fence. So far no sign: Watch and pray."

Three weeks later, during a wake for the poet WH Auden, "he told Philip Larkin that he wanted to pack in the Laureateship" according to his daughter Candida Lycett Green, who edited the collection of poems.

from Telegraph: John Betjeman hated being Poet Laureate, says Andrew Motion

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News at Eleven: The text is printed backward,

and the joke is on us. If we were really so buddy-buddy with the English language, [Simon] Armitage seems to taunt, wouldn't we recognize it even with its back to us?

After one labored reading, I held the poem, "Learning by Rote," up to a mirror and gleefully deciphered the story of young Armitage being ordered to write his name 10,000 times. It's a trick, sure, but a meaningful one.

from San Francisco Chronicle: Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid

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News at Eleven: On the subject of poaching

from one's own life, [Donald] Hall quotes an article he wrote for the Hartford Courant: "Young poets sometimes fear, as they begin a life in art, that personal history may become mere material, as if one lived one's life in order to write about it. . . . But as a poet ages, subject to inevitable losses, it becomes appropriate to write out of grief--appropriate, necessary, therapeutic."

from The Christian Science Monitor: The poetry of memories

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News at Eleven: Yet the best of [David] Wagoner's work

still delivers the electric shock of truth. One of my favorite poems, "A Lesson From a Student," begins, "My student says he writes short stories and poems/ in front of a mirror, sitting at a table/ in the nude." Although the teacher in the poem doesn't like the student's writing and tells him the method is "the worst idea I've heard in a long while," he decides to try it for himself. The images that follow are harrowing:

from The Seattle Times: "A Map of the Night": Master poet sometimes loses his way in new collection

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