Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31st Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

July 31st forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



Poetry & Poets in Rags has been around for the 2004, 2008, and now 2012 Olympics, both summer and winter. Never has the connection between poetry and the Olypmics ever been made as well as this year--thanks to how the UK decided to celebrate London's hosting of the games. The world got it, and now our first five stories this week, most of them with multiple links, all have to do with the London games.

There are many more stories this week and I will leave them all to your discovery. But get started with your Olympic poetry reading.

Thanks for clicking in.

Yours,

Yours,
Rus

Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

IBPC Home

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News at Eleven: In the days of the ancient Greeks,

poetry and sport went hand in hand at athletic festivals like the Olympics. Poets sang the praises of athletic champions and, at some festivals, even competed in official events, reciting or playing the lyre. Here at NPR, we're reviving that tradition with our own Poetry Games.

From the far reaches of the globe, we've invited poets to compose original works celebrating athletes and athletics. Each morning next week, we'll introduce a new poem on Morning Edition, and then you, the audience, will judge who should win the victor's laurel crown.

from NPR: Honoring The Games, And The Past, With Poetry
then NPR: Poetry Games

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News at Eleven: Finally, in time for the 1912 Stockholm Games,

he [Baron Pierre de Coubertin] was able to secure a place for the arts. Submissions were solicited in the categories of architecture, music, painting, sculpture and literature, with a caveat--every work had to be somehow inspired by the concept of sport. Some 33 (mostly European) artists submitted works, and a gold medal was awarded in each category. In addition to Winans' chariot, other winners included a modern stadium building plan (architecture), an "Olympic Triumphal March" (music), friezes depicting winter sports (painting) and Ode to Sport (literature).  The baron himself was among the winners. Fearing that the competitions wouldn't draw enough entrants, he penned the winning ode under the pseudonyms George Hohrod and Martin Eschbach, leaving the medal jury unaware of the true author.

from The Smithsonian: When the Olympics Gave Out Medals for Art
then The Atlantic Monthly: Remember When the Olympics Used to Have an Art Competition? No?

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News at Eleven: Throughout the 2012 London Olympic Games,

Guggenheim fellowship-winning poet Kwame Dawes will be writing verses that capture the spirit of the day's action, with a particular focus on the Jamaican team. Here's his first installment about the opening ceremony.

Day One

Jamaican Gold

from The Wall Street Journal: Speakeasy: The Opening Ceremony (Poetry of the Games 1)
then The Wall Street Journal: Speakeasy: Carrying the Fire of Victory (Poetry of the Games 2)
then The Wall Street Journal: Speakeasy: Dreams and Laughter in London (Poetry of the Games 3)

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News at Eleven: Walk around the Olympic Park in years

to come and you'll find poems waiting for you. There's Tennyson--some lines from "Ulysses", ending with, "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield"--as a reminder that our poets have already left quite a legacy. Joining this are new works, by Lemn Sissay, John Burnside, Jo Shapcott, Caroline Bird and poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, in the hope that, whatever else happens to the place generations from now, there will be evidence that the Olympic Games of 2012 inspired some poets to leave their words for the future.

from Telegraph: London 2012 Olympic poetry: winning words
then The Guardian: London 2012: Poetry in the Olympic Park--in pictures

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News at Eleven: Heart-wrenching tales of addiction and despair

were performed at the Royal Opera House by Bournemouth poets.

They took part in a special production for the London 2012 festival that was aimed at giving homeless and ex-homeless people a voice for the Olympics .

"I am still blown away--it was a very powerful experience," said Paul Hawkins, 48, of Springbourne, who read his work Meet At The High Street Clock.

from Bournemouth Daily Echo: Homeless poets from Bournemouth perform work at Royal Opera House

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News at Eleven: "Love of poems

by others × Resistance to influence = Style" sounds like something Susan Sontag might have written in her journals. And though [Jeffrey] Skinner may be winking at the reader when he presents what he calls the "Pre-M.F.A. Save-Your-Time-&-Money Quiz"--"before you decide to enroll (which I know you will anyway), take a moment to answer these questions"--it doesn't mean he isn't on to something.

Skinner completed his own M.F.A. at Columbia in an era when Robert Bly could speak cryptically of his "wound" and Tess Gallagher was "all the rage."

from The New York Times: A Guide for the Poet Within

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News at Eleven: Had she lived longer, Lady Augusta Gregory

might have tempered the increasingly strident political views W.B. Yeats adopted in the late 1930s. She might also have discouraged the poet's "somewhat adolescent dalliances" with women half his age, students at the 53rd International Yeats Summer School in Sligo heard yesterday.

James Pethica, director of the school, explored Yeats's "massively conflicted" feelings on the death of his oldest friend, concluding that, as well as being a blow he had dreaded, her passing was a "liberation".

from The Irish Times: Yeats was 'conflicted' about death of close friend Lady Gregory

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News at Eleven: For some, like Gerald Stern, it requires getting

"away from their own religious upbringing to arrive at a condition of faith." Joy Harjo needed a distancing because "organized religion is responsible for dismantling and destroying indigenous cultures all over the western hemisphere."

Still others have found themselves deepening a commitment to faith, like G.C. Waldrep, who joins a Mennonite community. More typical, perhaps, is [Fanny] Howe's quarrel with her church.

from The Plain Dealer: Ilya Kaminsky and Katherine Towler edit a 'A God in the House,' where poets muse on the divine

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News at Eleven: What's striking here, among so many

other things, is the apparent vapidity of [Percy Bysshe] Shelley's initial observation--the fact that, basically, the "we" in question have more knowledge than we know what to do with. If arguments, traditionally, start with the straightforward to work their way to the striking, then the fact that information overload is the first sentence of Shelley's essay would seem to suggest a certain incontrovertibility to the notion.

from The Atlantic Monthly: Percy Bysshe Shelley Frets About Information Overload . . . in 1821

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News at Eleven: The team at RFE/RL's Armenian service,

Radio Azatutyun has stepped beyond its usual news reporting and into a creative project--a 30-minute film about Armenian poet Vahan Teryan titled "Last Journey".

Their effort, the second in a planned series of documentaries examining the lives of Armenian intellectuals, was shot over four days and cost only $1,000 to make.

from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Armenian Education Ministry Approves Use Of Azatutyun Film As A Teaching Aid

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News at Eleven (Back Page): These are from Betsy [Franco]'s

Mathematickles (Simon & Schuster, 2003).

Then there's this, by Karl Kempton, the arithmetic of which could not be more simple (look for the arrow near the bottom), but the full poetic complexity of could not be greater:

from Scientific American: M@h*(pOet)?ica

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Great Regulars: The big difference between Android and iOS

is that the former is an open system and the latter closed. Google's phone software is given away free to phone-makers; Apple's is restricted to its own products. Apple is all about a single "ecosystem"; Google all about a Montessori-inspired free-for-all. This means that Apple is already making a fortune out of mobile, but Google isn't--it just expects to in the future because it will be able to find a way to exploit the mobile web with advertising.

It may not be a fight to the death.

from Bryan Appleyard: from The Sunday Times: In the Beginning was Google

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Great Regulars: A "snapshot" of Britain is given in

Richard Price's poem Hedge Sparrows, which has been chosen to represent Great Britain as part of a Cultural Olympiad project.

Under the Poetry 2012--the Written World initiative, poems have been selected for each of the 204 competing nations in the 2012 Olympics.

The unveiling of the choice for Great Britain was held back until Thursday. Although nominations were received for poems by Blake, Wordsworth and Shakespeare, the Scottish Poetry Library, which is spearheading the project, decided Price's little-known poem was the perfect fit.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Richard Price poem to represent Team GB in Cultural Olympiad project

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Great Regulars: The report then shifts from slaughterhouse

repugnance to the very home in which the speaker resided. The mother's ex-boyfriend would come pounding on their door. The speaker reports that the last time the ex-boyfriend was in their house, he "pulled and pulled" the mother's arms and "pinned her//on the couch."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Sean Karn's Jar of Pennies

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Great Regulars: Count That Day Lost

by George Eliot

If you sit down at set of sun

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Count That Day Lost by George Eliot

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Fireflies
by Marilyn Kallet

In the dry summer field at nightfall,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Fireflies by Marilyn Kallet

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I Could Take
by Hayden Carruth

I could take

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: I Could Take by Hayden Carruth

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In Texas
by May Sarton

In Texas the lid blew off the sky a long time ago

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: In Texas by May Sarton

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Let The Day Go
by Grace Paley

who needs it

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Let The Day Go by Grace Paley

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Swaggering to the Flight Line
by Walter McDonald

Out of cram sessions in the bar,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Swaggering to the Flight Line by Walter McDonald

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Unification
by Ramon Montaigne

The Mississippi at its mouth

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Unification by Ramon Montaigne

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Great Regulars: It would be nice if we could all get one

last ride through a part of our lives we'd left behind. Patrick Phillips, who lives in Brooklyn, is our guide and pilot in this fine poem.

Elegy with Oil in the Bilge

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 384

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Great Regulars: My Poets is the autobiography of a divided

pronoun. Its cover art is instructive: two half-portraits of William Carlos Williams and Emily Dickinson (each looking uncannily like the other) fused man-to-woman down the nose to create a new hybrid. [Maureen N.] McLean's essays think similarly; poets are read through other poets; the prose hotwires different styles and rhetorical strategies; seemingly contradictory aesthetics are hybridized to create new chimeras of sense.

from Michael Lista: National Post: On Poetry: My Poets, by Maureen N. McLane

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Great Regulars: by Jennifer Wong

Shortly after the incident of fake eggs

from Jody Porter: Morning Star: Well Versed: Crackdown

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Great Regulars: [John] Dryden described his method as

paraphrase. The original author's words were not as "strictly followed as his sense". The sense could be amplified, and even altered. This was a practical and, in some ways, obvious technique. Horace's word-order, for example, has to be altered to make sense in a non-inflected language. In taking further liberties, the justification is that the translator is himself making a poem. Dryden tried to create a work the author could have produced "if he were living and an Englishman".

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Poem of the week: Horace: The Odes, Book One, IX, translated by John Dryden

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Great Regulars: [by Henry Hughes]

Dumped in the brambles beneath Portland's freeway, some kid's art project.

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Student Collage

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Great Regulars: Today, with a large number of people

having been killed (there are estimates of some 17,000), refugee flows into neighboring countries, and displaced persons within Syria, the atmosphere for negotiations on the future structures of society seems negative. Arms are flowing into the country both for the government and for the armed opposition. Foreign countries are increasingly involved, each motivated by its own views of its national interests. Despite an increasing number of meetings among high-level representatives of these foreign governments, a clear policy on issues for negotiations has not emerged.

Has the time for negotiations passed?

from René Wadlow: Fellowship of Reconciliation: Syria, late in the day: Are negotiations still possible?

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Great Regulars: For Hamza Ali al-Khatib

by Peleg Held

A thirteen-year old boy tortured and killed in Syria. He kept homing pigeons.

From my father's roof I rise, circling

from CounterPunch: Poets' Basement: Held and Ramsey

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Great Regulars: By Yossi Huttler

a pillow less

from Forward: The Arty Semite: Poem: (how to sleep on) Le'il Tisha B'Av

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Great Regulars: For Theron of Akragas,

Winner in the Olympic chariot-race, 476BC
By Pindar, translated by Cameron Hawke Smith

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: For Theron of Akragas, Winner in the Olympic chariot-race, 476BC

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Great Regulars: By Patricia Smith

Tavern. Tavern. Church. Shuttered tavern,

from PBS NewsHour: Weekly Poem: 'Tavern. Tavern. Church. Shuttered Tavern,'

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Great Regulars: [by Lucie Therrien]

We'll Still Love Each Other

When our mirror image

from Portsmouth Herald News: We'll Still Love Each Other

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Great Regulars: By Pauline Walle

The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Firefly,

from Post-Bulletin: Poem: Skylights

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Great Regulars: "Desks"

By Don Bogen

from Slate: "Desks"

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Poetic Obituaries: The Rev. Clifton Walter Carter Sr. penned those

words earlier this week about his late wife, Jeanette, who died last Dec. 7 after 57 years of marriage. Just hours after finishing the poem, he joined his loved one in eternal life and "perfect bliss."

from The Times and Democrat: Pastor joins late wife after penning poem recalling loss

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Poetic Obituaries: [Helmi] Salem published around 18 poetry

collections. His first collection was released in 1974, entitled Habibty Mazroua Fi Dima Al-Ard (My Beloved is Planted in the Soil's Blood).

He also wrote books on culture and literary criticism.

from Ahram Online: Egyptian poet Helmi Salem dies at 61

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Poetic Obituaries: Yet when I read last year's Best Australian Poems,

I was struck by [Peter] Steele's poem 'The Knowledge'. In its gentle gathering of worldly phenomena and its almost serenely contemplative mood, I felt that this poem distilled so much of what I loved about him as a poet. I read it and thought: 'He has written the poem'--that is, the poem that, for me, most simply represented his poetic voice and concerns. Ever questioning that knowledge which was his life's quest, the poem ends 'No end of wisdom: but what does a frog/in a well know of the waiting ocean?' The ocean had not been squandered.

from Australian Book Review: Remembering Peter Steele
then Blue Eyed Ennis: Tribute to Peter Steele SJ Poet and Priest

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Poetic Obituaries: Long-time cowboy poet and retired


Army Brig. Gen. Bud Strom, 80, died this morning, according to a family member.

Strom was a co-founder of the Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering, which is two decades old, and recognized by the State of Arizona as one of its premier tourist events.

from Sierra Vista Herald/Review: Bud Strom, former Army general, community leader, dies

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 24th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

July 24th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



Tomorrow will be nine years that I have been creating Poetry & Poets in Rags. It started as a post I would make at The Atlantic's Writers' Workshop and at Melic Review's Round Table. That's why these forum announcements, I was posting into discussion forums at poetry boards. And it was Saturdays if I'm not mistaken, not Tuesdays.

Two online poet friends, C.E. Chaffin, founder of Melic, and Gina Bryson, then Managing Editor of the InterBoard Poetry Community, asked if they could put the column onto their sites. I went with IBPC, part of WebDelSol.com. Over the years, the column has grown from 10 articles per week to three sections, News at Eleven, Great Regulars, and Poetic Obituaries, making for dozens of links per week. At some point, I started a companion blog, which I am proud to say is an award-winning top poetry blog.

Last year, I was saying to a group of poetry friends that I want to go ten years. And that sounds like a good idea. This column takes many hours to put together each week, including all of my one days off a week from work. I hope this column has served the larger poetry community and even served as a social glue and in advocacy of those writers who desperately need every advocate they can get. But what has always kept me at it, is if just one person benefits, either a reader or a poet in the news, then I am glad to be of service.



For the first time, I will leave all of the week's articles to your discovery, and get to the winning poems of June's IBPC competition. Thanks! once again to our Spring judge Shara McCallum, and congrats! to the poets and boards:

First Place: Foxfire by Lois P. Jones of PenShells

Second Place: No Cover by Jane Wilcken of Wild Poetry Forum

Third Place: Somewhere in Our Past by Billy Howell-Sinnard of The Waters Poetry Workshop

Thanks for clicking in.

Yours,
Rus

Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

IBPC Home

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News at Eleven: Carilda Oliver Labra, Cuba's most popular

and most erotic poet, just turned 90. During her life she stirred up much controversy with the content of her poems, which dealt with how she has faced her own life, love, marriage and sex.

"Unlike the poetry of other major Cuban poets, Carilda's reaches everyone. She has followers everywhere," explained Miguel Barnet, the president of the Union of Artists and Writers of Cuba.

from Havanna Times: Cuban Erotic Poetry Turns 90

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News at Eleven: In its uninsistent but authoritative way,

The Malarkey is a condition-of-England book, driven by a concern for those who have little purchase on their own lives. The chilling "Newgate" combines a present-day sink estate with the grimly famous London jail and finds their common ground in architecture: "Far away a bin lid drops down/and the arches of Newgate tighten/as dead men walk through them/on the way to their dying." Here we enter the territory staked out in the late Ken Smith's prophetic London poems of the 1980s.

from The Guardian: The Malarkey by Helen Dunmore--review

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News at Eleven: Azerbaijani journalists have sent an appeal to

international organizations and the Iranian government to release illegally detained Azerbaijani citizens, Farid Huseyn and Shahriyar Hajizade.

from Trend: Azerbaijani journalists ask Iran's leadership to release detained poets
then Kavkaza: Iran allows arrested Azerbaijani poets to see relatives
then GoPetition: Demand of immediate release of 2 citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan

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News at Eleven: It makes for an impressive ensemble that

demonstrates [Vladimir] Nabokov's effortless facility with traditional poetic forms, thereby adding to the sizeable array of his already inimitable gifts.

And because Nabokov's American fans can't seem to get enough of his writings--or writing about him--"Selected Poems" should round out their portrait of the maestro: a highly polished profile of his pleasant, occasionally profound, but always proficient verse.

from SentinelSource.com: Poems from the maestro
then The New York Times: His Father's Best Translator

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News at Eleven: In a complaint lodged against [Edmund] Spenser

it is claimed that "by menacing Lord Roche's tenants, seizing their cattle, and beating Lord Roche's servants and bailiffs, he has wasted six ploughlands of his lordship's lands", and whether or not this is true, we get a macho frontiersman sort of image not usually associated with the "Fairy Singer". Hadfield also shows how Spenser's immersion in the Irish countryside, with its "wilde fruit and salvage soyle", seeps generously into the imagined landscape of his poetry, transmuting the realities of this Elizabethan Wild West into the airy fantasies of an Elizabethan Narnia.

from The Guardian: Edmund Spenser: A Life by Andrew Hadfield--review

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News at Eleven: Wars have always been brutal events wreaking

death and agony. Poetry, since ancient times, has been used to glorify its heroic deeds. It has also been used as a medium to portray the horrors within. Tyrtaeus's 7th century poems were recited for centuries by Spartans. Furius Bibaculus, an officer in Caesar's army, wrote an epic on the Gallic Wars. The Iliad, Homer's epic poem, is about the ten year siege of Troy during the Trojan War and Achilles' atrocities on the living and dead.

Soldiers and civilians alike are expected to endure scenes of violence and suffering and remain indifferent.

from The News International: War Poetry

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News at Eleven: [Tim] Dlugos' willingness to place himself in

others' hands, be it the hands of art, literature, social life or the world at large, his ability to make himself seem small in the face of the wonder of all that surrounds us, even just the "sequence of [flowers'] blooming" as he writes in "July," is one of his most powerful traits as a poet.

But despite Dlugos' wide interests and incredibly active social life of bars, cocktail parties, concerts, art openings and political fundraisers in Washington, D.C. and New York, he will perhaps always be best known as an AIDS poet, for better or worse.

from The Prague Post: Book review: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos

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News at Eleven: When the International Olympic Committee meet

 for a gala tonight at the Royal Opera House to usher in the 2012 Games, they will be treated to a recital of poetry by the mayor of London, Boris Johnson--in ancient Greek.

Johnson, a classicist by education, who is famous for quoting Virgil and Homer in the original at the slightest provocation, has commissioned Armand D'Angour, a fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, to write an poem in the style of Pindar, the ancient poet most famous for his odes celebrating victories in the athletic competitions of fifth-century Greece.

from The Guardian: Boris Johnson to recite new poem for the Olympics in ancient Greek
then Arts at Oxford: Olympic Ode lends touch of classics

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News at Eleven: As Luke Davies checked out of his Canberra

hotel to attend the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, he wondered if his credit card would bounce and thought of saying, "I'm just going across the road to pick up a cheque from the Prime Minister".

An hour later at the National Library, Julia Gillard handed him a cheque for $80,000 when she announced that his book Interferon Psalms was the winner of the inaugural Prime Minister's Award for Poetry--established after years of complaint and campaigning by poets.

from Brisbane Times: There is a god, finds prizewinning poet

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News at Eleven: The CLPE poetry award for a book

of poetry for children was launched by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education in 2003 to highlight an important branch of children's literature

Read The Language of Cat from Rachel Rooney's award-winning collection

The Language of Cat

from The Guardian: Rachel Rooney wins CLPE Poetry award--read her poem

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News at Eleven (Back Page): Former journalist and poet/gospel singer

Loujaya Toni, 46, who shocked a strong field of male contenders to become Papua New Guinea's newest female parliamentarian, was born in the city she now represents.

She ousted her grandfather, veteran Public Service Minister Bart Philemon.

Before yesterday's win in Lae Open, Toni had been an aspiring politician for some years.

from Pacific Scoop: Journalist and creative writer woman ousts minister in PNG elections

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Great Regulars: Lew Welch is the one that got away.

Gary Snyder called him "the most talented, the golden boy," the poet who wrote constantly but published only one major book, the seeker who lost his way, the drinker and depressive who tried to hold it together and couldn't, the man who went in the woods and never came back.

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: 'Ring of Bone' review: Lew Welch is lost poet of the Beat generation

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Great Regulars: What does it mean to be a poet?

It means you stand a chance of writing things people will remember, and remember with pleasure.

from James Fenton: Financial Times: Small Talk

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Great Regulars: Winner of many of the world's

major children's prizes, including the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen medal, Mahy took the UK's Carnegie medal with her first two novels, The Haunting and The Changeover, both supernatural coming-of-age tales. She was also awarded the Order of New Zealand for her internationally acclaimed contribution to children's literature, which ranged from picture books to short stories and novels.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Children's author Margaret Mahy dies aged 76

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But the situation is mushrooming: there's a list on GoodReads devoted to authors who have replied--angrily--to negative reviews, called "Author Temper Tantrums", and the STGRB site gives examples of authors who have apparently given up writing after being subjected to bullying on the site.

The intention of STGRB is to "out these bullies one by one, using online public information, screencaps, and other related, non-copyrighted pictures".

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Literary feuding sinks to new low

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Book Ends, with the sadness of "she not here to tell us we're alike", Long Distance II, with its heartbreaking evocation of how his father couldn't accept his mother's death and "kept her slippers warming by the gas/put hot water bottles her side of the bed/and still went to renew her transport pass". And--this is what knocked me sideways--the slow, quiet ending to the poem: "I believe life ends with death, and that is all/You haven't both gone shopping; just the same/in my new black leather phone book there's your name/and the disconnected number I still call."

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Tears in a tent: rediscovering Tony Harrison's poetry

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Great Regulars: Louise then confesses that she "tortured"

and "poisoned" that love. She "blinded it eyes," and love transformed into hate. She allowed herself to become bitter, concentrating not on what the love had been but simply that Herbert had dumped her for Annabelle.

No doubt, her hatred was doubled as she included Annabelle in that violent emotion.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Edgar Lee Masters' Louise Smith

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Great Regulars: The Special Liquor Order was developed in

concert with Carrie Nation with the express purpose of frustrating a retail customer who sought a product not usually on state-store shelves. In the case of pisco, I had to buy a dozen bottles, enough for a party at the Duquesne Club celebrating the overthrow of Salvador Allende (a Socialist, by the way) but more than enough than an occasional drinker could consume in his lifetime.

from Bob Hoover: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Libations: You, too, can explore pisco

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Great Regulars: Amazing Grace

by John Newton

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Amazing Grace by John Newton

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Family Stories
by Dorianne Laux

I had a boyfriend who told me stories about his family,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Family Stories by Dorianne Laux

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The Fence Painter
by Richard Jones

By the time I wake,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Fence Painter by Richard Jones

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M
by Katrina Vandenberg

The Berkshire hills the book that opens

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: M by Katrina Vandenberg

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Porcupine at Dusk
by Ingrid Wendt

Out of the bunch grass

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Porcupine at Dusk by Ingrid Wendt

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Tornado Warning
by Joyce Sutphen

That is not the country for poetry.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Tornado Warning by Joyce Sutphen

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Wheelchairs
by Rhina P. Espaillat

Arrayed as if this ward were some bright deck

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Wheelchairs by Rhina P. Espaillat

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Great Regulars: The iron law of Darwinian evolution is

that everything that exists strives with all its power to reproduce, to extend life into the future, and that every feature of every creature can be explained as an adaptation toward this end. For the artist to deny any connection with the enterprise of life, then, is to assert his freedom from this universal imperative; to reclaim negatively the autonomy that evolution seems to deny to human beings. It is only because we can freely choose our own ends that we can decide not to live for life, but for some other value that we posit. The artist's decision to produce spiritual offspring rather than physical ones is thus allied to the monk's celibacy and the warrior's death for his country, as gestures that deny the empire of mere life.

from Adam Kirsch: The New Republic: Art Over Biology

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Great Regulars: Sometimes, when we are children,

someone or something suddenly throws open a window and the world of adults pours in. And we never quite get over it. Here's a poem about an experience like that by Judith Slater, who lives in New York.

Zippo

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 383

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Great Regulars: At a certain point after my father's departure,

I sat down and drew a wanted poster, and I drew his face in the center of the poster. Of course at the bottom of the poster I wrote the word "Wanted." As I look back on it, that word "Wanted" seems to me my first poem, because it shifted between meanings. He was wanted; he was accused, on the one hand. So when I showed the poster to my mother, he was a bad guy with whiskers. But at the same time, I was telling her that I missed my father and wanted him around.

from Wesley McNair: MPBN News: Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair's Memoir Describes a Rough Upbringing

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