Tuesday, June 26, 2007

June 26th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
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June 26th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags (blog)

This week, two articles cross sections or categories in this column--one for a good reason, and the other for a bad. First the bad.

What would usually be in Poetic Obituaries--because the article notifies us that peace poet Rahim al-Maliki has died--is instead our headliner in News at Eleven. Malaki was working for Iraqiya state run television. This week, the above link takes you to the blog, so that you can see his picture. In the upper left is a black "ribbon" on the screen. This shows on that station's other programs too, in memorium.

The other one to cross, is one of our Great Regulars, Fiona Sampson. We have not heard from her in months, but she has the The Guardian's Saturday poem this week, itself a Great Regular. You'll find the poem under "Fiona Sampson" in that section. We will hear more from her soon, as she is slated to be the host for July's Poetry workshop at the Guardian.

We have been following Guantanamo Bay poet-prisoners for years now. This week, we have two articles on a book of theirs coming out. Other developments this week are in the Günter Grass and Maxwell Corydon Wheat Jr. stories. The Grass one gets digging to some of the roots of the issue, while the Wheat one rises well above the dirt.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog


IBPC Newswire


News at Eleven: In one of his shows,

"The Guesthouses of our People," the 39-year-old [Rahim] al-Maliki visited Sunni and Shiite groups and used his poetry to open dialogue about ways to end Iraq's sectarian bloodshed. In Anbar, many tribal elders have agreed to help U.S.-Iraqi troops fight groups linked to al-Qaida in an alliance that the Pentagon considers an important blow to the insurgency.

from The Associated Press: Blast kills Iraqi peace poet


News at Eleven: "When I heard pigeons cooing

in the trees/Hot tears covered my face," Sami al Haj wrote in one poem. The al-Jazeera cameraman has been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002 on suspicion of aiding Islamic militants. "When the lark chirped, my thoughts composed/A message for my son," he went on.

from The Wall Street Journal: The Prison Poets


News at Eleven: Last month, an interviewer on PRI's

"The World" put that one to Robert Pinsky, the nation's poet laureate from 1997 to 2000.

"I havent found a Mandelshtam in here," he said, referring to the great Russian poet who died in a Stalinist labor camp.

from The Lede: Ex-Poet Laureate on Guantánamo Poetry


News at Eleven: [Ron] Silliman's "Ketjak"--

of which The Age of Huts is only a small part--stands among the most ingenious and ambitious poetic endeavors currently under way in American letters. With it, Silliman is actively reshaping what poetry means and causing us to rethink the very nature of language.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Ron Silliman, making poetry, unmaking rules


News at Eleven: [Günter Grass] spent the war leaping

out of the way of exploding shells and watching his fellow soldiers get blown to pieces by Soviet artillery. Grass was spared from death often, thanks to freakish occurrences: He was once left behind in a shelter by his troop because he couldn't ride a bicycle; moments later, his fellow conscripts were all killed as they put their feet to the pedals.

from The Los Angeles Times: 'Peeling the Onion: A Memoir' by Günter Grass


News at Eleven: When Rain Falls Easy

[by Robert Dunn]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Former poet laureate publishes new book


News at Eleven: If Nature is a haunted house,

as Emily Dickinson told us, and Art a house that tries to be haunted, then [Charles] Wright has created in "Littlefoot" one of the most satisfyingly possessed landscapes of his career. "The other side of the world, they say, is a door/where I'll find my life again."

from Los Angeles Times: 'Littlefoot: A Poem' by Charles Wright


News at Eleven: Above all, it can be seen

in his cultivation of an ear permanently cocked for fraudulence, so that whenever Housman the poet is tempted into flights of fancy, [A. E.] Housman the editor is quick to pull him back down to earth: "Why was I ever born? This question is addressed to the universe, not to you personally".

Often these two voices cannot be separated.

from The Times Literary Supplement: Star man


News at Eleven: [Percy Bysshe Shelley] feared that

he was being pursued by enemies and informants. He was constantly hypochondriac, fearing syphilis and even elephantiasis.

It could be claimed that Shelley lived an imaginary life. He was not at home on the rough earth.

from The Times: Being Shelley


News at Eleven: Everything about Maxwell Corydon Wheat Jr.'s

poet laureate coronation yesterday was different from the last effort to bestow the title upon him.

Standing in front of about 100 adoring fans in Roslyn Harbor, Wheat accepted the title from his fellow poets instead of from lawmakers and vowed to boost poetry's profile in Nassau County and on Long Island.

from Newsday: Unofficially, controversial poet gets laureate title


News at Eleven (Back Page): The Rig Veda, oldest

of the four Vedas, is among the 38 items of documentary heritage of exceptional value which have been added to the prestigious register, bringing the total number of inscriptions since 1997 to 158.

It is a collection of 1028 hymns of exceptional literary qualities eulogising the Vedic deities and is said to be the source of the Aryan culture.

from IBN live: Rig Veda becomes 'world inheritance'


Great Regulars: [Mikhail] Bakhtin's central concept of dialogism

does not mean bending a courteous ear to others, as some of his more liberal commentators seem to imagine. It means that every word or utterance is refracted through a host of other, perhaps antagonistic idioms, through which alone its meaning can be grasped. It thus bears an affinity with the post-structuralist concept of textuality. There can be no unmediated truth.

from Terry Eagleton: The London Review of Books: I Contain Multitudes


Great Regulars: The lower estimate tells you

very roughly what the owner of the work of art is prepared to part with it for. But this has no relation to what it is worth in aesthetic terms. Learning about art and learning about the market are two quite distinct things.

I found the Raphael hanging in the foyer beside a Sisley and opposite a Hoppner.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Picture perfect


Great Regulars: The boy gets to enjoy

ripe strawberries that make his lips red, and he wears a hat, probably a straw hat, whose "torn brim" displays a "jaunty grace."

Although the speaker has been moved to remark on all the summer happiness this young boy is celebrating, in line 10 we learn how closely the speaker identities with the lad: "From my heart I give thee joy,--/I was once a barefoot boy!"

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Whittier's 'The Barefoot Boy'


Great Regulars: If an individual (a child,

in particular) plays computer games until his (or her) thumbs drop off, they are a lot less likely to become a poet; they will be a passive digester of material processed by others, not creators and inventors.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Don't lose your head


Great Regulars: Poem: "Choices"

by Tess Gallagher, from Dear Ghosts.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of June 25, 2007


Great Regulars: The subdivision; it's all around us.

Here Nancy Botkin of Indiana presents a telling picture of life in such a neighborhood, the parents downstairs in their stultifying dailiness, the children enjoying their youth under the eaves before the passing years force them to join the adults.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 117


Great Regulars: The poet [Galway Kinnell] reflects:

"We were enchanted. Everyone was in love." Another high point is "Promissory Note", a poem about death, written to the poet's lover. It is worth quoting in full:

from Jay Parini: The Guardian: In blackberry time


Great Regulars: Sometimes, he [Rodney Jones ] keeps

his musing, vernacular voice so moderate in tone that the writing reminds me of a baseball term for certain pitchers, "sneaky fast"--the delivery finishes with more heat than the lulling windup suggests:

Sitting with Others

from Robert Pinsky: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice


Great Regulars: Messaien's Piano

Fiona Sampson

from Fiona Sampson: The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Messaien's Piano


Great Regulars: Much like a game of telephone,

many of the chains in "Poets Picking Poets" wind up far from where they started. Who knew, for example, that an image-driven lyric by Michael Ondaatje is four degrees of separation from the synaptic pops and sonic snaps of Portland's own Kaia Sand? Not I--until now.

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Chains of poets, and a poet of chains


Great Regulars: Khaled Nusseibeh


from The American Muslim: Poetry: Tragic


Great Regulars: I used to wonder what made them write

as they did, and whenever I was able to find out I discovered that it was because of the dreadful prose they read and the way they read it. They admired cheap stuff, they imitated cheap stuff, and they appeared to have no understanding of how they cheapened their own minds and their powers of expression by so doing.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Reading! --Robertson Davies


The best advice I know for the writer on the matter of criticism was given by Thornton Wilder; he said that a writer should certainly read criticism of his work and give it adequate but not prolonged consideration, or else he would find that the critic had wormed into his mind and was writing his next book. To which I would add that it must always be remembered that the critic is seeking to enhance his own reputation, and may not be wholly scrupulous about the way he does it.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Writing --Robertson Davies


Great Regulars: This month: Philip Wagner,

who was born in Santa Cruz County, served in the Peace Corps, edited the underground newspaper, ACT, in Paris, founded Resisters Inside the Army, made 10 documentaries and has published psychology and political articles. He lectures on myth, psychology and art.

Catch and Release

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: Philip Wagner


Great Regulars: Mute Game

[by René Char]
[tr. Nancy Naomi Carlson]

from Guernica: Poetry: New Translations of René Char


Great Regulars: Like a Prisoner of Soft Words

C. D. Wright

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Like a Prisoner of Soft Words


by James Longenbach

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Venice


Great Regulars: By Nina Bej


from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Nina Bej]


By Kirsten Hatcher
The Day

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Kirsten Hatcher]


By Audrey Alyse Jenkins
Let it Be Known that Fire Chills the Bones

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Audrey Alyse Jenkins]


By Sarah Keane
Delsea Regional High School
I Have Seen. . ..

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Sarah Keane]


By Anthony Kent
Life is But a Breath

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Anthony Kent]


By Hannah Romm
Cherry Hill High School West
Return to Where I Never Was

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Hannah Romm]


Great Regulars: La Lune

[by Cate Jones]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: La Lune


Great Regulars: As a teenager, Gerry Cambridge

was obsessed with wild birds. His enthusiasm sings off the page in Aves (Essence Press, 2007), a collection of bird-spotting poems. The baby barn owls--tyto alba--discovered in this prose poem are lovingly captured in a series of precise images.

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week


Great Regulars: "Lilacs"

By Peter Campion

from Slate: "Lilacs"--By Peter Campion


Poetic Obituaries: [Mario Mundin Auxillo] had written a number of poems,

in the Visayan language, depicting the struggle of the people and the long-awaited victory of the masses. From his school days and up to the time that he was already a full-time activist, he had been receiving praise and recognition for his poems.

from Bulatlat: Mario "Mayong Mag-uuma" Mundin Auxillo (1957-2007)


Poetic Obituaries: [Jamie Collier] wrote poems

and considered submitting some of her poetry to a national contest, but she never got a chance.

She spent Saturdays watching movies with her family. "What's Love Got to Do with It" was her all-time favorite, said her mother, Sandra Collier.

from The Huntsville Times: Teen's death shocks witnesses to fight


Poetic Obituaries: Nicole Griswell wrote poems.

She spoke whatever was in her nearly 19-year-old mind.

Her 15-year-old sister Raven was quieter, introspective. She made the honor roll. She wanted to be a doctor when she grew up.

from Memphis Commercial Appeal: Sharing of joys marks sisters killed in dragster crash


Poetic Obituaries: Here, then, is an epigraph

of that shared culture, and perhaps an epitaph for Hamburger, from his translation of Celan's 1970 collection, "Lichtzwang":

from The Jewish Daily Forward: Remembering Poet and Translator Michael Hamburger


Poetic Obituaries: [Jemina "Jimmy" Hammes] was a member

of Hope Reformed Church.

Jimmy was an avid reader whose creative interests included journaling and writing poetry for her family.

from Sheboygan Press: Jemina "Jimmy" Hammes


Poetic Obituaries: [Aldyth Jaffe] appreciated nature

and the outdoors and collected rocks, plants and pets.

Mrs. Jaffe was also a poet and a wordsmith who saw to it that her children used proper grammar.

from The Enquirer: Aldyth Jaffe, 83, taught all ages of piano students


Poetic Obituaries: Cara [Liuzzi] was a happy,

talkative girl who played basketball, wrote poetry and sang with a soulful waver in her voice. More than 400 people visited her profile on myspace.com over the weekend.

Cara had attended Watervliet schools for most of her childhood and won the Watervliet school district's Spelling Bee last year.

from Times Union: Bicycle accident in Troy claims the life of spirited girl


Poetic Obituaries: Renowned Iraqi poet Nazek al-Malaika,

who was famous as the first to write Arabic poetry in free verse rather than classical rhyme, died Wednesday. She was 85.

from Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Iraqi poet Nazik al-Malaika dies at 85


Poetic Obituaries: [Marion L. "Dottie" Olsen] experienced a life-long

interest in the writing of prose, poetry and drama having received several awards and publications and having left a written life journal. Before moving from Hendersonville in later years, she participated with a local writers group.

from Hendersonville Times-News: Marion L. Olsen, 96


Poetic Obituaries: Katherine Dixon says [Matthew] Swader

will be missed. According to her Matthew was one of the brightest people she knew. "He was smart, he did the school newspaper and did poetry. And no matter where you were he would come get you."

from WRBL: Funeral Services Held For Matthew Swader


Poetic Obituaries: Fed up with local politics

in the 1980s, Bea Wilcox wrote a poem titled "Chili Town Stew."

In the poem, she compared her frustrations attending Town Board meetings to simmering vegetables in a pot.

from Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Bea Wilcox, a former Chili historian, dies at 82


Poetic Obituaries: [Maurice] Wolfson, who lived in Pepper Pike

with his daughter and son-in-law for the past 12 years, was born in Boston, where he first studied violin. He never attended college. Instead, he studied philosophy and poetry on his own and composed.

"He pushed himself with natural talent, because he didn't have the opportunity of conservatory training," [Saralee] Epstein said.

from The Plain Dealer: Maurice Wolfson, 95, violinist with orchestra for 40 years


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

June 19th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

June 19th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags

Very little in News at Eleven is in the United States. There is more Canada than the US, and more China than anywhere else. So many of the stories are about poets who are or have been in exile or in prison. It is an activist's week in world poetry news. And there is wrangling, and argument, and legal action, which extends through the Back Page, two articles into Great Regulars--until poems and aesthetics dawn. There you'll even find a wonderful poem called "Beauty" by Tony Hoagland.

Have a good week, and thank for clicking by.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog


IBPC Newswire


News at Eleven: Within weeks, the dashing

Major [Christopher] Okigbo had been killed in an early battle of the Biafran conflict. The fortunes of war decreed that [Chinua] Achebe survived, to become not a meteor but a fixed star.

In the manner of stars, observers can often take his position and his brilliance for granted.

from The Independent: Chinua Achebe: The storyteller


News at Eleven: Before war I used to see the killed

only on TV; in the news about Palestine. I never was able to smell the warm stream of blood shown in massacre reports. War acted like a sleight of hand to make the distance between me and the world disappear, beyond the TV. It turned my first little son to a bird without wings to fly, a bird good only to be buried forever. [--Farideh Hassanzadeh]

from Foreign Policy in Focus: Interview with Iranian Poet Farideh Hassanzadeh


News at Eleven: One day, to his [Nguyen Chi Thien's] surprise,

one of his angry jailers came storming towards him, waving a book in his face, 'Flowers of Hell.' It was a collection of Thien's poems, which would eventually appear in English, French, German, Dutch, Chinese, Spanish, and Korean. It would win awards while he was still in jail.

from Monsters and Critics.com: Vietnam poet Thien's prison years left "no time to love"


News at Eleven: "There are over 40,000 severed fingers

in the Pearl River Delta. I often think: How long will the fingers extend if they were connected one by one? But my poor words cannot restore any of the fingers . . ."

In nonstandard Mandarin, a Dongguan migrant worker Zheng Xiaoqiong made a speech when she received one of the nation's most prestigious literary awards in Beijing on May 21, 2007.

from Shenzhen Daily: Zheng Xiaoqiong: Between a poet and a migrant worker


News at Eleven: Recommended Action:

Send appeals to authorities:
- expressing outrage at reports that a confession by Yang Maodong [a.k.a. Guo Feixiong] extracted through torture is to be used in court as evidence
- condemning the use of torture and degrading treatment against prisoners, in violation of the United Nations Convention against Torture
- seeking assurances from the authorities that Yang Maodong is humanely treated while in detention
- calling for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which China is a signatory

from International Freedom of Expression eXchange: Imprisoned dissident writer Yang Maodong allegedly tortured, confession to be used in court