Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 28th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

July 28th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Cilla McQueen is the New Zealand poet laureate; Carol Ann Duffy brings us a fresh complilation of war poetry; Aung San Suu Kyi is this year's "Ambassador of Conscience"; Sonia Sanchez is being honored in "Freedom Sisters": these are our first four stories in News at Eleven. It must be ladies' week in Poetry & Poets in Rags.

Dozens of articles from around the world of poetry including poems, reading of poems, reviews, and criticism. It's a good one. Thanks for surfing through.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: When winter comes to Bluff, poet Cilla McQueen

usually just hunkers down in her draughty, freezing home and keeps on writing.

So the newly announced poet laureate's first idea for the $100,000 windfall coming her way with the role is simple: "Pay the electricity bill."

For 20 years, the 60-year-old has eked out a living from poems and occasional teaching.

from Stuff: Poetry paying the bills for laureate


News at Eleven: War, it seems, makes poets of soldiers

and not the other way round. Today, as most of us do, poets largely experience war--wherever it rages--through emails or texts from friends or colleagues in war zones, through radio or newsprint or television, through blogs or tweets or interviews. With the official inquiry into Iraq imminent and the war in Afghanistan returning dead teenagers to the streets of Wootton Bassett, I invited a range of my fellow poets to bear witness, each in their own way, to these matters of war.

In Times of Peace

by John Agard

from The Guardian: Exit wounds


News at Eleven: Amnesty International today announced that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

is being awarded its most prestigious honour--the "Ambassador of Conscience" Award for 2009.

This year's award will be announced in Dublin by Amnesty International and the Irish rock band U2, previous recipients of the award and long-time supporters of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

"This month marks the twentieth anniversary of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's arrest and twenty years since Amnesty International declared her a prisoner of conscience. In those long and often dark years Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has remained a symbol of hope, courage and the undying defense of human rights, not only to the people of Myanmar but to people around the world," said Irene Khan, Amnesty International's Secretary General.

from Reporter Freelance: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is Amnesty International's "Ambassador of Conscience"
also Amnesty International: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is Amnesty International's "Ambassador of Conscience"


News at Eleven: "I don't use the terms of being optimistic

or pessimistic," [Sonia] Sanchez replied. "It puts you in a ring that is very difficult to get out of. I think . . . that progress began, you know, and progress will continue to be, and you cannot stop this flow . . . of what I call this river of progress.

"It might be at a state of stasis sometimes, the river might get clogged up from brushes and crazy people coming along with crazy ideas, right? But the river is such a force that . . . once you start that river flowing, it cannot be stopped."

from The Birmingham News: Birmingham-born poet Sonia Sanchez sees civil rights progress as an unstoppable river


News at Eleven: [Yusuf] Jumaev's family said that prison guards

Because the isolation cell is right above the prison kitchen, it is very hot.
had burned him several times during his detention by placing a hot electric teapot on his shoulders. He was reportedly denied use of a toilet and was not allowed out of the cell at all during the eight days. He was also denied food and water for at least two of the days.

"The abuse suffered by Yusuf Jumaev is as outrageous as it is familiar," said Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "There is no reason to hold him in the first place. The Uzbek authorities need to free Jumaev right away, and hold accountable those responsible for his ill-treatment."

from Human Rights Watch: Uzbekistan: Political Prisoner Abused in Detention


News at Eleven: Current projects include developing an

Iowa Literary Community website, Iowalit.com. It will provide a place for Iowa writers to share their works and offer feedback, as well as a centralized source of writing events in the state.

[Mary] Swander's accomplishments are too many to list in this story, but her website, maryswander.com, recounts writing her history.

A performance piece of her latest work, "The Girls on the Roof," has also been created with the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre.
The book, itself, begins:

from The Kalona News: Rural Kalona resident Iowa's Poet Laureate


News at Eleven: Certainly it is more difficult to write well

than to pull the trigger, and in his outliving of [Vladimir] Mayakovsky, [Boris] Pasternak found his strongest voice, as well as that estranging sense of living one’s own autobiography that might be necessary to poets in their practice. Pasternak once wrote, “the biography of a poet is found in what happens to those who read him,” but the mystical reversal became truer with time: the biographies of readers are found in what happens to the poets who write for them.

from Tablet: Selective Memoir


News at Eleven: Shannon's understated lyricism--

the apprehension of nature before the onset of self-consciousness ("silver of frost & birds' eggs/rising up the first bell-stroke of light/my cloak of light to keep you/take this sword of light, this ruin/is it a dream of loneliness that calls me?")--reflects heightened maturity in [Campbell] McGrath's work.

American capitalism today is the enlightenment gone haywire; Shannon's voice, as he falls upon his core skepticism, points to the enlightenment's forgotten side.

An Excerpt

from The Kansas City Star: 'Shannon: A Poem of the Lewis and Clark Expedition'


News at Eleven: Most professors agree the expansion in

the field has been hastened by an uncertain job market, though they diverge on why. Some see creative writing as a way to hedge career bets, since writing skills are useful in many professions. Others consider the field a welcome escape hatch from the mounting emphasis on business and other so-called "practical" areas of study.

"This is the yang, the flip side to that world," said Jared Harel, a poet hired by Centenary to help develop the minor and concentration debuting this fall.

from The Star-Ledger: Colleges report a shift to the write


News at Eleven: The eulogy takes the form of a corona,

in which the last line of every sonnet appears as the first of the next; so "warm as a campfire on a bitter night" appropriately begins and ends the sequence devoted to that gathering place that meant so much to so many.

The final section reveals, in poem after poem, how the ends of things are present in their beginnings, from love affairs to tourist monologues about the city (turned from simple reminiscence to complex post-Katrina mourning), ending on a glorious note of flight as watchers applaud purple martins taking off at the lakeshore.

from The Times-Picayune: Poet Julie Kane imagines a stirring 'Jazz Funeral'


News at Eleven (Back Page): Gabrielle Kerouac left all of

her son's assets to his third wife, Stella Sampas Kerouac, when she died in 1973. Ever since, the Sampas family has had control of Jack Kerouac's manuscripts, letters and personal belongings.

But Jack Kerouac's daughter and nephew believed the will was fake. They filed a lawsuit that has dragged on in Pinellas County for the last 15 years. On Friday, a judge finally ruled that the will was a forgery.

from Associated Press: Fla. judge rules will on Kerouac's estate is fake
also The New York Times: Arts Beat: Judge Rules Will of Kerouac’s Mother Is Fake


Great Regulars: [Charles Simic is] an accidentalist,

often an absurdist, sometimes a trickster. In "Mummy's Curse," he has a mummy ride a bicycle as the deus ex machina to resolve the poem's crooked plot.

Often beginning poets tell me they know exactly what it is they want to write about, that they can almost see it. What I'm thinking to myself is, no you don't. Because as soon as you begin to write -- for that matter, draw, paint, sculpt -- you're imagination overwhelms your certainty, and the object itself, the poem, say, lurches toward discoveries you didn't know you intended to make. It's a curse of a sort, a mummy's curse, perhaps, and a good one.

Mummy's Curse

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Walking, to let the mind wander


Great Regulars: Today Keats House in Hampstead opens

after renovation, thanks mainly to £424,000 provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund (Andrew Motion told me that when he worked there to write his biography of Keats, the rain would come in over his head).

In Keats's day all of this would have been unthinkable. When he sailed down the Thames in the autumn of 1820 to Italy, few in his native city knew his name. Such was his obscurity that he said that his epitaph should be "here lies one whose name was writ on water."

from Olivia Cole: London Evening Standard: A fitting tribute to the greatest Cockney poet--John Keats


Great Regulars: Now she has dropped those ashes of grief

at the feet of her beloved. But she notices that there seem to be some live coals in the heap of ashes; her grief is still burning "through the ashen greyness." She speculates that if her beloved could stomp out the remaining burning coals of her grief, that might be all well and good.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Barrett Browning's Sonnet 5


Great Regulars: Frank McCourt, who died last week,

forever shattered the myth that "there are no second acts in American lives."

A retired teacher, McCourt was 66 when his autobiography, "Angela's Ashes," became a blockbuster best-seller in 1996, launching a lucrative new career for the white-haired author who would see more than 10 million copies of "Angela" and its two sequels in print

from Bob Hoover: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Frank McCourt surprised naysayers


Great Regulars: Common Ground

by Paul J. Willis

Today I dug an orange tree out of the damp, black earth.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Common Ground by Paul J. Willis


Counting Thunder
by Robert Hass

For several weeks the weather has been mild

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Counting Thunder by Robert Hass


by Ron Koertge

In the airport bar, I tell my mother not to worry.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Fault by Ron Koertge


by Martha Collins

Draw a line. Write a line. There.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Lines by Martha Collins


Miles: Prince of Darkness
by Philip Bryant

I remember my father's stories

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Miles: Prince of Darkness by Philip Bryant


Miracle of Bubbles
by Barbara Goldberg

A woman drives to the video store

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Miracle of Bubbles by Barbara Goldberg


by Joyce Sutphen

In the afternoon of summer, sounds

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


Great Regulars: Elizabeth Bishop, one of our greatest

American poets, once wrote a long poem in which the sudden appearance of a moose on a highway creates a community among a group of strangers on a bus. Here Ronald Wallace, a Wisconsin poet, gives us a sighting with similar results.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 226


Great Regulars: Most of my contemporary poets are writing dead poetry

(and an interesting play on the term "dead poets' society" comes to mind) because they themselves have passed away artistically long ago. Their creative spirit is dead, but they don't know it. They have become so concerned with getting published, winning awards and giving readings at venues most likely to advance their careers that their work suffers from academic anemia, at best, or is simply frozen and lifeless at its core.

Hot poetry
Hot poetry is alive, imaginative and vital.

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: Contemporary American work has turned from beauty


Great Regulars: Nonsense verse is a product of an age

whose shoes were too tight. Lear's genius was to unlace them just enough to dance in them.

"How pleasant to know Mr Lear,/Who has written such volumes of stuff", begins an earlier self-portrait, famously parodied in a tribute by TS Eliot ("How unpleasant to meet Mr Eliot"). There is some quality of personal charm in Lear, even in his most savage self-deprecations. It would certainly have been very pleasant to know him. And it's still great fun to read him.

Some Incidents in the Life of My Uncle Arly

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Books blog: Poem of the week: Some Incidents in the Life of My Uncle Arly by Edward Lear


Great Regulars: [Dr U.V. Swaminatha Iyer's] singular effort

over five decades brought to light major literary works in Tamil and contributed vastly to the enrichment of Tamil literary heritage. Dr. Iyer published over 91 books in his lifetime, on a variety of matters connected with classical Tamil literature, and collected 3067 paper manuscripts, palm leaf manuscripts and notes of various kinds. He is affectionately called as 'Tamil Thatha' (Grandfather of Tamil).

Another significant contribution made by Dr U.V. Swaminatha Iyer was in the realm of Tamil music.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Baritone: A musical jewel of Raja Sarfoji's reign


Great Regulars: Twilight may also resemble dawn,

and it is not clear from the color of the sky if the day is fading or growing.

So too, in the study of international society and world politics, it is not always clear if we are moving toward greater night or clearer day. For our efforts to be most effective, we need to have some understanding of where we are in the cosmic process, if it is time to get more fuel for our lamps because night is coming on or if we can start putting away our lamps because day will soon be here. In this period with strong shadows and unclear shapes, we must be particularly careful in our evaluations of events and currents.

from René Wadlow's The Flutes of Dionysus: Newropeans Magazine: Twilight and Dawn


Great Regulars: And so, having indulged my melancholy

to the full, it faded away and I became again my usual insouciant self.

"Only the shallow know themselves," Oscar Wilde said. As with many of Wilde's quips, this is not as clear-cut as it may at first seem. On the one hand, the shallow may know themselves simply because there is so little for them to know. On the other, it is surely better to know oneself to be shallow than to mistake oneself for deep.

from Frank Wilson: When Falls the Coliseum: That's What He Said: Bright surfaces are richer in detail than shadowy deeps


Great Regulars: Americana

By Tracy Phillip McLellan

Back and forth paces the mind

from CounterPunch: Poets' Basement: Kakak and McLennan


Great Regulars: Dust

by C.K. Williams

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Dust


Money Talks
by Rae Armantrout

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Money Talks


Great Regulars: [by Stacey Lynn Brown]

When it came time, I would leave the South,

from The Oregonian: Poetry: 'When it came time, I would leave the South'


Great Regulars: "Playboy's Guide to Lingering"

By Joseph J. Capista

from Slate: "Playboy's Guide to Lingering" --By Joseph J. Capista


Great Regulars: "The good news," her new doctor said

the next morning, "is that you're in terrific health. The bad news is you need quadruple bypass surgery right away." In the end, she spent many days in the ICU, her heart stopped twice, and it was almost a year before she felt truly healthy again.

I wrote the first draft of this poem during one of my evenings alone at home, after having spent several nights hovering around her hospital bed watching her sleep.

from The Washington Post: Poet's Choice: 'Seeds' by Kevin Prufer


Poetic Obituaries: After the war he [Stephen Alexander] joined the

British Council and served in Medellin, Bogota, Tehran, Beirut, Hong Kong, London, Guyana, Barcelona, Caracas, Nicosia, Ankara and Madras. He was a talented theatre director and staged plays and musicals in all his postings.

In retirement he lived in Bristol. He had a love of poetry as well as film and ecclesiastical architecture. In 1995 he published Sweet Kwai Run Softly, an account of his wartime experiences.

from Telegraph: Stephen Alexander


Poetic Obituaries: In 1994, she [Esther Jo Angel] moved to Butte, MT,

and then transferred to the Yellowstone Annual Conference, serving as Pastor at Aldersgate UMC in Butte, MT and then at First UMC of Polson, MT. She served on the Yellowstone Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and encouraged Local Pastors throughout her ministry. She has been a poet and writer; an avid walker, runner, and cross-country skier; a spiritual mentor; and a delighted caretaker of horses, dogs and cats.

from Marion Star: Rev. Esther Jo Angel


Poetic Obituaries: [Duncan] Ball junior continued to campaign

against Sellafield after he was released from prison, alleging unsafe practices at the Magnox plant. He was also a prolific poet. Marianne Birkby, of the anti-nuclear group Radiation-Free Lakeland, said: "Duncan was discredited by the nuclear industry as 'obsessive'."But the truth is he was a hero whose only crime was trying to alert his employers and the wider public to dangerous practices."

from Times & Star: Ex-Sellafield Worker Jailed for Bomb Hoax Dies Aged 49


Poetic Obituaries: [Kenneth Sherron Brown] was a man who

deeply loved his family, and he enjoyed spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. Other pastimes included hunting, walking, playing with his dogs and writing poetry.

from Kilgore News Herald: Kenneth Sherron Brown


Poetic Obituaries: Honouring [Kylie] Doxtater through readings

of her poetry, musical tributes of favourite songs and a photograph slide show, she was remembered as a great spirit, with a love of family and friends, who had ambitions of studying journalism in New York.

from Calgary Herald: Tearful memorial for teen killed in crash


Poetic Obituaries: Wauneta [Ferrari] loved her yard

and flower gardens, where she spent many hours each spring and summer. She liked embroidery, crocheting, painting, bowling and writing poetry. Wauneta also really enjoyed music, dancing, singing and playing guitar and organ.

from The Torrington Telegram: Wauneta E. Ferrari April 18, 1918 - July 19, 2009


Poetic Obituaries: Though the Gabrieles [Philip and Marcella] attended

another church, Williams said on Friday, he was approached by organizers, saw a need, and decided to help out.

As the service began, he read from the book of Psalms and asked attendees to observe a moment of silence.

Manuszak then read a poem that Philip Gabriele wrote to his wife this past Valentine's Day.

from South Bend Tribune: Remembering the Gabrieles


Poetic Obituaries: [Fern Lavonne] Howell was artistic with flowers,

fabric, decor and poetry. She filled her yard with blooms, especially from daylilies.

She often wrote a few lines of verse to bring more fun to gatherings, whether it was a new song for one of her children's birthdays or an informative poem in lieu of a report for her Beta Sigma Phi chapter.

from The Kansas City Star: Fern Lavonne Howell never stopped learning


Poetic Obituaries: [Simon] Karlinsky was also the co-translator

of a collection of Anton Chekhov's correspondence and the author of two books about the poet Marina Tsvetaeva, as well as several other volumes of history and criticism. His work earned the praise of literary critics such as John Updike and Edmund White, the latter of whom praised Karlinsky's Sexual Labyrinth of Nikolai Gogol for "its illuminating psychological insights into Gogol's actions, its informative readings of his fiction and drama, and its own stylistic grace and vivacity."

from Mediabistro: GalleyCat: Simon Karlinsky, 1924-2009


Poetic Obituaries: Valerie [Karwowski] was a former

Cub Scout den leader for Pack 143 and a leader trainer for the Boy Scouts of America. ValKar was an accomplished painter and published poet.

In her leisure time, she also enjoyed gardening, reading and spending time at the shore.

from The Daily Journal: Valerie Jean Karwowski


Poetic Obituaries: Upon his retirement from the Army,

as a sergeant first class in 1995, Ron [Kohl] returned to Helena to be with his family.

He enjoyed reading, music, cooking, plants and yard work, and writing poetry.

from Helena Independent Record: Ronald Wesley Kohl


Poetic Obituaries: [Margaret O. Leerssen] wrote a Book Cover

for Sister Angela at the Villa Maria, was a member of Lake City Writer's Club and a published poet. She also assisted in the writing of the Lake City Book. She was a Prayer Warrior and loved spending time with her family, writing, reading and flower gardening.

from Post-Bulletin: Margaret O. Leerssen--Lake City


Poetic Obituaries: Thelma and Glen [Matthews] were avid

race fans, attending the Indianapolis 500, Hoosier 100 and the Daytona 500 for many years along with sponsoring and following their children's sand drag racing. They camped for many years on the Ohio River with family and friends where Thelma became an accomplished water skier. She also loved writing poetry, knitting and reading.

from Palladium-Item: Thelma Matthews


Poetic Obituaries: Though Yusuf Nazim started his literary life

during his school days by writing Urdu Ghazals and poetries, he shifted to writing humour and satire in 1944 and after the breakthrough at Meezan and Payam, he acquired the top slot in the field very soon.

During this tenure he wrote hundreds of satiric essays, mini-essays and short stories that were compiled in over thirty books.

from Ummid: Eminent satire and humour writer Yusuf Nazim dies at 91


Poetic Obituaries: Mr. [Harry] Patch believed "war is

organised murder" and said: "It was not worth it, it was not worth one let alone all the millions.

"It's important that we remember the war dead on both sides of the line - the Germans suffered the same as we did."

Five Acts

In February this year, then Poet Laureate Andrew Motion was commissioned to write a poem in Mr Patch's honour, entitled "The Five Acts of Harry Patch".


A curve is a straight line caught bending

from Channel 4 News: WWI veteran Harry Patch dies


Poetic Obituaries: In addition to acting and comedy,

[Ross] Gagnon said [Theron D.] Read recently had been focusing on writing poetry.

"He was a hopeless romantic," Stringfellow said.

from The Salt Lake Tribune: Man found dead on TRAX train was Utah actor


Poetic Obituaries: [Ken] Roberts was born Saul Trochman on

Feb. 22, 1910, in Manhattan. He attended law school before entering show business in the late 1920s at a small New Jersey radio station. He mopped, played piano, recited poetry and announced the call sign, WPCH, on the hour.

In 1931, he beat out 40 other applicants for a full-time position as an announcer on CBS' New York outlet where he stayed for 20 years.

from The Washington Post: Golden-Throated Announcer Introduced Soap Operas


Poetic Obituaries: Each summer, public poetry readings

were highlights of both the Menlo and Round Top festivals, where [Michael] Steinberg not only gave his own memorable readings but also selected poems and lovingly coached both students and faculty in their readings. He believed poetry to be a vital component of music-making, and that performing musicians could arrive at a better understanding of musical phrasing and impulses by reading poetry aloud. In Jorja Fleezanis' words, he believed that "rhythm, the gait, and the expression required to read poetry well are intimately linked to what is required to play music well."

from The Baltimore Sun: Michael Steinberg, eminent music critic, dead at 80


Poetic Obituaries: It is understood Aeronwy Thomas-Ellis,

one of the poet's three children who lived in London, passed away peacefully in her sleep.

Writer Paul Ferris, biographer of the late poet, said he was told the news by the Dylan Thomas Trust.

Mr Ferris said: "Aeronwy Ellis was a friend of mine, she was a very self assured character."

He added: "She loved poetry and wrote herself, she also lectured on her father' work in America."

from BBC News: Daughter of Dylan Thomas has died


Poetic Obituaries: In her obituary, her family said

Sadie [Wadewitz] enjoyed writing poetry and was a talented photographer. She was an honor student, according to previous news reports.

from Winona Daily News: WMS student dies


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 21st Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

July 21st forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

This issue completes our sixth year of Poetry & Poets in Rags, which began as Saturday postings. Each post linked to ten articles, and was shared at two now-defunct poetry forums, Atlantic Unbound's Writers' Workshop, and The Melic Review's Roundtable, both InterBoard Poetry Community forums at the time. The IBPC started running with Poetry & Poets in Rags, maybe two or three weeks in.

We travel the world this week as ever, for the good and bad news on poetry, on poets, and by poets, including their poems. We begin with Seamus Heaney. The last article in our News at Eleven section (which contains eleven article links), is by Majid Naficy, born in Iran and now living in California. In between, in traveling the world of poetry, besides the UK and USA, we look into Tamil poetry, an Egyptian poet, and another from Viet Nam.

And that's just for starters. We still have over two dozen items in Great Regulars, a section begun for the writers and columnists who were often if not always included in News at Eleven. Following Great Regulars is our Poetic Obituaries section, this week with memorials to 15 poets who recently died.

Thanks for surfing through.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog


News at Eleven: [Seamus Heaney] had never written a poem

in response to scripture before, and says he is not a believer. But clearly the stroke had come as a powerful moment of punctuation in his intensely busy life, and gave him the idea that he should devote more time to himself. "I looked at the calendar after these days in the hospital," he says. "I thought, 'My God, you've never stopped, Seamus.' So, for a year afterwards, I just cancelled everything. I decided that in hospital."

So now there was another pressure, a new conflict to wrestle with. "I spend a lot of time saying 'No' to people," he says, "and then being anxious about saying No."

from The Guardian: A life of rhyme
also BBC News: Poet 'cried for father' after stroke


News at Eleven: [Daniel] Mendelsohn wants nothing less

than Ammon's friend: to offer, "as much as possible, a [Constantine] Cavafy who looks, feels, and sounds in English the way he looks, feels, and sounds in Greek," which means translating meter as well as meaning. Dalven, Keeley and Sherrard dispensed with rhyme and made Cavafy sound modern; Forster announced in an essay that Cavafy didn't use rhyme at all. Until now, only the early versions by John Mavrogordato and the poet's brother John (worth reading, and available on the website of the Cavafy Archive: cavafy.com) tried extensively to reproduce the poet's formal choices.

from The Nation: Mixing History and Desire: The Poetry of C.P. Cavafy


News at Eleven: We were posed singularly or in groups

for photographs in which I had my award in one hand and a cocktail in the other. I also seemed to be smoking. People congratulated me: other writers, publishing professionals, strangers who were readers and who had liked my book.

Apparently--and again I know this mostly from my husband--I had only one thing to say.

"You know this is bullshit, right?"

from The Atlantic: Eyes on the Prize


News at Eleven: Nations can't be ignored as factors,

but they don't define everything. The green beetle can be both green and a member of the coleoptera, just as a writer such as Melville can be a world traveler and influenced by the German Romantics, but also the author of a book that forms one of the gigantic foundation stones of "American Literature."

"Do you identify as a woman, or as a writer?" I've been asked. "A North American? A Torontonian? An environmentalist? A poet, or a novelist?" As if we were so divisible.

from The Atlantic: The Beetle and the Teacup