Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22nd Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

February 22nd forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

In an arrogant act of bullying, the Chinese government has been detaining not only the Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, but has had his wife Liu Xia under illegal house arrest since the prize announcement last year. Apparently and surprisingly, she got online and found a friend for a brief chat. We begin News at Eleven this week with a link to an article that has a translated transcript of that chat.

The link that follows is to an article called "Poetry in Revolt" and this sets a stage for the next couple of links, one on Miguel Hernández and a review of the movie Howl, which has some excellent background on the poem.

Further down in News at Eleven you'll find two links about poets with dual influences, Jackie Kay, "Both Igbo and Scottish" and Akbar Ahmed, who paired both Islamic and English influences into his work.

In Great Regulars, we link to excellent poetry from around the globe. And then in Poetic Obituaries, we find out, for instance, that the foremost poet of Lithuania, Justinas Marcinkevičius, has died.

And there's much more. Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: "I don't know how I managed to get online,"

Liu Xia wrote to the friend in her post, according to the published transcript. "Don't go online. Otherwise my whole family is in danger."

The friend asked, "Are you at home?"

"Yes," Liu Xia responded, writing in Pinyin, the Chinese transliteration system. She said she was using an old computer and apparently could not type Chinese characters.

"Can't go out. My whole family are hostages," Liu Xia said. Later she wrote, "I only saw him once," apparently referring to her husband, Liu Xiaobo.

"So miserable," she wrote. "Don't talk."

"I'm crying," she added. "Nobody can help me."

The friend said he was worried about causing her more trouble but offered words of support, writing: "Please log out first. We miss you and support you. We will wait for you outside."

She replied "Goodbye" and "Okay," and the chat ended.

from Radio Free Asia: Liu's Family "Hostages"


News at Eleven: The slogans the protesters are chanting

are couplets--and they are as loud as they are sharp. The diwan of this revolt began to be written as soon as Ben Ali fled Tunis, in pithy lines like "Yâ Mubârak! Yâ Mubârak! Is-Sa'ûdiyya fi-ntizârak!," ("Mubarak, O Mubarak, Saudi Arabia awaits!"). In the streets themselves, there are scores of other verses, ranging from the caustic "Shurtat Masr, yâ shurtat Masr, intû ba'aytû kilâb al-'asr" ("Egypt's Police, Egypt's Police, You've become nothing but Palace dogs"), to the defiant "Idrab idrab yâ Habîb, mahma tadrab mish hansîb!" ("Hit us, beat us, O Habib [al-Adly, now-former minister of the Interior], hit all you want--we're not going to leave!").

from The Indypendent: Poetry in Revolt


News at Eleven: Spain's Supreme Court has said it will not

revise the death sentence which was handed down by a Francoist tribunal to the Orihuela poet, Miguel Hernández, who died in prison in 1942 after his sentence was commuted to 30 years behind bars.

from Typically Spanish: Supreme Court turns down revising death sentence of Spanish poet Miguel Hernández


News at Eleven: After encountering [Antonin] Artaud in France,

[Carl] Solomon decided that he too should "give up the flesh" and follow the path of the "professional-lunatic saint". It was a vocation that would eventually lead, as Ginsberg recounted in "Howl", to Solomon presenting himself "on the granite steps of the madhouse with the [. . .] harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy".

For Ginsberg, Solomon's journey through madness was a matter of both personal identification and a metaphor for a generation of free spirits crushed by the forces of Moloch, the sun god of the Canaanites to whom firstborn children were sacrificed, "the heavy judger of men", as "Howl" has it.

from Telegraph: Allen Ginsberg's 'Howl': 'I scribbled magic lines from my real mind'
then Little White Lies: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman interview


News at Eleven: As a memoir by Mary de Rachewiltz--

[Ezra] Pound's daughter and one of this collection's editors--confirms, his father, Homer, was the more sympathetic correspondent of the two "Reverend Progenitors". He is the addressee of an ambivalent long letter from London about the American entry into the war in 1917 and, later, an abashed defence of the fascistic views that would eventually get Pound arrested for treason in 1945 ("I hate SOME JEWS but I have greater contempt for Christians").

from Telegraph: Ezra Pound to his Parents: Letters 1895-1929 ed by Mary de Rachewiltz et al


News at Eleven: [Yehoshua] November faithfully follows

the divine model, adding to it the gift of his conscious appreciation of sanctified language and of his response to it. He speaks of plain and familiar things directly; his words do not get in the way. And as he does so, we sense the sacred present in those things, or yearning to be present though presently missing. He does not veer into either of the polarities that profane poetry. He does not engage in obscurities; and he does not fail to engage the challenge of numinous mystery.

from Chabad Lubavitch Headquarters News: Poetry Review


News at Eleven: [Jackie] Kay's dilemma (if any),

unlike [Derek] Walcott's, is not in what direction to turn. She has turned her back on the path of ambivalence; choosing instead to embrace her twin "bloods." The first hint of this is to be found in the title of the collection. "Fiere," we are told, is a Scottish word that means "a companion, a mate, a spouse, an equal." The next hint is in the epigraphs that open the collection. Two lines from the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, (who, like Kay's birth father, is Igbo)--"Wherever someone stands,/something else will stand beside it"--sum the collection up. (The other epigraph, introducing the word "fiere", is by the Scottish poet Robert Burns)

from Next: Both Igbo and Scottish


News at Eleven: The poetry reflects this suspension,

and is influenced by poets from both European and Muslim traditions from Coleridge and Keats to Hafiz and Rumi. There is also a strong influence from the great poets of Muslim South Asia, Ghalib and Iqbal.

Where the structure and meter of the poetry sometimes evoke the great English poets, [Akbar] Ahmed also uses classic Islamic poetic techniques to great effect. The scholar Roger Boase, who wrote on the poetry of Muslim Spain, characterized the Muslim poet of that era as a "jeweler with words, seeking the means of verbal images to fix and thereby eternalize a fleeting experience of joy or sadness or aesthetic delight."

from The Washington Post: On Faith: Guest Voices: Poetry, faith, and the Muslim soul


News at Eleven: (It was a shock at first--[Elizabeth] Bishop

didn't care to be an American and loathed saluting the flag.) The girl never saw her mother again.

Bishop suffered from a streak of perfectionism in a personality pricked with self-doubt and almost paralyzed by shyness--for all her mixed feelings about Emily Dickinson, whose letters Bishop found embarrassing, there was more than a little of the Amherst poet in her character.

from The New York Times: Deal With the Devil


News at Eleven: "If it's important to you to know

that the fridge, strictly speaking, was not invented in Sweden," Paul Muldoon, the magazine's current poetry editor, said, "then here we have one piece of information. If by the line 'the Swedes invented the fridge' you mean that storage of spoilable food in a cold climate might be said as invented in the frigid climate of Sweden, then that's also fine. It is and is not a fact."

"The fact-checkers are very diligent," Mr. Robbins told The Observer. "They don't make a distinction between the poetic and the actual. They don't allow for, at least in theory, the dimension of fictionality that a poem can cultivate." When your verse arrives at 4 Times Square, in other words, your poetic license is revoked.

from The New York Observer: Whose Line Is It, Anyway?


News at Eleven (Back Page): The more than 70 poets called upon

by the anthology's editors, Greg Delanty and Michael Matto, are certainly distinguished. The roster includes Heaney himself ("Deor"), Paul Muldoon ("Wulf and Eadwacer"), David R. Slavitt ("The Battle of Maldon"), Derek Mahon ("Durham"), Robert Hass ("The Battle of Brunanburh") and Yusef Komunyakaa ("The Ruin"). Much Anglo-Saxon verse takes the form of riddles, charms, prayers and maxims, and scores of these are Englished by Billy Collins, Carol Muske-Dukes, Michael Collier, Molly Peacock, Dennis O'Driscoll, Jane Hirshfield and others equally notable. Many of the poets were assisted by Matto, who provided "cribs, glossaries, and interpretive direction." In an appendix, David Ferry, Eamon Grennan, Rachel Hadas and nine other contributors offer mini-essays on their experience of turning Anglo-Saxon into modern English.

from The Washington Post: 'The Word Exchange' book review: Old English poetry isn't lost in translation


Great Regulars: But it hasn't happened in Pakistan yet,

so of course all of the objective conditions exist. And is it because Pakistan is a country reeling at the moment? We have the most disastrous natural disaster in our history, in 80 years; we hadn't seen anything like the floods that hit the country this fall and winter. Twenty million people were affected. We're also an international battleground; some 2,000 Pakistanis have been killed in drone attacks in the last two years, largely civilians. You know we have a government that takes great support and great strength from foreign power. Are these the factors that are keeping people from reacting as they are in Egypt and Tunisia? I don't know, but I certainly hope that they can be overturned.

from Fatima Bhutto: Mother Jones: Fatima Bhutto on Pakistan, Egypt, and Middle East Unrest (Audio)


Great Regulars: Take this eight-line poem,

ironically titled "A Major Work," that begins:

Poems are hard to read
Pictures are hard to see
Music is hard to hear
And people are hard to love

The paradoxes have become more than insights. They have made both halves of the proposition feel true.

You see something similar in a sonnet like "The Illiterate," one of my favorite [William] Meredith poems.

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Poetry Review: 'The Illiterate' by William Meredith


Great Regulars: Perhaps it was his mother's early death

that gave him such a zest for life; he attended the University of Minnesota to be with her until she died, then transferred to Dartmouth. after graduating from Dartmouth he traveled the world--working on a tramp steamer--and pursued a second degree at Cambridge University. He served as a naval officer in World War II, worked for his wife's family at the Butcher Polish Company for several years, and taught at a number of universities, including his alma mater. He died in 2005 at his home in New Hampshire.

[by Richard Eberhart]

21st Century Man

from Marianne Combs: Minnesota Public Radio: State of the Arts: Minnesota Poetry: Richard Eberhart's "21st Century Man"


Great Regulars: The speaker begins with a simple statement

thanking "all who have loved me in their hearts." She then offers her own heart's love in return. Continuing, she expresses her gratitude as "deep thanks" to all those who have paid some attention to her, especially when they listened to her complaints.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet 41


Great Regulars: Art Sanctuary

by Nikki Giovanni

I would always choose to be the person running

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Art Sanctuary by Nikki Giovanni


The Blind Old Man
by Robert Bly

I don't know why so much sweetness hovers around us.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Blind Old Man by Robert Bly


by Dorothy Parker

Four be the things I am wiser to know:

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Inventory by Dorothy Parker


The Kama Sutra of Kindness: Position Number 3
by Mary Mackey

It's easy to love

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Kama Sutra of Kindness: Position Number 3 by Mary Mackey


The Guitar Player
by Dave Morrison

He waited for the bartender to close

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Guitar Player by Dave Morrison


by Marilyn Donnelly

He who

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Passage by Marilyn Donnelly


What Did We See Today?
by Robert Bly

Some days we are passive, listening to the incoming waves.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: What Did We See Today? by Robert Bly


Great Regulars: For if the world of American Yiddish writing

was small and beleaguered, the world of American Hebrew writing that Weingrad describes was practically non-existent. During World War I, Weingrad points out, "the Yiddish daily press in the United States reached a peak circulation . . . of more than six hundred thousand," whereas Hadoar, the leading Hebrew periodical in America, "had a circulation of about nine thousand to twelve thousand." By the end of World War II, the number of important Hebrew writers in America could be counted on the fingers of one hand; when the last of them, the poet Gabriel Preil, died in 1993, "the story of the immigrant Hebraists and the literature they created in America came to an end."

from Adam Kirsch: Tablet: Alternate Route


Great Regulars: I love poems that celebrate families,

and here's a fine one by Joyce Sutphen of Minnesota, a poet who has written dozens of poems I'd like to publish in this column if there only were weeks enough for all of them.

The Aunts

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 309


Great Regulars: [Hillary] Clinton urged governments around the world

on Tuesday to end Internet censorship, or risk the kind social and political unrest sweeping through the Middle East.

She also pledged strong U.S. support for cyber-dissidents worldwide who wish to circumvent government censorship and protect themselves from reprisals.

China's official Xinhua news agency accused Clinton in a commentary on Thursday of "double standards."

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: U.S. Warned Over Web Speech


Great Regulars: When we are faced with storm and strife,

how do we return to a sense of serenity? [George] MacDonald's poem may be the antidote we seek.

The title combines both innocence and wisdom in a way reflected by the text itself. MacDonald's elegant four lines draw a simple but telling contrast between the passing violence of "lightning and thunder" and the unchanging peace of the "stars."

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Modern Life: A Reading of 'The Baby Sermon' by George MacDonald


Great Regulars: This week's pairing: the poem

"Mysterious Neighbors" and a blog post, "Guns in Frail Hands."

from Katherine Schulten: The New York Times: Poetry Pairing: Feb. 17, 2011


Great Regulars: "One of the things that was really difficult

for me when my sister died was the shame around suicide," she [Jill Bialosky] explains, her voice quiet. "It silences everyone, until you begin to feel almost as if the person never existed. We're able to discuss so many things now, but suicide still seems to be a topic that we don't have the language to talk about. So it was a journey for me to decide whether I could first of all write the book. As for the question of publishing, once I went that far down the rabbit hole, I began to feel more confident that other people would be able to see their stories within mine."

from David L. Ulin: Los Angeles Times: Finding words to talk about the hush-hush topic of suicide


Great Regulars: [by Janet Barry]

Growth Spurt

Those icicles by the back door,

from The Christian Science Monitor: Growth Spurt


Great Regulars: These Special People

by Grzegorz Wróblewski
(Translated from the Polish by Agnieszka Pokojska)

I read to him about the Tlingit People

from CounterPunch: Poets' Basement: Three by Grzegorz Wróblewski


Great Regulars: [Toni] Morrison was raised in a house

full of art and culture where fairy tales, ghost stories, myth and music prevailed. Storytelling was a Wofford family tradition among the adults and children. The importance of listening and narration helped form Morrison's understanding of the world and inspired her love of reading. Her parents encouraged her intellectual curiosity and during her adolescence, Morrison became engrossed by classic literature including the works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Leo Tolstoy and Jane Austen.

from findingDulcinea: Happy Birthday: Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize-Winning Author


Great Regulars: Shiviti are what contemporary critics

would call an early example of concrete poetry, that is, poetry where meaning is conveyed not only through words, but also through the arrangement of the poem on the page.

While acknowledging the modernist concrete poetry of e.e. cummings and Guillaume Apollinaire, the four poems by Hank Lazer featured below appear to have a lot in common with Shiviti. They too are mediations, opening doors into the realm of ritualistic, perhaps even liturgical moments.

from Forward: The Arty Semite: Concrete Poetry or Shiviti? Four Works by Hank Lazer


Great Regulars: Cologne

by Alfred Brendel, with Richard Stokes

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Cologne by Alfred Brendel, with Richard Stokes


Great Regulars: By Eric Gudas

All over fat gulls lunge

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'Meditation at the County Landfill'


Great Regulars: "Find the Moon Again"

By Joshua Weiner

from Slate: "Find the Moon Again"--By Joshua Weiner


Great Regulars: The gradual shortening of clauses draws

the reader into a sense of mutual understanding. His composure directs the composition: "Let us ask", "Let us see". Perhaps, then, it is not the lecturer's pedagogical tone that we hear, but that of a father, who, with inherited wisdom, gently encourages understanding. If [Jorge Luis] Borges is the father, he is also, on the other side of the coin, the son, still grappling with questions that beguiled him in his youth, because they are essential--and so they shall remain.

La moneda de hierro/The Iron Coin

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: La moneda de hierro/The Iron Coin


Great Regulars: [by Mary Hale]

Perfectly still

from West Sussex Gazette: Poem of the Week: Crescendo


Poetic Obituaries: Irene Lemus remembered her son, Heriberto Chavez,

as a kind man who loved his family and who enjoyed writing poetry.

from The Journal News: Body found in Hudson is missing Yonkers man Chavez


Poetic Obituaries: Throughout the 1980s, Inge [Laird]

became increasingly involved in the literary magazine New Departures and in the annual Poetry Olympics festival established by my father, the poet Michael Horovitz. She eventually became the co-editor of New Departures.

from The Guardian: Inge Laird obituary


Poetic Obituaries: A park in Bern showcases about 60

of his enormous rusty creations, including animal figures.

In addition to sculpture, [Bernhard] Luginbühl also produced graphic design, lyric poetry and more fleeting works such as burning things in public as a form of protest.

from swissinfo: Swiss artist Luginbühl dies at age 82


Poetic Obituaries: On February 16 morning, the foremost poet of Lithuania,

playwright, translator, prominent public figure, academician Justinas Marcinkevicius passed away. The 80-year-old poet died in a hospital from a severe head injury he suffered in his home on December 7, informs LETA/ELTA.

Being an author of a dozens of books of poetry, Marcinkevicius also distinguished himself in Lithuanian literature by a rhymed trilogy of dramas "Mindaugas" (1968), "Katedra" (The Cathedral) (1971), "Mazvydas" (1977), which was a refreshing breath of nationality to Lithuania in the Soviet times.

from The Baltic Course: Lithuanian poet Justinas Marcinkevicius passes away
then Baltic Review: Lithuania: Nation's Poet Justinas Marcinkevičius dies on the National Day
then Baltic Review: Poems by Justinas Marcinkevičius


Poetic Obituaries: [Phil Miller's] involvement extended far beyond

the Writers Place. For nearly 30 years he taught creative writing and American literature at Kansas City Kansas Community College and coordinated its basic education program, which helps adults earn degrees

"With his contributions it would be tempting to forget that he was a really fine poet," says [Robert] Stewart.

Miller published poetry throughout his life, appearing in such places as "Poetry" and "Boulevard." In addition, he authored many books on poetry with topics ranging from his difficult childhood to his pet cats.

When he read his poems, he did it with intensity--giving a new dimension to his already intricate prose.

from The Kansas City Star: Phil Miller, who died Monday, nurtured KC's literary community


Poetic Obituaries: A funeral service was held at the Hi-Way

Pentecostal Church in Barrie for Jordan Morrison, who was remembered for standing up for what he believed in, even if it meant risking his life. A poem Morrison wrote in Grade 9 was read out at the service.

from CityNews: Funeral for Barrie man beaten to death at resort


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 15th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

February 15th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

On Saturday, Philip J. Crowley of the U.S. Department of State called for the release of Syrian then-teen poet and blogger Tal Al-Mallouhi, who has been under arrest since December 2009. Yesterday, she was sentenced to 5 years in prison. This is where we begin in News at Eleven.

In our second story, we look at Pascale Petit's book "What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo." We follow this with an article on Burma's imprisoned and most famous comedian and poet Zarganar. We then have a link to an essay on Language poetry, which becomes a review specifically about Michael Gottlieb's latest book Memoir and Essay.

Usually I try to blend themes one into the next. This week, I decided to alternate and mix it up more. Hope this works for you. There just seemed to be these distinct and interesting story lines.

After the Gottlieb item, comes a link to an article about the new movie on Robert Graves. This is followed by Utah Poet Laureate Katharine Coles going to Antarctica, which is followed by 5 more links in News at Eleven, 30 in Great Regulars, and 9 Poetic Obituaries. A week of excellent poetry and essays.

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: Philip J. Crowley

Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C.

February 12, 2011

The United States strongly condemns Syria's secret trial of blogger Tal Al-Mallouhi, calls for her immediate release, and rejects as baseless allegations of American connections that have resulted in a spurious accusation of espionage. We call on the Syrian government to immediately release all its prisoners of conscience; and allow its citizens freedom to exercise their universal rights of expression and association without fear of retribution from their own government.

from U.S. Department of State: Call for Release of Tal Al-Mallouhi
then AFP: US urges Syria to release young blogger
then BBC News: Syria blogger Tal al-Mallohi 'convicted of spying'


News at Eleven: [Frida Kahlo's] skin was splattered

with blood, and the bag of gold dust a man was holding next to her, burst open and flew out, gilding her.

At the same time, a steel pole broke off and impaled her, piercing her pelvis and exiting through her vagina. Later, she joked that this was how she lost her virginity.

Two of her paintings caught my eye: Remembrance Of An Open Wound and Self-Portrait With Thorn Necklace And Hummingbird.

from Western Mail: Pascale Petit was inspired to write poems in response to the life and work of flamboyant Mexican artist Frida Kahlo


News at Eleven: Zarganar is not only Burma's

most famous comedian--he is also a popular film actor and director, as well as a fierce critic. But for the last two years, the man who once entertained Burma's oppressed masses has only had an audience of fellow prisoners. For the "crime" of cracking wicked puns against the inept and corrupt junta while working as a volunteer providing disaster relief aid in areas of the Irrawaddy Delta that were ravaged by Cyclone Nargis, Zarganar was arrested, convicted of "public order offenses" and sentenced to 59 years in prison--later reduced to 35 years.

However, British filmmaker Rex Bloomstein recently helped Zarganar reach a wider audience by featuring the Burmse comedian in his new documentary, "This Prison Where I Live," that just screened in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand.

from The Irrawaddy: Documentary Highlights Plight of Imprisoned Burmese Comedian


News at Eleven: The essay is composed entirely of

questions answered only with other questions. It dissects, in more than 30 segments, the problems of the ethics of poetry, living as a poet, making a living and living for poetry in the language of citizenship. What it means to have a job, hold a job one does not like (this connects quite naturally with the portions of the memoir recounting [Michael] Gottlieb's many day jobs), the kind of job a poet can do, must do and is "allowed" or "required" to do. Soberly, and with a hint of melancholy, the essay interrogates the young poet on how he will conduct his art and craft.

from Forward: Mind Your 'L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E'


News at Eleven: [Robert] Graves's increasing preference

for [Laura] Riding over his wife [Nancy Nicholson] eventually led to the breakdown of his marriage to Nicholson, who will be played in the film by Kerry Condon.

Riding and Graves later moved to Majorca and then the United States, but in 1939 she left him for the American writer Schuyler Jackson. In 1950, Graves married Beryl Hodge, and the couple lived in Majorca until his death in 1985, aged 90.

from The Telegraph: Robert Graves film to show the writer in a racy new light


News at Eleven: [Katharine Coles] said it all fell

together for her when she was reading accounts by Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton.

"He talked about mirage and refraction, and how they cause everything to look different," she said. "And I realized that was
exactly what was happening. You never see the same ocean twice. The mountains offer multiple images; the horizon is so deep. Optics create different views of land, water, wildlife. Reflection, refraction, mirage. Half the time the eye's trying to see what's not there. No wonder it seems strange. But it's also very taking visually."

from KMTV: Utah's Poet Laureate spends time in Antarctica


News at Eleven: But compassion and a desire

for broader empathy linger even in the more coolheaded writing here, with the winding lines of "Road to Amaudo", a manifesto piece of sorts, describing a route "at times impassable:/but pass people do", "hefting the load/of hope on their backs". The loving detail, hypnotic rhythms and unflinching realism of such poems make for Fiere's most memorable moments, by turns affecting and cerebral.

from The Guardian: Fiere by Jackie Kay--review


News at Eleven: In "The Garden Hammock" (see below),

night advances with startling speed to cancel out a summer scene. All the garden poems are wonderful and strange. The houses in this landscape haunt themselves. Rain is always on the cards. And the cards, when consulted, augur badly. There are many dawns, most of them false.

from The Guardian: Night by David Harsent--review


News at Eleven: [Brian Turner] won another award--the $50,000

Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship, which sent him back overseas, without a uniform.

[June] Saraceno then hired him for a bachelor of fine arts program at Sierra Nevada College.

"He has lived up to every expectation." she said. "Actually, I'd say he has exceeded them."

It is the most recent twist in Turner's story, but twists are a signature of his poetry, too.

"I love poets who take (unexpected) turns," he said.

Like the soldier who became a poet.

In the Tannour Oven

from The Sacramento Bee: Unlikely soldier Brian Turner emerges as gifted poet, teacher


News at Eleven: [William Wonderful] was teaching creative writing

at Pima Community College when his life started taking unexpected turns. In 2005, Wonderful found out he had prostate cancer. He retired from teaching and worked to beat the cancer. Meanwhile, he was struggling to balance a failing personal relationship and reluctantly turning to substances. He ran out of money and found himself homeless for almost two years.

Wonderful quickly realized not only how he got into his situation, but also how to get out of it.

"I cut expenses and really starting pushing my poetry," he says.

from The State Press: The Peddling Poet


News at Eleven (Back Page): What looked like a literary prank--

a cardboard cutout of Langston Hughes snatched from Busboys & Poets last week--has turned into full-blown debate about the D.C. poetry scene.

"I took it," Thomas Sayers Ellis told us Tuesday. The Washington native, poet and assistant professor of creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College said he grabbed the life-size cutout of Hughes as a protest--because he doesn't think that the restaurant/performance space pays poets fairly for their public readings.

from The Washington Post: Poetry salary slam


Great Regulars: We're in the bleak time of year,

holidays over, spring a long way off. Sometimes everything feels that way, suspended in sadness, waiting. The thought of waiting made me remember this poem by a friend, Margot Schlipp, who, like me, has published several books from Carnegie Mellon University Press.

from Fleda Brown: Traverse City Record-Eagle: On Poetry: Poetry in bleak midwinter


Great Regulars: Terri Ford is the author of

"Why the Ships are She" and "Hams Beneath the Firmament." She was profiled in June of 2004 in the Minneapolis newspaper City Pages as one of five Minnesota poets who might be the state Poet Laureate if Minnesota had one. She currently lives in triumph in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she hopes to change at least the lipstick on the face of Minnesota poetry.


from Marianne Combs: Minnesota Public Radio: State of the Arts: Minnesota Poetry: Terri Ford's "Valentine"


Great Regulars: I love my mother. I also love

Irving Layton (b. 1912), my mentor, teacher and lifelong loyal friend similarly afflicted by Alzheimer's who died two years after my mom. I got lucky. Thanks to the efforts of many, Musia Schwartz foremost among same, it came to pass I could say my goodbyes to this amazing man who had been nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature whom I adored. Now, I'm glad I did. I could not go to the funeral. Funny, innit?

from Judith Fitzgerald: The Globe and Mail: In Other Words: Happy V-Day