Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 25th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

October 25th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

We begin this week's News at Eleven with poetry. The Concord Monitor brings us five by Kay Ryan. These are followed by the poetry of Marie Howe, brought to us via NPR, which is followed by some very intriguing and interesting articles, rounded out by the eleventh item in News at Eleven, our Back Page, which gives us Emily Dickinson's recipe for coconut cake in her own handwriting. She and her friends would dip it into sherry.

Now that you know Emily Dickinson was something of a cook, did you know that Sylvia Plath was an artist? Her daughter Frieda Hughes brings us this information. You'll find the link in our Great Regulars section. Lot's of intriguing stuff in that section too. I'll let you get to your browsing, where you'll find, among other things, that the relationship John Keats' had with his brother George, "sustained him and nurtured the poetic work that began to emerge in his teen years," and "that The New Yorker was [Elizabeth] Bishop's first reader, not Robert Lowell, as had previously been thought."

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

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Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: Here are five poems from

The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, which won this year's Pulitzer Prize for poetry. I've appended a brief personal commentary about each, but [Kay] Ryan's highly accessible poems will strike sparks with every reader.


from The Concord Monitor: Five from Kay Ryan


News at Eleven: "Poetry holds the knowledge that we

are alive and that we know we're going to die," says [Marie] Howe. "The most mysterious aspect of being alive might be that--and poetry knows that."

Howe is the author of What the Living Do, The Kingdom of Ordinary Time and The Good Thief. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia and New York University.

Excerpt: 'The Kingdom Of Ordinary Time'

After the Movie

from NPR: Books: Poet Marie Howe On 'What The Living Do' After Loss


News at Eleven: I will give just a few examples of the egregious

caricature of medieval Christianity that he feels compelled to present. Whereas Lucretius, Poggio, and their modern intellectual successors were marked by a restless curiosity and an adventurous desire to explore the physical universe, Catholics, Greenblatt maintains, were dogmatic, repressive, exclusively other-worldly. As evidence for this claim, he cites the medieval conviction, cultivated especially in the monasteries, that "curiositas" is a sin. Well, it might have helped if he had searched out what medieval Christians meant by that term. He would have discovered that "curiositas" names, not intellectual curiosity, but what we might characterize as gossip or minding other people's business, seeking to know that which you have no business knowing. In point of fact, the virtue that answers the vice of "curiositas" is "studiositas" (studiousness), the serious pursuit of knowledge.

from Catholic News Agency: A review of Stephen Greenblatt's 'The Swerve'


News at Eleven: Rick Scott has demanded that Florida universities

evaluate courses for their economic worth to the state. By whether they've met the needs of the state's employers. By the wages graduates earn. "I have always believed that the only way to ensure increasing levels of performance is by measuring outcomes by using objective, data-driven criteria," Scott warned the presidents of Florida universities last week.

He told reporters he thought anthropology wasn't worth a student's time (or the state's money.) Anthropologists, at least, have the prospect of employment outside academia. God knows what he thinks of poets.

"I'm teaching an honors seminar on the letters of poets this semester, so I can imagine what the governor would make of my class," [Barbara] Hamby, a notable poet in her own right, said Wednesday via e-mail. "We started in ancient Greece and we are finishing up with the Beats."

from Miami Herald: Here's an economic engine, Gov. Scott: Poetry


News at Eleven: [RSF:] If you continue to blog,

what will your reaction be if the government prosecutes you under the Electonics Act again?

[Zarganar:] They arrested me for that reason already. If they want to arrest me again they will. I will coninue to write what I need to write.

then Reporters Without Borders: Interview of newly-freed dissident comedian, Zarganar
then Reporters Without Borders: Zarganar freed, but DVB video journalists still held


News at Eleven: The 1902 execution of Australian soldier

and bush poet Harry 'The Breaker' Morant during the Boer War has been taken up by the Federal Government, which believes his trial may have been unfair.

Morant and Peter Handcock were executed for the murder of several Boer prisoners, but always insisted they had only been following "take no prisoners" orders issued by their British commanders.

from ABC News: Government reopens Breaker Morant case


News at Eleven: Intrigued by this letter, seven years ago

I visited this house, and--amazed that the property still existed, though it was deserted--found the back-door entrance to the cellar.

And it was every bit as tiny as [Wilfred] Owen's letter suggests. Standing on the very spot where he prepared to face death 93 years ago made the hairs rise on the back of my neck.

At the time, I wondered whether the empty house might possibly become some sort of Owen museum . . . and amazingly it has.

from Mail on Sunday Travel Editor: How Wilfred Owen's poetry lives on in his forest hideout


News at Eleven: This story cannot end happily,

and indeed it does not. Although John [Keats] dreamed of someday visiting George and his wife in America, in the winter of 1821 he died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-five. However much he had fallen headlong "quickly and irreversibly" in love with a flirtatious eighteen-year-old named Fanny Brawne, George was the great love of his life. In any case, John's poverty and ruined health assured that his romance with Fanny was doomed from the start.

from Barnes and Noble Review: The Keats Brothers


News at Eleven: [Joelle] Biele adds that [Elizabeth] Bishop had

mixed feelings and reservations about her relationship with the magazine, only one of which being that she was gay: "Readers can see how the overwhelming if constricting support of the magazine could be both a writer's dream and worst nightmare. She was very concerned about her connection to the magazine, wondering if it led to sentimental writing and if it was causing her to resist experimentation. It certainly played a role in her choosing not to publish any love poems in which the beloved's gender is identified."

from St. Louis Beacon: Poet Elizabeth Bishop retains her power and interest


News at Eleven: It wasn't until much later--five months,

by Allan [Sansotta]'s reckoning, that Allan found out who his pool-playing drinking buddy really was.

"I was at the Beaux Arts, this bohemian place up in Pinellas Park. They had poetry readings and art exhibitions on the walls. Jack comes walking up the aisle, and I ask him what he's doing there. He said he was just going to do a reading. He read [Allen] Ginsberg, and some of his own work. I'd had no idea."

from Downtown St. Pete: Jack Kerouac: From the Road to the 'Burg


News at Eleven (Back Page): In fact, at a reception on Thursday evening

in Battery Park City, New Yorkers will get to sample a slice of one of her [Emily Dickinson's] favorite treats. Manuscripts, letters and fragments from the poet's life are going on display at the Poets House, many for the first time, and among them is her handwritten, bare-bones recipe for coconut cake, which a local poetry collector and avid baker named Carolyn Smith is conjuring up for the event.

Ms. Smith has made six of the cakes, which she baked at 350 degrees for a little over an hour.

from The New York Times: Diner's Journal: Emily Dickinson, Sweet Genius


Great Regulars: Tristan also got the better of Semir Zeki,

professor of neuroaesthetics at University College London. He has been to about 18 performances around the world. "Every time I go to listen to one, I learn something new. It is such a rich opera, you cannot imbibe it all at once." The novelist and scholar Harold Acton, meanwhile, described a phenomenon he called "drowned man etiquette". Turn on the lights, he said, in the middle of a performance of Götterdämmerung, the grandest opera of the Ring, and you will see people slumped as if about to go under for the third time beneath the tsunami of sound and emotion. And Peter Conrad, whose book Verdi and/or Wagner came out last week, tells me that while glancing at his score of Tristan, Wagner said it would drive people mad.

from Bryan Appleyard: from The Sunday Times: Wagner Madness


Great Regulars: "Now the oil-fired heating boiler comes

to life abruptly, drowsily, like the time collapse of a sawn-down tree. I imagine them in summer season, as it must have been. And the place it dawns on me could have been Grove Hill before the oaks were cut, where I would often stand with them on airy Sundays, shin-deep in hilltop bluebells, looking out at Magherafelt's four spires in the distance. Too late, alas, now for the apt quotation about a love that's proved by steady gazing, not at each other, but in the same direction."

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS Newshour: In 'Human Chain,' Nobel-Winning Poet Seamus Heaney Digs Into the Past


Great Regulars: The rats

By Lenore Langs

These small pacific islands

from Judith Fitzgerald: The Globe and Mail: In Other Words: If it's Thursday, It's IOW Verse Day VII


Great Regulars: An online petition at occupywriters.com

declaring the writers' backing for Occupy Wall Street and its sister movements in other countries, which have seen thousands of protesters marching against the global financial system, has been signed by 1,190 authors and counting, including the Pulitzer prize winners Jennifer Egan and Michael Cunningham as well as Alice Walker, Naomi Klein, Naomi Wolf, Jonathan Lethem, Ann Patchett, Noam Chomsky, AL Kennedy, Ursula K Le Guin and Donna Tartt. "We, the undersigned writers and all who will join us, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy movement around the world," says the petition.

from Alison Flood: Occupy movement attracts support of top authors


Philip Pullman has lambasted Brent council for its comment that closing half of its libraries would help it fulfil "exciting plans to improve libraries", describing the statement as a "masterpiece" which "ought to be quoted in every anthology of political bullshit from here to eternity".

"All the time, you see, the council had been longing to improve the library service, and the only thing standing in the way was--the libraries," said the His Dark Materials author, speaking at the national conference of library campaigners on Saturday, where over 80 people from around the country gathered to share tactics on how to save the UK's beleaguered libraries.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Philip Pullman declares war against 'stupidity' of library closures
then Alison Flood: The Guardian: Children's authors join campaigners in fight to save UK's libraries


A showdown between some of poetry's biggest names will see poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy competing with Sean O'Brien, Alice Oswald and John Burnside on the shortlist for the TS Eliot prize.

Described as the "most demanding of all poetry prizes" by chair of judges Gillian Clarke, the 10 nominations for this year's TS Eliot award are a roll-call of poetry's great and good.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: TS Eliot prize 2011 shortlist revealed


Great Regulars: With this promise of leisure,

she married the druggist, but instead of writing, she proceeded to give birth to "eight children." Of course, with eight children, she can fall back on the excuse that she "had no time to write." Apparently, she remained unaware that famous poet, Anne Bradstreet, created a significant body of writing while birthing and raising eight children.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Edgar Lee Masters' Margaret Fuller Slack


Great Regulars: Although my mother [Sylvia Plath] is known

primarily for her semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar and her poetry--particularly her last collection, Ariel, published posthumously in 1965 following her suicide on 11 February 1963--her passion for art permeated her short life. Her early letters and diary notes and poems were often heavily decorated, and she hoped that her drawings would illustrate the articles and stories that she wrote for publication.

from Frieda Hughes: The Guardian: Lines of beauty: the art of Sylvia Plath


Great Regulars: Brethren

by Charles Simic

A woodpecker hammers

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Brethren by Charles Simic


Bus Boy
by George Bilgere

O teenage bus boy of the summer dusk!

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Bus Boy by George Bilgere


The Charge of the Light Brigade
by Alfred Tennyson

Half a league half a league,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Tennyson


In the Olden Days
by Richard Newman

The world held no color but sepia.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: In the Olden Days by Richard Newman


Retirement Home Melee at the Salad Bar
by David Hernandez

They say it began with an elderly man

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Retirement Home Melee at the Salad Bar by David Hernandez


by Robert Morgan

A carburetor skips, and rocks

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Skipping by Robert Morgan


What she craved
by Marge Piercy

My mother sugared grapefruit;

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: What she craved by Marge Piercy


Great Regulars: I love listening to shop talk,

to overhear people talking about their work. Their speech is not only rich with the colorful names of tools and processes, but it's also full of resignation. A job is, after all, a job. Here's a poem by Jorge Evans of Minnesota, who's done some hard work.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 344


Great Regulars: "We have been in touch with Ai Weiwei

about arranging an exhibition of his work. Everything has gone very smoothly, and an exhibition of his work will open on Oct. 29 of this year at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum," Zhang [Qiqiang] said.

The move is likely to ruffle feathers in Beijing, which hit out at international criticism over Ai's 80-day disappearance earlier this year.

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: Taiwan To Host Ai Weiwei Show


Great Regulars: Slate reads new poems from

Oct. 1 to April 30. Manuscripts sent between May 1 and Sept. 30 will not be considered.

from Robert Pinsky: Slate: Poetry Submissions


Great Regulars: Janet Simon has published one full collection,

Victoria Park (Loxwood Stoneleigh, 1995). "Stone" is from her pamphlet, Asylum, where its distinctive presence is underlined by realistic and moving poems reflecting the poet's experiences working with asylum seekers and the homeless. Asylum was published by Hearing Eye in the Torriano Meeting House Poetry Pamphlet Series, of which number 62, "Protest" by David Floyd, will appear in November.


from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Poem of the week: Stone by Janet Simon


Great Regulars: No, what came to mind when I saw

the pigeons was augury, the ancient practice of gauging the divine will by studying the flights of birds.

What a different way of regarding the world! And, before you brush the notion away on the presumption that our ancestors were all damn fools, remember that this was common practice among the Romans, those guys who built aqueducts and roads that are still in use today. People whose practical skills hold up very well against our own. Hardly damn fools.

from Frank Wilson: When Falls the Coliseum: That's What He Said: Neutrinos and a flock of pigeons


Great Regulars: [by B.R. Strahan]

Tracks of Autumn

from The Christian Science Monitor: Tracks of Autumn


Great Regulars: by Kim Bridgford

This is a film about the source of fear,

from The Chronicle Review: Monday's Poem: 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' by Kim Bridgford


Great Regulars: "Stand with Us"

by Vanessa Huang

for hunger strikers at Pelican Bay, Corcoran, Tehachapi, Folsom, Valley State Prison for Women, Centinela, San Quentin, and RJ Donovan

from CounterPunch: Poets' Basement: by Vanessa Huang


Great Regulars: A Night In

by Liz Lochhead

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: A Night In by Liz Lochhead


Great Regulars: by Isobel Dixon

'Will Mount St Helens continue to build until it surpasses its former majesty, or will it blow itself apart in a new fury of destruction?'

National Geographic, Vol. 160 No. 6, December 1981

Renowned for its height and perfect cone,

from Morning Star: Well Versed: Mountain War Time


Great Regulars: Today's Poetry Pairing matches

Wallace Stevens poem "Anecdote of the Jar," with a recent article from the Travel section, "Twilight of the Glaciers."

from The New York Times: Poetry Pairing: 'The Wilderness Rose Up to It'


Great Regulars: by Seamus Heaney

All year the flax-dam festered in the heart

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'Death of a Naturalist'


Great Regulars: By Miles Burns

October 20, 2011 2:00 AM

Sleep tight my little children,

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Random Acts of Poetry: 'Hansel & Gretel'


Great Regulars: "The Gospel

According to Kelly, Night-Shift Manager, Forest City Fuel & Foods"

[By Joe Wilkins]

from Slate: "The Gospel According to Kelly, Night-Shift Manager, Forest City Fuel & Foods"


Poetic Obituaries: In 1979 her [Anna Adams'] first poetry volume,

A Reply to Intercepted Mail, with a cover design by her husband, was published by Peterloo in its Peterloo Poets series. This took the form of a verse-letter to WH Auden composed after her discovery that they had both used the same teachers' recruitment agency (immortalised by Auden as "Rabbitarse and String"). It was typical of Anna Adams that her first long poem should take the form of a conversation, an art form in which she excelled.

Peterloo remained the main publishing house for her poems, many of which she wrote at the cottage in Horton-in-Ribblesdale which she and her husband used for 35 years as a rural retreat from Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and London.

from The Telegraph: Anna Adams


Poetic Obituaries: An accomplished artist, Colleen [Adland]

loved to experience nature, enjoyed boating and water skiing, bridge club and composing poetry.

from Times-Republican: Colleen Adland, 87


Poetic Obituaries: Angeline [Birdsall] loved cooking,

baking, and writing poetry, but her true love was her family.

from Corning Leader: Angeline F. Birdsall


Poetic Obituaries: [Rudolph Byrd] had just finished writing

a series of lectures about race and sexuality to be presented at Harvard University. He was writing a biography of author Ernest Gaines, developing a monograph of the early novels of Alice Walker and collaborating with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. on an anthology of African-American poetry.

from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Rudolph Byrd, 58: A prolific scholar of African-American culture


Poetic Obituaries: [Anita Caspary] was president of

Immaculate Heart College, which was operated by her order, from 1958 to 1963. (The school continued to operate after the schism in 1970, but closed in 1980.) After the break with the church, she taught at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and served on the staff of the Peace and Justice Center of Southern California.

She wrote poetry throughout her life, and had completed a volume she hoped to publish shortly before she died.

from The New York Times: Anita Caspary, Nun Who Led Breakaway From Church, Dies at 95


Poetic Obituaries: Norman Corwin, the legendary writer, director

and producer of original radio plays for CBS during the golden age of radio in the 1930s and '40s when he was revered as the "poet of the airwaves," has died. He was 101.

Corwin, a journalist, playwright, author and Oscar-nominated screenwriter who was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993, died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles, said his caregiver, Chris Borjas. The cause was not given.

With his often poetic words, Corwin moved and entertained a generation of listeners tuned to the CBS Radio Network during the late 1930s and '40s, with landmark broadcasts ranging from celebrations of the Bill of Rights and the Allied victory in Europe to a light-hearted rhyming play about a demonic plot to overthrow Christmas.

from Los Angeles Times: Norman Corwin dies at 101; radio's 'poet laureate'
then JUF News (Jewish United Fund): Norman Corwin, legendary radio pioneer, dies at age 101
then USC News: In Memoriam: Norman Corwin, 101


Poetic Obituaries: [Bridget Darlene (Roberts) Rhodes Hill] was always an

advocate for the mentally ill. Bridget was a published poet and enjoyed playing the piano and guitar and writing songs.

from The Ardmoreite: Bridget Darlene (Roberts) Rhodes Hill


Poetic Obituaries: For several years he [Robert Hoeft] spent

the summers with his family in a cabin at Lake Quinault in the Olympic Peninsulas of Washington state, where he did much of his writing. Widely published in little magazines throughout the United States, he also had poems published in Canada, England and South Africa. His collected works include four chapbooks and two miniature books. He was a member of the Oregon Poetry Association and the Academy of American Poets.

from Ashland Daily Tidings: Robert Hoeft


Poetic Obituaries: From 1963 to 1972 he [Friedrich Kittler] studied

German literature, Romance philology and philosophy at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. The aura of Martin Heidegger, the Nazi-supporting philosopher and the university's former rector, hung over the town. Kittler, who wrote his PhD on the poet Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, was not beyond Heidegger's shadow. He took from Heidegger the idea that we are at risk of being eclipsed by technology.

from The Guardian: Friedrich Kittler obituary


Poetic Obituaries: [Edmond Jean Le Moal] volunteered at

local schools to share his love of languages, his family said. He was an avid reader, poet, golfer, and bridge player.

from The New Canaan Advertiser: Edmond Jean Le Moal, 87, Harvard graduate


Poetic Obituaries: [Neelakantan] Mullanezhy, popularly known as

'Mullan Mushu' among his friends, colleagues and disciples, firmly believed that poetry was not just for literary appreciation but should act as a catalyst for social reform.

His poems were mostly celebrated on the stage and in social campaigns than books or literary gatherings. Their oeuvre exuded the aroma of folk culture and tradition.

A two-time Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award Winner, his simple and rhythmic verses were a huge inspiration for myriad social campaigns across the State.

from The Hindu: Noted poet and lyrist Mullanezhy dead


Poetic Obituaries: Tone Pavcek, one of Slovenia's most

acclaimed poets and children's book authors, died at the age of 83 on Friday, losing a battle with a grave illness.

from Slovenian Press Agency: Acclaimed Poet Tone Pavcek Dies


Poetic Obituaries: A new literary genre had cropped up to

explore those conditions, in books like "Manchild in the Promised Land," by Claude Brown, and "The Autobiography of Malcolm X."

"Down These Mean Streets" joined that list. The memoir, Mr. [Piri] Thomas wrote on his Web site, had "exploded out of my guts in an outpouring of long suppressed hurts and angers that had boiled over into an ice-cold rage."

The novelist Daniel Stern, reviewing the book in The New York Times, called it "another stanza in the passionate poem of color and color-hatred being written today."

In the memoir, Mr. Thomas described how he was brought up as the only dark-skinned child among seven children, the son of a Puerto Rican mother, Dolores Montañez, and a Cuban father, Juan Tomás de la Cruz.

from The New York Times: Piri Thomas, Spanish Harlem Author, Dies at 83
then Los Angeles Times: Latino writer Piri Thomas dies at 83


Poetic Obituaries: Jim [Williamson] was an artist and

enjoyed woodworking, toy making and building model ships. He was also a poet who enjoyed art, music, history and playing the piano.

from Beloit Daily News: James E. Williamson


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 18 Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

October 18th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

We begin this week with the "amnesty" or commutation of sentences of some of the writers who have been held these past years in various prisons within Burma. The news agencies have done a great job identifying important spokespeople to put this action into perspective for us. In the first of three lead articles, we hear from Win Tin, a poet and activist who spent 19 years in prison himself. In the second, we hear from Hla Soe, a poet and activist who was just released. In a third article, the Southeast Asian Press Alliance issues an alert, looking at the numbers. All three of these articles discuss those who did not get released. For instance, even though Hla Soe is listed as a poet who has been released, at least two poets have not: Min Han, and Nyi Nyi Tun (a.k.a. Mee Doke).

Our second story is really part of the first, yet significantly different. A fourth poet, famous Burmese comedian Zarganar has been released as well. Even the guards were sharing his jokes.

There is so much more to follow, dozens of terrific articles in a busy week for poetry around the world. I'll leave the rest to your discovery.

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog