Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

November 29th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

This week our list of links begins with a poet placed on death row: Abdel Moniem Rahma of Sudan. Our list of links ends in Poetic Obituaries, where the third to the bottom death, just before Elena Tamargo and Kumar Vimal, is Ruth Stone. And we have dozens of links in between.

The articles in News at Eleven tend to be psychological and psycho-social this week, unusually so. We also have nifty poems by Joyce Sutphen in that first section. In our second section, Great Regulars, you'll find fresh poems as usual. And it's good to see Marianne Combs, Meghan O'Rourke, and Fiona Sampson with poetry articles online these past few days. It's been a while it seems.

I'll let you get to your reading. Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: A renowned Sudanese poet, journalist

and human rights activist is among 19 prisoners awaiting execution in Sudan after he was arrested in the country's Blue Nile State early September.

Allegedly caught in the crossfire of the Blue Nile conflict, Mr. Abdel Moniem Rahma was accused of involvement with SPLM-N.

from Africa Review: Leading Sudanese poet on a death sentence
then Human Rights Watch: Sudan: Human Rights Council should respond to violations


News at Eleven: [Nikki] Finney, 52, an English professor

at the University of Kentucky, began her haunting star turn by reciting from the 1739 slave codes in her native South Carolina: "A fine of $100 and six months in prison will be imposed for anyone found teaching a slave to read or write, and death is the penalty for circulating any incendiary literature." Finney then invoked the memory of those who longed to read or write but were forbidden, and were oppressed by the cruelties of slavery. "Tonight these forbidden ones move around the room as they please, they sit at whatever table they want, wear camel-colored field hats and tomato-red kerchiefs . . . Some have just climbed out of the cold, wet Atlantic just to be here. We shiver together. If my name is ever called out, I promised my girl poet self, so too would I call out theirs."

from Time: Galley Girl: Poet Nikky Finney Dazzles the National Book Awards


News at Eleven: Mexican poet and peace activist

Javier Sicilia called during an appearance over the weekend at the 25th Guadalajara International Book Fair, or FIL, for "a cease-fire" between the government and Mexico's drug cartels on Dec. 24-25 so they can "reflect on what they are doing, what they are doing to the country."

"I ask for this truce as a momentary pause, not just in honor of Christmas, but to think about the harm we're doing to ourselves and what those guilty of murder and corruption are doing to themselves, and the damage done by authorities who do not fulfill their obligations," Sicilia said.

from Latin American Herald Tribune: Sicilia Calls for Christmas Truce in Mexico's Drug War


News at Eleven: At the conference in Cracow,

Artur Sebastian Rosman, a doctoral student, recalled a discussion at the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, devoted to [Czeslaw] Milosz. "All, and I mean all, of the Americans there were convinced that Milosz was most likely a postmodern spiritual seeker, probably much like them, possibly fascinated by archetypes, certainly spiritual, and definitely not religious." Had Milosz been there, said Rosman, he might have repeated his claim that his readers don't "take into account a particular, quite fundamental fact: all my intellectual impulses are religious and in that sense my poetry is religious".

from The Times Literary Supplement: Czeslaw Milosz around the world


News at Eleven: In his second book Gift Horse

(Signal Editions, 2011), Mark Callanan is St. John's Lazarus. He's even in St. John's. The book was written after a near-fatal bout with meningitis, an infection of the lining of the brain. We get a hint of Callanan's technique in the book's opening poem, "Butchering Crab" where even though he's "thinking now/of being halved by forces/bigger than myself," his thinking of his own death doesn't translate unmitigated to the page. He writes "none of this/is quite what I meant to say." But that isn't because he's incapable of saying it.

from National Post: Michael Lista, On Poetry: Mark Callanan's incredible poems of mortality


News at Eleven: Many biographies treat artistic creation

as a kind of bloodless version of a Caesarian birth, but [Herbert] Leibo­witz is terrific at conveying the confusion, uncertainty and doggedness of the life of the artist intent on discoveries. He can also be elegant in characterizing the cross-over between Williams the doctor and Williams the poet, as when, commenting on the splendid untitled poem from "Spring and All" that begins "By the road to the contagious hospital," Leibo­witz notes that [William Carlos] Williams was, by this point in his workhorse writing life, listening "to the acoustic properties of words with the same care and skill he devoted to the beating of a patient's heart."

from The New York Times: So Much Depends


News at Eleven: This walk is meditative; it works,

I struggled to convince myself, if I remember to focus on my breath. The interruptions shouldn't matter as much as my focus. I tried to see clearly.

Fire-orange and red leaves were hanging from gray flaking branches, and the dark brown leaves on the ground crushed beneath my boots.

Signpost number three: The nature of yesterday/Is not nature./What has been, is nothing.

What should have been a dreamy line of poetry felt insensitive, even mean. Thinking of Grandpa, I took it personally.

from The Millions: A Wanderer in Poem Forest


News at Eleven: The story moves from texting and

making tea through to breaking apart and messy arguments, 'when the room swayed and sank down on its knees,/the air hurt and purpled like a bruise,/the sun banged the gate in the sky and fled.' Love hurts. [Carol Ann] Duffy's language is sensual; visceral. It smoulders on the page.

from The Yorker: Have you read . . . Carol Ann Duffy?


News at Eleven: [Joyce Sutphen] talks of her love of

the remarkable rhyming in early Bob Dylan songs, and the linguistic delights of Shakespeare.

"It's like something that's been grafted onto the really plain tree of my farm and my background. Then this thing with language comes together and I think makes an interesting combination," she said.

She reads a poem called "Just For the Record." It's a simple piece from her collection, "First Words." It's about her father, but it touches many things.

"It wasn't like that. Don't imagine

from Minnesota Public Radio: For new Minn. poet laureate, job description a blank slate
then Minnesota Public Radio: Joyce Sutphen reads "The First Child'


News at Eleven: [Kenneth Heaton] found that Shakespeare's

portrayal of symptoms such as dizziness/faintness, and blunted or heightened sensitivity to touch and pain in characters expressing profound emotions was significantly more common than in works by other authors of the time.

Vertigo/giddiness/dizziness is expressed by five male characters in "Taming of the Shrew," "Romeo and Juliet," "Henry VI" part 1, "Cymbeline" and "Troilus and Cressida." The nearest approximation in contemporaries' works was one incident in John Marston's "The Malcontent."

from PsychCentral: From Shakespeare, Insights on Mind and Body


News at Eleven (Back Page): The benefit of obstacles

also carries over into totally unrelated tasks, which is why beginning the day with a difficult crossword puzzle or writing a haiku can help people to become better real-world problem solvers.

Poets intuited this truth long ago, which is why they cling to poetic forms. The artificial requirements of the sonnet are just another cognitive obstacle, a hurdle that compels the mind to think in a more expansive fashion.

from The Wall Street Journal: Chains That Set Us Free


Great Regulars: The flower poem may have political

sensitivities, but the Occupy poem is likely so flushed with partisanship as to be lousy as poetry and stale as politics.

Take a gander at the Occupy Poetry Anthology online, which is now 400 poems thick and growing by the hour, and you'll see what I mean.

Of poets who have successfully navigated the difficult task of wresting poetry away from the dully partisan into the more complex political-lyric terrain, few are as skilled as Alice Notley.

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: What is the role of poets in politics?


Great Regulars: [Joyce Sutphen's] books of poetry

include Straight Out of View, Coming Back to the Body, Naming the Stars, Fourteen Sonnets, and most recently, First Words.

Here's a poem from First Words that seemed fitting for the Thanksgiving holiday:

The Kingdom of Summer

from Marianne Combs: Minnesota Public Radio: State of the Arts: Minnesota Poetry: Joyce Sutphen's "The Kingdom of Summer"


Great Regulars: Dr. Iseman begins his confessional

by recalling that at the beginning of his entry into the profession of medicine, he promised to be a good, Christian doctor. He intended to be "good/And wise and brave and helpful to others."

Even as he was "handed" his diploma, these promises he mouthed to himself. Interestingly, because the doctor had only silently "said" these things, there is, conveniently, no witness to his testimony.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Edgar Lee Masters' Dr. Siegfried Iseman


Great Regulars: I believe that we should no longer

talk about Buddhist ethics, Hindu, Christian or Muslim ethics, because these values are universal. Buddhism does not explain the virtue of values such as honesty and integrity in a way that is different from how Christianity or Islam or any other religious tradition explains them. Therefore, in recent years, I have found it more appropriate to talk about the need to foster what I call secular ethics. I refer to these values as secular ethics because believing in one religion or another or not believing in one at all does not affect our need for them. The basic foundation of humanity is compassion and love.

from Tenzin Gyatso: The Office of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama: Message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Global Buddhist Congregation, New Delhi, November 27--30, 2011


Great Regulars: [Ruth Stone's] life stabilized in 1990

when she became a professor of English and creative writing at the State University of New York in Binghamton. Most of her published work, including "American Milk," "The Solution" and "Simplicity," came out after she turned 70.

Her poems were brief, her curiosity boundless, her verse a cataloguing of what she called "that vast/confused library, the female mind." She considered the bottling of milk; her grandmother's hair, "pulled back to a bun"; the random thoughts while hanging laundry (Einstein's mustache, the eyesight of ants).

"I think my work is a natural response to my life," she once said.

from Hillel Italie: Associated Press: Ruth Stone, award-winning poet, dies in Vt. at 96


Great Regulars: For Anna Catherine on Thanksgiving

by Samuel Hazo

The first girl in generations,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For Anna Catherine on Thanksgiving by Samuel Hazo


Fun, Fun, Fun When the Guy Goes Away
by Hal Sirowitz

That's a strange question to ask

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Fun, Fun, Fun When the Guy Goes Away by Hal Sirowitz


Hear My Prayer, O Lord . . .
by Barbara Hamby

Hear my prayer, O Lord, though all I do all day is watch

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Hear My Prayer, O Lord . . . by Barbara Hamby


I beseech thee, O Yellow Pages . . .
by Barbara Hamby

I beseech thee, O Yellow Pages, help me find a number

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: I beseech thee, O Yellow Pages . . . by Barbara Hamby


Learning Animals and Insects in Third Grade
by Len Roberts

I cold hear the horse neigh in that

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Learning Animals and Insects in Third Grade by Len Roberts


Never Mind
by Denver Butson

that guests no longer come unannounced

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Never Mind by Denver Butson


by Linda McCarriston

Every year we call it down upon ourselves,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Thanksgiving by Linda McCarriston


Great Regulars: Here's a fine poem about a cricket

by Catherine Tufariello, who lives in Indiana. I especially admire the way in which she uses rhyme without it ever taking control of the poetry, the way rhyme can.

The Cricket in the Sump

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 349


Great Regulars: Bruce Guernsey is a poet from Bethel

appearing for the second time in this column. His unusual poem features the hands of a married couple, which express at night a closeness the couple can no longer manage in the daytime.

The Hands

from Wesley McNair: The Portland Press Herald: Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry


Great Regulars: Because W.G. Sebald published very few poems

in his lifetime, because there has been no tremendous hurry to produce this book (he died in 2001), and because his fame as a prose writer is now so well established, it would be easy to look on this Selected Poems as a collection of pieces written in the margins of more important work. To regard it as we do the poems of Angela Carter, for instance: a surprisingly good bonus. In fact it turns out to be a significant addition to Sebald's main achievement--full of things that are beautiful and fascinating in themselves, and which cast a revealing light on the evolution and content of his prose.

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: Across the Land and the Water by WG Sebald--review


Great Regulars: The news came "out of the blue,"

[Joan] Didion writes, yet the infant "could not have been more exactly the baby I wanted." The origin myth goes hand-in-hand with a portrait of parental confusion: Didion is unsparingly specific about the couple's social milieu as Hollywood writers, and the ways in which she and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, were not conventionally prepared to absorb into their lives the child who had been given to them. Drily, she notes that she "had not considered the need for a bassinette" and describes the two of them celebrating with a baby Quintana in mob fixer Sidney Korshak's booth at The Bistro on the day the adoption was made legal.

from Meghan O'Rourke: Slate: Quintana's Story


Great Regulars: The verse is so tuneful,

the sounds of words so seductively strummed across the sentences, it hardly matters that these opening lines are conventional. The sentence ends, however, with a turn that goes beyond the conventional: "As for her inside, he'd have it/Only of wantonness and wit." As a definition of what Raleigh desires in a perfect lover, this is both droll and, I think, lightly self-mocking, since "her inside" is sort of an afterthought as well as a climax. As a description of what the ideal lover should have as inner qualities, "wantonness and wit" is both apt and funny.

from Robert Pinsky: Going Somewhere


Great Regulars: Magic realism is by no means the only

mode in which Judy Brown writes. Whether exploring the naturalistic or fantastic edges of the spectrum, she works from tangible facts and detail, finding the extraordinary incident or angle particularly appealing, as in "The Cheese Room", but not dependent on the bizarre--a poet who instinctively sees the possibilities of defamiliarisation wherever she casts her penetrating, colour-loving eye.

The Cheese Room

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Poem of the week: The Cheese Room by Judy Brown


Great Regulars: [Michael] Longley's A Hundred Doors

(Jonathan Cape, £10) is crammed with lyric shards. Largely short, often familial and occasional poems, each places the reader within Longley's vivid, lucid tone-world, and often at his country home at Carrigskeewaun. A couplet by Longley can embrace more profundity, and pleasure, than another poet's whole volume. Geoffrey Hill's Clavics (Enitharmon, £12) is very different: a highly encoded syllabic "dance" with history and musical form that reads as part of his continuing project to build a newly robust Christian poetics.

from Fiona Sampson: The Independent: Poetry: Raising the lyrical stakes


Great Regulars: It's slim treatment of a revolutionary.

These [William CArlos] Williams moments are so pared and familiar as to become best-of-Williams wallpaper, a Williams Post-It--allowing us not to see or hear the American giant. What a relief, then, to settle into Herbert Leibowitz's "Something Urgent I Have to Say to You": The Life and Works of William Carlos Williams, a trek through Williams's long career; his loves and dalliances; his delicate relationship with his era's literati; his work as a school doctor and obstetrician in working class, not-yet-suburban New Jersey.

from The Barnes and Noble Review: "Something Urgent I Have to Say to You"


Phillis Wheatley may be a staple of elementary school curricula across the land, but she hasn't been the subject of a full-length biography until now. This is surprising, given that she's such an iconic figure, but reading Vincent Carretta's fascinating Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage, it becomes less surprising, for as Carretta makes clear from the outset, Wheatley is an extremely "challenging and elusive" subject.

from The Barnes and Noble Review: Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage


Great Regulars: [by Jean Chapman Snow]


As if to change my mind, to keep me here,

from The Christian Science Monitor: Simplicity


Great Regulars: Mic Check: Now We Are The People!

by Gary Corseri

(Note: "Mic Check" is one of the many wholesome developments of the Occupy Movement. A single speaker's words are echoed by a spontaneous "chorus" of listeners. The benefits are twofold: the original words are repeated, magnified and enhanced by the additional listeners-speakers; and the words are imprinted on the minds and hearts of those who speak and hear.)

from CounterPunch: Poets' Basement: Corseri, Silverstein and Whitman


Great Regulars: Curiously, Allen Ginsberg's poem

"America,"mentioned here in the fourth verse, also uses the poem's title as a refrain, but Ginsberg's approach is Whitmanesque, perhaps biblical. [Alicia] Ostriker ventures further out of the Western world. However, a certain comic strain is common to both poets. Happy Thanksgiving!

from Forward: The Arty Semite: Ghazal for Thanksgiving


Great Regulars: [by Richard Meier]


She was kind--still I wished I hadn't called her

from Granta: Fabric


Great Regulars: The Ambassadors (for Peter Porter)

By John Kinsella

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: The Saturday poem: The Ambassadors (for Peter Porter)


Great Regulars: by Keith Armstrong

bred in a market arch

from Morning Star: Well Versed: Maud Watson, Florist


Great Regulars: [by Mala Radhakrishnan]

I used to sleep ' til my electrons would drool

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'The Radioactive Dating Game'


Great Regulars: On Blinding

(For Dave)

By Laurie Ann Guerrero

When, finally, the shadows grow

from San Antonio Express-News: Poem: 'On Blinding'


Great Regulars: [John] Burnside's encounter with field mice

reminds us both of the fragility of the world we share with them and of the insubstantiality of our own lives: barely there--an "odour", "no more/substantial than the wind we listen for"--they brush us with a fear we recognize and "listen for/through talk-shows and the news/beneath the home/we only half possess".

Field Mice

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: Field Mice


Great Regulars: [by Mary Hale]

Leaf shivering

from West Sussex Gazette: Poem of the Week: Wind through the trees


Poetic Obituaries: [Theodore] Enslin, a prolific poet

identified with Cid Corman, Charles Olson, and particularly the Objectivist tradition, was born in Pennsylvania in 1925 and became a resident of Maine in 1960. He was the author of over 60 books of poetry, including Then and Now: Selected Poems 1943-1993 (edited by Mark Nowak in 1999), and the epic, two-volume Ranger (1978 and 1980).

from Harriet: With Great Respect: Theodore Enslin, 1925-2011


Poetic Obituaries: After relocating to Delhi, to become

Head of Assamese Department at the University of Delhi, the most glorious phases of her [Indira Raisom Goswami's] life began. While at the university, she wrote most of her greatest works. Several short stories, including Hridoy, Nangoth Sohor, Borofor Rani, used Delhi as the background.

Her two classics--Pages Stained With Blood and The Moth Eaten Howdah of a Tusker--were also written during this period. The other books completed while she lived in Delhi were Ahiron, The Rusted Sword, Uday Bhanu, Dasharathi's Steps and The Man from Chinnamasta.

Winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1982. the Jnanpith Award in 2000, she is India's first Principal Prince Claus Laureate.

from India TV News: Asomiya Writer Indira Goswami Dead


Poetic Obituaries: [Louis] McKee published more than 17 volumes

of poetry and was published in hundreds of magazines, like The American Poetry Review and Three Penny Review and after achieving such status, still supported the small press by contributing to local magazines like The Schuylkill Valley Journal and The Fox Chase Review. Several of his poems were read by Garrision Keillor on the Writers Almanac Radio Show.

McKee published other poets with his own publishing house, Banshee Press; served as editor of The Painted Bride Quarterly, One Trick Pony Magazine and numerous anthologies; conducted work shops; and served as a judge in numerous poetry contests.

from NEast Philly: Obituary: Louis McKee, 1951 -2011


Poetic Obituaries: [Marion H.] Montgomery, 86, penned novels,

short stories, poetry and essays and knew many authors including Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy and Eudora Welty.

Besides his writing, Montgomery also was known for his love of teaching.

He taught at UGA for 33 years, but even after his retirement in 1987, Montgomery continued to lecture at events held across the world.

from Athens Banner-Herald: Former UGA prof Montgomery, a noted author, poet dies


Poetic Obituaries: Nasir Qavi wrote the famous poem

'Tum kitnay Bhutto marogay? Har ghar say Bhutto niklay ga".President Zardari in his condolence message to the members of the family of Nasir Qavi said his poem has been a source of encouragement among the workers of Peoples Party and it will be remembered forever.

from Associated Press of Pakistan: President Zardari condoles death of poet Nasir Qavi


Poetic Obituaries: "She gave up dance after her daughter

was born in 1999 and in recent years she concentrated on writing," said her [Lynn Shapiro's] husband, Erik Friedlander, a cellist with whom she often collaborated. In addition to her prizewinning "Sloan Kettering" poem, others appeared in the publications "Rattle" and "Mudfish.""She gave up dance after her daughter was born in 1999 and in recent years she concentrated on writing," said her husband, Erik Friedlander, a cellist with whom she often collaborated. In addition to her prizewinning "Sloan Kettering" poem, others appeared in the publications "Rattle" and "Mudfish."

from The Villager: Lynn Shapiro, award-winning dancer, poet, 54


Poetic Obituaries: Francis W. "Steve" Stephenson, who founded

the iconic Steve's Sundry, Books and Magazines in Tulsa in 1947, died Tuesday. He was 93.

Services are pending with Freeman Harris Funeral Home.

Teresa Miller, founder of the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers, told the Tulsa World in 2007 that Stephenson had "done more to promote Oklahoma authors than anyone else."

from Tulsa World: Steve's Sundry founder 'Steve' Stephenson dies


Poetic Obituaries: [Ruth Stone's] 13 poetry collections

include "Cheap: New Poems and Ballads (1975)," "Who Is the Widow's Muse?" (1991), "Simplicity" (1995) and "In the Dark" (2004).

She began to gain a wider audience when her collection "Ordinary Words" (1999) won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2000. With the publication of "In the Next Galaxy" by Copper Canyon Press, her ascent to the front rank of American poets was confirmed. In 2007 she was named to a four-year term as Vermont's state poet.

Inevitably, in her later years, the poetry took on a more somber tone. Age, with its ravages and regrets, became a constant theme. Her husband's suicide and the long decades of widowhood continued to haunt her verse.

from The New York Times: Ruth Stone, a Poet Celebrated Late in Life, Dies at 96
then The Guardian: Ruth Stone obituary
then NPR: Remembering Poet Ruth Stone
then The Fortnightly Review: Some belated gratitude for Ruth Stone
then BBC News: Ruth Stone dies aged 96
then Burlington Free Press: Life in Full: Sydney Lea on former Vermont state poet Ruth Stone


Poetic Obituaries: Like many poets of her generation,

Elena [Tamargo] lived in exile, where she continued a work begun in Cuba. Yet she never lost a connection with her country of birth; that she always wore on her back, like those little creatures that carry their houses on top of them. Havana was particularly recurrent in her verses.

In addition, in the classes that she taught, Cuban literature always held a special place.

from Havana Times: Elena, a Poet from Cuba


Poetic Obituaries: [Kumar Vimal's] several poems were

translated into English, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Urdu and Kashmiri.

Among his important books are Mulya and Mimansa and books of poems Angaar and Sagrmatha.

from Outlook India: Hindi Literateur Kumar Vimal Dead


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22nd Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

November 22nd forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

Robert Hass, the 70-year-old former poet laureate of the USA, was beaten by police in Berkeley California after his wife, the wonderful poet Brenda Hillman, was shoved to the ground. It was at Occupy Berkeley. He writes about it in a New York Times article, our first link in the News at Eleven section.

The next selection has links to two articles about Nikky Finney, who just won the National Book Award for Poetry for her work Head Off & Split. The second one has embedded into it her acceptance speech, one that John Lithgow called "the best acceptance speech for anything I’ve ever heard in my life." We have dozens more links to poems, and articles about poets and poetry in three sections, News at Eleven, Great Regulars, and Poetic Obituaries.

The IBPC contest results are in for October, with great thanks to our new judge for the fall season, Nathalie Handal, whose commentary on each poem you can read online. Congrats to the winners!:

First place: That and a Dime Will Get You a Cup of Coffee by Sue Kay of Wild Poetry Forum
Second place: In the Beginning by Brenda Levy Tate of PenShells
Third place: at a foodbank by Dan Flore of The Writers Block

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: I screamed at the deputy

who had knocked down my wife [Brenda Hillman], "You just knocked down my wife, for Christ's sake!" A couple of students had pushed forward in the excitement and the deputies grabbed them, pulled them to the ground and cudgeled them, raising the clubs above their heads and swinging. The line surged. I got whacked hard in the ribs twice and once across the forearm. Some of the deputies used their truncheons as bars and seemed to be trying to use minimum force to get people to move. [--Robert Hass]

from The New York Times: Poet-Bashing Police


News at Eleven: Poet Nikky Finney, a South Carolina native

and daughter of a legal pioneer, has won the National Book Award for poetry. The winners were announced Wednesday evening.

Finney, 52, is a professor of English at the University of Kentucky but returns home frequently to South Carolina. Before this year's S.C. Book Festival, she talked about one of her poems, created after witnessing defiance by homeowners facing a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.

"I thought this was incredibly powerful," Finney told The State's Otis Taylor. "I've been raised in communities when land and the house on it was the legacy that many black people left their children. Many times it was the only legacy."

from The State: S.C. native, Nikky Finney, wins National Book Award for poetry
then Kentucky Kernel: Professor Nikky Finney wins National Book Award for Poetry