Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June 26th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

June 26 forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

Today begins "the largest poetry festival ever staged in the UK," kicked off by a rain of poems at the Jubilee Gardens. That's our lead story in News at Eleven, which is also covered by Great Regular Alison Flood. The event is the brainchild of poet Simon Armitage. Our second item is an excerpt from his book Walking Home: Travels With a Troubadour on the Pennine Way. And from there, we go into many different poetic directions in dozens of articles.

The March IBPC results are in, big thanks to John Timpane, a Great Regular for Poetry & Poets in Rags, whose results are splendid, both in the poems he selected, and his commentary. Here they are, and big congrats to the poets and the boards where the poems were workshopped, marvelous work:

1st place: The Lost Daughter, by Laurie Byro, of Desert Moon Review
2nd place: Mood Indigo, by Allen Weber, of FreeWrights Peer Review
3rd place (tie): this poem is not about the charity of the dead,, by Brenda Morisse, of Wild Poetry Forum
3rd place (tie): All Love Is Outlaw, by John Wilks, of The Write Idea
Honorable mention: Cocooned, by Cynthia Neely, of Desert Moon Review
Honorable mention: Across Europe and beyond, by Divina, of PenShells

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: Today marks the start of the Poetry Parnassus,

the largest poetry festival ever staged in the UK, featuring poets from over 200 participating nations. Poet and Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre, Simon Armitage, who will be leading the event, commented: 'My hunch is that this will be the biggest poetry event ever--a truly global coming together of poets and a monumental poetic happening worthy of the spirit and history of the Olympics themselves.' Ahead of the week's festivities we asked six participating poets for their thoughts on this momentous gathering:

from Granta: Poetry Parnassus
then The Guardian: Simon Armitage: 'In Poetry Parnassus, the only constant is language'
then BBC News: Poetry Parnassus: Meet the poets from Albania, India and Uganda
then The Guardian: Poetry Parnassus interactive map: verse from each olympic nation


News at Eleven: The hills which only 24 hours ago seemed so

noble and benevolent are now mountains, intimidating and unforgiving, looming rather than rolling, multiplying in size and number, becoming angrier under darkening skies. Standing among them, the only person in a vast and empty landscape, I feel both utterly insignificant and intensely scrutinised at the same time.

The sound and sight of rain landing on the map could easily be mistaken for falling teardrops. Yet, and for reasons I can't explain, I continue to prefer my own judgment over that of the compass or the GPS, both of which are obviously broken and useless.

from The Guardian: Poetry in motion: Simon Armitage walks the Pennine Way


News at Eleven: I am convinced that the women in Neruda's life

are the ones who hold his secret. The ultimate keys to his personality and to his work cannot be found in the academic treatises on him, but in the voices of the women who mattered in his personal life--what they said, and what they kept silent. I believe that only these relationships convey the flesh-and-blood poet, that profoundly contradictory being, so full of light and shadow, that I sought and found in order to write my novel that blends fiction with actual history. The rest is a matter of interpreting the words--both poetic and everyday--that Neruda used throughout his life to protect himself, to hide, and to project the image of himself that has become so legendary.

from The Daily Beast: Pablo Neruda, My Neighbor: Roberto Ampuero Recalls His Childhood


News at Eleven: I believe we live in a world

with way too little reality, or means of accessing reality--if by 'reality' we mean a place where your accountability for actions is not virtual. I am not the only one to think much of the tragic violence being perpetrated by soldiers, for example, is caused by the violence perpetrated on them by making them feel the 'game' is virtual--even the people their tanks fire upon are converted to resemble outlines in video games on their monitors. Put people in front of virtual people and they will come to feel, themselves, both immune and virtual.

from The Spectator: Interview: Jorie Graham's poetry


News at Eleven: It's the arc of life in one place that fuels

[Jesse] Graves' observations, and he is struck with the irony of renewal that occurs at an ending place when his family gathers for a reunion at a cemetery in "Johnson's Ground."

"Each year we arrive, like any family, to admire new babies/And find out who has changed jobs or gotten married,/I come to see who's left to sit in the shaded chairs/Where my grandmother sat with her oldest sister Minnie/For the last time, neither of them able to name the other,/But both staring as if into a clouded mirror."

from The Advocate: Dark subjects inspire impressive poems in two collections


News at Eleven: On some mornings, poet Maggie Finch said,

she'll wake up with an idea in her head and then spend the whole day writing a poem.

"It's such a wonderful feeling to create something," Finch said.

Good poems endure and so, it must be said, do good poets and good houses. Finch lives alone at age 91 in the King's Dock, a stately house built in 1758 overlooking the Kennebec River in Bath.

from The Forecaster: Unsung Hero: Maggie Finch, poet and pacifist


News at Eleven: "I didn't know the difference between working class

and other classes until I was in this scene, and all of a sudden I was like a 'raw talent', and 'gritty', and 'urban'," he [Colm Keegan] says, laughing again. "You mean I'm poor? That's really what that's all about. And 'raw talent' means uneducated. If I'd got an education, I'd be a 'polished talent'."

Is he concerned about being typecast as a working-class writer?

from The Irish Times: A class act and an accidental poet


News at Eleven: Perth, Ont., poet Phil Hall has scooped up

another honour for his collection Killdeer--the $20,000 Trillium Book Award.

from CBC News: Phil Hall's Killdeer wins $20K Trillium Book Award
from Walrus: The Trillium 25 Interview: Phil Hall


News at Eleven: [Anne] Carson's work is more of a rewriting

than a translation of the Sophoclean story. It is riveting and humorous. At one point, Kreon arrives with his new powerboat, "the ship of state" he claims to pilot in the play. At another point he calls the guard a goat's anus, a play on the word "tragedy" in Greek. It is full of such unexpected surprises and wordplay. However, it does cut out some of the balance of equal claims of the original. Antigone's valid claim of conscience overshadows King Kreon's claim of law.

from The Globe and Mail: A sublime Antigone from Anne Carson


News at Eleven: Dear Peter,

I hope this map is clear enough.

Leave North Tawton square on the BONDLEIGH ROAD. The first T junction is at Bondleigh Bridge. By then you are on my map. Turn right, (without crossing the river) + go up the hill 40 yards, take the first on the left, to CLAPPERDOWN FARM. 50 yards along that lane, the river comes beside the road, and right there, under the road, is the pool I've marked, in red, above the top limit of my fishing.

from Granta: Dear Peter


News at Eleven (Back Page): The Dalai Lama and Burmese democracy icon

Aung San Suu Kyi met for the first time in London as the two Nobel Peace Prize winners visited Europe on separate programs, the office of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said Wednesday.

They spoke for about 30 minutes in a private meeting on Tuesday that coincided with the Burmese opposition figure and parliamentarian's 67th birthday, according to a statement by the Dalai Lama's office posted on his website.

from Radio Free Asia: Dalai Lama, Suu Kyi Meet


Great Regulars: In fact, what I am talking about is

the much greater story he is missing, the sloppy claims of some scientists and their hubristic desire to claim victory over every other form of knowledge. When I brought up Dawkins' God obsession, he agreed this was not science and I simply pointed out it was done with the authority of science, a very important point.

from Bryan Appleyard: from The Sunday Times: Dawkins, Goldacre and the Lumbering Robots


Great Regulars: One of the most probably crushing moments

for me was listening to Hubert. He said, what are we going to do? What are my people going to do? Meaning, when he's gone, he's not going to be able to help and to teach them anymore.


from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: On a Mission for Preservation, Poet Natalie Diaz Returns to Her Roots
then PBS: Newshour: On Wednesday's NewsHour: Poet Natalie Diaz


Great Regulars: And finally, this week, we asked for your

recommendations for debut poetry collections, to add into the mix in our search for a 10th first book award title. Of the ones you recommended, the one that caught my eye is Pelt by Sarah Jackson, reviewed by Canfan. "These are well-travelled poems in a collection that has more variety than any I've read recently," he says.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Reader reviews roundup


Great Regulars: The Alibi

By James Fenton

from James Fenton: The Guardian: The Saturday poem: The Alibi


Great Regulars: Tim Bray, a fan of Bradbury's writing,

is recommending to the Internet Engineering Task Force, which governs such choices, that when access to a website is denied for legal reasons the user is given the status code 451.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Call for Ray Bradbury to be honoured with internet error message


London is set to be bombarded by poetry on Tuesday evening as Chilean arts collective Casagrande prepares to drop 100,000 poems from a helicopter over the south bank of the Thames.

The event, which opens what is being called the biggest gathering of poets in world history, Poetry Parnassus, will take place at 9.15pm on Tuesday over the Southbank Centre's Jubilee Gardens, next to the London Eye.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: London prepares for poetry bombing


[Margaret] Atwood has signed up to Wattpad to share her writing with its online community of nine million other users. Describing herself as "a writer since 1956" on her online profile, Atwood has posted two new poems on the website, is planning to share a piece of fiction this autumn and will also be the final judge of a poetry contest to be held in July.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Margaret Atwood joins story-sharing website Wattpad


The poems were rescued from oblivion by the author's widow Sarah Fowles while clearing through his papers. She gave Adam Thorpe, the poet, novelist and playwright, access to the manuscripts, and he has worked through the difficult-to-decipher material over the last five years to create Selected Poems, out next month from tiny publisher Flambard Press.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: New John Fowles poems published


[Dylan] Calder called the festival "literature in promenade". "This is about using the people who know best how to entertain children: children's illustrators, writers and poets. It's about giving them some real artistic responsibility," he said. "Visitors here don't have to sit down and be quiet for an hour while someone reads to them. It will be quite noisy, and you can dip in and out."

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Pop Up Festival of Stories makes a noise about children's books


Great Regulars: But the Deacon confesses that he actually died

of cirrhosis of the liver, because for thirty years he "slipped behind the prescription partition/In Trainor's drug store" and gulped down a large portion of "Spiritus frumenti."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Edgar Lees Masters' Deacon Taylor, Sam Hookey, Cooney Potter


Great Regulars: Pew's Internet & American Life Project study,

conducted with nearly 3,000 respondents between Nov. 16 and Dec. 11, 2011, suggests that library patrons trying to borrow digital texts have been deterred by the selection and by not having the right e-book device. Just over half of respondents said their library did not have the book they were looking for and nearly 20 percent found that the device they owned could not receive a given title.

from Hillel Italie: Associated Press: Study: E-book library borrowing takes slow pace


Great Regulars: Clover

by Tennessee Williams

These are fragrant acres where

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Clover by Tennessee Williams


Brendel Playing Schubert
by Lisel Mueller

We bring our hands together

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Brendel Playing Schubert by Lisel Mueller


The Flowering
by Glenn Shea

I love to imagine London fallen quiet,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Flowering by Glenn Shea


Laughing Song
by William Blake

When the green woods laugh, with the voice of joy

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Laughing Song by William Blake


A Pasture Poem
by Richard Wilbur

This upstart thistle

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: A Pasture Poem by Richard Wilbur


When I Am Among the Trees
by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: When I Am Among the Trees by Mary Oliver


Great Regulars: Highway 30

by Ted Kooser

At two in the morning, when the moon

from Ted Kooser: Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Highway 30 by Ted Kooser


I have irises that have been handed down through my family over the generations, being dug up again and again, moved to another house, another garden. Here's a poem about that sort of inheritance, by Debra Wierenga, who lives in Michigan.

Chiller Pansies

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 379


Great Regulars: Wagner, they point out, had Jewish friends.

Eliot was a devout, churchgoing Anglican--surely not a "bad" person in any extreme way. So for now, let's leave anti-Semitism off the list. How about misogyny, or generally creepy behavior toward women? Picasso probably takes the prize here: of the seven main women in his life, two went mad and two killed themselves.

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Good Art, Bad People


Great Regulars: [by E. Ethelbert Miller]

Still Life in Black

outside the museums black

from E. Ethelbert Miller: E-notes: Still Life in Black


Great Regulars: A storm breaks and then clears.

Such an ordinary event and yet one that always feels like a miracle. One moment the thunder and lightning crash above our heads, the next we stand transfixed by the trembling quiet. This poem takes us to the exact second that storm turns to stillness--and fear turns to joy.

This is "change beyond hope!"

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Modern Life: A Reading of 'A Thunder Shower' by Coventry Patmore


Great Regulars: by Adam Horovitz

The train sings a liturgy for wasted brick. from Jody Porter: Morning Star: Well Versed: The Black Country by Railway ~~~~~~~~~~~

Great Regulars: The sisters in the poem, Lizzie and Laura,

are tempted by the magical and dangerous fruit the goblins sell as they trudge along the glenside. Lizzie instinctively fears and resists them, but Laura barters a curl of her golden hair in exchange for a feast. The tale clearly invites an allegorical reading. Lizzie's warnings reiterate the fate of Jeanie, a young bride-to-be who died after tasting the fruit prematurely, before her marriage.

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Poem of the week: Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti


Great Regulars: Editor's note: David Allen Sullivan teaches English

and film at Cabrillo College. The following poems were taken from his latest book of poems about the Iraq war, entitled "Every Seed of the Pomegranate," published this month by Tebot Bach.

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: The Poems of David Allen Sullivan


Great Regulars: Jynne Martin

How Long is the Coast of Britain?

from Granta: How Long is the Coast of Britain?


Great Regulars: [by Katherine Stansfield]

O Bees of Rhode Island

you're bolshie in morning hover, smug humming

from Huffington Post: Poet Katherine Stansfield Performs 'O Bees Of Rhode Island'

Great Regulars: Here are two poems from the book,

reproduced with the permission of his [Henri Cole's] publisher, Farrar, Straus & Giroux. "Shrike" first appeared in The New Yorker, and exemplifies the way that Cole uses an exact and terrifying image as a vessel for memories of pain. The next, "Myself Departing," is a poem of physical exposure, and emotion borne with dignity and resilience.


from The New Yorker: Poetry: What We're Reading: Henri Cole's "Touch"


Great Regulars: By Amanda Nadelberg

Shame gets out of bed for

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'I'll Say It Again'


Great Regulars: By Walaska Battenburg

Early one morning,

from Post-Bulletin: Poem: Rain!


Great Regulars: Not all the poems in Address are politically charged,

although most contain a provocative statement within them, urging the reader to action, to challenge a given stance, or at least to more closely examine one's own. As [Elizabeth] Willis asserts in "Sonnet," "None of this is free." No statement, claim or response is unhampered by beliefs or biases, or outside of the political-economic system in which we toil--every person at some point finds one's self called to defend their work, and to have their surroundings reflect it accordingly.

from Powells: Review-A-Day: Abigail Licad on Elizabeth Willis' "Address"


The poem "The Dilemma of Lois Lane" falls somewhere in the middle of these two poems, mingling the human and superhuman as the speaker is a woman in love with a superhero. Lois Lane muses on what it was like to first realize her Clark Kent was really Superman: she realizes his eyes will always be bright, his hair will always curl, and his body will always be "as solid as diamonds" (p. 38). However, she pretends those certainties are not real, because she prefers the reality of the human Clark Kent, and wishes he could

from Powells: Review-A-Day: The Human in the Superhuman


Great Regulars: [by Juan Manuel Perez]

El Chupacabra: An Introduction


from San Antonio Express-News: Poem: 'Bird of Many Colors'


Great Regulars: "Hospital"

By Charles Webb

from Slate: "Hospital"


Great Regulars: Anyone who has sat at a desk, facing

a blank page, can understand its humbling effect; how "Half an hour's enough to pinpoint all my weaknesses". Yet, as in much of [Hilary] Davies' work, she also seeks out the pleasures that arise, even in the midst of such doubt. She confesses: "I've grown to like/The shadowiness with which we work,/How outlines turn to sculpture", for this is, after all, the work of the artist.

The Ophthalmologist

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: "The Ophthalmologist"


Poetic Obituaries: Senior poet and academician Krishna Bhushan Bal,

who passed away yesterday, has been cremated at Paropakarghat of Biratnagar-1 on Tuesday.

from The Himalayan Times: Academician Bal cremated


Poetic Obituaries: In March Joe [Bell] was honoured by

"A Special Night for a Special Man", a tribute at the 17th anniversary meeting of the Live Poets at the Mussel Inn in Onekaka.

Joe had helped to found the Live Poets in 1996.

Joe was too ill to attend but at the time he said he was "moved and humbled by the tribute". At the tribute fellow poets talked about his love of poetry, which often addressed local issues.

"He knew how to get a message out in a poem without being so controversial," said Victoria Davis.

from The Nelson & Richmond/Waimea Leader: Poet for the people remembered


Poetic Obituaries: "You don't meet a poet like him

every day but maybe in another fifty years someone as great as him will emerge," added [Iftikhar] Arif[, while speaking of Bashir Hussain Nazim].

Chairman Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) Abdul Hameed said the late poet would be remembered for not only his poetic masterpieces but also his unprejudiced nature that made him accessible to all literary circles.

from The Express Tribune: Remembrance: Celebrating the life of a poet


Poetic Obituaries: Adrienne Rich's poems are relentlessly awake

to the complexities of representation, but they are less polemical--and more revelatory--than they are generally made out to be. Bringing something into view can constitute its own argument. Her poems often locate us in the aftermath of violence, forcing us to look closely and to consider what it takes to go on. They lead us into ruins, labyrinths, into the sunken slave ships and corporate wreckage lying just beneath the surface of the news. These architectures frame our reading. They build their passages around us.

from Artforum International: Adrienne Rich


Poetic Obituaries: [Jeff] Tagami penned a collection of poetry

titled "October Light," as well as four anthologies. His work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, and he has read for the Poetry Society of America, and the Academy of American Poets.

Tagami wrote the inaugural poem for Cabrillo's Watsonville expansion in 2001, said Rachel Mayo, Cabrillo College's dean of education centers in Watsonville and Scotts Valley. The poem celebrated the working class community, a theme that was common in his writing.

from Pajaronian Register: Nationally renowned poet Jeff Tagami dies


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 19th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

June 19th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

This week's lead story is about Sudanese poet Abdelmoniem Rahma being sentenced to die. At the end of the article, you will see where to send appeals. Our Back Page is on Burmese poet and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi delivering her lecture 21 years after her Nobel Peace Prize was announced. In between are the nine additional articles in our News at Eleven section, selected for their pertinence and quality, items you may want to click into.

Following these eleven, is our Great Regulars section, where several of them have multiple entries: Alison Flood, Garrison Keillor, Robert Pinsky, Carol Rumens, Granta, and Guernica. 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: The Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International

is extremely concerned about the condition and whereabouts of the Sudanese poet, Abdelmoniem Rahma, who was arrested on 2 September 2011 in Blue Nile State, Sudan. He was reportedly tried in a military court in November and there have been alarming reports that he has since been sentenced to death. It is unclear, however, on what charges he has been convicted. He has been denied access to a lawyer and his family do not know his whereabouts. There are also credible reports that he has been tortured. The WiPC calls on the Sudanese authorities to release Rahma, to repeal the reported death sentence against him, to clarify on what grounds he has been convicted, and to allow him access to legal counsel.

from PEN International: News: SUDAN--Poet reportedly sentenced to death, place of detention unknown


News at Eleven: Famously, when he was in a concentration camp,

Primo Levi held on to his humanity by reciting Dante and teaching it to another inmate. As a hostage in Lebanon, Brian Keenan relied on the one treasure his guards could not confiscate: the literature he had learnt at school in Belfast. Both men fell back on the poetry stored in their memories and, in the words of John Donne, made "one little room an everywhere".

You don't need to be a prisoner for poetry to be a comfort.

from The Telegraph: The sun came out when Michael Gove championed poetry for schoolchildren


News at Eleven: [John] Donne starts his poem with an implied

reconciliation of the split in belief between the two kinds of judgment--just as we know the world is a sphere, but think of it as a map, so the judgment is at once, in eternity, both general and particular. It looks as if Donne opted for the solution that has the judgment take place at the end of time, and the dead sleep until then--but in the last analysis he doesn't care.

from The Guardian: John Donne, priest and poet, part 4: two kinds of judgment
then The Guardian: John Donne, priest and poet, part 5: a flirtatious love of God


News at Eleven: Actor Bill Murray joined prominent poets who read

poetry on the Manhattan side of the bridge, then mid-span and again at the Fulton Ferry Landing, where Galway Kinnell, with wind-swept hair, awed the crowd with "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" by Walt Whitman.

"This is one of Whitman's most self-revealing poems," he said, with the lower Manhattan skyline behind him.

Mr. Murray, who closed the evening by reading poetry by Wallace Stevens, has been supporting Poets House for many years.

from The Wall Street Journal: Poetry Crosses Over


News at Eleven: Travelling as a 'modern troubadour' and setting out

without a penny in his pocket, he [Simon Armitage] stopped every night along the way to give poetry readings in village halls, churches, tourist information centres, pubs and living rooms. Audience numbers varied, and at one venue included a party of American school children queuing for the loo, and a flock of sheep.

A sock would be passed around to collect such offerings as the audience saw fit to give.

from The Guardian: Simon Armitage preludes his new book on home ground


News at Eleven: [Lisa] Brimmer learned she could perform in a jazz

setting while working with Lulu's Playground an improvisational band led by trumpeter Adam Meckler. That band, which includes Grossman, Montgomery, Schutte and accordionist Steven Hobert, helped her poetry leap from the page. She now thinks of herself as another instrument in the band, able to adapt her poems on the spot.

"It's very exciting because I think the poem, it changes in front of the audience, she said. "No matter how in sync the different guys are, how well they know each other's tendencies, there's still that possibility that anything could happen."

from Minnesota Public Radio: Poet turns to jazz to explore her roots


News at Eleven: Seasonal references that constitute the backbone

of these ancient forms of poetry instantly evoke specific emotions for Japanese readers because of their long history of use. (Haiku dates back to the 17th century, tanka to the seventh.) For Americans, not so much. And certain images of nature in Japanese culture make Americans think of the wrong season: Falling pine needles, for instance, mean summer to a Japanese native but evoke autumn in Americans' minds, says [Michiko] Oishi.

That's where her collaboration with [Judith] Chalmer, who is also a poet, came into play.

from Seven Days: In a Vermont Book of Poetry, American and Japanese Cultures Meld


News at Eleven: A [Stéphane] Mallarmé poem is typically a soufflé

of synaesthetic delights, served up to all five senses with the icy skill of a Paris head waiter, crying out for orchestration by Debussy and illustrations by Manet. It will tend to strike a mystical note, as though spoken by the priest of a non-existent religion addressing an equally non-existent god. It will resist the intelligence almost as successfully as poems can, to abuse another line from Wallace Stevens.

from The Guardian: The Poems in Verse by Stéphane Mallarmé, translated by Peter Manson--review


News at Eleven: If one is at a loss to appreciate the literary merit

in this or the majority of the poems, it might not be because of unfamiliarity with Pashto, which according to the editors is the exclusive language of the Taliban's poetic expression. One can try hard to imagine what the original Pashto lines may have looked like but after experimenting with about 40 long and short poems, it does feel like a losing battle. It is impossible to discern the form, style, literary devices, diction and context of virtually any poem. And really the Taliban poets are not to blame for this.

from Daily Times: The poetry of the Taliban: a lesson you won't forget--Dr Mohammad Taqi


News at Eleven: "I was not surprised to see that the Syrian regime

was so cruel and shot at the people. But I was really surprised that the population was going for it from the beginning to the end."

He [Faraj Bayrakdar] said the Syrian people were "thankful" for support from European governments.

"But I think Europe could do more . . . to support its civil society to support the Syrian people."

from Reuters: Syria poet tells UK literati cost of opposing Assads


News at Eleven (Back Page): Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi

finally delivered on Saturday her Nobel Peace Prize speech, saying the award she won 21 years ago while under house arrest "opened up a door in my heart" and fueled her campaign for democracy and human rights.

from Radio Free Asia: Suu Kyi: Nobel Prize 'Opened My Heart'
from Nobel Prize: Nobel Lecture by Aung San Suu Kyi
then Nobel Prize: The Nobel Peace Prize 1991: Aung San Suu Kyi: Nobel Lecture


Great Regulars: What was missing is now called ­epigenetics,

a concept whose importance can scarcely be overstated. The gene-centric view was that the gene produced a protein that went on to build an organism. In fact, we now know not only that some genes can produce several proteins, but also that this mechanism can be turned on and off by processes of which, not long ago, we knew nothing. The gene, in other words, is not the last word and may not even be the first. It is certainly not in complete control of anything.

The implications are staggering.

from Bryan Appleyard: from The Sunday Times: Not in Our Genes


Great Regulars: Nearly 90% of the books reviewed by the

New York Times last year were written by white authors, according to writer Roxane Gay. The statistic was revealed after Gay's research assistant spent 16 hours a week for 14 weeks going through the race and gender of the books reviewed in the New York Times in 2011.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Books reviewed in New York Times are 'predominantly by white authors'


New figures from the Booksellers Association show that the number of independent booksellers fell to 1,094 by the end of 2011, down from 1,159 in 2010 and 1,289 in 2009. The 65 casualties last year range from Dartmouth's famous Harbour Bookshop, founded 60 years ago by Christopher Robin Milne, to The Travel Bookshop in Notting Hill, made famous by the Hugh Grant film.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Independent bookshops in crisis, as ebook sales rise


The survey, carried out on more than 500 parents of babies by ICM and the Fatherhood Institute on behalf of the charity Booktrust, found that 64% of parents were not reading with their babies at seven months, and that 57% did not own a single book until they received their pack of free titles from Booktrust's Bookstart programme.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Two-thirds of parents 'never read to their babies'