Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October 30th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

October 30th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

Somalian poet Wasame Awale has been shot to death. Poet Mohammed Ibn al-Dheeb is being tried in secret in Qatar for a poem he wrote. Donald Hall writes about a "lifetime of poetry readings". But we and the world of poetry, as reflected in the articles from around the globe, begin in celebration and reflection, honoring Sylvia Plath, whose 80th birthday was this past Saturday. These stories are just four of the eleven in News at Eleven. We have all of Great Regulars and Poetic Obituaries sections that follow as well.

More to celebrate: September's winning poems are in, with big thanks to InterBoard Poetry Community judge Troy Jollimore. Congratulations to the following poets and boards:

First Place: Eating the Black Dog, by Fred Longworth, of The Write Idea

Second Place: The mail comes, by Catherine Whiteley, of Wild Poetry Forum

Third Place: Walking Through Chicory, by Christopher T. George, of FreeWrights Peer Review

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: Sylvia Plath, who was born on 27 October 1932

and died aged 30 in 1963, published only two works during her lifetime, the poetry collection The Colossus and the novel The Bell Jar. The majority of her poetry was published posthumously, and most of the reviews of her work react against the knowledge of her suicide. Reading through reviews of her work, before her poetry became so intrinsically linked to her death, is an interesting experiment.

from The Guardian: Sylvia Plath--reviews from the archive
then The Telegraph: Remembering poet Sylvia Plath
then The Christian Science Monitor: Sylvia Plath: 10 quotes on her birthday
then Huffington Post: Sylvia Plath Quotes And Photos For Her Birthday!
then Flavorwire: Sylvia Plath's Beautiful, Bittersweet Musings on Life


News at Eleven: Warsame Shire Awale, a well-known

comedian, actor, songwriter and playwright who worked for privately-owned Radio Kulmiye and dared to satirize the Islamist militia Al-Shabaab, was gunned down near his Mogadishu home yesterday, bringing the number of media workers killed this year in Somalia to 18.

"This country and its capital, Mogadishu, cannot continue to be abandoned to their fate, to the killers who are decimating civil society," Reporters Without Borders said.

from Reporters Without Borders: Radio Kulmiye humourist becomes 18th media worker to be killed this year


News at Eleven: Mohammed al-Ajami--also known as

Mohammed Ibn al-Dheeb--was arrested on 16 November 2011 in the capital Doha, and later reportedly charged with "inciting to overthrow the ruling system" and "insulting the Amir".

The prosecution's case against him is reportedly based on a poem he wrote in 2010 criticizing Qatar's Amir, but Gulf activists have alleged the real reason for his arrest was his "Jasmine Poem", written in 2011 in the context of unrest across the Middle East and North Africa.

from Amnesty International: Qatar: Detained 'Jasmine uprising' poet being tried in secret
then AFP: Qatar poet faces secret trial for 'insult': watchdogs
then Human Rights Watch: Qatar: Revise Draft Media Law to Allow Criticism of Rulers


News at Eleven: If you call self-immolation--one of the most

non-violent acts, carried out with a calm serene mind--"violent", what word are you left with for organised terrorism? Our people have given their lives to speak to the conscience of the Chinese. They have not hurt anyone else. [--Tenzin Tsundue]

from Tehelka: 'Going to jail 14 times has sharpened my skills'


News at Eleven: The following poem, "On Nothing",

elaborates on the nightmarish prospect of outer space being not a final frontier, but no frontier at all: "the present buckles into nowlessness//that lasts for never as a dark star draws/downward threads of light . . ." A few pages later, "A Safe Distance" notes our good luck that the moon is no closer than it is, for aesthetic reasons as much as anything else--we would soon tire of "that chiaroscuro,/the light-splashed pores and shadowy pits . . ."

from The Guardian: Out There by Jamie McKendrick--review


News at Eleven: Dmitri Nabokov was an experienced translator

of his father [Vladimir Nabakov]'s work and his rendering of "The University Poem", about a love affair in Cambridge, is a triumph of understated felicity. There are, however, occasions when his versions prove intrusive. Take the translation of "Easter", a poem written in the weeks after Nabokov's father's death, which begins as follows:

I see a radiant cloud, I see a rooftop glisten
like a mirror, far away . . . I listen
to breathing shade, light's stillicide . . .

from The Telegraph: Collected Poems by Vladimir Nabokov, ed by Thomas Karshan: review


News at Eleven: "When I was made National Poet of Wales

they told me that I didn't have to write anything, but I regard my work as mending bridges between North Wales and South Wales, Welsh and English language, England and Wales, Wales and the world. I feel that I need to cross boundaries."

Commissioned works which show up in Gillian [Clarke]'s newest collection, Ice, include Six Bells, written 50 years after the mining accident at Six Bells Colliery, White Cattle of Dinefwr for the festival of Dinefwr and Running Away To The Sea for the Jubilee Lines poetry collection for the Queen's 60th anniversary.

from WalesOnline: Gillian Clarke on keeping poetry in Wales alive


News at Eleven: After going through the villages of Burwarton and

Cleobury North, bear left under Abdon Burf ("Burf"--another Saxon word meaning "fort" or "hill-fort", now simply meaning "hill"), to the tiny ancient hamlet of Abdon. Just before the hamlet is the beautiful Norman Abdon church. If you go through the little wicket gate in the churchyard you will see the remains of Abdon's medieval village as earthworks in the field.

Wenlock Edge was umbered,
And bright was Abdon Burf,
And warm between them slumbered
The smooth green miles of turf;

Turn right in Abdon village and then bear left in the village of Tugford, following the signs back to Ludlow.

from Union Jack: A.E. Housman's Shropshire


News at Eleven: But the responses to his [Robert Frost's] book

"North of Boston" (1914) were discouraging. Then [Edward] Thomas reviewed it--in three different publications--and said the poems were "revolutionary because they lack the exaggeration of rhetoric. . . . Their language is free from the poetical words and forms that are the chief material of secondary poets. . . . In fact, the medium is common speech."

"At last," Mr. [Matthew] Hollis writes, "Frost felt understood."

from The Wall Street Journal: Emotion Recollected in Intensity


News at Eleven: "If it works, it will go down a storm,

if it doesn't we'll let you know." Off the Shelf has commissioned poets for years; slowly, deftly, they've been creating a poetic map of the city of steel. In Sheffield, Andrew Motion has a poem on the side of one student building, Jarvis Cocker is on another, Benjamin Zephaniah on the railings of another, and Roger McGough can be found in the Winter Garden.

But the poem on the pitch is a whole different ball game.

from The Guardian: Jackie Kay on reading out an anti-racist poem at a football ground


News at Eleven (Back Page): A Dodge festival in New Jersey was massive

with poets, schoolteachers, and school kids. Each poet did panels, question periods, and readings. The first night, all twenty-five poets read, a few minutes each, to a crowd of three thousand. Nobody sitting at the back of the tent could have seen a poet's face if the festival had not enlarged each visage on a screen like the Dallas Cowboys'. For closeups, the Dodge employed a black, jointed steel arm, a foot thick and fifty feet long, which curled and lurched its camera back and forth, grabbing each facial detail in its metallic tentacles. It looked as if it were searching for a source of protein.

from The New Yorker: Thank You, Thank You: Donald Hall on a Lifetime of Poetry Readings


Great Regulars: And it's this, more than anything

else [Jena] Osman achieves in Public Figures--and she achieves quite a lot--that demands from us not only our sight and attention but also our resolve to see better.

Too often poets encounter war (or any form of ritualized violence) as though it were either a rotten banana to be held at arm's length or a fluffy puppy to be played with rambunctiously and irresponsibly. Osman forces encounters that are substantially more courageous, leading us by the nose from memorial to memorial and implicitly asking, "Why did we put this here? What does it mean? What were we thinking?" These are questions that richly deserve answers, asked in a collection of poetry that richly deserves to be read.

from Seth Abramson: The Huffington Post: October 2012 Contemporary Poetry Reviews


Great Regulars: "I never feel any composer is me,

I just feel it's like loving someone, that's what it feels like to me. I feel a bursting love for Brahms when I am playing his music, and love for Tchaikov­sky and, most of all, love for Beethoven."

That's it. Love. So simple. Yet not so ­simple. But there's another thing I've never understood. Why don't great musicians cry all the time? [Nicola] Benedetti admits she did once, while playing the third movement of Beethoven's Archd­uke Trio. "You are in touch with some new, unearthly spirituality that is so unbelievably powerful," she says.

from Bryan Appleyard: from The Sunday Times: Nicola Benedetti: A Bursting Love


Great Regulars: But it's the differences that reveal [Lucille] Clifton

to be a major American poet and cummings a major minor one. Where cummings remains a latent Romantic, Clifton's best work--in her books "Good News About the Earth," "Quilting," and "Terrible Stories"--reveals her to possess in her poems and her persona the presence of poetic poise in the face of discrimination, poise in the face economic difficulty, poise in the face of disappointment and, as the poem this month characterizes, poise in the face of sorrow.

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Poetry: Punctuated with poise


Here's one place I'm staking out: I'm done with giving lip service to writing as geometric patterning. What Pound called 'vorticism' has run its literary course. It's tinny-eared, avant-traditional and, when handled by most poets, it's a form of infantile rote transcription. Like a key made from a copy of a key, it never locks or unlocks quite like the original. The poetry of abstraction, the poetry of the disassembled, the poetry of mass, space, and volume has become not just unmemorable but hidebound. There. So long. I'll remember the good times. We can only be friends now.

from David Biespiel's Poetry Wire: The Rumpus: Why I'm Quitting Ezra Pound


Great Regulars: This week's Poetry Pairing matches

"Song of the Witches," famous lines from William Shakespeare's tragedy "Macbeth," with "Making It | Enchantments, the 30-Year-Old Witch and Goddess Shop," an interview with the longtime manager of the Manhattan shop that caters to "so many different spiritual and magical paths."

from Shannon Doyne: The New York Times: Poetry Pairing: 'Song of the Witches'


Great Regulars: Canadian publisher Pamela McColl released her

edition of the 1823 poem, which is attributed to Moore, last month, drawing widespread criticism from anti-censorship groups. Her version cuts two lines from the poem--the description of St Nicholas which runs "The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,/And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath"--as well as redrawing the illustration to remove the pipe and smoke from around the character.

McColl, who published the book through her own company, Grafton and Scratch, is an anti-smoking campaigner, and believes children's books which feature smoking should include parental warnings.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Santa's pipe put out in new edition of children's classic


Great Regulars: Bedtime

by Denise Levertov

We are a meadow where the bees hum,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Bedtime by Denise Levertov


The Bull of Bendylaw
by Sylvia Plath

The black bull bellowed before the sea.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Bull of Bendylaw by Sylvia Plath


An Easy-Going Weekend
by Gerald Locklin

With my wife and daughter away at

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: An Easy-Going Weekend by Gerald Locklin


The Preacher
by Louis Jenkins

When times were hard, no work on the railroad,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Preacher by Louis Jenkins


Rush Hour
by C.K. Williams

Someone has folded a coat under the boy's head,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Rush Hour by C.K. Williams


To prayer I think I go . . .
by Robert Frost

To prayer I think I go,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: To prayer I think I go . . . by Robert Frost


The Truth
by Ronald Wallace

for Amy

Her breast cancer, she said,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Truth by Ronald Wallace


Great Regulars: These events occurred in the 160s BCE,

and the books that recount them are not part of the Hebrew Bible. This means that the holiday of Hanukkah is not a biblical but a rabbinic institution; and as we have seen before, rabbinic decrees are of lesser authority than biblical ones.

This leads the Talmud to note an anomaly in the Hanukkah blessings. We praise God "who commanded us to light Hanukkah lights": "But where," the Gemara demands, "did He command us?" In fact, it was not God but the rabbis who commanded us to do this.

from Adam Kirsch: Tablet: Light Advice From the Rabbis


Great Regulars: It's a good thing to have a poem

about voting in the week of the election, and here's a fine one by Judith Harris, who lives in Washington, D.C.

My Mother Goes to Vote

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 397


Great Regulars: And that's why James Pollock's debut,

Sailing to Babylon (which had hardly left port before it was nominated for this year's Governor General's Award), is such a noteworthy book. Of the topics I advise to steer clear of, he writes about: Glenn Gould (and his Chickering piano), the Northwest Passage (twice), the Franklin Expedition and birdsong.

But in Pollock's unadorned style, forged as it is in traditional forms--blank verse, rhyming couplets, sonnets, terza rima--we get a vision of an old world, freighted with history, and still able to astonish itself with the novelty of its recurrence.

from Michael Lista: National Post: On Poetry: Sailing to Babylon, by James Pollock


Great Regulars: Author Grace Paley once remarked that

she knew she had a story when she had two stories.  In today's poem Bruce Spang, the poet laureate of Portland, tells two stories at once--one about a dog, and the second about a marriage.

Humane Society

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


Great Regulars: "I don't know if they will give my parents

any trouble because of it," he [Hu Jia] said. "They are terrified, because the police [said] they would take special measures to deal with me ahead of the 18th Party Congress," Hu said.

"The authorities really wish I would be out of Beijing for the 18th Party Congress . . . and at least they haven't said that they will stop me going," he added.

"My parents have been saying repeatedly that I should go back home with them, or else my life could be in danger."

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: Fears For Hu Jia's Health


Great Regulars: For decades, the poem has been the target

of boring, moralizing censure from academics, who claim that The Lady of Shalott merely illustrates a Victorian hatred of women. Yet the poem cannot be dismissed so easily. Its central theme is the conflict between freedom and fate; a theme we find in literature as early as Greek and Roman tragedy, and which erupts in Shakespearean drama. "The Lady of Shalott" is a worthy successor to Oedipus and to Hamlet, a figure of endless fascination who expresses a universal, unresolvable, human dilemma.

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Modern Life: A Reading from 'The Lady of Shalott' by Tennyson


Great Regulars: If some poets seem eager to play tour guide,

to show you every knickknack in the flea market while keeping up a constant stream of patter, a good [Jack] Gilbert poem is content simply to stare at you--not hostile, not friendly, just very focused. It's a stark approach that can work well with stark subject matter. Consider "Michiko Dead," one of many lovely poems about the death of his wife at age 36. The poem begins, "He manages like somebody carrying a box/that is too heavy" and continues the conceit as it concludes:

from David Orr: The New York Times: Daily Devotions


Great Regulars: Interestingly, "Psalm 52" denounces those

who are great and prominent, but false: a phenomenon that [Mary Sidney Herbert,] the Countess of Pembroke was well placed to observe.

Her version is less compact than the other great translation of her time, and more performative. The King James prose version has the force of simplicity and compression, a clinching denunciation. Mary Herbert makes the psalm into more of a song: an inspired rant, extravagant yet disciplined.

from Robert Pinsky: Slate: The Inventive Translations of Mary Sidney Herbert


Great Regulars: Alistair Findlay

There he is, Gove, Education Minister,

from Jody Porter: Morning Star: Well Versed: Alistair Findlay--By Gove


Great Regulars: And, after the poem has stopped,

it's as if it's still going on somewhere, the buffeting wind and flying mill-sails, the birds being bird-like, and the pigs grubbing up the acorns which are still falling, just beyond our view--and beyond Romantic convention. Even without the dialect, [John] Clare ensures his poem is wind-blown, moving, alive.


from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Poem of the week: Autumn by John Clare


Great Regulars: [by Lisa M. Steinman]

Keeping Quiet

I've never heard a snow-free

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Poetry: 'Keeping Quiet' by Lisa M. Steinman


Great Regulars: Before Dawn

By Penelope Shuttle

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Before Dawn


Great Regulars: By Nick Norwood

My father's shaving with the radio on.

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'A.M.'


Great Regulars: Pat Savage, a regular at the hoot,

 got a great reaction with a personal manifesto poem, "Why I Don't Cut My Wild Gray Hair." Poetry has a strong tradition of making statements from Whitman's "I am large, I contain multitudes" to Sharon Olds's "Do what you are going to do and I will tell about it." Savage takes one aspect of the physical self she presents to the world (her hair), and uses it as a flag to profess her take on the world and her place in it.

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poems from the Hoot


Great Regulars: "The ideal life for a poet",

he [Czeslaw Milosz] maintained, "is to contemplate the word is", a quest that leads, in "The Advisor", to a conflict between materialism and the consolations of a faith to which it is perhaps difficult to return in the light of what we have learnt about ourselves over the past century. The landscape Miłosz presents here has been ravaged by scientific and industrial progress. But the cynical advice to regard man merely as an evolved animal is ironically undercut by a haunting echo of old beliefs.

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


Poetic Obituaries: Popular Somali poet, playwright and songwriter

Warsame Shire Awale has been killed in the capital, Mogadishu.

He was shot by unknown gunmen near his home on Monday evening.

Mr Awale wrote and acted in radio plays critical of the militant group, al-Shabab, who he accused of misleading people in the name of Islam.

from Horseed Media: Somali poet Warsame Shire Awale killed by gunmen


Poetic Obituaries: Peter Douthit, known as Peter Rabbit,

who helped start one of the Southwest's earliest communes and the Taos Poetry Circus, died from liver cancer Saturday morning at his home in Taos. He was 76.

His widow, Anne MacNaughton, said Douthit got involved in communes and poetry performances for the same reason.

"He was always interested in community," she said. "It was pretty much what he was about--people and community."

from Santa Fe New Mexican: Peter Douthit, 1936-2012: Taos poet lived for people, community


Poetic Obituaries: Often a bohemian in lifestyle, [Sunil] Gangopadhyay

was one of the most popular poets in post-Rabindranath Tagore Bengal, with his 'Nira' series of poems having retained their popularity, particularly among the youth, through the years.

A prolific writer, Gangopadhyay authored more than 200 books over six decades, with his magnificent range of creations touching upon diverse segments like novels, children's fiction, poetry, literary criticism, travelogue and essays.

from Zeenews: Sunil Gangopadhyay: A versatile doyen of Bengali literature
then The Asian Age: Gun salute to the poet
then The Times of India: 70 unpublished poems, essays found in Sunil Gangopadhyay's diaries


Poetic Obituaries: [Yagalla] Ramakrishna, who was close to

prominent short story writer Kalipatnam Rama Rao, was instrumental in developing the Kadha Nilayam in Srikakulam town along with him. He instituted annual literary awards to under the aegis of Yagalla Foundation twelve years back.

from The Hans India: Prominent litterateur Yagalla Ramakrishna passes away


Poetic Obituaries: If you or your child has ever experienced

a poetry reading at school, it was likely through an initiative of the league of Canadian poets--an outfit cofounded and first presidented by the unassuming [Raymond] Souster.

After a life of forty-one volumes of currently enduring poetry, two novels and uncountable foreign-exchange transactions, the venerable Raymond Souster's good works live on not only between the covers of his volumes of poetry but in the form of an award established last year in his name by the League of Canadian Poets.

from Now: Farewell to poet Raymond Souster 1921-2012
then The Star: Raymond Souster, 1921-2012
then National Post: Poetic priest: Raymond Souster's religious dedication to medium opened doors for Canadian writers


Poetic Obituaries: [Habib al-Zyoudi ] was born in Hashemiyyah in

Zarqa in 1963, and earned his Bachelor's degree in Arabic Language from the University of Jordan, he won the State Encouragement Award in Literature in 1992, and wrote hundreds of poets in the love of the country and the Jordanian people.

from Ammon News: Renowned Jordanian Poet Zyoudi Passes Away


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 23rd Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

October 23rd forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

It's a bookish week in Poetry & Poets in Rags. We begin with a review by Kate Kellaway in The Observer, of Sharon Olds' latest book Stag's Leap, a review which contains a poem from the book. Also in our News at Eleven section come reviews of The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink edited by Kevin Young, The Essential Robert Gibbs, Plans Deranged by Time: The Poetry of George Fetherling, John Keats by Nicholas Roe, and Private Hercules McGraw: Poems of the American Civil War by S. Thomas Summers. Those 7 books account for 6 of the eleven articles in News at Eleven, which leaves 5 more various and remarkable stories from that section alone.

Then there's the whole of Great Regulars, our largest section, followed by Poetic Obituaries, dozens of stories pertinent to poetry. 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: This out-of-the-ordinary collection,

about the end of a marriage, goes beyond the confessional. Sharon Olds, who has always had a gift for describing intimacy, has, in a sense, had these poems thrown at her by life and allowed them to take root: they are stunning--the best of a formidable career. Deserted after decades of marriage, she describes a love for her husband that refuses to die to order. They are the most unusual love poems: fortified by years, by sexual passion of valedictory intensity and by vows she does not, at first, know how to unmake. They can be read as an ongoing narrative--a calendar of pain.

from The Guardian: Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds--review


News at Eleven: We also included some poems that will be

of interest to scholars. Lucille [Clifton] had a distinctive style that was very crafted, and you can watch how she developed that voice from the time she was a young woman. You can watch her play around with line breaks and capitalization. You can watch her abandon rhyme and punctuation.

You can see how the themes of justice and compassion and treasuring family and children were early themes that were there from the beginning.

[--Michael Glaser]

from The Baltimore Sun: The collected poems of Lucille Clifton


News at Eleven: But, alas, our protagonists were married

to other people at the time, so they went home to their respective spouses, no vows broken. Then, two years later, Mr. [Patrick] Lane returned to Regina as a keynote speaker for a weekend poetry conference. Ms. [Lorna] Crozier was there. "That was it, when that was over, the weekend was over, we were together," says Mr. Lane, now 73. They left their spouses and have been together ever since.

from The Globe and Mail: An ode to B.C.'s poetry power couple


News at Eleven: Persevere. Mr. [Kevin] Young reprints the entirety

of Howard Nemerov's "Bacon & Eggs": "The chicken contributes,/But the pig gives his all." He gives us Thomas Lux's delirious poem about his childhood refrigerator in 1957, with maraschino cherries as "fiery globes, like strippers/at a church social."

There's Billy Collins, feeling sorry for the fish he is about to consume, "yanked from the sea and now lying dead/next to some boiled potatoes in Pittsburgh." And there is Honorée Jeffers, winsome on barbecue:

from The New York Times: Looking in the Fridge and Finding Some Poetry


News at Eleven: [Seamus] Heaney: The future of poetry

abides in the language, waiting for some poet or poets to hatch it out. What it will be cannot be predicted: it could be argued, indeed, that the life of poetry is a creationist rather then an evolutionary matter.

When the new voice arrives, there is always a sense of an intervention. Bewilderment too at times.

from The Buffalo News: Poet Seamus Heaney is bound for Buffalo


News at Eleven: In cadence and content, [Robert] Gibbs

recollects the ex-cathedra naturalism of Yankee poet Robinson Jeffers as well as the Anglo-Saxon 'Beat' impulses of Canuck poet Earle Birney.

Let's let lines speak for themselves: "Light trims the white edges of the bay,/Limestone licked clean by salt-loving tongues"; "Whatever the lighthouse means . . . flaring round/off-beat with the foghorn . . ./in this watery envelope/where black-backed gulls work their wings/indifferently. . . ."

from The Chronicle Herald: Excellent works showcase poets Gibbs, Fetherling


News at Eleven: But the most extraordinary exchange

[John] Keats had with Ireland was when he crossed from Stranraer to Larne, and set out for the Giant's Causeway. Along the way, "they encountered a figure that seemed to embody the country's wretchedness". He called her the Duchess of Dunghill. "Imagine the worst dog kennel you ever saw . . . In such a wretched thing sat a squalid old Woman squat like an ape . . . What a thing would be a history of her Life and sensations."

The Anglo-Welsh poet David Jones chronicles nearly the same vision along a road outside Limerick. In terms of Irish poetic psychology, Keats had glimpsed the Hag.

from The Irish Times: A poet pursued by death


News at Eleven: The larger story is not that attendance

was down, but that the Dodge Poetry Festival was the catalyst for a cultural collaboration that helped introduce Newark's great institutions to new visitors and was an economic boon to the region.

from The Star-Ledger: Dodge Poetry Festival boon for Newark


News at Eleven: Of the thousands upon thousands of books

written about the Civil War, there are but a few that, instead of relying on battle maps, lists of dates, and casualty rolls to tell a black-and-white history, seek to illustrate the conflict's sanguine horrors by peering through the eyes of those who fought--and fewer still that abandon flowery prose and adapt the terse, sheer style of poetry in order to do it.

But that's exactly what Vernon poet S. Thomas Summers has done in his new book, entitled "Private Hercules McGraw: Poems of the American Civil War," which he will be reading from at the Ringwood Public Library on Oct. 20.

from Suburban Trends: Vernon poet S. Thomas Summers to read at the Ringwood Public Library on Oct. 20


News at Eleven: The adaptation, with a translation by Robert Fagles,

makes the subject relevant with an informal but poetic narrative. The script's contemporary language and references are not gratuitous. This is An Iliad told with urgency, with the purpose of getting its modern audience to care about what happened long ago and far away, because we share a common humanity--and because war still exists and because the spoken word can still be very effective.

from KQED: The Trojan War: This Time It's Personal