Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 27th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

November 27th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

Our first four items in News at Eleven this week have to do with four national poets laureate, two present and two former, in this order: Louise Glück, Natasha Trethewey, Andrew Motion, and Carol Ann Duffy. In our Great Regulars section, David Biespiel also looks at Glück's work. Her new book is out, Louise Glück: Poems 1962-2012.

Also in Great Regulars, we have poems by former laureates William Stafford (USA), Robert Bly (Minnesota), and Sharon Olds (New York), a current state laureate Paulann Petersen (Oregon), the National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke, and the inaugural poet laureate of New Zealand Bill Manhire.

Our eleventh article in News at Eleven, the Back Page one, refers to former US Poet Laureate Donald Hall. And we can add to this an article by Great Regular Alison Flood, in which we find that the Nobel Laureate from 2009 Herta Müller has called the naming of Mo Yan as the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature a "catastrophe."

We have many more articles than these. I'll leave them to your discovery. Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: Is there a characteristic [Louise] Glück poem?

The popular consensus suggests there is. Legions of younger American poets, for whom Glück is an exemplar, are certain that she is the author of an identifiable product fit to inspire, and that the product is often to be found in the anthologies. Such poems ring with the sharp, punishing desolation of these opening lines from "Epithalamium" (1980):

There were others; their bodies
 were a preparation.
 I have come to see it as that.
 As a stream of cries.
 So much pain in the world--the formless
 grief of the body, whose language
 is hunger--

The work is marked by its austere idiom and air of bald declaration, while also intimating something more that might be said but is unaccountably withheld.

from The Nation: Writing Without a Mattress: On Louise Glück


News at Eleven: AP: Are there any hokey demands on you

as poet laureate? Do people think you should write a poem about every state or certain historical figures?

[Natasha] Trethewey, laughing: "Fortunately, the laureateship doesn't involve the necessity of writing any occasional poems, or poems commemorating state events or anything. I do imagine, however, that being ensconced in the poetry room, which has a lovely balcony that overlooks the Capitol from one direction and the Supreme Court out of another window, that being there will be inspiring. . . . And it might lead to a new project in my own poems, a new kind of consideration of historical memory."

from The Associated Press: AP Interview: Trethewey a 'cheerleader' for poetry


News at Eleven: The poem has an apt, assured ending:

"The ravens swoop down and settle among the gorgeous pages of the gospels."

But more often poems end in a wilfully flat manner. Sometimes, this is a recognition that war encourages inarticulacy. He quotes in "The Vallon Men" a soldier: "We have lost a lot of friends/And we have seen a lot of things that are not ideal." And, with that, the poem halts.

The Customs House by Andrew Motion

from The Guardian: The Customs House by Andrew Motion--review


News at Eleven: Is there to be schism between the

Church of England and the Poet Laureate? Carol Ann Duffy was giving a recital at Southwark Cathedral last night, just hours after the bid to allow women to be bishops fell at the final hurdle, and she made her displeasure felt.

from London Evening Standard: Poet Laureate rails at women bishops vote


News at Eleven: However, the Prayer Book is also a kind of

theatrical work, detailing the interactions of minister, congregation and God during moments of high drama. In fact, as Swift says, "The prayer book struggled, throughout this period, with its twin and rival, the commercial theater. Plays were the other great common work of the age, both written collaboratively and performed before crowds. It was against the theater that the Book of Common Prayer sought to define itself."

from The Washington Post: Shakespeare's Common Prayers


News at Eleven: (from my safe distance)

By Nasser Barghouty

In whose name they allow themselves to hurt you?

from The Palestine Chronicle: To the Children of Syria--A Poem


News at Eleven: By Philip Schultz

For a brief period in the early '70s, I worked for the San Francisco Department of Social Services, in the medical eligibility section. Much of my time, though, I passed downstairs in the basement, in the inactive files division, where the closed welfare cases were cataloged. Even then I suspected there was a book in that dank museum of misfortune. This year, after the country was divided, by some, between the makers and the takers, that place of great longing and need came back to me. I think of it again today, as I give thanks for what I have.

from The New York Times: These Curious Specimens


News at Eleven: On sabbatical this semester, [David] McCann

is sijo's missionary man. He has plans to lead a sijo workshop at Mount Holyoke College and this month will visit Chicago's Poetry Foundation to deliver a talk on sijo in the series "Poetry off the Shelf." He also attended the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Workshop, where he picked up some valuable pointers on his second collection of sijo, titled "Same Bird."

from Harvard Gazette: Poetry in the making


News at Eleven: Place figures prominently in the work

of Oregon poets Matthew Dickman, Ursula K. Le Guin and John Daniel, and that landscape is largely here--the streets and trees and sky of the Pacific Northwest cradling memory of life lived, as it is, where it is. In each of these books, faith in the immediacy of where one stands is an anchor allowing hindsight and hope to infiltrate the making sense of the tangled knot of death.

from The Oregonian: Place is prominent in three new books by Northwest poets


News at Eleven: The Globe's Books team is sent thousands

of books every year: novels and poetry, mysteries and histories, memoirs and coffee-table books, erotica, exotica, graphic novels, self-published books, books sophisticated and crude, even textbooks. From this rich array we select only the most promising for reviews--and then only those that wowed our professional readers for our annual 100 list. Herewith, the titles reviewers couldn't put down, couldn't stop talking about, and insist you stock up on, too.

from The Globe and Mail: 5 graphic novels and poetry books from 2012 you need to read


News at Eleven (Back Page): A painting is a living thing,"

says [Peter] Doig in a recent interview with the Financial Times, when asked how he knows a painting is finished. "It's finished when it's let go, when it's out the door. I've realised what I like in other artists' paintings is when they've been left open and not shut down. I'm learning to do that." Donald Hall sees this as forestalling the possibilities of growth and change.

from Artlyst: Why Did Peter Doig Finish The Pink Hat?--Review


Great Regulars: One of the key reasons for all this

enthusiasm for [Ray] Kurzweil and his ideas is immortality. Our last machine will either be able to crack all our medical problems or provide us with a way of downloading ourselves into a computer and living for ever. Technocratic fervour seems to go hand in hand with a desire to live for ever. I have known 50-year-old scientists who take 250 pills a day in the hope of making it to the singularity. There is also a Singularity Institute (SI), which aims to ensure that super-intelligent machines will be nice to us. And this is where it all becomes really tricky.

from Bryan Appleyard: The Sunday Times: I, Extinct; You, Robot


Great Regulars: In "The Night Migrations," [Louise] Glück

yearns to understand some truths about time and death. But, she feels the imagination is not capable of rendering that understanding. "The Night Migrations" is the first poem from her 2006 collection "Averno." A small lake outside of Naples, Averno was thought by the ancient Romans to be the entrance to the underworld.

Listen to how she achieves poise: "I tell myself" anchors the final stanza.

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: The poetry of poise: finding harmony in havoc


Great Regulars: Jeffrey Brown: That was Joy Harjo

reading "Perhaps the World Ends Here."

And if you're hungry for more verse about eating, her poem is included in a new anthology called "The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink." It's edited by Kevin Young, another poet we featured in our regular coverage of poets and poetry.

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Poet Joy Harjo Shares Words of Celebration and Memory for Thanksgiving


Great Regulars: An eminent former editor of the

Oxford English Dictionary covertly deleted thousands of words because of their foreign origins and bizarrely blamed previous editors, according to claims in a book published this week.

Robert Burchfield's efforts to rewrite the dictionary have been uncovered by Sarah Ogilvie, a linguist, lexicographer and former editor on the OED.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Former OED editor covertly deleted thousand of words, book claims


The choice of the Chinese writer Mo Yan as the winner of this year's Nobel prize for literature is "a slap in the face for all those working for democracy and human rights", according to the author Herta Müller, who won the Nobel in 2009.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Mo Yan's Nobel nod a 'catastrophe', says fellow laureate Herta Müller


Great Regulars: The speaker concludes with a series of

questions that all lead the reader to one answer: each human soul is the entity responsible for all the levels of information on the three realms of physical, astral, and causal.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Percy Bysshe Shelley's "On Death"


Great Regulars: Any Morning

by William Stafford

Just lying on the couch and being happy.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Any Morning by William Stafford


Every Land
by Ursula Le Guin

The holy land is everywhere.--Black Elk

Watch where the branches of the willows bend

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Every Land by Ursula Le Guin


God's Letters
by Grace Schulman

When God thought up the world,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: God's Letters by Grace Schulman


Psalm 23
by Anonymous

The Lord to me a shepherd is,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Psalm 23 by Anonymous


Taking the Hands
by Robert Bly

Taking the hands of someone you love,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Taking the Hands by Robert Bly


The Talk
by Sharon Olds

In the sunless wooden room at noon

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Talk by Sharon Olds


The Telephone
by Edward Field

My happiness depends on an electric appliance

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Telephone by Edward Field


Great Regulars: As children, many of us played after dark,

running out to the border of the reach of light from the windows of home. In a way, this poem by Judith Slater, who lives in New York State, remembers the way in which, at the edge of uncertainty, we turned back.

Family Vacation

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 401


Great Regulars: Lisa Kelly

I proffered my hand straight, it wasn't wet--

from Jody Porter: Morning Star: Well Versed: Lisa Kelly--So, how did the job interview go?


Great Regulars: In fact, [Chidiock] Tichborne was probably 28

at the time: in terms of Elizabethan life-expectancy he was hardly a green youth. The poem is truthful but it is also a performance, dramatising the actual situation into a dance of life with death. What could be more artificial than an elegy written by a poet for himself? This is not mere autobiography, but autobiography transcended and shaped into art. If he really wrote it the night before his execution, the act of composition must have been deeply absorbing. Let's hope it brought him some temporary serenity and consolation.

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Poem of the week: Poem of the week: Tichborne's Elegy by Chidiock Tichborne


Great Regulars: Raga

A great bee drones the air,

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Poetry: 'Raga' by Paulann Petersen


Great Regulars: Advent Concert, Landâf Cathedral

By Gillian Clarke

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Advent Concert, Landâf Cathedral


Great Regulars: By Hoa Nguyen

Rage on the grinding spot

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'Rage Sonnet'


Great Regulars: By Steven R. Vogel

The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

She gladly brings delight,

from Post-Bulletin: Poem: "Thanksgiving at Mom's House"


Great Regulars: "I'm Going To Have To Fire the Dream Master"

By Richard Kenney

from Slate: "I'm Going To Have To Fire the Dream Master"


Great Regulars: How often does a newly published poem

draw the fire of Private Eye and end up in the stocks at "Pseuds' Corner"? And such an unwordy poem--fewer than forty words long--but that could be precisely why "Wingatui" by Bill Manhire was targeted.

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


Poetic Obituaries: [John Broadbent's] first book,

Some Graver Subject (1960), re-evaluated the work of John Milton by finding in it those qualities of rhythm, image and poetic sensuousness that had eluded previous critics such as TS Eliot and FR Leavis. He also conveyed something of the grandeur of Milton's imagination as it moved between and among devils and angels.

Poetic Love (1964) consolidated his reputation as an adventurous and sometimes even mischievous reader of poetry. The closeness of his attention to the text was extraordinary, but he also demonstrated a strong belief that poetry was capable of speaking to anyone who listened with the proper attention.

from The Guardian: John Broadbent obituary


Poetic Obituaries: Valerie Eliot used a chunk of

the money to create the Old Possum's Practical Trust, which supports universities and libraries throughout England. She also established the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry; each year, the winner receives $30,000.

Valerie Eliot was no bystander in the creation of "Cats." In fact, [Trevor] Nunn and Lloyd Webber say she was instrumental in giving them the character at the emotional center of the show.

from New York Post: How 'Cats' was purrfected


Poetic Obituaries: Once her poems had appeared

in magazines, she was approached directly in 2009 by the independent publisher Seren, where I am poetry editor, to put together a collection of her work. This was published last year under the title The Ivy Hides the Fig-Ripe Duchess. Having first come across her striking poems when they were submitted for a competition, I was delighted when I finally met Anne [Evans] to discover a character as lively as her work.

from The Guardian: Anne Evans obituary


Poetic Obituaries: Initially associated with the Beats,

he [Jack Gilbert] left the US after winning the Yale Younger Poets prize with Views of Jeopardy in 1962, eking out a living for many years on Greek islands. His second collection, Monolithos, appeared 20 years later, in 1982, but he made his strongest impression on US readers with two later collections, The Great Fires (1994) and Refusing Heaven (2005), winner of the National Book Critics Circle award. A final collection, The Dance Most of All, followed in 2009, and then, earlier this year, his Collected Poems, hailed by the New York Times as "a revelation".

from The Guardian: Jack Gilbert obituary


Poetic Obituaries: [Deborah Raffin] met [Michael] Viner, a music

producer, on a blind date in 1974 and married him four months later. They launched Dove Books-on-Tape in 1985 and later expanded in book publishing and movie and television production.

The books-on-tape venture had its origins in a backgammon game in which novelist Sidney Sheldon had lost $8,000 to Viner. Viner did not want to take the money and arranged instead to produce two of Sheldon's bestsellers as audio books. The name of the company was inspired by Raffin's 1974 film "The Dove," which was her second movie and co-starred Joseph Bottoms.

from The Associated Press: Actress Deborah Raffin dies at age 59


Poetic Obituaries: In 2009--in an event I'll always remember--

members of the theater community gathered in Niagara University's soon-to-be-renovated Leary Theatre to read from Towey's book of poetry "The Poem You Aked For." That event, mercifully for those who have never had a chance to hear Towey's poetry aloud, was recorded for posterity.

from The Buffalo News: Brother Augustine Towey, 1937-2012


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 20th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

November 20th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

Again we begin with the sentencing of a poet in China. This time, it's Li Bifeng on trumped up and apparently illegal charges. This story is followed by a call for the release of Filipino poet Ericson Acosta.

We also have stories that are covered in more than one section. Last week, we had the first items on the death of Jack Gilbert. This week, the tributes started to flow, and you will find them in our Poetic Obituaries section. But in Great Regulars, both Granta and PBS Newshour bring out his poetry in tribute.

Our Back Page item in News at Eleven is about a rant that poet Franz Wright made on Facebook, as reported by the New York Daily News. This is follow directly by David Biespiel's take on it in The Rumpus.

Also getting dual section coverage, and for a second week, is the death of Valerie Eliot, T.S.'s second wife, one article which you will find in Poetic Obituaries. The other is in News at Eleven, which relates how we should now find out more of his relationship with his first wife, Vivienne.

We have one poem prepared especially for Thanksgiving, my favorite U.S. holiday. Our Great Regular Ted Kooser publishes Tim Nolan's poem called, well, Thanksgiving. We do link to other seasonal poetry, but the other food poem is Alfred Corn's Dinner Theater in Slate.

Speaking of thanks, thanks to IBPC's new judge for the fall months, the remarkable Polina Barskova! Her results for October are in and up. Congratulations! to the poets who wrote them and the boards where they were workshopped:

First place: An almost kiss by Henry L. Shifrin of Wild Poetry Forum

Second place: The Gray Wolf by Douglas Pugh of The Write Idea

Third place: The Butterfly Effect by Chris Freifeld of Delectable Mnts

And thank you for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: A dissident Chinese poet whose detention

has drawn an international appeal for his release was sentenced Monday by a court in southwestern China to 12 years in prison for contract fraud, his lawyer said.

Li Bifeng--formerly imprisoned for five years for involvement in the Tiananmen Square democracy movement--was sentenced at Shehong County Court in Sichuan province, said lawyer Zhao Jianwei. He said the defense would appeal.

"We believe the verdict was not based on the facts and the prosecutors and the court violated procedural laws and regulations," Zhao said.

from Associated Press: Chinese dissident gets 12 years for contract fraud


News at Eleven: The PEN International's Writers in Prison Committee

has expressed serious concern on the prolonged detention without trial of Ericson Acosta. Acosta was arrested in San Jorge Samar in February 2011 because the laptop he carried roused the suspicion of soldiers. Since last year, various PEN Centers in the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and the United Kingdom have mounted activities in support of Ericson Acosta's release. Other prominent organizations, like the Amnesty International and the International People's Art Network, have also called for Acosta's release.

from Samar News: Freedom for detained poet reaps int'l clamor amidst military threats
then PEN International: PEN International marks the 31st Annual Day of the Imprisoned Writer


News at Eleven: The true creative impact of the mental decline

of T.S. Eliot's first wife, Vivienne, and the real nature of his abortive relationships with the women he saw following her committal to an asylum, along with other remaining mysteries of the renowned writer's life, are finally likely to be held up to inspection by an official biographer.

Following the death of Eliot's devoted second wife last week, her friends and former colleagues say access to all the poet's personal papers may now be granted.

from The Guardian: Secrets of T.S. Eliot's tragic first marriage and liaisons to be told at last


News at Eleven: [Nicholas] Roe rescues [John] Keats

from the soft-focus of romance and restores stars, brooks, fields and seasons to their anti-Classicist politics of the 19th century. In doing this, the book is a major work of literary rescue.

[Leigh] Hunt was the influential founder-editor of the weekly Examiner, a paper whose prestige and circulation rose astronomically when the editor was sent to prison for two years. The paper was edited from the jail cell that Hunt had splendidly wall-papered, re-painted, and fitted with a piano. A succession of illuminati, including Lord Byron and Thomas Moore, visited Hunt in jail and wrote letters of support.

from Irish Examiner: Poetry was an emotional and spiritual salve for tubercular physician Keats


News at Eleven: There were audiences with Queen Victoria,

who found solace after the death of her beloved Albert in the poet's verses for his friend, Arthur Hallam ("Next to the Bible, In Memoriam is my comfort," she told him). There was a visit from the great Italian liberator, Garibaldi, who planted a wellingtonia at the Tennyson home on the Isle of Wight. And there was the funeral of Charles Dickens at Westminster Abbey in 1870, during which men lifted their children high above their shoulders that they might catch a glimpse of the great poet over the heads of the congregation.

A new biographer of Tennyson, then, has his work cut out.

from The Guardian: Tennyson: To Strive, To Seek, To Find by John Batchelor--review


News at Eleven: The caption beside the stone man's photo

in [Robert] Francis's autobiography--like the poems themselves, and the man who wrote them--is self-abnegating yet revealingly self-insistent: "Origin Unknown, Age Undetermined, Sex Uncertain, Meaning Undeciphered, Endurance Unlimited, Integrity Unimpeachable."

Attempting to account for this divided self in Francis's poems, author Andrew Stambuk has argued that the true subject explored by Francis, a homosexual who didn't enter into his first relationship until he was nearly 60, is "the bottling up of desire."

from The Weekly Standard: A Natural Poet


News at Eleven: [Thomas Gray's 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard']

embodies a polite form of emotion. It is controlled, restrained, to be enjoyed rather than overwhelming. It is a very liveable form of feeling.

This was the promise of Sentimentalism, a cluster of philosophical and artistic projects spanning the second half of the 18th century. The basic idea was that feeling and morality could go hand-in-hand through an innate moral sense we supposedly enjoy.

from The Spectator: Do you wish you were far from the madding crowd?


News at Eleven: [Translated into English by Kaarina Hollo

from 'Marbhghin 1943: Glaoch ar Liombo' by Derry O'Sullivan]

Stillborn 1943: Calling Limbo
You were born dead

from The University of Sheffield News: Breaking language barriers with poetry


News at Eleven: A group of well-meaning but misguided cariocas

have recently started a petition to turn the statue around, so that the poet can forever gaze at the sea--a cliched gesture that [Carlos ] Drummond [de Andrade] would surely have detested. His famous line about Rio, "There was a city written into the sea", is carved on the bench that supports the seated effigy, but it was the inner vistas that interested him most. He was a poet of human solitude: "What now, José/The party is over,/the light is out,/the people have left,/the night is cold,/what now, José?"

from The Guardian: What now for Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Brazil's national poet?


News at Eleven: [The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics is]

a big brick of a volume, almost the size of a child's head, and it may be the last edition of PEPP to take shape as a physical printed book.
The new PEPP adds entries about things that didn't exist in 1993, and it does better by things that got short shrift from professors of literature back then. There's much more on 'the poetry of the indigenous Americas'; there are 'digital poetry', 'poetry slams' and 'American Sign Language poetry', though no 'deaf poetry' (not even a cross-reference), and nothing for British Sign Language poetry.

from London Review of Books: No More Rules


News at Eleven (Back Page): Most of us simply ignore the countless invitations

and solicitations we receive on Facebook. Firmly not in this group is Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright, who was apparently the recipient of an invitation from Meg Kearney to the low residency MFA program at Pine Manor College in Massachusetts, where Kearney teaches.

from New York Daily News: Franz Wright lets fly an epic Facebook rant on the state of poetry


Great Regulars: Second, even though [Franz] Wright attacks

[Meg] Kearney for generically Facebook-inviting him to do something benign like "like" her program, and even though he then writes this absurd tirade against her and the MFA establishment, it turns out that, in the past, Wright has given two readings at Pine Manor's MFA. I mean, c'mon, if you felt this way about MFA programs, Franz, you shouldn't have accepted the invitations to Pine Manor, nor taken the honorariums. (In an interview, Meg Kearney confirms his participation in the program.)

from David Biespiel's Poetry Wire: The Rumpus: Is Franz Wright the Rush Limbaugh of American Poetry?


Great Regulars: "The universe is a cabinet of mysteries

we tiptoe by, wondering," Susan Glickman writes in one of the poems in The Smooth Yarrow. That capacity for wonder is a hallmark of this Toronto writer's appealing sixth collection.

The title refers to an herb traditionally believed to have both medicinal and magical properties. In keeping with that motif, many of the poems in the book's first section address frailty, both physical and emotional, and our attempts to heal ourselves--as well as the intangibles that affect our lives.

from Barbara Carey: Toronto Star: The Smooth Yarrow by Susan Glickman and Left for Right by Glen Downie: Poetry reviews


Great Regulars: This week's Poetry Pairing matches

"To Autumn," by John Keats with "'Leaf and Death,'" a short animation by Jeff Scher that celebrates the season.

from Shannon Doyne: The New York Times: Poetry Pairing: 'To Autumn'


Great Regulars: In an impassioned speech at the British Library

this evening, the award-winning author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit [Jeanette Winterson] said: "Libraries cost about a billion a year to run right now. Make it two billion and charge Google, Amazon and Starbucks all that back tax on their profits here. Or if they want to go on paying fancy lawyers to legally avoid their moral duties, then perhaps those companies could do an Andrew Carnegie and build us new kinds of libraries for a new kind of future in a fairer and better world?"

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Charge Amazon, Starbucks and Google unpaid tax to fund libraries, says Winterson


"Overseas-registered bookselling companies doing a lot of business in the UK, but paying little--or no--tax put our members who do pay taxes at a competitive disadvantage. In view of the public mood and interest, we have produced two posters for those of our members that want to use them," said Booksellers Association chief executive Tim Godfray. "We want consumers to be aware of the issue and, by doing so, to support those booksellers who do pay their taxes."

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: High-street shops turn fire on Amazon's tax avoidance


Carlos sounds like a nice man. He's trying to find the book's real owner; if they haven't come forward within a couple of months, he'll give some of the money to charity and keep the rest. Good for him. He's certainly done better than the librarian who, last month, discovered an antique gun inside a donated book

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: A man found $20,000 in a secondhand book. Can you top that?


According to the lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of local parent Tina Weber, it was stocked in the libraries of four schools in Davis School District, Utah, until some parents complained earlier this year that it "normalises a lifestyle we don't agree with", and that it "makes a homosexual lifestyle seem fun and exciting--lots of parties, costumes and events with children who grow up to have successful, high-paying careers".

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Utah district sued for segregating children's book about lesbian mums


Great Regulars: Thank you for your interest in

Edgar Lee Masters.  The articles offering commentaries about the poems in Masters' Spoon River Anthology have been moved to the channel, "Understanding and Appreciating Classic Poetry."

I am in the process of writing commentaries on each of the poems in Spoon River Anthology of which there are 246.  I have completed 65 of the poems; number 65 is titled "Edgar Lee Masters' 'Hon. Henry Bennett."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Edgar Lee Masters Articles Moved to Classic Poetry


Great Regulars: Elmore Leonard, winner this year of an

honorary National Book Award, is 87 and says the prize inspired him to write more novels. The winner of the National Book Award for poetry, David Ferry, is 88. Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, 81, had a novel out in the spring and has said she's working on a new one. Tom Wolfe's "Back to Blood" came out this fall and he has more fiction and nonfiction planned.

"Being an octogenarian is just a hobby of mine," Wolfe, 81, says with a laugh, "something I do at night."

from Hillel Italie: Associated Press: Roth retires but Wolfe, Wouk among authors past 80


Great Regulars: Advice to Myself

by Louise Erdrich

Leave the dishes. Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Advice to Myself by Louise Erdrich


At the Vietnam Memorial
by George Bilgere

The last time I saw the name Paul Castle

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: At the Vietnam Memorial by George Bilgere


Autumn's Day
by Ted Berrigan

after Rilke

Lord, it is time. Summer was very great.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Autumn's Day by Ted Berrigan


by George Bilgere

It was nice being a genius

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


Meeting the Light Completely
by Jane Hirshfield

Even the long-beloved

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Meeting the Light Completely by Jane Hirshfield


One Morning in Brooklyn
by C. K. Williams

The snow is falling in three directions at once against the sienna brick of

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: One Morning in Brooklyn by C.K. Williams


Shackleton's Decision
by Faith Shearin

At a certain point he decided they could not afford

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Shackleton's Decision by Faith Shearin


Great Regulars: [Peter] Benjaminson relates how [Mary] Wells

was clowning around in the studio when she made a stuttering sound toward the end of a take of "My Guy." The producers told her to do it again, and Wells said she was just kidding, that she was imitating Mae West trying to entice a lover upstairs. But those come-hither hiccups made it into the final version. Listen to "My Guy" (which you can do easily on YouTube) and you'll think "Gee, that's kind of sexy." Now you know why.

from David Kirby: The Wall Street Journal: There Was Something About Mary


Great Regulars: A corpse, naturally, is muktzeh--it would

have to be, since there is no possible use for it. And the law states that we are not allowed to move muktzeh items on Shabbat. This would leave you in a difficult situation--especially in the hot climate of Palestine or Babylonia--if you were stuck on Shabbat with a corpse sitting out in the sun. Can the rabbis come up with a way around the prohibition, which would allow moving the corpse into the shade?

In fact, they offer several solutions.

from Adam Kirsch: Tablet: Eggs and Babies