Blatant Bibliophile Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘poets’

Check Out the 2008 Poets Forum from the Academy of American Poets in NYC

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on October 7, 2008

Our friends at The Academy of American Poets are hosting a Poets Forum in New York City November 6-8. The Forum will include a series of public events investigating issues central to contemporary American poetry. In-depth discussions with distinguished poets, readings, and walking tours through literary New York will be included. The price of an all-events pass is $110.00. There will be discussions and readings with such luminaries as Frank Bidart, Victor Herández Cruz, Louise Glück, Lyn Hejinian, Sharon Olds, Ron Padgett, Carl Phillips, Robert Pinsky, Kay Ryan, Gary Snyder, Gerald Stern, Susan Stewart, Ellen Bryant Voigt, and C. K. Williams. Other participants will include Charles Bernstein, Anselm Berrigan, Lucie Brock-Broido, Jordan Davis, Timothy Donnelly, Eamon Grennan, Major Jackson, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, James Longenbach, Cate Marvin, Cecily Parks, Claudia Rankine, Tracy K. Smith, and Tom Thompson. Walking tours will explore the literary history of the West Village, Harlem, Walt Whitman’s SoHo, Brooklyn, and the Museum of Modern Art. Tour guides include poets Anselm Berrigan, Jordan Davis, Cate Marvin, Tracy K. Smith, and Tom Thompson. The Poetry Awards Ceremony will be held Friday, November 7 at 7 P.M. with a reception to follow. Reading and reception for the new fall issue of American Poet, the journal of the Academy of American Poets will be held Saturday, November 8 at 8 P.M. All meeting times are subject to change. Visit the website of The Academy of American Poets for further details.

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More Poetry!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 21, 2008

mummy

Today’s Poem-a-Day from Poets.org is from Thomas James. Thomas James’s Letters to a Stranger – originally published in 1973, shortly before James’s suicide – has become one of the underground classics of contemporary poetry. According to reviewer Garrett Doherty in Contemporary Poetry, Letters to a Stranger is a book full of solitude and isolation in places where one would not like to be left alone. The speaker is often reaching out to someone, God or otherwise, who is not there. These letters were not necessarily written for us and we do not know who they were truly for. In addition, we do not always get the full story. Perhaps it is fitting that we also do not really know who these letters are from. The letter writer is as much a mystery as the intended recipient. It is up to us to find meaning, without any hints from the sender.

Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh
XXI Dynasty

by Thomas James

My body holds its shape. The genius is intact.
Will I return to Thebes? In that lost country
The eucalyptus trees have turned to stone.
Once, branches nudged me, dropping swollen blossoms,
And passionflowers lit my father’s garden.
Is it still there, that place of mottled shadow,
The scarlet flowers breathing in the darkness?

I remember how I died. It was so simple!
One morning the garden faded. My face blacked out.
On my left side they made the first incision.
They washed my heart and liver in palm wine—
My lungs were two dark fruit they stuffed with spices.
They smeared my innards with a sticky unguent
And sealed them in a crock of alabaster.

My brain was next. A pointed instrument
Hooked it through my nostrils, strand by strand.
A voice swayed over me. I paid no notice.
For weeks my body swam in sweet perfume.
I came out Scoured. I was skin and bone.
Thy lifted me into the sun again
And packed my empty skull with cinnamon.

They slit my toes; a razor gashed my fingertips.
Stitched shut at last, my limbs were chaste and valuable,
Stuffed with a paste of cloves and wild honey.
My eyes were empty, so they filled them up,
Inserting little nuggets of obsidian.
A basalt scarab wedged between my breasts
Replaced the tinny music of my heart.

Hands touched my sutures. I was so important!
They oiled my pores, rubbing a fragrance in.
An amber gum oozed down to soothe my temples.
I wanted to sit up. My skin was luminous,
Frail as the shadow of an emerald.
Before I learned to love myself too much,
My body wound itself in spools of linen.

Shut in my painted box, I am a precious object.
I wear a wooden mask. These are my eyelids,
Two flakes of bronze, and here is my new mouth,
Chiseled with care, guarding its ruby facets.
I will last forever. I am not impatient—
My skin will wait to greet its old complexions.
I’ll lie here till the world swims back again.

When I come home the garden will be budding,
White petals breaking open, clusters of night flowers,
The far-off music of a tambourine.
A boy will pace among the passionflowers,
His eyes no longer two bruised surfaces.
I’ll know the mouth of my young groom, I’ll touch
His hands. Why do people lie to one another?

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Keep That Poetry Coming!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 18, 2008

Cherry Tomatoes

It’s still National Poetry Month, courtesy of the Academy of American Poets. Today’s poet is Sandra Beasley of Washington, D.C., a recent recipient of the 2008 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. The award, sponsored by Poets & Writers— the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers— provides two writers with an honorarium and all-expenses-paid trip to New York City in October to meet with agents, editors, publishers, and other members of the New York literary community. Beasley won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize for her book Theories of Falling (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2008), selected by Marie Howe. Her poems have also been featured in Verse Daily and Best New Poets (Samovar Press, 2005) and in journals such as 32 Poems, Barrow Street, Blackbird, RHINO, and SLATE. Awards for her work include the 2006 Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize from Passages North and fellowships to Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Millay Colony. She serves on the editorial staff of The American Scholar. You can learn more about her at her website.

Cherry Tomatoes
by Sandra Beasley

Little bastards of vine.
Little demons by the pint.
Red eggs that never hatch,
just collapse and rot. When

my mom told me to gather
their grubby bodies
into my skirt, I’d cry. You
and your father, she’d chide—

the way, each time I kicked
and wailed against sailing,
my dad shook his head, said
You and your mother.

Now, a city girl, I ease one
loose from its siblings,
from its clear plastic coffin,
place it on my tongue.

Just to try. The smooth
surface resists, resists,
and erupts in my mouth:
seeds, juice, acid, blood

of a perfect household.
The way, when I finally
went sailing, my stomach
was rocked from inside

out. Little boat, big sea.
Handful of skinned sunsets.

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It’s National Poem In Your Pocket Day

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 17, 2008

 

PocketPoem

Celebrate the power of poetry to both transport a reader and be transported by carrying a poem in your pocket all day on Thursday, April 17, the first national Poem In Your Pocket Day. Join celebrants across the country and share your favorite lines with friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers. Stop by The Unquiet Library to pick up a poem to carry in your pocketof download a selection of pocket-sized poems and poetry ringtones online. Carry the entire collection of over 2,500 poems on Poets.org in your pocket by simply going to www.poets.org/m from any mobile device.

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It’s a Poem!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 16, 2008

birdseed

Are you following Poets.org Poem-a-Day for National Poetry Month? Today’s poem by James Tate is one of those where you can click on the poet’s name to go to the website and read his biography. As an added bonus, you can also hear the poem read aloud.

Father’s Day
by
James Tate

       My daughter has lived overseas for a number
of years now. She married into royalty, and they
won’t let her communicate with any of her family or
friends. She lives on birdseed and a few sips
of water. She dreams of me constantly. Her husband,
the Prince, whips her when he catches her dreaming.
Fierce guard dogs won’t let her out of their sight.
I hired a detective, but he was killed trying to
rescue her. I have written hundreds of letters
to the State Department. They have written back
saying that they are aware of the situation. I
never saw her dance. I was always at some
convention. I never saw her sing. I was always
working late. I called her My Princess, to make
up for my shortcomings, and she never forgave me.
Birdseed was her middle name.

Hear this poem

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A Poem a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 12, 2008

Today’s poet, Gary Lilley, is originally from North Carolina, where he attended the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He is now a reident of Washington, D.C. whre is is a member of the Writers’ Corps. He has been a recipient of the Washington Commission of the Arts Fellowship for Poetry. A member of the poetry group, The Black Rooster, his work has been published in African American Review, Drum Voice Review, Greensboro Review, and WPFW Anthology. Check out Poets.org, the website of the Academy of American Poets, for more great poetry, and to sign up to receive emails of their Poem-a-Day for the month of April.

Alpha Zulu
by Gary Lilley

I know more people dead than people alive,
my insomniac answer to self-addressed prayers

is that in the small hours even God drinks alone.
My self-portrait; gray locks in the beard, red eyes

burning back in the mirror, the truths of grooves
and nicks on my face, one missing tooth.

I’m a man who’s gathered too many addresses,
too many goodbyes. There’s not much money

or time left to keep on subtracting from my life.
Except for needs I can pack everything I have

into my old black sea-bag. To all the bloods
I’ll raise a bourbon, plant my elbow on the bar

and drink to the odds that one more shot
won’t have me wearing a suit of blues.

I’m so exposed, with you all of me is at risk,
and if that’s only one side of being in love

that’s the one deep down that proves it.
Here you are sleeping with me, narcotic as night,

naked as an open hand, and the skinny of it is,
what makes you think I am afraid of this

when I once lived in a cave, moss on the cold wall,
all my bones scattered across the floor.

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Need Some Poetry?

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 11, 2008

poetry

Today’s poet from the Academy of American Poets, Theodore Worozbyt, is a native of Atlanta. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arts Councils of Georgia and Alabama. He teaches writing and literature at The University of Alabama, from which he holds an M.F. A. and a Ph. D. Theodore Worozbyt’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Hotel Amerika, Kenyon Review, Kulture Vulture, Mississippi Review Online, New England Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, Smartish Pace, The Southern Review, and Verse Daily. His manuscript, A Unified Theory of Light, won the 2005 Dream Horse Press chapbook competition.

Gnosis
by Theodore Worozbyt

Turns out the radiologist didn’t know thing one about radios. I stood there in my stocking feet and waited for the music to begin again. Being generally good with small motors I would mow and mow the lawn stoically with a white hand towel draped around my neck. I was stimulated by the reports of the optical scienteers. Because of the particular reflective and refractive qualities inherent in the molecular structure of the chlorophyll molecule, the wavelength perceived by the human eye as green is in fact repulsed by grass. Thus grass is all other colors. Impossible, impossible! was the catarrh violently discharging itself in the chambers of my thoughts. Grass and vert are green. Reading is black surrounded by white. If not, what? A barely perceptible hum underfoot that turns out to be electricity or some other invisible fluid? A basket heaped with unadjusted watches? The forests filled with white tigers. Fire came from god’s beard. The sun rolled, a chariot wheel flaring its treads across the clouds. Starlight: angelic punctuation on the carbon paper of midnight. New York City sewers crawled with titanic alligators before debunkers in rubber boots stepped in. President Somebody was smoking an Egyptian cigarette and several papers didn’t get signed before the prognosis began to resemble a trumpet: something gold around a hole.

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Poetry! Get Your Poetry Here!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 9, 2008

poetry

Jennifer Chang is today’s poet from Poets.org. Jennifer’s poems have appeared in New England Review, The New Republic, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and the anthologies Best New Poets 2005 (Samovar Press and Meridian, 2005) and Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation (University of Illinois Press, 2004). She teaches creative writing at Rutgers University and is Communications Director at Kundiman, a non-profit organization that promotes Asian American poetry.

Pastoral
by Jennifer Chang

Something in the field is
working away. Root-noise.
Twig-noise. Plant
of weak chlorophyll, no
name for it. Something
in the field has mastered
distance by living too close
to fences. Yellow fruit, has it
pit or seeds? Stalk of wither. Grass-
noise fighting weed-noise. Dirt
and chant. Something in the
field. Coreopsis. I did not mean
to say that. Yellow petal, has it
wither-gift? Has it gorgeous
rash? Leaf-loss and worried
sprout, its bursting art. Some-
thing in the. Field fallowed and
cicada. I did not mean to
say. Has it roar and bloom?
Has it road and follow? A thistle
prick, fraught burrs, such
easy attachment. Stem-
and stamen-noise. Can I lime-
flower? Can I chamomile?
Something in the field cannot.

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Here, Have a Poem

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 8, 2008

poetry

Today’s Poem-a-Day submission is by author Caroline Knox. To read an interview with Ms. Knox at the website Jubilat. Jubilat is devoted to the publication of not only the best in contemporary American poetry, but to placing it alongside a varied selection of reprints, found pieces, lyric prose, art, and interviews with poets and other artists.

Line Poem
by Caroline Knox

Long jetty, long shell-racked jetty, cracked warped planks.

Beautiful fish, beautiful sea-bass poached with an August tomato,
on an ironstone plate.

A snake’s slough, a snake’s spinal cord, a dry-rot stump.

A twill tape measure, an audiotape cassette unspooled and puckered,
shining.

Agate prayer beads, kazoos, whistles, rattles.

A bike chain and a bungee cord. A möbius strip and a broccoli elastic.

Split vanilla pod inset with paltry-looking flat oily brown seeds.

Egg-and-dart molding of vitreous fake sandstone. Contrails,
mares’ tails, mackerel sky.

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How About Some Poetry?

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 7, 2008

poetry

Alan Shapiro, today’s Academy of American Poets author, is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of nine acclaimed books of poetry and a former recipient of the Kingsley Tufts Award and the Los Angeles Book Prize; he was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He was recently elected as a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Today’s poem, “Just,” is from Old War, recently published by Houghton Mifflin.

Just
by Alan Shapiro

after the downpour, in the early evening,
late sunlight glinting off the raindrops sliding
down the broad backs of the redbud leaves
beside the porch, beyond the railing, each leaf
bending and springing back and bending again
beneath the dripping,
between existences,
ecstatic, the souls grow mischievous, they break ranks,
swerve from the rigid V’s of their migration,
their iron destinies, down to the leaves
they flutter in among, rising and settling,
bodiless, but pretending to have bodies,

their weightlessness more weightless for the ruse,
their freedom freer, their as-ifs nearly not,
until the night falls like an order and
they rise on one vast wing that darkens down
the endless flyways into other bodies.

Nothing will make you less afraid.

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