Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Paris Review: Interviews Online

"The Paris Review, the great literary journal co-founded by George Plimpton, unveiled last week a new web site and a big archive of interviews with famous literary figures. Spanning five decades, the interviews often talk about the “how” of literature (to borrow a phrase from Salman Rushdie) – that is, how writers go about writing."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010



Ah the Raj! Our mother-incarnate
Victoria Imperatrix rules the sceptred
sphere – she oversees legions of maiden
'fishing fleets' breaking the waves
for the love of a 'heaven-born' Etonian!
Smoke from cheroots, fetes on lawns,
dances by moonlight at Alice in Wonderland –
no the Viceroy – the Viceroy's ball!
Lock, stock and bobbing along on
palanquins to gothic verandahs where dawn
Himalayas through Poobong-mist,
the twelve-bore or swagger stick topi-and-khaki
bobbery shikar,
Tally ho! for the boars
in a dead-leaf hush and by Amritsar
what a
bang!bang! bagging the flamiest tiger!
Jackals, panthers, leopards, blackbucks
and swanny bustards, pig-sticking, Kipling,
Tatler, Tollygunge, High Jinks and howdahs
for mansion whacking banks, and the basso
profundo of evensong, frog song, poppy-pods,
housey-housey and hammocks under the Milky Way . . . 

Tromping home trumps – here come the cummerbund
sahibs tipsy with stiff upper lips
for burra pegs of brandy pawnee,
pink gin and the
Jaldi punkawallaaahhhh!
on six-meal days with tiffin and peacocks
and humps and tongue and the croquet and polo
and snooker at Ooty and yaboos, and sabre-
curved mustachios twirling for octoroons
panting in gunna-green fields, and ayahs
akimbo and breathless zenanas behind
bazaars where the nautch and the sun never sets
when mango's the bride-bed of lingam-light,
in a jolly good land overflowing with silk and
spice and all the gems of the earth!
darling, it's not quiiite the koh-i-noor
but would you . . .
(on a train that's steaming
and hooting on time through a tunnel)
Ooo darling
a diamond! You make me feel so alive.

© 2009, Daljit Nagra

Poem of the weekDaljit Nagra page:

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

from the link collection: Poetry through the Ages

"An Expressive Journey"

Since the Sumerian poet Enheduanna carved her odes to the goddess Inanna in cuneiform tablets more than 4,500 years ago, civilizations have expressed their most beautiful, tragic, triumphant, and perceptive thoughts through poetry.

What would you like to do?
· Map a course through the evolution of poetry
· Learn about poetic forms and create your own poetry
· Discover more about poetry from ancient to modern times

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Drunken Boat #12 live online

The Drunken Boat, founded and edited by Rebecca Seiferle, award-winning poet and teacher of English and creative writing at San Juan Community College in Farmington, was once a NM poetry publication but no longer. 

There is still a Drunken Boat, but minus "The," published out of NYC and with a different editor, also academic. Is there any connection beyond obvious reference to Rimbaud's Le Bateau Ivre (avec explication)? I couldn't say. My choice: re-read the poem. In French as usual. I've never read it in English: you're on your own as to best translation. 

Check out the 12th issue of Drunken Boat, featuring a special folio on Pulitzer Prize winning poet Franz Wright including new poems and drafts of his older poems, "Celtic Twilight," a folio of Irish Americans on Eugene O'Neill featuring such contributors as Alice McDermott, Maureen Howard and actor Brian Dennehy, a Short Short fiction folio, Desire & Interaction, the best of the new media arts, as well as our normal fare of exceptional Poetry, Fiction & Nonfiction, featuring many contributors including Irina Reyn, Duriel E. Harris, Robin Helmley and Jurica Pavičić. Now live and online!

Drunken Boat is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that depends on the contributions of its readership to continue to thrive. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today. 
Thanks for your continued support! Plunge into the summer issue of Drunken Boat while the weather's still warm and let us know what you think.

Best, Ravi
Executive Director,
Associate Professor
CCSU - English Dept.

Reposted from The Poetics List

Get a Real Degree

A history of the rise of creative writing programs in American universities and their influence on postwar American literary output. For example, consider how both the plantation in Beloved and the mental ward in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest work as metaphors for incarceration (albeit voluntary) in program or workshop.

LRB Cover

Recently reviewed in the London Review of Books (LRB), literary historian McGurl's "study of Planet MFA conducted from Planet PhD" classifies "programme fiction" into three main categories: technomodernism (John Barth, Thomas Pynchon), high cultural pluralism (Toni Morrison, Sandra Cisneros), and lower-middle-class modernism (Toni Morrison, Sandra Cisneros). He even provides Venn diagrams to illustrate overlap.

Both reviewer and historian continually refer back to Don Quixote. I don't know about them, but I come away thinking maybe not that much about the novel has been bettered since Don Q and his most illustrious questing successors (Pickwick, Emma Bovary, Prince Mishkin, etc) - and far more interested in re-reading their adventures than most of the contemporary authors under discussion.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What Is the State of American Poetry?

Leading American Poets Speak -- Anis Shivani

What Is the State of American Poetry? Video/poem highlights from Annie Finch, Ron Silliman, Clayton Eshleman, and Danielle Pafunda

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

EPC at the Library of Congress

As of September 14, 2010, the Electronic Poetry Center has been formally added to the Research Collections of the Library of Congress. This is an outstanding recognition of the nearly twenty years of collection building and electronic arts community efforts of the EPC. Thanks to all on the Poetics List, at UB, and at UPenn for their support. All in the poetics community can all feel very positive about this news. It is a pleasure to share it with you all!
PS. Some EPC Updates and emendations forthcoming!

via The Poetics List:

Links (guaranteed bot free) from the Library of Congress
First separate building to house the Library of Congress, the Jefferson Building, opened to public in 1897. Front façade design based partly on the Paris Opera House. The library was the first fully expressed Beaux-Arts building in Washington, AIA Archiblog

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poetry International Poem of the Week

Because poetry and this plog are about more than the local ~ calendar posts, announcements, reviews and NM poetry information. My personal inclinations include the global and polyglot, especially 'tween Picnics. Suggestions invited, post as comments or send by email.


They're read and read repeatedly,
Though readers sensed already what was there,
Woven of one cloth, whatever tongue it be,
And in the long run all equally threadbare.

Still, unfolded again, after their lonely meals,
At night on watch, in bunks, once tales are told;
For those who've fought their solitary ordeals,
Such characters nourish as they did of old.

Between 'my dearest' and 'yours ever' there can be
But one theme – kids, isle, village homes they own –
Which only weddings, births and deaths rephrase.

After so long on board, it seems as if a haze
Shrouds what they know on land, they are alone,
One with the ship, consorting with the sea.        

© 1998, Erven J. Slauerhoff / K. Lekkerkerker / Uitgeverij Nijgh & Van Ditmar

Poem of the weekJ. Slauerhoff page

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Más Tequila en el Malpaís

Más Tequila Review

Celebrating the publication of two new poetry journals September 19, 2-5 pm at Alamosa Books, 8810 Holly Ave. NE, Ste. D, Albuquerque, NM. (505) 797-7101

Press Release (via Richard Vargas): "Más Tequila en el Malpaís," A Small Press Poetry Revival

Two new poetry journals originating out of the Duke City, The Más Tequila Review (ed. Richard Vargas) and Malpaís Review (ed. Gary Brower) are celebrating their inaugural publication at Albuquerque's newest independent bookstore in the NE Heights, Alamosa Books, 8810 Holly NE. The event, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 19, 2-5 pm, is free and open to the public.

Poets from throughout New Mexico who are published in both magazines will be reading, and will include: Lisa Gill, Marilyn Stablein, Mitch Rayes, E.A. "Tony" Mares, Ken Gurney, Dale Harris, Gary Brower, Richard Vargas, John Macker and Mary McGinnis (Santa Fe) and Amalio Madueño (Taos.) There will also be an open mic (subject to time available.) Ed. note: see Local Poets Guild for bios. 

Los Angeles poet Michael C Ford wrote: "…I paged slowly thru Mas Tequila and assimilated what turned out to be total ambrosia… not a false note in these poems, practically seamless integrity of language… a lesson all who do indie publishing should learn: only print the words which have the ring of truth."
Poet and retired UNM professor E.A. "Tony" Mares writes: "In the Malpaís Review, the words of poetry turn the badlands of the heart and of the disappearing natural landscape into fertile vistas for a better world, for the good lands we all desire." 

Ed. Note: I'm contemplating an ongoing series on publishing poetry, primarily in New Mexico but perhaps with occasional forays into other publishing related topics. Now I need a sharp and catchy title for the series. "Getting it out/there/where"? There's always the "publish/perish" meme but the association is so academic and you know what Beckett called that.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sun Sept12: Duende Poetry Series. Placitas

The Duende Poetry Series 2010
Invites You To Hear
Margaret Randall and Suzanne Lummis
Sunday, September12th at 3PM at the Anasazi Fields Winery in Placitas, NM
free to the public

Margaret Randall
Author of more than 100 books, will read from her newest book: My Town: A memoir of Albuquerque in poems, prose and photos (Wings Press, San Antonio). Author John Nichols wrote the introduction to the book, which is about growing up in the Duke City in the 1940s and 50s against the backdrop of Cold War politics, the Bomb, the area's race relations and the power of the desert.
Other recent titles from Randall include: To change the world: My years in Cuba (a memoir); and, With their backs to the Sea (poems). Two forthcoming titles are: First Laugh (Essays) from the University of Nebraska Press; and, Ruins (Poems and photos) from UNM Press.
Suzanne Lummis
Founder-director of the Los Angeles Poetry Festival, is part of the performance troupe Nearly Fatal Women and literary director of the Arroyo Arts Collective as well as editor of the online magazine "Speechless." Her class "The Poem Noir: Poetry goes to the movies" at UCLA Extension University has become famous over the years. Lummis' books of poetry include: Falling short of Heaven; Idiosyncracies; Spreading the Word; In Danger; and Open 24 Hours.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sept 16: "Poet of witness" Carolyn Forché at UNM


Often called a "poet of witness", Carolyn Forché will be reading from her works on Thursday, September 16, noon – 1 p.m., in Domenici Center, room 3010. Forché was born in Detroit in 1950 and is the author of four books of poetry including The Country Between Us and The Angel of History. In 1993 she compiled and edited Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness, a large volume that assembles the work of nearly 150 poets, all marked in some direct way by a century's wars or devastations. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Award for Poetry. Her most recent book is a memoir, The Horse on Our Balcony. Forché is the director of the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University. Forché's visit to the UNM campus has been made possible by the Lannan Foundation. All are welcome to attend.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

answering Plato, sort of but indirectly

courtesy of Prof Z-Xiuhtecuhtli and YouTube

El poeta pide a su amor que le escriba

Amor de mis entrañas, viva muerte
En vano espero tu palabra escrita
Y pienso, con la flor que se marchita,
Que si vivo sin mí quiero perderte.

El aire es inmortal. La piedra inerte.
Ni conoce la sombra ni la evita.
Corazón interior no necesita
La miel helada que la luna vierte.

Pero yo te sufrí. Rasgué mis venas
Tigre y paloma sobre tu cintura
En duelo de mordiscos y azucenas.

Llena pues de palabras mi locura,
O déjame vivir en mi serena
Noche del alma para siempre oscura.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Calls for Submissions ~ List

via Elaine Schwartz and much appreciated too... I'm thinking I should add these deadlines to the P&WP Calendar but I'm all calendared out at the moment ~ and Wayne's List is ahead in line. I've also been soliciting Sunflower/Picnic reports for my annual wrap post/s.... and waiting on the list of open mic readers.  If you were at the Picnic, reader or audience, I invite you to share your impressions. Email If you have an event or publication deadline to submit, send it to the same address...

Calls for Submissions

Friday, September 3, 2010

Plato's “Ion”: What’s the Problem with Poets?

Buffalo Poetics (membership required) has recent thread on spirituality and poetry, also philosophy centered, especially in consideration of Wittgenstein. Here poetry examined through another philosophy lens raises the the question of its morality. Via Rufus @ The League of Ordinary Gentlemen

Plato's dialogue Ion (Dialogue IX) is brief and seems to address a rather trifling question: Do poets know what they're talking about? If Homer composed beautiful passages about chariot-driving, does his art include technical knowledge of that skill? This is, to put it nicely, not what most of us consider to be a pressing concern.
It matters though because the implications of this short piece shed light on one of the most troubling ideas in Plato's corpus: that the ideal city (Republic, I-IV) would exile its poets. Living after the twentieth century, it's hard to accept the proposal that a leader could make his citizens better people by banning art. It's also hard to understand the idea given Socrates's deep admiration for poets, especially Homer. Although he expels the poets from his ideal city, it is also clear that he does so with great regret. So what exactly is the problem with poetry?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wayne's List, September in Las Cruces

These will also be added to the P&W Calendar, but here's the month at a glance ~ can't exactly do that for 'burque. Note also, NMSU Distinguished Writers Reading Series events and additional open mic venues on the List.

Post-Picnic, Calendar & Conference

I've had a few days to de-picnikize by posting poetry cartoons and parodies. There will be a post-Picnic post before shifting into off-season poetry blog mode. I missed the Picnic, so coverage will be multiple second hand sources, very likely better and more complete than a single 1st person perspective. Some reports are already in. I'm waiting for more and a list of open mic readers to post. If you were at the Picnic and are so inclined, please send me your impressions.

Onto the designated topics: conference and calendar. The conference, 3rd Annual Albuquerque Cultural Conference "Crisis, Community & Performance: Building a Resilient Society" is Friday Sept 3rd through Labor Day, Monday Sept 6th, with poets and panels. Poetry is Friday Sept 3rd @ the Kimo Theater in Albuquerque. Featured poets include Hakim Bellamy, Lisa Gill, Mary Oishi, Shirley Geok-Lin Lim, Sharon Doubiago, Demetria Martinez, Margaret Randall. Saturday and Sunday are devoted to panels (see schedule on website) @ the Harwood Art Center 1114 7th St. NW in Albuquerque.

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