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Archive for 2007

The Greatness of Kenneth Koch December 13, 2007: Don Share beat me to a post on Kenneth Koch and Patrizia Cavalli. “Talking to Patrizia” is actually one of my favorite love poems, tart and social and messy. So when I read Cavalli’s lesbian poems in Poetry I had the immediate intuition that this was the Patrizia who advised Koch to hide in the bushes. “Love/Is a god These Freudian things [...] by

Talking to Patrizia December 12, 2007: Jordan Davis (thank you, Jordan!) made the connection for me: Patrizia Cavalli, whose poems are featured in the Italian Poetry Portfolio in the December issue of Poetry is the title character of Kenneth Koch's poem, "Talking to Patrizia," first seen in One Train and reprinted recently in Collected Poems. What did she tell Koch? Among other [...] by

Wednesday Shout Out December 12, 2007: Sarah Browning is the founder of D.C. Poets Against the War and the director of Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness. Her activist furor is a birthright, having been born into an activist family—a sensibility she is passing on to the next generation through her example as an artist, an organizer and an important [...] by

Feeling Guilty December 11, 2007: I’m guilty—because I quoted Wendy Cope. I’d wanted something apropos and light— Now suddenly I'm feeling like a dope. I thought a credit was sufficient—nope; I hadn’t asked permission. Now I hope I haven't trampled on her copyright! I’m guilty—because I quoted Wendy Cope. (I’d wanted something apropos and light.) I was of two [...] by

The Real Predicament December 10, 2007: Christian Bok's post here is a sad reminder of a persistent problem with poetry reviewers and bloggers: the dismissal of "cerebral" work and the exaltation of a crude notion of the "emotional." Bok's reviewer is a tad less obvious -- he requires a "predicament" if not outright confessions -- but still, it seems to me a code for emotional [...] by

sonnets, busyness, influence, and macaronics (not in that order) December 10, 2007: Normally critics, scholars and reviewers (even those who are also poets, such as [coughs] me) are supposed to spend more time reading than they do writing: you read a book, you read it again if you like it enough, you read some books about the book or maybe (if it's a "popular" piece) some author interviews and background articles, and then you [...] by

Aurora de Albornoz (1926-1990) December 10, 2007: A celebrated scholar of Spanish and Latin American literature, Aurora de Albornoz also published eleven books of poetry during her lifetime. She’s an innovative poet who incorporated prose poems, collage, and other modernistic techniques into her verse. Her writing is situated within the poetry about the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and “la [...] by

Visual Poetics 01 December 9, 2007: ----------------- "Plans for a Monument" from Nicholodeon by Darren Wershler-Henry Coach House Books, 1997 ----------------- Darren Wershler-Henry has described Nicholodeon as "the most expensive colouring-book in the history of Canadian Literature." The book is a lavishly designed production that has become one of the most extolled examples of [...] by

Nude Formalism (Redux) December 9, 2007: A. E. Stallings has intimated that New Formalists might benefit from more dialogue with an avant-garde coterie like Oulipo, since both groups often write works according to a diverse variety of formalistic constraints (pantoums, rondeaux, sestinas, etc.)—but in my experience here in Canada, neoformalists often care less about either the [...] by

Poetry Tourism? December 9, 2007: We are now approaching that time of year … when we wish we were elsewhere. …I am now in the town that time forgot, San Carlos, after a night on a crazy ferry, but on my way to tropical islands presided over by Ernesto Cardenal, known as El Poeta, probably the most famous Nicaraguan, who built his own community of local primitive artists and [...] by