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Audacity of Voice: The Poet as Actor, Michael Maglaras’ Hiawatha Marathon, and How I Made my CD April 29, 2010: A good recent podcast in the Poetry Off the Shelf series is called Actors vs. Poets.  Not only does this spirited discussion between Curtis Fox and Don Share feature the recorded voices of Tennyson and Bishop—and a magnificent British actor crooning "April is the cruelest month"—it raises some important questions about the nature and [...] by

Place, Time, Consciousness: Three New Political Anthologies April 26, 2010: Rachel Zucker makes a good point re anthologies. They can be frustratingly fragmentary. Having edited or coedited a number of them, my feeling is that each anthology ideally ‘earns’ (that old poetry workshop term!) its right to exist by doing something a book of poems by one person could not do. An individual book of poetry can never speak [...] by

Dead Poets Remembrance Day: Putting America’s Dead Poets Back on the Map April 22, 2010: It is my great honor and pleasure to announce here on Harriet the founding of a new national holiday, Dead Poets Remembrance day. Unlike my recent "Kegels for Poets" post, this one is completely for real: Press Release At the beginning stop of a 22-State “Dead Poets Grand Tour,” thirteen current and former State poets laureate, in [...] by

Flowers From Algernon April 19, 2010: Algernon Charles Swinburne Finally, spring arriving in Maine, with such passion it calls for no less than Algernon. Yes, you too can receive his flowers, but first you must promise me three things: 1. you will read it aloud (IF circumstances require and you are sure you know how, you may read it to your inner rather than to your outer [...] by

Women’s Poetry on the Inhale . . . April 15, 2010: You know how after years of going through the motions of doing a movement in yoga class, suddenly you just finally "get it"? This happened to me recently with something very basic: breathing. The whole idea that the inhalation is the time to lengthen/stretch your muscles, and the exhalation is the time for exertion, suddenly worked for me. I [...] by

Kegels For Poets April 11, 2010: This is the best set of exercises you’ll ever learn. The Poetry Muscle exercises known as Meter Kegels have many advantages. They are best known to help strengthen and tone the whole poetic floor to prevent things like linguistic incontinence during middle age. But they are also the secret to Pompoir, turning oneself on inspirationally, and [...] by

Shades of the Eighteenth Century: Anne Finch, Quincy Troupe, and the Rock Me Ode April 7, 2010: On Jetblue a few weeks ago, I happened on an outrageous 18th century kitsch costumed version of Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus." ... it reminded me that parts of the popular imagination have been heading back towards the 18th century for a while. And I also hunger for much of what went down at that time-the wit, the valuing of friendship, [...] by

The Poetry Walk April 2, 2010: Last week I spent some invigorating time in the Maine cold and rain marching next to my mother, who will be 89 this month. One day, my daughter, who is 11, joined us. We all walked 10 or 12 miles that day, and the walking was remarkably easy; it helped me understand how Thoreau used to walk 4 miles each way into town and think nothing of it. [...] by

February 18, 2010: Rita Dove, 1956 Last week, an "open letter" from Fred Viebahn, Rita Dove's husband and ballroom dance partner, arrived in my email box with this startling subject line: "Poetry Society of America: insensitive, clueless, or just plain racist?" Twelve years ago, I'd seen another open letter from Fred, this one calling attention to the the [...] by

“Firm Light”: cummings’ Erotica February 12, 2010: For Valentine's day, a link to some wonderful erotic poems and drawings by e.e. cummings... iv. What is thy mouth to me? A cup of sorrowful incense, A tree of keen leaves, An eager high ship, A quiver of superb arrows. What is thy breast to me? A flower of new prayer, A poem of firm light, A well of cool [...] by