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Poets in New York, 6 of 6 October 14, 2008: Inseparable by Lewis Warsh, Granary Books, 2008 Despite that Lewis Warsh is most closely associated with the community of writers who met at St. Marks Church on the Bowery from the late 70’s through the 90’s, his influence has been felt nationally and internationally. He founded the signal United Artists Magazine and co-edited Angel Hair [...] by

Poets in New York, 5 of 6 October 14, 2008: Because Sharon Olds has been publishing for forty years and because her work has drawn so much attention, both disparaging and laudatory, most people I know already have decided attitudes towards her work. One Secret Thing
, her new cycle of family poems (Knopf, 2008) includes some intensely moving poems such as the one printed below, “To [...] by

Poets in New York, 4 of 6 October 13, 2008: No Eyes: Lester Young by David Meltzer, Black Sparrow Books David Meltzer’s No Eyes: Lester Young
 is one of the most masterful, joyous, life-affirming books of poems on music (and IN music) published in the United States. It is only one of some fifty-odd titles that Meltzer has published in his 72 years. A serious musician (on the [...] by

Poets in New York, 3 of 6 October 12, 2008: The Heaven-Sent Leaf by Katy Lederer, BOA Editions, 2008 Her new book, The Heaven-Sent Leaf
, shows Lederer in her most independent mode. The writing in this book is characterized by mostly short-lined lyrics that focus on the hard-to-read and interpenetrating economies of emotion, ethics (if ethics might be considered a modeling of spiritual [...] by

Poets in New York, 2 of 6 October 11, 2008: City of Corners, Wave Books, 2008 Working as a Registered Nurse in an infectious disease clinic in Brooklyn, John Godfrey has steadily published books of poems (and sometimes, as in the case of Push the Mule, prose) characterized by an exuberant attention to language and to the emotional surges & ebbs of urban relationships. His syntax, at once [...] by

What Some New York Poets Are Up To: Anne Waldman October 9, 2008: It’s as if people have ceded both their destinies and their imaginations to “a hopeless gray area of defeat and despair,” Anne Waldman comments in the introduction to the anthology Civil Disobedience: Poetics & Politics in Action
 (Coffee House Press, 2004). Few other American writers have responded to that malaise with as much joy, [...] by

University of Montana October 5, 2008: If I were a young poet looking to apply to an MFA program, one of the places most attractive to me would be the Creative Writing Program at the University of Montana, and not only because Missoula is so convincingly beautiful. Cutbank,
 the literary magazine at U of Montana, has become a dependable and delightful place to pick up on [...] by

Into the Mouths of Volcanoes September 29, 2008: In responsive commentaries on my earlier note memorializing the death of Pablo Neruda, several people mentioned the living Chilean poet Raúl Zurita. During the Pinochet regime, Zurita had the guts to bulldoze a poem into the sand of the Atacama Desert. It read ni pena ni miedo: neither pain nor fear.
 Long ago, it would have been obliterated [...] by

Political Poetry: An Epistolary Conversation September 29, 2008: Two very different new books, one by Naomi Shihab Nye and one by Kent Johnson, turn epistolary toward remarkably similar and fierce political ends. Honeybee (Greenwillow Press) by Naomi Shihab Nye LETTERS MY PREZ IS NOT SENDING Dear Rafik, Sorry about that soccer game you won’t be attending since you now have no… Dear Fawziya, You know, I [...] by

The Lives of Others September 23, 2008: Javier Huerta's excellent post on privilege and the bilingual pun (above) prompts me to share this note. On Monday, I received an email from KL, someone I know who teaches at a detention facility in Virginia, asking me to translate something that a girl in her class had written in Spanish. KL teaches high school-age children who are waiting for [...] by