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A day of Amnesty April 7, 2010: It turns out that there is a tacit agreement among poets and self-proclaimed readers and lovers of poetry that if a poem is just not making any sense to us, that we never admit it.  In fact, this agreement seems to have a number of critical clauses: if a poem is inscrutable and does not seem to make any sense, talk about language and syntax and [...] by

Why I am Worried About Being at AWP April 5, 2010: In 1987, something strange began to happen to me.  My eyesight began to deteriorate rapidly.  I was a graduate student in New Brunswick, Canada, and at the time, I could afford to see a specialist.  They took me through a barrage of tests over the course of a year, and in that year, my eyesight got worse and worse.  In a year, I was legally [...] by

CALABASH DISPATCHES–SUNDAY May 26, 2009: As if on cue, Sunday morning of Calabash arrived with overcast skies.  The sofa in the wide living room of the suite I was staying in was getting old already. I was waking up quite early each day because of the firm surface of my bed.  On the verandah, the sea is a few yards away, and it makes sense to sit there, and watch the light creep into [...] by

CALABSH DISPATCHES-DAY THREE May 25, 2009: Pico Iyer and Paul Holdegraber are brilliant writers whose capacity to articulate with insight and relevance matters of politics, spirit and the basics of life is enviable.  This interview between the non-fiction, novelist, travel writer and the Director of Public Programs at the New York Public Library will go down as perhaps the most engaging [...] by

CALABASH DISPATCH–FRIDAY NIGHT May 23, 2009: On Friday night, the air is cool off the sea.  The breaths of wind against the microphone begin to suggest distant thunder.  A woman sitting beside me says, “Rain…”  I sit with my legs stretched out beyond the shelter of the large tent. I am in the front row of a sea of neatly organized white plastic chairs that stretch over a lush [...] by

CALABASH DISPATCHES 2009 May 22, 2009: The truth of the matter is that Calabash #9 may not have happened.  Why might this be important?  Calabash is a literary festival that takes place in a small village in a remote parish on a small island each year, and in the larger scheme of things, the possibility of a nine year old festival not happening may seem unimportant.  But Calabash is [...] by

CALABASH 08—IMAGINE—Festival Dispatches May 31, 2008: Calabash 2008 – Sunday May 25th Calabash Sunday manages, somehow, to become something of a church service. Of course, the entire festival is about the word, and the spoken word and the received and given word and people at the festival like to talk about spirit and vibe and heart and such the like. But Sunday is Sunday and it is hard to shake [...] by

CALABASH–IMAGINE–2008 May 27, 2008: DISPATCHES Saturday Part 3 Very early on in the life of Calabash, we decided that it would be a good idea to partner with organizations and entities that had something to do with authors. We had thought about deeding out some curating and programming to some individuals, but it seemed to make better sense to think of book agencies, publishers, [...] by

CALABASH—IMAGINE—Festival Dispatches May 26, 2008: Saturday Part Two The sky is clean of clouds. Standing on the stage, the sea stretches out towards the horizon, a sheet of turquoise with the interruption of surf a hundred yards out where the reef breaks the waves. Treasure Beach’s coastline is rocky, with the occasional scraggly tree—these biblical structures of gnarled branches and sparse [...] by

CALABSH 2008–IMAGINE-Walcott May 25, 2008: CALABASH 2008--IMAGINE SATURDAY 1 The hardest thing to do is to find time to Blog at Calabash. All day the audience, true owners of this festival, will accost to ask questions, make suggestions, express gratitude. I can’t bring myself to do stock answers, even when the questions are the same: “Kwame, Kwame, [fishing into a worn satchel] I [...] by