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“Is this the City? I’m at Western and Augusta, and I need you guys to get a poem out here ASAP.” April 25, 2012: Recently, a friend of ours gave my spouse and me this as a belated housewarming present: It’s a vintage poster from the early 1980s promoting Chicago’s now-defunct Dial-A-Poem program launched in 1981  by the Chicago Council on Fine Arts “as an effort to introduce Chicago Area writers to a wider audience and to show Chicagoans [...] by

Tell us more about this “project” of yours, Mr. Berryman. April 23, 2012: The chapbook-length essay “Poetry is Not a Project” by Dorothea Lasky was published in 2010, but I just got around to reading it this past weekend. (Hat tip to my Creative Writing student Cassandra Gillig for the rec.) While it only took me a few minutes to read, I found that I couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards. Ben Fama, who edited [...] by

Ice Cream at Key West Funerals: Is This a Thing? April 19, 2012: Last quarter, one of my astute undergraduate Reading Poetry students, Michael Ben Silva, turned in a midterm essay called “The Essential Gaudiness of Poetry: On the Difficulties of Understanding and Reciting ‘The Emperor of Ice-Cream.’” The whole essay was memorable and well-done, but my favorite among the points he made was as [...] by

“Most poems published are probably not ever going to be any good, as Randall Jarrell and others have observed.” April 16, 2012: Because re-Xing is the new X, and because reposting is the new writing, and because curation is the new original thought, I offer to you Bill Knott’s recent read-through of all the poems in the latest issue of Ploughshares. On March 31, 2012, Knott wrote that since his retirement from teaching, he has not had sufficient income to subscribe to [...] by

Contents: One Acme Poem-Making Kit April 12, 2012: In his book Maps of the Imagination: Writer as Cartographer, Peter Turchi discusses the biography of the animator and cartoonist Chuck Jones, creator of the Looney Tunes characters Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner (among others). Turchi writes that “In his biography, Jones identifies some of the constraints he gave himself for that one [...] by

Type Unread is Dead: A Found Poem about Typography April 10, 2012: Recently, I was doing research in a book from 1948 called How to Be a Successful Advertising Woman edited by Mary Margaret McBride. On page 55 of the essay “A Background in Production and Typography” by Winifred Holmes, Associate Merchandising Editor, Plumbing & Heating Journal, Plumbing & Heating Wholesaler, I came across the [...] by

Song of Myself(-Publishing): Let People Poems? April 5, 2012: Let People Poems is a Wordpress blog dedicated to social self-publishing. It refers to itself as “a community of contributors” and declares itself to be “a level playing field.”  There are no editors, and the site describes its rules as follows: -No contributor’s notes following your post. -Put your name next to the title of the [...] by

Steel Cage Poem Death Match April 2, 2012: A colleague of mine devised the following first day activity for his Introduction to Creative Writing class in the interest of fostering a substantive and unintimidating discussion of poetry among beginning students who would not necessarily consider themselves proficient in the genre. Here’s how it works: You hand out the following two [...] by

Hey Small Press! April 28, 2011: So, poets: how do printed copies of your books end up in libraries? Do they end up in libraries? What’s even going to happen to libraries? There have been plenty of stories lately about how libraries are changing, and that some—like this one in Newport Beach, California—might soon stop housing books, because a “transition toward an [...] by

Talking with the Taxman about Poetry April 25, 2011: Is it worth doing stuff that you don’t get paid for? Earlier this year, I was emailing a friend who had just attended a really entertaining magazine release party that I — and eight or so people — had read at, and I closed my message with “I hope I'll get to hear you read sometime — keep me posted on any events you'll be [...] by