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Make Love, then War April 27, 2012: In these days of a dying, raving and hallucinating empire, its best known poet, and a master at being anti-war, is accepting a Presidential Freedom Award from a cynical if affable, still, to many people, master of war. What is Dylan thinking? He and Obama are no strangers. On February 9, 2010, Dylan performed "The Times They Are A-Changing" at the [...] by

A Conversation with Brooks Johnson April 26, 2012: [Editor's Note: The following is presented unedited. The opinions expressed in this interview belong to those involved in the conversation and do not reflect the views of the Poetry Foundation. Factual inaccuracies have been corrected in brackets.]   First off, I want to provide some background: In September of last year, the Croatoan [...] by

A Conversation with Hugh Iglarsh April 25, 2012: When the Nelson Algren Committee was started in 1989, most of his books were out of print, and now they are available again. There is also the Nelson Algren Birthday Party, now in its 23rd year, and even a Nelson Algren Fountain at Milwaukee and Ashland. So the purpose of the Nelson Algren Committee was to resuscitate his reputation. Please talk [...] by

A Conversation with Ian Keenan April 25, 2012: American poets have become politically irrelevant, for the most part. Like everybody else, they still have political opinions, but there are no real public venues for them to express these, not that they're all that interested in reaching anyone beside other poets. The last American poet to create a public stir was Amiri Baraka, and this was [...] by

A conversation with Randall Couch April 17, 2012: I understand there's a new film about Gabriela Mistral, and you were at the US opening. Please tell us about that, and who came to this opening? Yes, the Chilean filmmaker María Elena Wood has made a full-length documentary called LocasMujeres (Madwomen) about the poet's last years, spent in Roslyn Harbor, New York with her young American [...] by

Poetry is a Ho April 16, 2012: How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face; --From "When You Are Old" by William Butler Yeats I don't know anything about Yeats, have never even heard of him until just now, but when I read that, I felt, [...] by

Poetry Sightings April 13, 2012: In Chicago, there's a Poetry Garage, and, no, I'm not making this up. Why would I make it up? I'm too honest, earnest and anal retentive to make anything up, ever. The Poetry Garage is at 201 West Madison, and for a modest fee, say, $2,000 a month, you can park your miserable, beloved poem in the Poetry Garage, where no one, but no one, will ever [...] by

After the MFA: Some Questions for Jeremy Hoevenaar April 11, 2012: Encountering Jeremy Hoevenaar several years ago, I found him to be such a pure poet that I said, "Jeremy, you're such a pure poet that I think you would only quit writing because you were heartbroken," and I meant heartbroken by poetry itself. Of course, I can now hedge my statement by claiming that I was trashed, but, no, I actually said it [...] by

May a Chancre Lame You April 6, 2012: Poets are a beggarly lot, but no poets are more desperate than those who are on the streets, trying to push poetry. One has a much better chance peddling herpes, and yet, in several cities now, I've encountered half-crazed and alliteration-prone poets trying to hustle you into taking what you clearly have no need of, but for which some of you're [...] by

Hunting the Poem April 5, 2012: Half of writing, at least, is getting your story. You have to position yourself in favorable places to get your material. Roam, and listen to people, for no one is uninteresting, no one, and almost all are eager to tell you what's on their minds, and, further, they are all, without exception, terribly creative in conveying to you their experience, [...] by