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It’s Easter? Cue the strings, pass the Kleenex and fetch my pen. April 24, 2011: I'm an insanely musical person, with an astounding memory for songs no one in their right mind should retain. Yep, I've got a clutch on the standards, from Gene Pitney to Wilson Pickett, Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers to Badfinger, "Strange, I Know" to "Muskrat Love." I don't only recognize both Top 40 smashes and dusty obscure little ditties, [...] by

Common chaos, common ground. The chair, and the ass that’s in it. April 19, 2011: Oooh. Rigoberto said "Prolific output is my weakness." I love, love, love the way that sounds and intend to adopt it as my motto for the upcoming year. I also am addicted to the concept of Kwame-ness, but that's another story. Last week, I participated in a National Book Foundation-sponsored reading with Mark Doty and Kathleen Graber. During [...] by

And now, I’m pleased to not introduce…. April 18, 2011: Jeffrey, that was a wonderful intro for D.A. I wish I could have been there. And I'm going to try to tell you the short but riveting tale of someone who I was assigned to introduce but didn't, for a reason that had nothing at all to do with my reluctance and unwillingness to introduce her, but should have. Perhaps this is a tale of language [...] by

I’m a poet. I need my mouth. April 10, 2011: I've been faced with many, many searing questions during the course of my lifetime, beginning with that pesky poser that kept me up nights as a toddler: What would REALLY happen if those string beans touched those mashed potatoes? As I matured (somewhat), the swirling questions grew more insistent and complex. Can you really burn a pimple off [...] by

I have been summoned. I enthusiastically respond. April 4, 2011: HARRIET! Good to see you again, girlfriend. You bring us together. You re-introduce us to our particular music. I've missed and craved you so. If only that sweet-assed Amber T wasn’t such a reticent sort. She really needs to learn to speak up for herself, stop all that infernal mumbling into the back of her hand. That said, Am, now that [...] by

SlamSlamSlamSlamSlamSlam! So there! April 3, 2011: Why isn’t anyone talking about the poetry slam? Out loud? Especially now? Most poets are, would like to be, or consider themselves in the canon’s “official clutches”—the world of poetry célèbre-stars black-tie tributes, gleefully snarky NYT reviews, highbrow race wars, endowed chairs, “if-you’re-supposed-to-know-you-know” [...] by

Disasters in Collaboration, or…. April 18, 2010: The Poet Agrees to Let the World-Famous Director Put Her On Stage and Turn Her Poems Into Thee-A-Tuh--A TRUE STORY! Squirming in his empty seat, the director guffaws at a totally inappropriate moment. Guffawing is with the mouth open, one secret rotting tooth on display, maybe a little bit of spittle. And I am way too hippy and guided for [...] by

How to Have a REALLY Interesting Life….(and write about it, too!) April 14, 2010: I’m feeling irreverent. Thinking back on my favorite moments at AWP (pronounced “awp”)--David Mura’s “Republic of Poetry” panel, during which I think I actually saw flame shoot from Martin Espada’s beard; the reading by an always elegant and fiery Rita Dove; Cave Canem fellows wobbling on chairs and spittin’ rhymes in the middle [...] by

Bull bits. April 8, 2010: Ah, Kwame. I’ve missed your straight-arrow succinctness, your keen eye, your unflinching aim. You never fail to immediately engage me. And I’m intrigued by the idea you’ve introduced. However, I am not so willing to grant amnesty to poems that confound me or the poets who pen them. In fact, I detest those inscrutable little nuggets of [...] by

Ticked off enough to make an appearance… November 6, 2007: Does Dana Gioia matter? Obviously more than we know... An alert Cave Canem alum spotted this in the big man's bio-- "An influential critic as well, Gioia's 1991 book 'Can Poetry Matter?', which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, is credited with reinvigorating the role of poetry in contemporary American culture and giving [...] by