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Pandora’s gift (1) April 30, 2011: Is our conversation ending? The month's up, so, yes. A few quick replies and then one big slice of self-doubt, warily resolved, in the end, with the aid of frustrating software. Jeffrey: speed chess is not playoff basketball because playoff basketball is a team sport and requires cooperation on offense and defense, whereas speed chess is [...] by

when you’ve got trouble April 29, 2011: I've just come back from seeing the singer-songwriter Liz Longley, for the second time this year. It wouldn't surprise me if you, too, found yourself hearing her in a public place, and wanting to hear her again, by next year-- she's got one of those once-in-a-generation pop voices, completely "natural" in the sense that the sounds are never [...] by

speed chess April 27, 2011: I never saw the film Searching for Bobby Fischer, but twenty years ago I read the book (I had an unhealthy interest in the fate of supposed boy geniuses, at the time) and it made an impression; in particular, I remember the book as a sort of competition between (on the one hand) the mentors who wanted young Josh to succeed in his steep climb up [...] by

Bishop revisited April 26, 2011: When that big collection of Bishop's drafts and scraps came out five years ago, I was unfavorably disposed towards it, though not as unfavorably as some: I didn't like the omnium-gatherum feel, the every-scrap-of-paper-is-as-precious-as-any-other-because-the-Great-Poet-touched-it sense that its reception (not so much the edition as the reception) [...] by

Cooper writes a poem April 25, 2011: WHY I AM NOT A TODDLER By Cooper Bennett Burt I am not a toddler, I am a baby. Why? I think I would rather be a toddler, but I am not. Well, for instance, Nathan is starting a drawing. I drop in. "Sit down and have a snack," he says. I snack; we snack. I look up. He has pirates in it. "Yes, it needed pirates there." "Oh." I go and [...] by

it’s too much April 22, 2011: I'm sorry. I just can't do it. I don't have the energy. Maybe I never did. Every week, every day, I get email and Facebook notices and for that matter word of mouth about the latest debate or commentary or controversy or metapoetic metaconversation (sometimes it's even attached to actual poems) on one of three dozen fine websites and active blogs [...] by

don’t call it classical April 14, 2011: Ahem. My literary-life motto for this year is "slightly less writing and much more reading," and so I almost said no to this return-to-blogging — but having now seen Anselm's amazing nonlinear take on writing with a newborn around I'm in the mood to believe anyone can do anything, as long as it's done in an enthusiastic and a nonlinear fashion. [...] by

cooper cento April 22, 2010: I'm new, said the amber moon at the bottom of the mist funnel, brightening and paling. I don't think you'll find my card there. Open your mouth-- Breathe-- A crater big enough to hold the land from New York to Philadelphia. New! I'm new, said the quartz crystal on the parlor table-- like glass-- Mr. Tiffanybought a car load of them. Like water or [...] by

baby radio April 19, 2010: Our new baby is Cooper Robert Bennett Burt, born on Tuesday, long-fingered, and full of smiles (even when asleep, which is most of the time, so far). He is of course worth a thousand AWP's, and makes only occasional faint attempts (so far) to imitate an Icelandic volcano. When you have a brand-new baby at home and you are not at home with the [...] by

the litmag whirl June 2, 2009: It is a lucky thing, but also a bit of a melancholy thing, to write about contemporary poetry as I do, as often as I do: having written about living poets-- sometimes at length, and sometimes for the sort of periodicals that have dozens of  footnotes, and sometimes for the sort of periodicals that actually pay you-- since 1994, I now get a lot of [...] by