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Poetry Done Right June 12, 2009: Free Blog Poll (Do your homework here.) by

The Music of Langston Hughes June 10, 2009: While the Roots--everyone's favorite late night house band--prepare for the West Coast premiere of Ask Your Mama this August, insatiable Langston Hughes fans should check out this week's cover story:  Franklin Bruno's exploration of the poet's 1957 Broadway musical comedy Simply Heavenly. The production featured a nearly-forgotten gem sung by [...] by

Way Less West IV: Chicago! June 8, 2009: Yes, there were dangers in my journey to the happy land.  It's tough.  But though I'm now tempted to tell of tygers, black-footed ferrets, and blue boobies I did not see,  I'll stick to the lesser sandhill cranes stalking Lorine Niedecker's home (thanks for the tip, Kent), and the "Blessing" from James Wright commemorating the rest area in [...] by

Way Less West III: Landscape Semiotics June 4, 2009: As I was saying back in Montana, I picked up a copy of Gary Snyder's Mountains and Rivers Without End in West Yellowstone, and I've since been entranced. It's a remarkable book for a number of reasons, but I'm currently mostly interested in the ways in which it has made me feel like shit.  No one can induce guilt like Gary [...] by

Way Less West II: Country Matters June 2, 2009: The odyssey, as such, continues.  The Gallatin River is flooding but not cresting until Saturday, it seems, so we're driving through the cold rain with the sniffles and a cat who is pulling his fur out with his teeth.  The poems seem far away.  No time to stop at the fabled Wright/Roethke/Hugo bar (next time, Rob!),  instead, we've made do [...] by

Way Less West June 1, 2009: The sunset is behind us.  It took some work to put it there, but there it is.   We escaped Seattle only five hours later than we had planned, and so I'm here in Spokane now nearing midnight, staring at two pens. A little backstory: A few boxes from the end of our time in the Emerald City,  I stand in our front yard staring into [...] by

Stakes pulled. Car loaded. Leg kick. Air guitar. May 20, 2009: In two weeks, my family unit and I will be driving from Seattle to Chicago.  A big move!  This family unit = my wife Monica, our cat Boo Radley, and a couple piles of stuff.  We all (Boo and stuff included) have been eagerly plotting the playlists and the road snacks, but we’re hung up on which route to take—-I-90, I-80, or the Canadian [...] by

Derek Walcott Drops Out May 13, 2009: The big poetry news this week (besides the bizarre "poetry jam" over at the White House) is Derek Walcott's withdrawal from the Oxford poetry race due to an anonymous letter-writing campaign detailing sexual harassment claims against him. The campaign brought to light allegations from the Nobel-laureate's time at Harvard. According to the New [...] by

Robin Blaser (1925-2009) May 8, 2009: Robin Blaser, the poet of The Holy Forest, has died.  The Globe and Mail has an appreciation here, and The Quill and Quire has theirs here. Further tributes from: Charles Bernstein Possum Ego Damn the Caesars Chris Vitiello Stan Persky John Sakkis Please post any new information in the comments, and I will follow up [...] by

On the Pleasure of Hating May 6, 2009: Over at MAYDAY Magazine, there's a contemporary criticism roundtable spun-off from Jason Guriel's "Going Negative" (and tweaked a bit by Matthew Zapruder's "Show Your Work!"). The back and forth begins with Kent Johnson, who states in a letter to the editors of Poetry ". . . so here's a vote for Guriel's call that the 'negative' spirit [...] by