The Week We Walked the Poetry Path

By Harriet Staff

Verse brings peace to restless souls, it’s true. But this business is not always as placid as some might assume. It’s filled with piqued emotions, cantankerous characters, and stories that affect us all. This week’s highlights from the poetry sphere included brutal beefs, proud victories, mourned departures, encouraging advances, long-delayed restorations, rock-bottom prices, and all-around excitement.

The American Spectator vs. Occupy Wall Street. We wouldn’t have expected a writer for the arch-conservative Spectator to pick up what Thom Donovan’s OWS collection is laying down, but this review was one of the more nasty things we’ve read in awhile. Micha Mattix uses the anthology as a jumping-off point for an airing of broad right-wing grievances against the Occupy movement.

An abandoned library is reborn. Speaking of Occupy, “activists and radical librarians” from the Oakland division began restoring a long-neglected local community center.

Pussy Riot v. Putin, piety, etc. Occupy isn’t the only beleaguered political movement taking it out of the streets and into the libraries.

Archivists look toward the future. We’ll eventually run out of shelf space, but our storage authorities will not be caught unprepared. This week, they pondered a very compact means of preserving information.

Booksellers v. prohibitive prices. Want to blow some scratch on an older format? McSweeney’s is having a sale. Horse Less is, too.

Michael Bloor vs. the Shipping Industry. A fight always gets more interesting when someone drags Coleridge into it.

Peter Schjeldahl cuts loose. One of our favorite poets expounds on his principles, disses Damien Hirst, and stands by his self-proclaimed “failed” status. This is a guy we’d like to drink with.

Check it out! Free Borges lectures! Thanks to our comrades at Ubuweb, you can hear the Argentine master of unreality for less than the price of a Berryman trading card.

Phyllis Diller passes away. Before she left us this week, the endearingly wacky comedienne scribbled a poem or two. We will miss her, and we will miss our own Daryl Hine.

Road trip! See you on the Poetry Path.

Originally Published: August 24th, 2012