The Week We Spread a Little Sunshine

By Harriet Staff

Poetry can be a tough racket. In spite of the unprecedented opportunities that have risen with the internet, poets still struggle. The ones who succeed can be weirdos, prickly characters or worse. It’s a world smoggy with schadenfreude. It’s hard to stay positive. But before we shut down for the weekend, we’re giving it a shot!

We’re planning ahead! Whether or not the universe external to earth’s atmosphere already contains life (as we understand it), odds are we’ll eventually have to head out there ourselves. Fortunately, the poetry will be waiting for us when we get there.

Our poet laureate is looking out for our interests! The reviews are in, and Natasha Trethewey has got it.

People are being kind! Exhibit A: Heather McHugh is doing a solid for the full-time caregivers of the severely disabled.

An old solider is getting some respect! British war poet Frank Thompson has his side of the story told in The Economist.

The Kremlin can’t bust our art! Well, at the least, Pussy Riot will probably be out of the clink soon.

The Oxford American controversy is cooling off! Roger D. Hodge gets a chance to right the ship.

We can learn new things! We could start with bookbinding!

We can learn to fail better! Per Ben Lerner, in what was otherwise pretty much a downer of a chat with Tao Lin: “Yeah, but a failure can be a figure, can signify. Maybe poetry can fail better than other art forms, because poems can point to what they can’t contain—that desire for something beyond what’s actual.”

There’s a sequel we’re actually excited about!

We’re beefing up our archives! And tidying up a bit—we want this place to look spectacular when Joanne Kyger stops by… tonight! Can’t make it because you’re in New York? Something cool is happening there tomorrow!

Originally Published: September 14th, 2012