Thursday, August 14, 2008

Talking, Writing, Teaching, Spewing, Loving: Another Week of Poetry

Cover art by Wayne Hogan

Though off from "work" this week, I've been busy with things Lilliput related, which include getting issues #'s 163 and 164 out in the mail to subscribers. Also on my plate, has been wrapping up an interview for Poet Hound, which covers a wide range of questions about the history of the mag, its focus, and how I go about doing what I do. Since Lillie will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2009, it was a good thing for me to sit, think about the journey, and what's ahead. The interview should be appearing at PH sometime around the end of the month. I'll keep you posted.

Dovetailing nicely with that project, I was also asked to write an article for
Café Review, for their 20th anniversary issue, about how I select poems for Lillie. I'm working against a deadline, so that has kept me considerably occupied. The article is scheduled for January, but the deadline looms large. More on that in the future.

Two other fall projects that are gobbling up time like twin black holes are two sessions concerning poetry I'm working on. The first is an Osher lifelong learning one-shot class on poetry appreciation and this is the second year I've been asked to conduct it. The second is a new poetry discussion group I've put together with a fellow staffer at the library entitled "3 Poems By ... ." The idea is to have a poetry discussion group similar to typical book discussion groups, only focusing on 3 select poems by a given poet for an hour long session instead of an entire book of poems. The first session will be on Emily Dickinson, with future sessions on e. e. cummings, Sharon Olds, Mary Oliver, and others. We also will be doing one session entitled "3 Poems About," the subject being time, handled by 3 different poets. Both of these projects will be in the first two weeks of October and the clock is ticking.

When the Near Perfect Books of Poetry list hit the 100 milestone, Ron Silliman picked it up for his blog and this page got mighty busy, mighty fast.

As noted in previous posts, Acres of Books has lost its battle against closing (though gallantly championed by Ray Bradbury) to the Long Beach, CA, city fathers. Now, unbelievably, they have turned a jaundiced eye to the Long Beach Main Library and once again Mr. Bradbury has risen to the occasion. Maybe the mayor of Long Beach, the honorable Bob Foster, needs to hear from you.

Since I'm expelling angst, I might as well make a confession: I hate baseball poetry. Let me be clear: I love baseball, it's baseball poetry I hate. I've tried. I can't help it. It's just one of those things. But Jonathan Holden's poem, How To Play Night Baseball, from a recent posting at The Writer's Almanac, has put the lie to any type of definitive statement I was reaching for. This one's a beaut.

One final note before turning to this week's featured work from the Lillie archives; Jill Dybka at the Poetry Hut Blog has pointed to a nifty list, put together by Amy King, of Movies with Poetry. Check it out and if you can think of any that were missed, just add it in the comments section. I did.

Over the last couple of week's, I've been skipping around a bit in the archive and this week is no exception. The following selection is from issue #157, from August 2007, a year ago this month.

the wish of not to wish
Sean Perkins


just squeeze into
----hollow sycamore
---------& close my eyes
John Martone


Lying with my lover,
From the bed I see
Through the curtain
Across the Milky Way the parting
Of the Weaver and the Oxherder stars!
Yosano Akiko
translated by Dennis Maloney


Be Still
This shall be the unspeakable:
Long after you've grown old
You will be the breath
Of a lion,
A basket of blue tears,
Landscape of dry reeds.
Your life shall float
Past the warm,
Slow river, skirting banks
Of black mud and straw
Jeffrey Gerhardstein


"nowhere & nothing" from the tao of pooh

Marcia Arrieta


Till next time,

PS The Wayne Hogan cover above is supposed to be grey. Every now and then the scanner craps out. It is now.


Poet Hound said...

Don, thanks for the mention of the interview, it will be posted August 26th, Tuesday.
Also, thanks for the poem "gentle, the wish not to wish" because it describes how I wish my work day had ended. Instead I was stewing when I shouldn't have been and to think such a small poem can do so much to lift the spirits. Thank you.

Grant Hackett said...

Don, Thanks for all you do for poets and poetry. You are like no other.

Greg said...

Great poems from the Lillie archive. So sad to hear that those in charge don't think libraries are valuable. Glad I won't be around in a hundred years or so to see where all this is heading....

I liked your poems in the new "bear creek," especially "Return to Sender."

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

PC, many thanks - I'm looking forward to the posting. Very happy Sean's poem was in the right place, at the right time.

G, you are very kind. I've been meaning to send you an email - hopefully this weekend. Some dynamite stuff on
Falling Off the Mountain

Hey, Greg, I haven't seen the new
bear creek
. Thanks for the heads up and glad you liked the poems.