Thursday, March 31, 2011


An email magazine with events, links, and commentary.
Received this morning via e-mail by The Bookman and reproduced here for the interest of readers of this blog.
If you'd like to recive it regularly just e-mail - Zachary Bos
I will not be posting future issues.

WRIGHT ON READING. From today's social media stream, Franz Wright on his Facebook wall opined: "I learn more about the world by reading a few words of Simic or Young or Herakleitos than -- than what? Reading the NY Times?" In the course of the evolving discussion with Facebookers, he continues: "It is not that difficult to get the news from real poetry as opposed to the absolute shit that passes for poetry now -- read Simic's poem about the old woman watching the deadlines of a newspaper going up in flames as she lights her stove. What he is saying is perfectly clear, and any child can grasp it. There is a lot of difficult poetry that is great, but I think it only appears to be difficult, and that we simply, more and more, have lost the power to be still and pay attention. H. G. Wells wrote somewhere that the world will either have a planetary socialist government or be destroyed, and I believe more and more that this is literally correct. But I am not getting into that. I will soon not have to worry about it. Swift's gravestone reads, if I understand correctly, in Latin: " ...where savage indignation can no longer stab him in the heart." This is what gives me a sense of peace these days." Wright won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and lives in Waltham.

PINSKY AT TUFTS. Robert Pinsky will be reading next Thursday, April 7, at 3:30 PM in the Hirsh Reading Room at Tufts University's Tisch Library, 35 Professors Row, Medford, 02155. The event is free of charge. Among other work, he will be reading from his forthcoming book, Selected Poems. Pinsky is interviewed by John O'Rourke, on the question of why poetry should be spoken, at

DAVID FERRY IN SLATE. The esteemed poet and translator asks, "What am I doing inside this old man's body?" Read his new poem "Soul" at

CAMBRIDGE POETRY FESTIVAL. The event begins Sunday, April 3, in Jill Brown-Rhone Park in Central Square (across from Luna Café, 403
Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge) from noon until 2 p.m., with readings
by the four finalists "campaigning" to be the next Cambridge Poet
Populist: Toni "Bee" Brooks, Irene Koronas [a Clarion contributor],
Scott Ruescher, and Jeff Walker. The Festival continues throughout the
day with open-mic poetry and musical performances at different venues
throughout Cambridge and at the main branch of the Cambridge Public
Library. All events are free. To learn more about the Cambridge Poetry
Festival, and about the Cambridge Poet Populist Election, visit, email or call the Cambridge Arts Council at

FARRELL, HOPKINS, BURTON, HILL. At this week's graveside service for  Elizabeth Taylor, the actor Colin Farrell read a poem in her memory:
Gerard Manley Hopkins' "The Leaden Echo and The Golden Echo." Farrell
is is rumored to be portraying Sir Richard Burton in an upcoming
biopic; though I am ignorant of the reason this poem is associated with
Burton, here in any case is a YouTube recording of the great actor
reading it aloud:
[As spotted by Hugh Fitzgerald for]. Following the advice
of users recommending that we listen also to Geoffrey Hill read the
same poem: [via Eric Vondy's].
Hill for many years was on the faculty here at Boston University; he is
currently serving as the Oxford Professor of Poetry in England. At, you can hear him read
Shakespeare's Sonnet LXVI, my favorite: "Tir'd with all these, for
restful death I cry." Nadejda Mandelstam thought that this was the one
moment in his sonnets where WS is fully revealed (see her letter to
Arthur Miller in 7 i 68, as reproduced in /Russian Review/ V.61, No.4).

POEMSHAPE PRIMER. A useful introduction to some technical features, for those who don't know or who want to be reminded:

MAZER IN EYEWEAR. Ben Mazer ? interviewed in last spring's Clarion at -- has a new
hypnotic, brimful poem in Todd Swift's online magazine, Eyewear. "The
Botticelli bursts another spring. / It is of florentine silks that I
shall sing." Read the rest at By
the by: Mazer's recent collection from The Pen & Anvil Press, POEMS, is
now on the shelf for sale at St. Mark's Bookstore in Manhattan's Bowery
neighborhood. Support small press publishing, and pick up a copy or
tell a friend to do the same.

ON TODAY'S POETRY. Andrew Shields takes a long view this week about the situation of poetry: " ?one relatively consistent feature of
contemporary poetry in English is that it does impose itself on its
readers: it makes the reader listen to the voice of the poet, instead
of providing, as pop lyrics do, a space for listeners to fill with
their own voices, as it were." Read his full essay posting, "From
Tennyson to today," at
[Spotted by Robert Archambeau]

MILOSZ REVIEWED. Enda O'Doherty has a long review in the Dublin Review of Books, of "Proud to Be a Mammal" by Czes?aw Milosz. This new
collection sounds like it has a broad compass; here's O'Doherty on one
section: "From the martyred Poland of the war years, the country of
German occupation, casual murder and coolly planned genocide, Mi?osz
wrote a sequence of short naive poems entitled "The World." An excerpt
from one of those, titled "Love": "Love means to learn to look at
yourself / The way one looks at distant things / For you are only one
thing among many." Read the review, titled "All Things Considered," at

BU READING. The Annual Creative Writing Faculty Reading this year will
include readings by: Leslie Epstein (Program Director); David Ferry;
Louise Glück (United States Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner);
Allegra Goodman (National Book Award finalist); Ha Jin (Awardee of
National Book Award, PEN/Hemingway, twice, and a PEN/Faulkner winner);
Ronan Noone; Sigrid Nunez; Robert Pinsky; (United States Poet
Laureate); and Maya Sloan. Tuesday, Apr 12, 2011 at 6 PM, in the SMG
Auditorium, 595 Commonwealth Avenue. Free and open to the general
public. For more information, contact

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