Tuesday, April 28, 2009

your national-poetry-month annogram

Happy National Poetry Month! To celebrate, I’ve read from Not A Muse (Haven Books, 2009) in the city this month, and welcomed work in Motif: Writing by Ear (Motes Books, 2009), Amoskeag and New Plains Review.

Poets on music
I’m thrilled to have my tribute to guitar legend Les Paul in Motif: Writing by Ear. An Anthology of Writings about Music (Motes Books, 2009). This inaugural volume in Motes Books’ new themed series features 116 writers including Evie Shockley, Sue Walker, Silas House, Marilyn Kallet, Frank X Walker; and song lyricists Buddy and Julie Miller, Patty Griffin, RB Morris, and Scott Miller. See Motes Books.

Peter Chelnik’s Poetry/Jazz Fusion
At Rive Gauche on April 13, I read “Taped at the Poetry Reading” and “Andromeda at Midlife” from Not a Muse. Saxophonist Bob Feldman accompanied poet Peter Chelnik, giving the café a distinct beat feel. Cellist Jay Shulman then transformed the space into an elegant salon by performing a rare Bach composition. Poet Eve Packer, also backed by sax, delighted everyone with her urban-girl lyrics and jazz vocalist Dee Anne Gorman sang an excellent song or two. I will be a featured poet May 7 at 6:45 p.m.—come experience this unusual venue at 336 East 86th Street between lst and 2nd Aves.

Creativity interview goes viral
Thanks for the huge response to filmmaker Frank Vitale’s interview with me on creativity. We’re planning part two, so stay tuned. You can get to know Frank’s work by visiting his company; nonfiction blog; creativity blog; and viewing some of his students’ films, and church plays.

Translation and Literary Selfhood at CUNY Graduate Center
Poet/translator Rosanna Warren moderated this panel last month. Jonathan Galassi, Farrar Strauss Giroux’s publisher, says he fell in love with the work of Eugenio Montale (1896-1981), yet still feels like “an amateur” when translating. Edith Grossman, translator of Gabriel Garcia Márquez (1927- ), is tackling an epic by Góngora (1561-1627) which has complex secret and duplicate meanings. Poet Marilyn Hacker is translating Claire Malroux (1935- ) at left, French translator of Emily Dickinson; and Rika Lesser read part of Mozart’s Third Brain by Göran Sonnevi (1939- ) in the original Swedish and her English translation.

Toadlily at Hudson Valley Writers Center
In a celebration of Toadlily Press, poets Marcia Arrietta, Michael Carman and George Kraus read work from the latest Toadlily chapbook quartet, An Uncommon Accord (Toadlily, 2009) last Friday. Publisher Meredith Trede also read Heidi Hart’s “Door Psalm” which won the small press a Pushcart; Pamela Hart debuted new art-inspired work and Maxine Silverman shared her poignant work. This wonderful event took place in the HVWC’s home, a restored train station with breath-taking sunsets and views along the Hudson—well worth a train trip from Manhattan.

Reel 13
If you’re a film buff and haven’t seen WNET’s Reel 13 on Saturday nights, you’re missing out. Thirteen combines a classic film, Indie and short that viewers select online the prior week. I loved the Indies “Bigger than the Sky,” a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac; “Rory O’Shea Was Here,” about a transformative friendship between two severely disabled young men; and “Sita Sings the Blues,” an animated tale of heartbreak based on the Indian epic Ramayana (see below). Vote now for your favorite short.

Doty to judge Camber Press contest
The fifth annual Camber Press Poetry Chapbook Award will be judged by Mark Doty. April 30th is the Camber Press Fiction Chapbook Award deadline which will be judged by author Ron Carlson. Both winners will receive $1000, publication, and author copies. For full details, see the web site.

Round the 'Net
For these great links, I thank

· Artist Angela Virsinger for this clever music video.

· Architect Fred Cox for this NPR piece on a home he helped restore (third photo down) in LA’s celebrated Hancock Park.

· Poet Mary Ladd for this hilarious send-up of Dickens, fortune-cookie style.

· Filmmaker Nina Paley, whose broken marriage inspired her award-winning animation—see it in its 90-minute entirety.

Enjoy poetry, savor spring, be happy!

Until next time,