Sunday, December 30, 2012

your count-down annogram

As we count down to 2013, it’s with less joy and exuberance.  We in the Northeast have been decimated first by Sandy and then by the tragedy in Newtown.  It’s a time of reflection that instinctively asks us all to consider who we are as individuals and a nation.  I find myself with too many words rushing in or a paucity of effective ones—so we will turn to Adrienne Rich to close this annogram.


I give humble thanks to editors who have selected my work:  Cindy Hochman for First Literary Review East, Shafiq Naz for the Alhambra Poetry Calendar 2013 and Alhambra Poetry Calendar for Young Readers 2013, Mark Smith-Soto for taking translated work for The International Poetry Review, Wendy Galgan for Assisi, and Julie Platt for Technoculture Journal.

Life on Mars

Congratulations to Mary Ladd McCray on the debut of Why Photographers Commit Suicide (Trementina Books, 2012).   This startling poetry collection explores intricacies of space voyage with a mid-western voice that breaks my heart.  The appealing Mars-red cover art is followed by whimsical illustrations inside.  If you love sci-fi, add to your collection by ordering this engaging work and make sure you visit Mary’s Big Bang Poetry website too.  And, to prep you, enjoy this NASA Gangnam Style parody shared by Douglas Baum of Night Vision Astronomy.

Neutral Hero a Top Ten

Congratulations also to Philip Moore, my talented coworker who stars in Richard Maxwell’s play, “Neutral Hero.”  Maxwell took this play around the globe before debuting it here in New York in early November to rave reviews.  And now Ben Brantley of The New York Times has listed it as #4 in the Top Ten Plays of 2012.   Fingers crossed that Maxwell launches another production of the play in 2013!

Untranslatable words

Ollie Brock, Translator-in-Residence at FreeWord in London, asks us to email him ( what you consider to be untranslatable words and their definitions by January 20.   If he selects yours, he may mention them at a poetry reading featuring Ghanaian Nii Parkes, Polish-born Maria Jastrzebska and Peruvian Sofia Buchuck on January 23 at 6:30 p.m. at FreeWord in London.

Summer with Jack

Jack Gilbert, a poet’s poet, who evaded the lime light yet generated extraordinary poetry for five decades, died in November.  I spent the summer reading Gilbert, mesmerized by the compression of his poems and the far distances they traveled in limited space.  He also got away with words like “love,” “moon” and “heart”—over and over.   Here’s the poem, “Searching for Pittsburgh,” that got me hooked. 

‘Round the Net

A bumper crop of intriguing links.  Thanks to:

·   American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) for 75 notable translations today and this provocative article on Ricky Ricardo in the classroom

·   Translators Bernard Cohen and Carolyn Wright respectively for this French literary/translation website and creative literary translation website

·   Dance innovator Rachel Cohen for this clip from her new I would performance

·   Poet Terry Dugan for news of golden retrievers sent to Newtown to comfort mourners

·   Poet Julie Enszer for her new book Homesteading and Sinister Wisdom’s tribute to Adrienne Rich

·   Poet Cindy Hochman for her review of John Amen’s The New Arcana

·   Novelist Petra Lewis for the press release on her debut novel The Sons and Daughters of Ham (right)

·   Poet Mary Ladd McCray for this YouTube video about musical instruments made from landfill

·   Writer Elaine Nole for this timely website offering a new American dream.

·   Poets and Writers for this clip of Rod Serling discussing where ideas come from

·   High School teacher Neil Ginsberg for this article identifying domestic violence in Jovan Belcher deaths

·   Eliot Katz for this petition to help Muhammad al-Ajami, imprisoned for life for reciting a poem

·   Poet Alison Stone for her interview on the Joe Milford Show

·   Filmmaker/writer Frank Vitale for his Metropolitan Organism making Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012

And here is Adrienne Rich:

My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
so much has been destroyed
I have to cast my lot with those
who age after age, perversely,
with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world.

Until next time,