Wednesday, February 27, 2013

your february annogram

Pulitzer Remix

I am excited to be one of 75 poets selected for the Pulitzer Remix.   Each Pulitzer Remix poet will create 30 poems from his or her assigned Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.  We will post our poems each day in April as a celebration of National Poetry Month.

New York Times on Cancer Poetry Project

Congratulations to Karin Miller, whose Cancer Poetry Project was the topic of a recent New York Times article.  The upcoming volume includes my poem, “Landfall”, which won a Cancer Poetry Project Honorable Mention as well as “Breast Imaging.” The book will debut in April during National Poetry Month but you can preorder copies now.  You can also contribute to this worthy project by visiting Kickstarter.
Anthology updates

Journey to Crone (Chuffed Buff Books), an anthology out of London which features two of my poems, will make its debut on International Women’s Day, March 8.  I am equally thrilled to be in Rabbit Ears: TV Poems (Poets Wear Prada), which includes poets such as Edward Field, Annie Finch, Tony Hoagland and Dorianne Laux.  And The Lives We Seek, an anthology that takes a contemporary look at saints, has identified a publisher—I won’t jinx the deal by saying which one.

African American History Month

This February, the Town of Greenburgh asked Executive Director of Arts and Culture Sarah Bracey White to interview Dr. Olivia J. Hooker.  Hooker, 98, a civil rights activist, veteran and retired Fordham University professor, is a last survivor of the 1921 Tulsa race riot where more than 300,000 died—a bigger toll than Watts, Detroit, Washington and LA riots combined.  She has spent her life educating people about this event.  She and other survivors have sought restitution in a federal lawsuit—the subject of the documentary “Before They Die.”

Gerda Lerner and Women’s History

Gerda Lerner would have appreciated Dr. Hooker.  A founder of the National Organization for Women, she was the creator of the first Women’s Studies Graduate Program at Sarah Lawrence.  Her books allowed me, for the first time, to explore American history from the viewpoint of women—whether abolitionist, colonist or slave.  From there, it was easy to imagine women quietly recording their experience over the centuries in texts undiscovered or unrecoverable.   Lerner passed away last month, and women writers honor her by putting our voices out there—maybe for discovery in a distant galaxy!

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco

What a pleasure to discover Richard Blanco through the excellent choice of President Obama!  In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Blanco said that it came to him that who we are as a country is as yet unfinished — and yet everyone one of us is vital in defining it.  Blanco’s expansive, Whitmanesque vision nailed the inaugural poem, don’t you think?

Frost Medal to Robert Bly

Congratulations to Robert Bly on receiving the 2013 Frost Medal, the highest honor from the Poetry Society of America.  One time at a Dodge Festival panel on translation, I had asked him when he knows a translated poem is finished. He said he works with a linguist who indicates when more work is needed—news he greets with a few expletives. The poet, in turn, asked me what language I was working on. “French,” I said. “Oh, impossible!” he erupted — a confirmation of the work I knew I had to do.

Katonah Poetry Series

Come hear poets Michael Dickman on Sunday, March 4, at 4 p.m., and Katha Pollitt on Sunday, April 28, at 4 p.m., at the Katonah Village Library.  The $10 admission fee includes an informal reception and conversation with the poet after the reading.  For more on the poets, visit the Katonah Poetry Series.

Matters of the HeART
See the 9th Annual Matters of the HeART Art Exhibit at Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 Hillside Avenue, Greenburgh, March 8 through May 2.  Sponsored by the Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation and the Greenburgh Arts & Culture Committee, Matters of the HeART supports creative aging through the arts.  An opening reception will take place Sunday, March 17, from 2-4 p.m., with doors open at 1 p.m. for people with disabilities.

Literary Translation in Paris

Columbia University’s Art of Literary Translation in Paris, a month-long summer course, will feature weekly writing workshops, a lecture and guest speaker series, and additional cultural activities.  To get ready, you might want to read Speech Begins After Death (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), a conversation between philosopher Michel Foucault and Claude Bonnefoy translated by Roberto Bononno; or celebrate the 100th anniversary of Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending A Staircase by visiting in Francis Naumann Fine Art's exhibit on this important painting, through March 29.
‘Round the Net

Thanks to these people for sending me these great links:

·  The Atlantic on the novel you write every year in the number of e-mails you create

·  Activist Cindy Dunne for the Lakota Kids Supply Drive underway through March 15

·  Red Glass publisher Janet Kaplan for Cornelius Eady’s new jazz CD

·  Editor Eliot Katz for news of a new book by Andy Clausen, Home of the Blues: More Selected Poems

·  Poets Pamela Laskin and Ruth Handel for respective new books from Dos Madres Press

·  Actor Tony LoBianco for NYC dates for his Little Flower reprise as Mayor LaGuardia

·  The New York Observer for this interview with John Ashbery

·  Thomas Pinney for discovering new poems by Rudyard Kipling

·  The New York Times on Whitman in Washington

·  Artist Gilda Oliver for her photos of her mosaic mural in upstate New York

·  Poet Linda Simone for Writing Haiku at the Office

·  Memoirist Lou Spirito for his new book, Gimme Shelter, a story of how one pit bull changed his life—and to novelist Terry Dugan for this history of pit bulls before the media turned against them

·  Memoirist Cheryl Strayed for her tribute to Adrienne Rich

·  Memoirist Sarah Bracey White for this Journal News profile and video

Until next time,