a humble gift of poetry

December 31, 2014

Peter Miller tomato can

You may know Peter Miller from his eponymous Seattle architecture and design bookstore, Peter Miller Books (or earlier variations on the bookstore theme: Montana Books, Miller & Mungo, and bookstores at the aquarium and zoo), or perhaps you’re familiar with his new book, Lunch at the Shop. Now KPLU’s Jennifer Wing offers another element of Peter Miller lore: “Seattle’s Peter Miller Reflects On The Year With Poetry On Tomato Cans.” Fun.
. . . . .
photo by Jennifer Wing

on poetry

December 30, 2014

Patti Smith photo by Angelo Cricchi“Vowels are the most illuminated letters in the alphabet. Vowels are the colors and souls of poetry and speech.”
Patti Smith
(b. December 30, 1946)
. . . . .
Patti Smith photo by Angelo Cricchi

see Cirque!

December 29, 2014

Cirque 6.1

A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim
is now online (full-text) and available for purchase at www.cirquejournal.com

one more best-of list

December 28, 2014

The New Yorker

We recently posted a list of lists to give you a head start on your poetry reading for the coming months. And here’s one more, as The New Yorker weighs in with Dan Chiasson’s list of Nine Great Poetry Books of 2014.

if not poetry, poetic…

December 27, 2014

Millennium Bridge Subway, Carlisle, England

The Cursing Stone is a 14-ton granite boulder that resides in a subway beneath the Millennium Bridge that connects Tullie House Museum with Carlisle Castle, in Carlisle, England.

Here’s a bit of history that helps explain the stone: “The Border Reivers were gangs of horsemen who raided those parts of England and Scotland within a day’s ride of the border between the two countries from around 1300 to 1600. Reivers stole cattle, sheep and horses, and were even known to hire themselves out as mercenaries.” (Education Scotland) In 1525, hoping to end the reign of terror, the Archbishop of Glasgow put a curse on the Boarder Reiver families; the curse was spoken at parishes throughout the region.

In 2001, artist Gordon Young, in a collaboration with Why Not Associates, inscribed the 1,069-word curse on the stone and it was installed on a pathway that contains the names of all the Boarder Reiver families. Almost as soon as it was installed, it was blamed for numerous local disasters, including the spread of hoof and mouth disease, but after a council vote in 2005 was saved from destruction and remains on view.

The artist is descended from a Border Reiver family and that heritage led to his interest in the curse. (See also: Young’s beautiful poetry walk, A Flock of Words and other collaborations with Why Not Associates, including Walk of Art.)
. . . . .
Cursing Stone photo

joy, baby!

December 25, 2014

joy baby © j.i. kleinberg

joy, baby!
© j.i. kleinberg

on poetry

December 24, 2014

Dana Gioia by Lynda Koolish“Poetry can be reticent without being obscure.”
Dana Gioia
(b. December 24, 1950)
. . . . .
photo by Lynda Koolish

on poetry

December 23, 2014

Harriet Monroe“Poems, paintings, statues, ‘of very great distinction,’ are not created often; meantime the lesser achievements in these arts — the vital and provocative experiments, the works which seem to embody some mood of beauty, the expressions of insight or inspiration which seem a-thrill and alive — these are entitled to the consideration of the public. They must have this consideration, the poet — the artist of any kind — must have a public to speak to, else his art cannot grow, he can not go on. The people must grant a hearing to the best poets they have, else they will never have better.”
Harriet Monroe
(December 23, 1860 – September 26, 1936)
from a letter to the editor
The Dial, Volume 54, 1913
. . . . .

ornament the season

December 22, 2014

ornament © j.i. kleinberg 2014

Have a word-ful season!
ornament © j.i. kleinberg 2014

A healthy update…

December 20, 2014

Poems in the Waiting RoomEarly last year, we posted a story about Poems in the Waiting Room, a wonderful UK-based project that prints and distributes poems to waiting rooms in hospitals and doctors’ offices. Well, it seems that PitWR is thriving! New editions have appeared in Colombia and the U.S., and discussions are underway in South Africa. PitWR New Zealand has issued Braille editions of their recent booklets.

“The poems cover both the canon of English verse and contemporary works — poetry from Quill to Qwerty.” What’s more, PitWR accepts suggestions and submissions of “short uplifting poems.” More on the Poems in the Waiting Room website and on Facebook.

In a similar but apparently unrelated vein, the National Health Service in Central and North West London has recently produced a booklet, Poems for those who wait, with poems drawn from the collection at Poems for… (downloadable, free, if you register), which, for a number of years, produced and distributed poem-posters to healthcare centers, embassies, libraries, etc.

Also unrelated, but as long as we’re on the subject… The Waiting Room Reader: Stories to Keep You Company and Waiting Room Reader, Vol II: Words to Keep You Company were published in 2009 and 2013, respectively, by CavanKerry Press Ltd. Read an article about the two collections, “Poetry for Patients and Their Families,” in Poets & Writers.

You can read Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, In the Waiting Room, without an appointment.