Reasons to go to… London

January 31, 2016

Freud Museum

Should you find yourself in London, England, on Saturday, March 12, 2016, you may want to take in the Spring Psychoanalytic Poetry Festival organized by The Freud Museum and The Poetry Society and to be held at the Freud Museum London. The program sounds intriguing, promising “talks, readings, conversations and film screenings, speakers from the worlds of poetry, film and psychoanalysis.” Find details and the registration link on the Festival event page.

more award short lists

January 30, 2016

Kingsley and Kate Tufts

Claremont Graduate University has announced the finalists for the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and the $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for 2016. The awards are among the world’s most generous and distinguished prizes for books of poetry.

The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is given annually to honor a poet at mid-career, providing resources that allow the artist to continue working toward the pinnacle of their craft. Finalists for 2016 are:

  • Kyle Dargan, Honest Engine (University of Georgia Press). Dargan directs creative writing at American University and edits POST NO ILLS magazine. His debut, The Listening, was a winner of the 2003 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.
  • Ross Gay, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press). Gay teaches at Indiana University and in Drew University’s Low-Residency MFA program in poetry and poetry in translation. He is the author of two previous poetry collections, Bringing the Shovel Down and Against Which.
  • Amy Gerstler, Scattered at Sea (Penguin). Gerstler teaches in the MFA writing program at the University of California, Irvine. Her previous books of poetry include Dearest Creature, Ghost Girl, and Medicine.
  • Fred Moten, The Little Edges (Wesleyan). Moten teaches at University of California, Riverside. In addition to The Little Edges, he is author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, Hughson’s Tavern, B Jenkins, and The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions).
  • Jennifer Moxley, The Open Secret (Flood Editions). Moxley is professor of poetry and poetics at the University of Maine. She is the author of five previous books of poetry.

The Kate Tufts Discovery Award is presented annually for a first book by a poet of genuine promise. Finalists for 2016 are:

  • Meg Day, Last Psalm at Sea Level (Barrow Street). Day is assistant professor of English and creative writing at Franklin & Marshall College.
  • Bethany Schultz Hurst, Miss Lost Nation (Anhinga Press). Schultz Hurst teaches creative writing at Idaho State University.
  • Michael Morse, Void and Compensation (Canarium). Morse teaches at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.
  • Danez Smith, [insert] boy (YesYes Books). Smith is a MFA candidate at The University of Michigan and teaches with InsideOut Detroit.
  • Henry Walters, Field Guide A Tempo (Hobblebush Books). Walters is writer-in-residence at the Dublin School.

The panel of final judges were: Chase Twichell, chair of the judging committee and past winner of the Kingsley Tufts award; Stephen Burt, literary critic and English professor at Harvard University; Elena Karina Byrne, poetry curator/moderator for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books; Brian Kim Stefans, professor of English at University of California, Los Angeles; and Don Share, editor of POETRY magazine.

“The roster of eligible books testified to the extraordinary range and diverse beauty of current American poetry; to pick only ten finalists for two awards should have been impossible,” said Lori Anne Ferrell, director of the Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards. “So I have no idea how the judges will be able to go on to choose only two winners, but I can’t wait to be there when they do.”

Winners will be announced in March and recognized during a ceremony on April 7.

Angie Estes, of Urbana, Illinois, received last year’s Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for Enchantee (Oberlin College Press). Brandon Som, of Los Angeles, received the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for Tribute Horse (Nightboat Books).

The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, now in its 24th year, was established at Claremont Graduate University by Kate Tufts to honor the memory of her husband, who held executive positions in the Los Angeles Shipyards and wrote poetry as his avocation.

The Kate Tufts Discovery Award was launched in 1993.

love words

January 29, 2016

The Bellingham Herald will once again run love poems written by Whatcom County residents in honor of Valentine’s Day. Selected entries will run in the Sunday, February 14, Herald, and all accepted entries will run online at

Poems can be emailed to; mailed to “Valentine’s Day poems,” c/o Dean Kahn, The Bellingham Herald, second floor, 1155 N. State St., Bellingham, WA 98225; or hand-delivered to the Herald’s customer service office.

Please include your name, age and town of residence. Also include your phone number, in case questions arise (phone numbers won’t be published). The deadline to submit a poem is Monday, February 8, 2016.

Village Books a finalist!

January 28, 2016

Village Books

That Village Books should find itself on a Bookstore of the Year list will be no surprise to anyone who has browsed the aisles, purchased books (etc.) or attended one of the 300-plus events that the Bellingham, Washington, independent bookstore presents each year. But when Publishers Weekly lists Village Books on its shortlist of five for the 2016 PW Bookstore of the Year, it’s enough to make all of Cascadia proud. The winning bookstore will be announced in March and the award presented at Book Expo America in May. Congratulations to Chuck & Dee Robinson and the entire VB crew!

on memory

January 27, 2016

Lewis Carroll“It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.”
Lewis Carroll
(Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
(January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898)
. . . . .

NYPL images

If you find that your imagination is enlivened by the visual, here’s some good news: the New York Public Library Digital Collections has released more than 180,000 high-resolution, downloadable, out-of-copyright images.

“No permission required, no hoops to jump through: just go forth and reuse!”

NYPL is also now accepting applications for a new Remix Residency program and has released a number of demonstration projects as well as a wonderful visual browsing tool.

Read about the NYPL enhanced Public Domain Collections and follow the embedded links for much more information.

on poetry

January 25, 2016

photo by Brian Roberts“When you write poetry you are always addressing the world somehow.”
John Cooper Clarke
(b. January 25, 1949)
. . . . .
photo by Brian Roberts

Pulitzer Prize in Poetry 2015With all the attention to best-of lists, we somehow failed to mention the winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Poetry: Digest by Gregory Pardlo (Four Way Books).

Of Pardlo’s writing in Digest, Tracy K. Smith (winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry) commented, “Gregory Pardlo renders history just as clearly and palpably as he renders New York City, or Copenhagen, or his native New Jersey. But mostly what he renders is America, with its intractable conundrums and its clashing iconographies. With lines that balance poise and a jam-packed visceral music, and images that glimmer and seethe together like a conflagration, these poems are a showcase for Pardlo’s ample and agile mind, his courageous social conscience, and his mighty voice.”

post(card) some peace

January 23, 2016

World Peace Poets

World Peace Poets invites you to participate in Peace Poetry Postcard Month, starting February 1. (It’s also National Haiku Writing Month. Peace haiku, anyone?) Here is the information as posted on the World Peace Poets Facebook page:

Leap Into Peace in 2016

SIGN UP for February Peace Poetry Postcard Month.
2016 has an extra day for Peace!

JOIN poets from around the world (29 to a group) and send one of your original peace poems on a postcard for the 29 days of February.

SIGN UP at and you will become part of a group of 29 who promise to send new poems on peace to each other.

To SIGN UP use the subject line: Peace Postcards
In the body of the e-mail provide:
Your Name, Street Address, City, State, Country and Zip or Postal Code.
For every 29 poets who sign up, a group is formed.
You will receive an e-mail with your list as soon as your group reaches 29 names and addresses.

On the first day of February (or before) write an original poem on the post card of your choice and send it to the person whose name is listed below your name. Proceed down the list sending a new post card every day. Circle back to the top of the list until you come back to your own name. It’s that easy!

POSTAGE: From the U.S., International postage is $1.20 per card or four first class Forever stamps. (Within the U.S., postcard rate is $0.35.)

PROMPTS! Original poems of peace can be inspired by a postcard you have received or by a prompt listed at World Peace Poets.

POST! Feel welcome to post your peace poem on the World Peace Poets Facebook page if you wish and give peace a jump start (leap ahead) in 2016!

reading up on love

January 22, 2016

love stamp 29cYou have just over three weeks to get your Valentine’s love poem written. So, by way of inspiration, we offer this article from The Guardian, which lists “the 50 greatest love poems of the last 50 years.”