give this to your boss

July 31, 2020

If you’ve been wanting to get copies of your poems in the company newsletter or your book in the executive suite, check out this article in Fast Company. In “Why CEOS need to read poetry — yes, poetry — to lead in the post-COVID world,” Clare Morgan and Massimo Portincaso make a case for the unique abilities of poetry to navigate uncertainty:

“…this gear change, from (perhaps) a data-driven, algorithm-inspired reliance on what has been, to the challenging freedoms of what-if? What then?, is unlikely to be achieved overnight and without the intercession of some potent catalyst. That catalyst, we humbly submit, is poetry.”

Sounds like it’s time to add a poem or two to your Zoom meetings!

dial up some poetry

July 30, 2020

If you’re suffering from Zoom fatigue, here’s something a little different: the Poetry Society of America and Saint Flashlight present a dial-a-poem project: Calling the World. It’s pretty simple. You dial (212) 202-5606 and press one of the extensions (1 – 9) to listen to a selection of poetry.

Calling the World was created in response to the isolation brought about by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Initiated prior to the worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, Calling the World showcases an international group of voices ─ African, Asian, Caribbean, European, Latin American, and Middle Eastern ─ and encourages us to look outside our national boundaries as we reconnect with the world. This touch-tone anthology drawn from the Poetry Society of America’s rich audio archives reminds us that poetry’s truths have no borders.

Visit Calling the World for more information and a list of poets.

on poetry

July 29, 2020

“Publishing a book of poetry is like dropping
a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.”
Don Marquis
(July 29, 1878 – December 29, 1937)

. . . . .

more books!

July 28, 2020

A few more books for your list, current, recent, and otherwise:

Happy reading!

meanwhile in Scotland

July 27, 2020

It has been a while since we added a poetry walk to the list, so say hello to the Corbenic Poetry Path.

Located on the grounds of the old Drumour shooting lodge and estate in Trochry, about 30 minutes from Perth, Scotland, the poetry path displays the work of more than two dozen local poets integrated with diverse landscapes and the artwork of stone carver Martin Reilly. Reilly and poet Jon Plunkett came up with the idea for the poetry path, which was built by volunteers and opened in 2015.

The 3.5km path is open and free, should you find yourself in the neighborhood. Until then, you can browse online here and here.

this evening!

July 26, 2020

Join Ellen Bass and Toi Derricotte this evening, Sunday, July 26, 2020, at 5:00pm Pacific for a live on Zoom poetry reading. The two poets, longtime friends, will read from their latest books, Indigo and “I”: New and Selected Poems, respectively.

The reading is free but advance registration is required and book purchases (linked above) from Semicolon, a Black woman-owned bookstore and gallery space in Chicago, are encouraged.


July 24, 2020

The last time we mentioned PoemTalk, the podcast series had just posted episode 103.

Closely associated with Kelly Writers House, PennSound, and Jacket2 magazine, PoemTalk episodes “get willing, engaged people together and ask them to talk about one poem, and see what magic happens. The poem provides magic (if chosen well, but even often if not) and the people — mostly the people — augment the magic. You never know where the conversation will go.”

Today’s episode, number 150, brings together Simone White, Dixon Li, Jo Park, and Al Filreis to discuss two poems by Terrance Hayes, “MJ Fan Letter” and “RSVP,” from his book Wind in a Box (2006).

All 150 episodes of PoemTalk are available, free, on Jacket2 and on iTunes.

feeling optimistic?

July 23, 2020

We mentioned the National Parks Arts Foundation back in February, but so much water has passed under the bridge that you might have forgotten it by now. In fact, NPAF is currently accepting applications for residencies at six different National Parks and a variety of dates in 2021.

Many of the applications have submission deadlines in early August 2020, so if you’re feeling optimistic about the possibilities of travel and alternate residency, visit the National Parks Arts Foundation, find out more about NPAF residencies, or jump right in and apply on Submittable.

on poetry

July 22, 2020

“Until we are all free, we are none of us free.”
Emma Lazarus
(July 22, 1849 – November 19, 1887)

. . . . .

The Millions shows up pretty regularly on our What to Read Now postings. But in addition to reviewing books, art, and culture, they also keep track of trends. Each month, The Millions compiles a list of the top-ten sellers on Amazon. As you might expect, the list is pretty heavily loaded with fiction, so we were delighted to find Tell It Slant on the June 2020 list.

Written by Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola, both prolific writers and professors of English at Western Washington University (Bellingham, Washington), Tell It Slant is a bookshelf essential for writers of every stripe. While the focus of the book is creative nonfiction, the resources it offers are easily applied to poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and other literary forms. Originally published as a textbook in 2003, Tell It Slant is now in its third edition and available from McGraw-Hill or an independent bookstore (with curbside pickup) near you.

Congratulations to Brenda and Suzanne!

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