meanwhile, in Vermont

September 28, 2020

When Mary Ruefle was appointed Poet Laureate of Vermont in October 2019, she probably was not imagining that her first year (of four) in office would be defined by a pandemic. (Or, for that matter, that her latest collection, Dunce, would be one of two finalists for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in poetry.)

Each laureate envisions projects for their tenure and Ruefle decided to send 1,000 poetry postcards to Vermont residents. Selecting recipients from the phone book using her own quirky system, she sends poems that seem to have a particular resonance to the current moment.

Read about Mary Ruefle’s postcard project here.

. . . . .
photo by Matt Valentine

sign of the times

September 27, 2020

Banned Books Week (September 27 – October 3, 2020) begins today and, along with lists of challenged books and downloadable infographics, the American Library Association (ALA) is offering a variety of items for purchase, including face masks for kids and adults.

no fest

September 26, 2020

In case you missed the announcements, the Skagit River Poetry Festival (October 1-4, 2020) has been cancelled. Watch the Skagit River Poetry Foundation website for updates and read more about the Foundation’s Poets in the Schools program.

on poetry

September 25, 2020

I started writing
to save my life.”
Cherríe L. Moraga
(b. September 25, 1952)

. . . . .

poetry to watch

September 24, 2020

A couple of months ago, we published a guest post by Kelli Russell Agodon about her pandemic poetry collaboration with Melissa Studdard.

I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast (Saint Julian Press, 2014) is a poetry collection by Melissa Studdard, a poem in the collection, and a short film by Dan Sickles made from the poem. Watch “I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast” on YouTube.

last chance!

September 23, 2020

LiTFUSE 2020 starts the evening of Thursday, September 24, and continues through Sunday the 27th with a stellar lineup of readings, workshops, and other virtual gatherings.

Bring all the LiTFUSE poets to your house this year. Registration is still open.

reading autumn

September 22, 2020

It’s the first day of fall and many of us are likely to keep spending more time at home over the coming months, so here are some additional suggestions for stocking the book larder:

If you’d care to recommend a recently published book of poetry, leave a comment!

NBA long list

September 21, 2020

The National Book Foundation this week announced the long list of ten poetry books being considered for the 2020 National Book Award. They are:

  • Rick Barot, The Galleons, Milkweed Editions
  • Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, A Treatise on Stars, New Directions
  • Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Travesty Generator, Noemi Press
  • Tommye Blount, Fantasia for the Man in Blue, Four Way Books
  • Victoria Chang, Obit, Copper Canyon Press
  • Don Mee Choi, DMZ Colony, Wave Books
  • Anthony Cody, Borderland Apocrypha, Omnidawn Publishing
  • Eduardo C. Corral, Guillotine, Graywolf Press
  • Natalie Diaz, Postcolonial Love Poem, Graywolf Press
  • Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, The Age of Phillis, Wesleyan University Press

Five finalists will be announced on October 6 and winners will be announced at the invitation-only National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on November 20 in New York City.

(And of course you knew that when we said NBA we meant National Book Awards, right?)

another festival

September 20, 2020

The Portland Book Festival is back and this year it’s online, November 5-21, 2020. The full schedule will be published in October, but there’s already an impressive lineup of presenters.

For updates, go to Literary Arts and sign up.

poetry walk

September 19, 2020

It has been a while since we mentioned the sidewalk poetry of Northfield, Minnesota. In the intervening years, the City of Northfield Arts and Culture Commission has been busy. The program, which started in 2011, is ongoing, and the interactive map is impressive, with more than 260 poems to date. There’s a documentary, and Northfield residents can even petition to have a winning poem impressed on the sidewalk in front of their house.

In July of this year, Northfield adopted a Racial Equity Action Plan and the Sidewalk Poetry program has wasted no time in showing its support. Submissions for the 2021 sidewalk poetry season are now open to Northfield residents of all ages, and all poems must be in Spanish. (Just under nine percent of the population identifies as Hispanic or Latino.) Go Northfield!

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