on poetry

June 20, 2022

“I write something every day. It might be a line of a poem. It might be a line of a song. It might be a sentence of a lecture. It might be a response to a question. Each takes a long time. I have no facility with language. I work hard at every sentence. Including this one. I’m still working on it!”
Paul Muldoon
(b. June 20, 1951)

. . . . .

fresh Cash

November 19, 2016

Forever Words

Between Bob Dylan’s Nobel and Leonard Cohen’s death, the words of singer-songwriters have been much on our minds of late. Now Blue Rider Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, has published Forever Words, a collection of previously unpublished poems by Johnny Cash. Edited and introduced by Pulitzer-prize winning poet Paul Muldoon with a foreword by John Carter Cash, the book is illustrated with reproductions of Cash’s own handwritten pages. Read more about Forever Words in The New York Times.

winter poetry getaway

September 7, 2015

San Miguel Poetry Week

If the combination of holiday fatigue and short, dark days seems an inauspicious way to begin the new year, consider Mexico.

San Miguel Poetry Week, in scenic San Miguel de Allende (a UNESCO World Heritage City), begins Saturday, January 2 and continues through January 8, 2016. Classes, readings, workshops, lectures, plus time to enjoy San Miguel, add up to a welcome respite from winter gloom. The 2016 faculty includes Jennifer Clement, Toi Derricotte, Paul Muldoon and others.

Both published and novice writers are welcome. Enrollment is limited and priority is given to early applicants and prior participants. Learn more on the San Miguel Poetry Week website and Facebook group.

Poems Out Loud

St. Patrick’s Day seems an auspicious time to listen to some Irish poets reading their own words. Poems Out Loud is a good place to start. Listen to Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, Paul Muldoon and others poets — Irish and otherwise — as they share their work aloud.

on poetry

January 13, 2014

Paul Muldoon“One of the great things about being a writer is the extent to which it allows us to invent ourselves. It’s like being in a witness-protection program.”
Paul Muldoon
. . . . .
photo by Pieter M. van Hattem


December 23, 2013

Paul MuldoonHere’s some good news: the New Yorker, long a repository of printed poems, has initiated a podcast series, New Yorker Poetry Podcasts. In each podcast, poetry editor Paul Muldoon will interview a poet, who will read from his/her own work as well as that of another poet.

Listen to Muldoon’s 20-minute conversation with Philip Levine, or download New Yorker Poetry Podcast at iTunes.

Paul MuldoonPaul Muldoon’s credits are extensive and diverse. The author of more than thirty books of poetry, he has written opera libretti, co-wrote “My Ride’s Here” with Warren Zevon (recorded by Zevon and later by Bruce Springsteen), penned essays and criticism, written children’s stories, edited and translated books, and served as a radio and television producer for BBC, Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford and Poetry Editor of The New Yorker. He won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, plays guitar and writes lyrics for Wayside Shrines and is Howard G. B. Clark ’21 Professor at Princeton University.

You can hear Paul Muldoon online, or, better yet, go hear him in person at Town Hall in Seattle on Thursday, February 28, 2013, 7:30pm.
. . . . .
Photo by Pieter M. van Hattem

on poetry…

December 3, 2012

Paul Muldoon

“One of the ways I’m thinking more and more these days about poetry is poetry as architecture or poetry as structural engineering. Where we take this force and that force and pit them against each other. In buildings, as in poems, there’s a tendency for that feature over there on the right-hand side to echo that feature over there on the left, and it may have to do with aesthetics, of course, but it’s more likely to have to do with pure physics. That’s to say, if you don’t have that balance then the whole thing is going to fall down. I find thinking in these ways quite useful when I’m building poems. They’re bridges. Skyscrapers. And they’re very carefully built, very slowly built. I rely on stepping out into the unknown, of course. But I’m also relying on some basic laws of physics. And maybe chemistry.”

Paul Muldoon, from “Paul Muldoon, The Art of Poetry No. 87,” an interview by James S. F. Wilson, Paris Review
. . . . .
Photo by Pieter M. van Hattem

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