Greetings from Daniel Nester, one of your guest bloggers here for the week, writing to you from Albany, which I call, alternatively, Smalbany, Alcoholbany, Crawlbany, and my favorite, Banalbany. I have a couple things planned this week, and hopefully a couple things unplanned.
But for now, some highlights from your guest blogger's week, poetry-related and some just poetic:
First, er, discovery: Those new Kate Winslet photos in the new Vanity Fair. Now, I think Winslet is very talented--I think she deserved an Oscar for Little Children, for instance. And she is smart; her turn as a potty-mouthed nun on HBO's show Extras is another recent fave. But these new photos make me think of her in a whole new way; as Garth Algar puts it in Wayne's World, It makes me feel all funny inside, like when you climbed the rope in gym class.
The concept of the photo shoot tugs on my highbrow heartstrings: Winslet dresses up as Catherine Deneuve's bored housewife-turned-prostitute character in Luis Buñuel's 1967 film Belle de Jour. The only way to make this more sublime would be to dress Winslet up as Deneuve's character from Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg). Come to think of it, Vanity Fair should get on that.
Another recent discovery: Getting hip to the online archive of talks at The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination. One standout past talk, "The Motive for Metaphor," is chockful of goodies and food for thought for poet-types out there. See the page for the talk here. I think I found it while poking around the web for more information on poet-essayist Susan Stewart, who served as a panelist for this talk along with Rosanna Warren, Ted Cohen, Paul Fry, Frederick Turner.
stars for me in this talk were Ted Cohen and Paul Fry, who talk about
metaphor's core principles in lucid ways so-called philosophers of
language would only dream about.
And last, the bestest highlight of the week was to meet Alice Fulton, personal hero and certainly one of the best poets in the country. Besides many honors, Alice has been in five editions of BAP as well as the Best of BAP a couple years ago. (And I thought I was hot shit being in one BAP!) I wrote a close reading-type paper on one of her poems from her book Sensual Math a few years back; you can check out a PDF of it here.
Alice read as part of the Frequency North reading series we have here at The College of Saint Rose, where I teach. As I suspected, Alice is not only a cool and approachable person; she is also one who thinks about writing and life in a way that's inspirational.
For those who want to find out more about Fulton: Start with 2004's Cascade Experiment: Selected Poems and work from there. Read her essays on her idea of Fractal Verse in her book Feeling as a Foreign Language. And be sure to check out her latest, The Nightingales of Troy, a collection of linked short stories that marks her debut as a fiction writer.