In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Keystone College Concerts and Lectures Series will present a poetry reading by David Lehman on Tuesday, April 1 at 7 p.m. in Evans Hall, Hibbard Campus Center. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
Founded in 1868, Keystone is a private residential college in the rural community of La Plume, Pennsylvania, roughly 150 miles west of New York City.
Lehman will read new work as well as from his recently published New and Selected Poems (Scribner, 2013).
For more information, go here.
Jewish Poetry Now
Celebrating The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry
Sunday March 23 2014 5:00PM
Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16 Street, NYC
The reading will spotlight a dynamic and talented troupe of troubadors including Sharon Dolin, Edward Hirsch, Deborah Ager (coeditor of the Bloomsbury Anthology), Jacqueline Osherow, David Lehman, Victoria Redel, Amy Gottlieb, Nomi Stone, Judith Baumel, Jason Schneiderman, and Cheryl J. Fish. Moderated by Miriam R. Haier. A wine and cheese reception will follow.
Admission is FREE. Seats are comfortable. Boys and girls together, me and Mamie O'Rourke. You don't have to be Jewish to eat Levy's Jewsh Rye Bread, one of the better commercials of its time, beat out the New York Times ("if you're without it, you're not with it") in the category of subway posters. It is rumored that Shawn Green and Mike Piazza will attend the event, with the former reading the late Ralph Kiner's elegy to Hank Greenberg.
We just received word that David Lehman has won the Virginia Quarterly Review Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry for his translation of Apollinaire’s “Zone,” which appeared in the journal's Spring 2013 issue. This award cannot be applied for; it is a VQR staff decision regarding the best work of poetry published in its print or online pages in 2013.
The Balch Prizes were established by Emily Clark Balch, the founding editor of The Reviewer, a publication that was key to the literary awakening of the American South. When Balch died, she left the bulk of her estate to the University of Virginia, for “the encouragement and production of American Literature.” (The money was divided to endow prizes in fiction and poetry and to create a writer-in-residence position—first occupied by William Faulkner.)
Past recipients of the poetry prize include Wendell Berry, John Berryman, Hayden Carruth, James Dickey, Carolyn Forché, Albert Goldbarth, Donald Hall, Lisel Mueller, May Sarton, Charles Simic, Natasha Trethewey, and Ellen Bryant Voigt.
Read David Lehman's introduction along with his translation of his winning poem, Appollinaire's "Zone" here.
Congratulations, David! Bon travail!
Klein Conference Room (Room A510),
Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall
The New School
66 West 12th Street
New York, NY 10011
David Lehman’s New and Selected Poems appeared in November 2013 from Scribner. His other books of poetry include Yeshiva Boys (2008), When a Woman Loves a Man (2005), The Evening Sun (2002), and The Daily Mirror (2000), from Scribner, Operation Memory (1990) and An Alternative to Speech (1986) from Princeton.
Lehman has edited The Oxford Book of American Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2006), Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present (Scribner, 2003), among other collections. He has written six nonfiction books, including A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs (2009, Nextbook / Schocken), which won the Deems Taylor Award from ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets (Doubleday) and Signs of the Times: Deconstruction and the Fall of Paul de Man (Simon and Schuster).
He initiated The Best American Poetry series in 1988 and continues as the acclaimed anthology’s general editor. With Star Black, Lehman originated the famed KGB Bar Monday night poetry series. He succeeded Donald Hall as general editor of the University of Michigan Press's Poets on Poetry Series and served in that capacity for twelve years. His poetry and prose have appeared in journals ranging from The New Yorker, The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal to American Heritage, The American Scholar, Harper's, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, and Art in America. He has taught in the graduate writing program of The New School since the program's inception in 1996 and has served as poetry coordinator since 2003.
Moderated by Laura Cronk, associate director, School of Writing.
KGB Monday Night Poetry is pleased to present...
John Yau + Lawrence Joseph
Monday, March 17, 2014
Hosted by John Deming and Matthew Yeager
Series founded in 1997 by Star Black and David Lehman
Doors open at 7:00 pm
Reading starts at 7:30pm
Admission is FREE
85 East 4th Street * New York, NY
John Yau has published over 50 books of poetry, fiction, and art criticism. Yau’s many collections of poetry include Corpse and Mirror(1983), selected by John Ashbery for the National Poetry Series, Edificio Sayonara (1992), Forbidden Entries (1996), Borrowed Love Poems (2002), Ing Grish (2005), Paradiso Diaspora (2006), Exhibits (2010), and Further Adventures in Monochrome (2012). Honors and awards for his work including a New York Foundation for the Arts Ward, the Jerome Shestack Award, and the Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram-Merrill Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and was named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by France. Yau has taught at many institutions, including Pratt, the Maryland Institute College of Art and School of Visual Arts, Brown University, and the University of California-Berkeley. Since 2004 he has been the Arts editor of the Brooklyn Rail. He teaches at the Mason Gross School of the Arts and Rutgers University, and lives in New York City.
Lawrence Joseph is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Into It and Codes, Precepts, Biases, and Taboos: Poems 1973–1993 (which includes his first three books, Shouting at No One, Curriculum Vitae, and Before Our Eyes), published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He is also the author of two books of prose, Lawyerland, also published by FSG, and The Game Changed: Essays and Other Prose, published by the University of Michigan Press in its Poets on Poetry Series. Born in Detroit, he is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Cambridge, where he received a M.A. in English Language and Literature, and the University of Michigan Law School. He is presently Tinnelly Professor of Law at St. John's University School of Law in Queens, and has also taught in the Program in Creative Writing at Princeton. Married to the painter Nancy Van Goethem, he has lived for the past thirty-three years in downtown Manhattan.
Remaining Spring 2014 lineup:
From the March 1 issue of Library Journal:
Starred Review on MARCH 1, 2014 of Short:
Arts and Humanities Ziegler (creative writing, director, pedagogy & teacher training, Columbia Univ.; The Swan Song of Vaudeville: Tales and Takes) has edited a blend of writing that, owing to its brevity, allows readings to blur from one piece to another, as the genre of "short" literature is built upon fuzzy definitions. The collection features authors from many languages, though predominantly from countries defined as Western. However, work from writers as diverse in style as the American Lynn Emmanuel's rumination, "April 18, the 21st Century," where she engages in a niche epistolary discussion both with and about French poet Charles Baudelaire; German-Jewish critic Walter Benjamin's aphoristic comments on uncertainty in "Chinese Curios"; Jorge Luis Borges's self-objectifying "Borges and I"; and Stacey Harwood's playful "Contributor's Notes." Ziegler has not simply collected writings from many nations, he has also anthologized work from five centuries. At 300 plus pages, the book obscures this meaningful fact and nudges the collection from the genre of anthology to reference. In addition, Ziegler includes a complete bibliography of the pieces themselves as well as a short bio of each author. VERDICT The variation and brief nature of these writings are perfect for the busy reader, while the blurry genre types are good for those interested in experimental writing.—Jesse A. Lambertson, Metamedia Management, LLC,
On Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 6:30 Alan Ziegler will read from and talk about Short – including examples of prose poems and brief fictions from a variety of cultures. David Lehman will moderate. More information here.
The Library Hotel is looking for a poem to grace its lovely poetry garden. The poem will be beautifully printed on a large canvas and given pride of place in one of the hotel's public spaces. But which poem? Tweet the title of your favorite NYC-inspired poem to @libraryhotel @bestampo @tspoetry.
This week we welcome Lea Graham as our guest author. Lea is the author of the poetry book, Hough & Helix & Where & Here & You, You, You (No Tell Books, 2011). Her poems, translations and reviews have been published in Notre Dame Review, Southern Humanities Review and Fifth Wednesday. She is a contributing editor for Atticus Review’s feature, “Boo’s Hollow,” which showcases poets writing on place. She is an Associate Professor of English at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
In other news . . .
David Lehman's Signs of the Times: Deconstruction and the Fall of Paul de Man is now available at Amazon as a Chu Hartley Publishers e-book. Writing in the New York Times, Michiko Kakutani calls the book, "superb" and "fascinating": "It stands as a lucid and fiercely intelligent study of the disturbing implications of deconstruction, and at the same time, as an impassioned argument for a more humane study of literature."
Next Wednesday the Committee to Save the New York Public Library and fellow groups are having what amounts to a do-or-die rally on the steps of the 42nd Street Library, 5 p.m. After two years of fighting, we are trying to convince the City Council to redirect the $150 million that Bloomberg allocated for the so-called Central Library Plan--soothingly renamed the "renovation" plan by the library's high-priced PR firm. In a nutshell, the plan calls for the destruction of the book stacks in the main library, the shipping off-site of several million books, the sale of the incredibly popular Mid-Manhattan and SIBL libraries to developers, and the shoehorning of those libraries into the space where the stacks are now, which is a third the size of the two existing branch libraries. It's a destruction/downsizing plan of epic proportions, to the tune of $350 million, that will change our venerable research library into a high-tech, Norman Fosterized architectural folly.
There has been growing negative press, including an item last week on Humans of New York that went viral. 220,000 likes and 30,000 comments later, we are suddenly on the social media radar as well as the subject of many articles at Atlantic.com, The Nation, The New York Times, etc. etc. (See savenypl.org.)
So PLEASE, if you can, come and show your support for books, and for scholarship. We are advocating that the monies be spent instead on bringing the book stacks up to code, refurbishing the mid-Manhattan library across the street rather than selling it, and sending much-needed funds to the starving branch libraries.
Thanks and hope to see you next Wednesday!
If the market seemed overvalued last year, wary analysts are eyeing the exit signs now that the individual investor is back into equities. Have we reached a market top? Philip Roth, who accurately predicted the end of the last bull market in 2007, is still long on stocks, according to today's Wall Street Journal. (See page C4, "Bull Market is Weary, but Few Signs Point to Exhaustion" by E. S. Browning).
Roth, now eighty and retired from novel writing, has pursued an alternative career in stockpicking, hints of which surface in the Zuckerman novels and in "American Pastoral." Interviewed about current maket conditions he sounded cautious. "There's nothing that I see now that says imminent demise," he says, acknowledging the danger signals: new market highs, overpriced stocks, and a tremendous amount of headline risk. "The Ukraine, Syria, Egypt, Venezuela,Thailand, Somalia, Libya, Boko Haram (Nigeria) -- and you can't blame it on Israel and the US."
Except for these trouble spots, and the vengeance of nature whose most potent weapon is the weather, Phil sees smooth sailing ahead for the bull. "Most tops are made with high interest rates, rising inflation, and rising stock prices," Roth says. "Two out of three are missing right now, and two out of three ain't bad."
So how much room does have the bull have left to run? "It depends on how you define bull," Roth says. "Not only the metric you use but the ontological status of bull. Let us not overlook the fact that bull is short for bullshit, and if you served in World War II and weren't singing 'Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (with anyone else but me),' you know that everything is bullshit.
"Hell, some writers made a career of it," the retired novelist added. "But let's not go there." Roth refused to comment on the following other subjects I brought up in our conversation: Woody Allen, the Oscars, the new biography of Philip Roth by someone with Roth in her name who is no relation, the Olympics, and the disrespect shown him by envious writers and irate feminists.
Roth grew animated when the subject turned to "Investors Intelligence," a widely followed survey of newsletter writers, which indicates that 60% of market newsletters were bullish in January. This unusually high figure sent a bearish signal, and January saw a sell-off. "But people were buying on the dip in February," Roth said. "And the cycle continues. Now comes March like a hungry lion, proud if alone. The ides are not a soothsayer's fantasy for nothing. Then April, and the poets with the hats walk under the trees on college campuses. The old mantra is 'sell in May and go away,' but June is "busting out all over.' July, August, Summertime, and the slow slog of the marshes. And then, like the unfurling of a matador's cape, September. Oy. September. November. And these few precious days I'll give to you."
-- David Lehman
This week we welcome Angela Ball as our guest author. Angela’s most recent book of poetry is Night Clerk at the Hotel of Both Worlds (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007), which won the Donald Hall Award from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. She is Distinguished Moorman Professor of English in the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, where she lives with two dogs, Scarlet and Miss Bishop, and a cat, Frank O’Hara.
Anyone who visits this site knows I'm mad for ballet and am a devotee since childhood of the American Ballet Theater, which performs regularly in New York City.
Some of my favorite poets were inspired by ballet: Marianne Moore, Frank O'Hara, Hart Crane, Edwin Denby, and Denise Levertov, to name a few. The similarities between the two art forms are clear to one who loves both. To paraphrase poet and critic Jack Anderson, both seek to create something which is uniquely itself, something which can be expressed in no other terms.
Because of this love, I was sad to learn that balletomane Carley Broder, the sister of a close friend, died on February 25. I want her good works to live on in the form of support for Project Plie, an initiative to increase racial and ethnic representation in ballet and diversify America’s ballet companies. Won't you join me? You can find out more about Carley Broder and make a much appreciated donation here.
Can't be at AWP 2014 in Seattle? We've got you covered. Check in here for regular posts by Nicole Santalucia and Deanna Dorangrichia. In addition to covering the conference activities they'll pass along recomendations for where to dine and spend your leasure time.
Nicole Santalucia received her MFA from The New School University and will receive her PhD from Binghamton University in 2014. Nicole founded a literary outreach program in 2011—The Binghamton Poetry Project—and continues to work as the Project Director. She teaches creative writing and literature at Binghamton. Her poetry and non-fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, 2 Bridges Review, Paterson Literary Review, Bayou Magazine, Gertrude, Oklahoma Review, Zymbol Magazine, Flyway Journal, and others. She is the winner of the 2013 Ruby Irene Poetry Chapbook Prize for Driving Yourself to Jail in July (Arcadia).
Deanna Dorangrichia studied at the Art Institute of Boston and Binghamton University where she graduated with a BA in Studio Art. After almost ten years of living and working in New York City, she is back in Binghamton, New York dedicating her time as a visual artist. She has been published by the Inquisitive Eater and her work appears on the cover of Driving Yourself to Jail in July (above) as well as on the most recent issue of the literary journal Harpur Palate.
For up to the minute news, follow us on twitter @BestAmPo .
Just as the sheer quantity of John Ashbery's literary criticism surprised even the poet's fans (see his Selected Prose, 2007), so too the poet's translations from the French: they fill two volumes, one devoted to prose, the other to verse. Farrar Straus and Giroux will publish in April. Edited meticulously by Rosanne Wasserman and Eugene Richie, the books are rich in the enthusiasms of a maverick sensibility who did more than anyone else to put certain important French ecrivains -- Raymond Roussel, for instance -- on the map.
Ashbery spent ten formative years in France, mostly in Paris, having won a Fulbright in 1955. The critics, always quick to categorize, relegated him to a category as flexible as it is ill-defined: surrealism. And if there were a literary house of lords, surely he would be dubbed Sir Realist and be seated in the front row of the opposition party. He did in fact translate important works by Paul Eluard and Andre Breton, including such of their collaborations as "Le Jugement original," one of the highlights of the brilliant "collaborations" issue of Locus Solus #2, which Kenneth Koch put together. "The Original Judgment" is like William Blake's "Proverbs of Hell," only more so: "Let the dreams you have forgotten equal the value of what you do not know." "Adjust your gait to that of the storms." "Never wait for yourself." "You have nothing to do before dying.'
But Ashbery was always less interested in surrealism proper, if that is not an oxymoron, than in "hybrid" poets who deviated from the dads of dogma. I love his translations of Max Jacob's prose poems and believe that Le Cornet a des (The Dice-Cup) would garner deserved accolades if presented as a separate volume as Ashbery's versions of Rimbaud's Illuminations were a couple of seasons back.
Ashbery has a special feeling for Pierre Reverdy, whose poems were in Frank O'Hara's pocket on the day he spent his lunch hour walking elegiacally in midtown with Jackson Pollock's recent death on his brain ("A Step Away from Them"). Reverdy's poems have since found their way into a lot of other pockets, perhaps because in his leaps and enigmas he seems so pure an example of the French poetic sensibility that recommended itself so strongly to midcentury Americans eager to stray as far from the Eliotic throne room as they could. Ashbery's versions of Reverdy's prose poems (such as "Heavier," "From Another Shore") and verse ("Surprise," "That Memory") make the ideal introduction to this unusually compelling poet. Reverdy's lines seem able to detach themselves from the whole. Or rather the whole of a Reverdy poem consists of lines that arrive from different points of origin and coalesce as mysterously as a drop of water:
The stars came out of the water
A ship passed flying low
The line at the horizon from which the current was coming
The waves laughed as they died
No one knows where time will stop
I have barely touched upon the treasures in the poetry volume of Ashbery's Collected French Translations and I have not even mentioned the highlights of the accompanying book of prose.
The introductory essay by Rosanne Wasserman and Eugene Richie, with invaluable information, biographical as well as bibliographical, appears in the new issue of The Massachusetts Review (Winter 2013) with an admirable Ashbery collage ("Corona" from 2011) on the cover and with his translations of poems by Pascalle Monnier and Yves Bonnefoy.
This week we welcome Kristina Marie Darling as our guest author. Kristina is the author of seventeen books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and a forthcoming hybrid genre collection called Fortress (Sundress Publications, 2014). Her awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo. Visit her online at http://kristinamariedarling.com/
This week we welcome Charles Coe as our guest author. Charles is author of two books of poetry: All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents and Picnic on the Moon, both published by Leapfrog Press. His poetry has appeared in a number of literary reviews and anthologies, including Poesis, The Mom Egg, Solstice Literary Review, and Urban Nature. He is the winner of a fellowship in poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Charles’s poems have been set by a number of composers, including Beth Denisch, Julia Carey and Robert Moran. In addition, Charles is co-chair of the Boston Chapter of the National Writers Union, a labor union for freelance writers. He has been selected by the Associates of the Boston Public Library as a “Boston Literary Light for 2014.”
Since it's inception in 2008, we here at the Best American Poetry blog have cheered on Bill Cohen, one of our favorite bloggers, as he has assembled an array of tattooed poets for Tattoosday's annual tribute to National Poetry Month. We are once again thrilled to spread the word to inked poets everywhere. Bill would like to post an image of your tattoo on Tattoosday every day during April. Tattoos need not be literary in nature to qualify. If your ink is featured, Bill hopes to give a little history of your tattoo, some background about you and your poetry, and he'll include links to your own website, books, and poems. With your permission, he'll even post a poem.
In addition, you'd be joining the ranks of over a hundred and fifty poets, several of them BAP contributors, who have participated in years past. You can see who's been cool enough to join the ranks here .
For more details and to express your interest,please contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week we welcome Benebell Wen as our guest author. Benebell Wen is the pseudonym for a certain literary journal editor, writer, corporate lawyer, and fashion designer. Benebell is also a professional tarot reader and has been a practitioner for over 15 years. Her book, Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Tarot for Personal Growth will be coming out Fall, 2014 from North Atlantic Books. She is a mentor and senior reader with the American Tarot Association. Read more about her work at www.benebellwen.com. When she is not practicing tarot or dabbling in any of the other areas of interest, she is a feng shui practitioner and student of the I Ching. She resides in Oakland, California.
If you’d like to be notified when Holistic Tarot is released, please e-mail email@example.com.
Join Best American Poetry series editor David Lehman and poet and editor Dan Nester as they read and delve into the mysteries of the sestina, a 700 year old poetic form that continues to beguile poets and poetry lovers with its arcane rules and rigid structure. Nester is the editor of The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody Publishing), a volume that gathers more than 100 sestinas by poets from Sherman Alexie to Louis Zukovsky and includes classics as well as modern masterpieces.
The sestina comprises six six-line stanzas plus a final three line envoi. The words that end each line of the first stanza are repeated throughout in a prescribed order andagain in the final three lines.
Nester will read selections from the anthology to demonstrate how what might seem like a dry set of rules becomes a lively, engaging poem. Following the reading he will field questions from David Lehman and the audience.
BOOKS WILL BE FOR SALE BEFORE AND AFTER THE FORUM
DANIEL NESTER is a poet, journalist, and essayist. His work has appeared in Salon, The New York Times, The Morning News, The Daily Beast, The Rumpus, N+1, on the Poetry Foundation website and elsewhere. His poetry has been published in many magazines and journals including Gulf Coast, Barrow Street, jubilat, Crazyhorse, Open City, Slope, Spoon River Poetry Review His work has been anthologized in such collections as Third Rail: the Poetry of Rock and Roll, The Best Creative Nonfiction and The Best American Poetry. Dan is an associate professor of English at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, where he teaches creative nonfiction and poetry and is on the core faculty of their MFA program in creative writing.
DAVID LEHMAN is the author of many collections of poems, including most recently New and Selected Poems (Scriber, 2013). Among his books of non-fiction include A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs (Shocken Books, 2009) and The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets (Doubleday, 1998), which was named a “Book to Remember 1999” by the New York Public Library. He edited The Oxford Book of American Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2006), and is the series editor of The Best American Poetry. He is the poetry coordinator of the graduate writing programs at the New School.
I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark
from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman
THE RULE OF THUMB
Ringfinger was nervous
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.