On Tuesday, May 20, beginning at 6:00 pm (4:30 for those departing by special bus from Manhattan), the Poetry Society of America welcomes the season with its annual Spring Benefit Dinner. This year you can head up to the New York Botanical Garden for a private tour of the Garden's major spring/summer exhibition Groundbreakers: Great American Gardens and The Women Who Designed Them. With a stunning evocation of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Maine, and exhibits highlighting the rich and artful history of some of the gardening world's most significant innovators, the Garden celebrates the women who pioneered landscape and garden design, writing, and photography during the early 20th century.
Compiled by the American Booksellers Association, and based on sales at hundreds of independent bookstores across the United States, for the twelve-week sales period ending April 27, 2014. For information on more titles, please visit IndieBound.org
1. Dog Songs Mary Oliver, Penguin Press, $26.95, 9781594204784
2. Aimless Love Billy Collins, Random House, $26, 9780679644057
3. A Thousand Mornings Mary Oliver, Penguin, $16, 9780143124054
4. Love Poems Pablo Neruda, New Directions, $11.95, 9780811217293
5. Poems to Learn by Heart Caroline Kennedy, Jon J Muth (Illus.), Hyperion, $19.99, 9781423108054
6. The Prophet Kahlil Gibran, Knopf, $15, 9780394404288
7. New and Selected Poems, Volume One Mary Oliver, Beacon Press, $18, 9780807068779
8. I Carry Your Heart with Me E.E. Cummings, Mati Rose McDonough (Illus.), Cameron & Company, $16.95, 9781937359522
9. The Essential Rumi Jalal al-Din Rumi, Coleman Barks (Trans.), HarperSF, $15.99, 9780062509598
10. Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems Paul B. Janeczko, Melissa Sweet (Illus.), Candlewick Press, $16.99, 9780763648428
11. The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems Emily Dickinson, New Directions, $39.95, 9780811221757
12. Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford William Stafford, Graywolf Press, $16, 9781555976644
13. The Conference of the Birds Peter Sis, Penguin, $18, 9780143124245
14. Poems That Make Grown Men Cry Anthony Holden, Ben Holden, Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781476712772
15. Sailing Alone Around the Room Billy Collins, Random House, $14.95, 9780375755194
Support your independent book seller. Visit IndieBound.org for more information.
Augury Books is delighted to announce that our spring/summer 2014 reading period opens for submissions on May 1st. This year, we will be accepting poetry manuscripts, as well as short fiction collections and creative nonfiction manuscripts. All books selected will be published in 2015. Augury Books is an independent press based in New York City and a proud member of CLMP. Committed to publishing innovative work from emerging and established writers, Augury Books seeks to reaffirm the diversity of the reading public. The editorial board is dedicated to fairness and quality of work.
Augury’s reading period be open from May 1st through July 31st and we will notify writers of our decision by December of 2014.
As always, we seek books that will surprise us--books that we will fall in love with. For us, that often means associative leaps and strong imagery, a compelling voice, and--above everything--work by writers who take risks, emotional as much as aesthetic. We are not afraid of sincerity, although with the caveat that there is nothing inherently interesting about confession unless rendered interesting through craft.
Poetry manuscripts should be 45-80 pages, not including front or back matter, and prose manuscripts should be 150-220 pages, double-spaced and not including front or back matter, as well as clearly marked as either short fiction or creative nonfiction. We welcome multiple submissions either within or across categories. All submissions will be accepted via Submittable only. If writers have questions about submissions that are not addressed on the submissions page, they should email the editors. Full guidelines and a link to our submittable page can be found here.
Founded in 1966, Brooklyn-based Hanging Loose Press is one of the oldest independent presses in the US. This reading will showcase the latest work from three of their award-winning authors: Meghan O'Rourke, Michael Lally, Terence Winch.
Meghan O’Rourke’s books of poetry include Halflife, which was a finalist for Britain's Forward First Book Prize, and most recently Once. She is also the author of the memoir The Long Goodbye, a chronicle of mourning written after the death of her mother. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Terence Winch's most recent book of poems is This Way Out (Hanging Loose, 2014), which was preceded by Lit from Below (Salmon, 2013) and Falling Out of Bed in a Room with No Floor (Hanging Loose, 2011). Boy Drinkers, a series of mostly narrative poems that center around religion and Winch's New York brand of Irish-Catholicism, came out in 2007. His collection of non-fiction stories, called That Special Place: New World Irish Stories, grows out of his experiences playing traditional Irish music with Celtic Thunder, a band he startedwith his brother Jesse in 1977. Terence Winch lives in Washington, D.C.
Michael Lally is the author of twenty-seven books, including two collections of poetry and prose from Black Sparrow Press — one an American Book Award winner for 2000, It’s Not Nostalgia — and the long poem March 18, 2001, jointly published by Libellum and Charta, with artwork by Alex Katz. He is also the author of Cant Be Wrong from Coffee House Press, which won the Oakland PEN Josephine Miles Award for “excellence in literature.” He has appeared in many films and TV shows and worked as a scriptwriter, or “doctor,” from the late 1970s to the early 2000s.
For directions to the library, go here.
This week we welcome Martha Silano as our guest author. Marthais the author of four books of poems, most recently The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception and Reckless Lovely, both from Saturnalia Books. She also co-edited, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice (Two Sylvias Press). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Southern Indiana Review, Ecotone, Orion, and North American Review, where she won the 2014 James Hearst Poetry Prize, and online at The Awl, Terrain.org, Superstition Review, Drunken Boat, Rattle, and Truck. Martha edits Crab Creek Review and teaches at Bellevue College. David Wagoner picked her poem "Love" for the Best American Poetry 2009. Martha blogs at Blue Positive, and her Twitter handle is @marthasilano.
In other news . . .
On May 1, David Lehman is heading to the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg to take part in the Moorman Symposium on the New York School and the South. The Symposium, conceived and organized by Angela Ball, will include readings and panel discussion by Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins, David Lehman, Denise Duhamel, David Kirby, and Barbara Hamby. Find the full schedule of events here.
If you can't catch a flight to Mississippi, you have two ways to follow along with us. We'll be live-tweeting from the Symposium (@bestampo) and Allison Campbell will post here. Allison is a poet and PhD student at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers. She's explored the New York School aesthetic through poet Angela Ball's course, "Poets of the New York School and the New York School Diaspora." Allison's poems have appeared in Rattle, Witness, and Harpur Palate. Thank you, Allison!
There's still time to visit Chicago's Zhou B Art Center (1029 W 35th St Chicago, IL 60609) to catch Fixations, an exhibition curated by Sergio Gomez of Zhou B Art Center (www.zhoubartcenter.com) and Didi Menendez of PoetsArtists Magazine (www.poetsandartists.com).
Fixation is an exhibition and a publication of art and poetry focused on the physical/psychological preoccupation or obsession over an object or subject. The exhibition explores the subject of fixation as a continuos and elusive preoccupation of our human experience through written and visual art. The curators invited 24 artists and 17 poets to create works based on their understanding and perception of the theme of fixation. The result is a group exhibition including painting, drawing, photography and poetry. Each work brings light to the artist's own preoccupations unearthed by his/her personal fixations. Fixation takes place in a gallery setting, print and digital formats.
Watch the video above for a taste.
This just in from our friend Kate Angus, winner of the A Room of Her Own Foundation's Orlando prize and the Creative Writing Advisor for The Mayapple Center for Arts and Humanities:
The Mayapple Center for Arts and Humanities is now accepting applications for its summer program. The Creative Writing program offers two week-long residency classes for adults, two guest lectures, and one weekend day program for high school students.
Summer faculty in the adult program include Vijay Seshadri, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and Cate Marvin, co-founder of VIDA, the organization of Women in Literary Publishing. Summer guest lecturers include Meghan O’Rourke, recipient of the 2014 Guggenheim Award for General Nonfiction, and Brenda Shaughnessy, Poetry-Editor-at-Large for Tin House magazine. The summer high school program instructor is Kate Angus, recipient of the Spring 2014 Orlando prize for Creative Nonfiction from the A Room of Her Own Foundation.
The Mayapple Center creates space to cultivate imagination through artistic and intellectual cross-pollination in a distinctly 21st century climate. Artists and scholars of exceptional stature come to teach and collaborate with small groups of dedicated, like-minded participants. Located just one hour north of New York City and easily accessible by car or by Metro North, Mayapple offers diverse programs for adults and youth in a retreat environment where pressures of quotidian life are suspended, freeing participants and faculty to pursue artistic and intellectual passions. The Center is located on a masterfully designed campus whose serene lake and peaceful landscape of trees and gardens serve to inspire its residents. Activities such as swimming, tennis, canoeing, yoga and meditation promote a strong sense of community among residents, with an emphasis on mindfulness. The center’s holistic approach to artistic growth and development is also demonstrated by our dedication to sustainability. Our meals are partially prepared from organic produce from Mayapple gardens, and we serve locally-sourced food at every meal.
The Mayapple Center offers separate programs in a variety of categories for different age groups and skill levels that promote cultural and intellectual vitality in the twenty-first century. These programs include:
• Adult programs in the areas of creative writing, visual arts, music, humanities, and theatre for those over the age of 18 with two years of college experience
• Weekend programs for middle school, high school, and college students aimed to increase cultural literacy
• 30 day residencies for artists and scholars who are leading specialists in their fields
• Humanities forums that discuss the state of the arts and humanities in the 21st century and propose creative solutions to twenty-first century issues
• Study abroad programs for high school students and adults of all ages thematically targeted to promote study of the arts and humanities and provide hands-on instruction in the visual arts, creative writing, music, theatre, and humanities
• Humanitarian retreats for individuals from various human rights organizations that focus on music, writing, and art therapy; these retreats are staffed by volunteers and are tuition-
For more information or to apply to summer classes, please visit www.mayapplecenter.org
Many of you know personally what a solitary endeavor writing can be.
As my new book of poems came together, the shift from a solo project to a collaboration was as alarming as it was exhilarating. I’m extremely lucky that the people at Copper Canyon Press are my collaborators. There’s not another nonprofit press more worthy of your support.
I’m grateful for the partnership I’ve had with the the Press over the years, the most recent evidence of which is my new collection, They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They’re Full. Publishers Weekly gave my book a starred review and also named it one of their top ten poetry picks for this season.
Craig Morgan Teicher at NPR writes, “The book’s a little crazy,” and I’m in no position to disagree.
I’m grateful that Copper Canyon took a chance on this book—even when it’s a little crazy—and I hope you’ll join me in thanking them for the work that they do for poets every day, by making a donation to their current fundraising campaign.
The press aims to raise $5,000 by the end of National Poetry Month. Can you help us reach this goal?
Most of the money will be used to publish more poetry books. The rest will be used to help get my book into the hands of poetry students who actually need more crazy in their lives.
NPR also says that They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They’re Full is “too cool (or hot) for school.”
As a teacher myself, I appreciate the irony of such an appraisal, and so does Copper Canyon. That’s why we want to use a portion of the money raised during this campaign to send 400 copies of the book to college students across the country.
Not only will your generous donation fund a nonprofit press that could really use your support, it will also help us engage the imaginations and intellects of young readers.
And if you do give, I will send you a personal gift in thanks for sharing my appreciation of poetry and Copper Canyon Press. If you give $50 or more, I will sign a copy of my book for you. If you contribute $500 or more I will also send you a one-of-a-kind collage, made by me just for this campaign.
Thank you so very much!
P.S. Any gift you make to Copper Canyon Press is tax-deductible. Please give generously. Thank you!
With your support Copper Canyon Press will:
Put poetry into the hands of everyone who, like you, believes poetry is vital to language and living.
Your tax-deductible donation helps publish extraordinary poetry for a dedicated, appreciative readership.
Copper Canyon Press
PS: As a special thanks to you for your gift of $50 or more, we'll send you a signed copy of Mark Bibbins's new book, They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They’re Full. Donors who contribute $500 or more will also receive a one-of-a-kind collage, made by Mark Bibbins just for this campaign.
For the third year in a row, our resident social media expert Leah Umansky will be live tweeting the hottest ticket in town. Follow us on twitter @bestampo to catch her witty observations.
Leah Umansky is the author of the Mad-Men inspired chapbook, Don Dreams and I Dream and a full-length collection, Domestic Uncertainties, She is the curator of the COUPLET Reading Series in NYC, and writes for Tin House and Luna Luna Magazine among others. Visit her site at: http://leahumansky.com
If you haven't visited New York City's Grand Central Terminal in a while, this weeked would be a great time to go. Take in the beauty and energy of this New York City landmark and enjoy the POETRY IN MOTION SPRINGFEST:
A Two-Day Festival of Poetry, April 26-27, 2014
Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal
On Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27, in celebration of National Poetry Month, MTA Arts for Transit & Urban Design presents Poetry in Motion Springfest, in partnership with the Poetry Society of America, the nation's oldest poetry organization. The program was inspired by New York State Poet Laureate Marie Howe, Arts for Transit's de facto Poet in Residence, who is dedicated to bringing poetry to everyone in the metropolitan area.
The celebration is free and open to the public and takes place in Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days, featuring a variety of poetry activities:
"Springfest brings our beloved Poetry in Motion® program to a grand setting, with a weekend of poetry and music inside the elegant Vanderbilt Hall. Millions of riders discover poetry in subway cars, but Springfest gives them the opportunity to experience firsthand the feeling of reciting and writing it. Whether it is meeting poets or engaging in one of the interactive installations, there will be so many ways to create a personal moment in an inspiring public space," said Sandra Bloodworth, Director, MTA Arts for Transit & Urban Design.
"The Poetry Society of America is committed to placing poetry at the crossroads of American life, and Grand Central Terminal is an ideal arena for fulfilling this mission. The PSA is honored to collaborate with MTA Arts for Transit & Urban Design and New York State's Poet Laureate Marie Howe and all the other marvelous artists and poets who will contribute to this exuberant feast of literary and artistic offerings. Come one, come all to Vanderbilt Hall on April 26 and 27, 2014," said Alice Quinn, Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America.
For a full schedule of events, please consult www.mta.info/art or www.poetrysociety.org/events
This week we welcome back Brian Bouldrey as our guest blogger. Brian is the author, most recently, of The Peasants and the Mariners (GemmaMedia, 2013). He has written three nonfiction books; Honorable Bandit: A Walk Across Corsica (University of Wisconsin Press, September 2007), Monster: Adventures in American Machismo (Council Oak Books), and The Autobiography Box (Chronicle Books); three novels, The Genius of Desire (Ballantine), Love, the Magician (Harrington Park), and The Boom Economy (University of Wisconsin Press), and he is the editor of several anthologies. He is recipient of Fellowships from Yaddo and Eastern Frontier Society, and the Joseph Henry Jackson Award from the San Francisco Foundation, a Lambda Literary Award, and the Western Regional Magazine Award. He is the North American Editor of the Open Door literacy series for GemmaMedia. Teaches fiction, creative nonfiction, and literature at Northwestern University.
In other news . . .
We're pleased to announce that once a week for the next several we will feature posts by Ann Kjellberg. Ann is founder and editor of the fine Little Star, an annual journal of poetry and prose, and its mobile app, Little Star Weekly.
Why bring New York School poetry to the University of Southern Mississippi? Because, in a sense, it’s already here. Named for the New York School of painters, The New York School of Poets includes Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler. These four poets came to prominence in the Fifties and Sixties; of the four, John Ashbery is still living and prolific. Some years ago, while reading these poets, I began to see glints and shadows of their work in poems without ties to the city, by poets from regions usually thought of as pastoral—like Mississippi, like Florida. I inaugurated a class for graduate students in our Center for Writers on The New York School, believing that its humor and directness would be a healthy influence. I also edited a special issue of Mississippi Review: Poets of the New York School.
Since then, the phenomenon that I’ve termed the New York School Diaspora has only intensified, inviting discussion, analysis, and celebration. Hence the idea for 2014’s Moorman Symposium. David Lehman, arguably the foremost authority on The New York School of Poetry, will play a key role in the Symposium. Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins, whose work freshly embodies the New York School’s sense of play, will join us from the North. Southern poets writing New York School-inflected works will include award-winning Florida poets Denise Duhamel, David Kirby, and Barbara Hamby. The Symposium’s panel discussion will explore ways in which the South has a particular affinity with The New York School’s love of direct, demotic speech and lack of pretense, coupled with a love of the energy and beauty of poetic speech—speech that invites rather than intimidates. Together we will chart the migration and assimilation of a singularly lively poetic movement, while over two nights of special readings the visiting poets will entertain and delight us with their inspired and inspiring poetry.
What does New York say to the South, and the South to New York? Is it possible for poetry to be urbane without being urban? Can it be both urbane and earthy? To explore these questions and many others, join us on the University of Southern Mississippi campus, May 2-3, 2014.
- Angela Ball, Moorman Distinguished Professor of English, 2013-14
Rhombus Space is pleased to present Thought Bubbles, an exhibition featuring Archie Rand’s complete series “The Months.” Curated by Katerina Lanfranco.
183 Lorraine Street
3rd floor, #33
Red Hook, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11231
Exhibition Dates: March 28 – April 27, 2014.
Rhombus Spaceis pleased to present Thought Bubbles, an exhibition featuring Archie Rand’s complete series “The Months.” Curated by Katerina Lanfranco.
183 Lorraine Street
3rd floor, #33
Red Hook, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11231
Exhibition Dates: March 28 – April 27, 2014.
This week we welcome Nick Courtright as our guest author. Nick is the author of Let There Be Light (Gold Wake, 2014), called "a continual surprise and a revelation" by Naomi Shihab Nye, and Punchline (Gold Wake), a 2012 National Poetry Series finalist. His work has appeared in The Southern Review, AGNI, Boston Review, and Kenyon Review Online, among numerous others, and a chapbook, Elegy for the Builder’s Wife, is available from Blue Hour Press. He lives with his wife, Michelle, and sons, William and Samuel, in Austin, Texas, where he teaches at Concordia University. Feel free to find him at nickcourtright.com.
In other news . . .
Here's an excerpt from David Lehman's recent Publishers Weekly review of Padgett's prize winning collection:
Long a mainstay of the New York School’s second generation, Ron Padgett—the self-styled “Tulsa Kid,” as the title of one of his books has it—left Oklahoma to attend Columbia University and become a big city poet. He studied with Kenneth Koch, met Frank O’Hara, made the pilgrimage to Paris, read and translated Reverdy, Apollinaire, Cendrars. From the start his poems had a joyous nonchalance about them—the Renaissance term for it is sprezzatura. Five decades fuel his Collected Poems, a tome teeming with Padgett’s trademark traits: comic energy, good humor, alert intelligence, constant curiosity, and the determination to put it all into poems.
Padgett is prolific, buoyant, confident that the day will yield its poem, nothing forced. He has written affecting memoirs of Ted Berrigan and Joe Brainard, two close friends from Tulsa days. His Collected highlights an array of New York School strategies. But though he mentions his wife and friends in poems, even ending a poem with the phone number of one of them (Larry Fagin), Padgett’s poems are not crowded with people and events in the O’Hara manner. If there is a consistency of purpose it is Padgett’s devotion to an esthetic path, his trust in the imagination and the associative logic that powers it. In “My Room” the logic leads quite naturally (and hilariously) from a lamp that Ted Berrigan once took from a hotel room to the value of studying Latin.
Josephine Miles, a vastly underrated Berkeley-based poet, who was A. R. Ammons's teacher, is the subject of an excellent post on Tom Clark's blog today, always worth checking out!
Here's her poem "Reason." And if you go to Tom 's blog and scrol down a bit, you will find some choice works by Joseph Ceravolo. -- DL
Said, Pull her up a bit will you, Mac, I want to unload there.
Said, Pull her up my rear end, first come first served.
Said, give her the gun, Bud, he needs a taste of his own bumper.
Then the usher came out and got into the act:
Said, Pull her up, pull her up a bit, we need this space, sir.
Said, For God's sake, is this still a free country or what?
You go back and take care of Gary Cooper's horse
And leave me handle my own car.
Saw them unloading the lame old lady,
Ducked out under the wheel and gave her an elbow.
Said, All you needed to do was just explain;
Reason, Reason is my middle name.
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.