What puts people off abstraction is what puts people off a slick character who keeps changing the subject. Why did you call us all here today? C.D. Wright is a popular poet because she uses abstraction to zero in on a subject rather than to dodge it.
In the year that America — in the form of Obama's commissioning of a poem to mark his inauguration — honored poetry, poetry honors America. David Lehman, distinguished editor of Scribner's acclaimed series, BEST AMERICAN POETRY has tapped David Wagoner as guest editor for 2009, a poet who brings his keen sense of America to the anthology.
The Best Canadian Poetry in English: 2009 Edited by A.F. Moritz, Series Editor: Molly Peacock
From the long list of 100 poems drawn from Canadian literary journals and magazines this year’s guest editor, award winning poet A. F. Moritz, has chosen 50 of the best Canadian poems published in 2008. With this anthology, readers – often baffled by proliferating poems and poets – will be able to tap into the remarkable and vibrant Canadian poetry scene, checking out the currents – and cross currents – of poetry in a volume distilled by a round robin of distinguished editorial taste.
Watch Christian Bök and Carmine Starnino duke it out in their discussion of contemporary Canadian poetry. Filmed at Mount Royal University, Calgary, 26 November 2009. Moderated by Kit Dobson, organized by Kelly Hewson, Micheline Maylor, and the Department of English at Mount Royal.
Edward Hirsch began writing a column called "Poet’s Choice" in the Washington Post Book World in 2002. This book brings together those enormously popular columns, some of which have been revised and expanded, to present a minicourse in world poetry. Poet’s Choice includes the work of more than one hundred poets from ancient times to the present—among them Sappho, W. B. Yeats, Czeslaw Milosz, Primo Levi, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, Amy Lowell, Mark Strand, and many more—and shares them with all of Hirsch’s inimitable enthusiasm and joy. Rich, relevant, and inviting, the book offers us the fruits of a life lived in poetry.
Here is a poem from the collection Scars by Bulgarian poet Blaga Dimitrova.
Write each of your poems
as if it were your last.
In this century, saturated with strontium,
charged with terrorism,
flying with supersonic speed,
death comes with terrifying suddenness.
Send each of your words
like a last letter before execution,
a call carved on a prison wall.
You have no right to lie,
no right to play pretty little games.
You simply won't have time
to correct your mistakes.
Write each of your poems,
with blood — as if it were your last.
Is the devil you know better than the devil you don’t? Does the devil take you? Do you speak of the devil? Have you been having a devil of a time and was it the devil to pay? Was the devil in the detail? Are you playing devil’s advocate? Is the devil he, she, both, or neither? Are you caught between the devil and Deep Blue Sea? Are you in limbo? Are you in Purgatory? Did you ever make a Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake? Is your hell private or public, and at which station on the Circle Line do you get off? Why does the devil have so many names and why does he have all the best tunes? Are you one of the beautiful and the damned?
Annie Freud, Guest Editor of Magma 47, with Roberta James as assistant editor, invites you to submit poems stimulated by anything connected with the devil and all his works.
The deadline is 28 February 2010. Off-theme poems will also be considered. Please see the Contributions page for details of how to submit your poems.
Call it ekphrasis. Call it Vermeering. Call it stealing. It’s a time-honoured tradition in the history of verse, and one that thrives in contemporary Canadian poetics: the composition of a poem or series of poems in response to a specific work (or works) of visual art. Arc Poetry Annual 2011 will explore this poetic habit in-depth, with essays examining the best (and perhaps the worst) ekphrastic Canadian poems; content exploring the lure, the payoffs, the pitfalls and the impacts of this poetic method; and a selection of new poems on works held in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.
That’s where you come in: Send us your new ekphrastic poems to be considered for this special issue of Arc.
Poems must relate specifically to a work of art held in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.
Poems must be previously unpublished and not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
The work of art that relates to each submitted poem must by identified by artist, title, medium and year made.
Send submissions to: Arc Poetry Annual 2011: Poet as Art Thief Arc Poetry Magazine
Ottawa, ON K1P 1B1
Deadline: Submissions must be postmarked by December 31, 2009
Tip: If you can’t visit the National Gallery in person in Ottawa, you can view the National Gallery collection online at CyberMuse: http://cybermuse.gallery.ca/cybermuse/home_e.jsp
Send proposals for prose pieces on ekphrasis in Canadian poetry to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 30, 2009. All prose contributions will be due by March 1, 2010.
On Found Poetry (A FOUND INTRODUCTION) John Robert Colombo
From Open Poetry, (Ronald Gross & George Quasha, eds., 1973)
Found poetry. What is it?
• "Art must not look like art."- Marcel Duchamp
• "Obviously the basis of just about every great age in literature is the force and innocence of its plagiarism." - Bertolt Brecht to Walter Kerr
• "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different." -T. S. Eliot
• "If A thinks himself a better poet than B, let him stop hinting it in the pages of an essay; let him re-write B's poems and publish his own improved version.
An absurd suggestion? Well, I am only proposing that modern artists should treat each other as Greek dramatists or Renaissance painters or Elizabethan poets did. If anyone thinks that the law of copyright has fostered better art than those barbarous times could produce, I will not try to convert him." -R. G. Collingwood
• "It is the culmination of realism. So the found poem is really a piece of realistic literature, in which significance appears inherent in the object-either as extravagant absurdity or as unexpected worth. It is like driftwood, or pop art, where natural objects and utilitarian objects are seen as the focus of generative form or meaning." -Louis Dudek
• "Found poetry turns the continuous verbal undertone of mass culture up full volume for a moment, offering a chance to see and hear it with a shock of recognition." -Ronald Gross Continue Reading Essay: http://www.ubu.com/papers/found_poetry.html
The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University is celebrating its tenth year by sponsoring the 1st Book Competition. The 1st Book Competition seeks original, book-length manuscripts by emerging Canadian writers who have not previously published a book. Given the fact that finding a publisher for one’s first book is becoming increasingly difficult, we believe this is the right time to hold such a competition. The winning manuscript in each of the three contest categories of fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry will be published by Anvil Press of Vancouver in 2011.
The Writer’s Studio is a Continuing Studies non-credit program and the revenue to run our contest will be generated solely from submission fees. Given this, we would be grateful for your help in getting the word out to all the writers with whom you are connected.
The deadline for submissions for the 1st Book Competition is May 31, 2010. The complete information on contest rules, submission guidelines and judges will be posted on our website, www.thewritersstudio.ca, by December 1st, 2009.
The Best Writing Tips Ever - The Huffington Post |Amy Hertz First Posted: 11-16-09 12:27 PM | Updated: 11-17-09 09:45 AM
I've been in publishing for more than 20 years, I've attended my fair share of writer's conferences and workshops, and in my experience, the poet Allen Ginsberg was one of the best writing teachers I ever encountered. What he cared most about in his students was authenticity, and over the years he developed a series of slogans--some of which he wrote, others he took from great poets and writers--to guide people on the path to developing a clear, true and strong voice. I was lucky enough to know Allen during the last eight years of his life, and one day in his office, I think it was 1990, or 1991, he handed me his list of "Mind Writing Slogans." I was astonished, reading suggestions such as "Notice what you notice," by how closely they resembled instructions in what I would soon discover was Allen's deep meditation practice. In both meditation and in writing, Allen tried to help students learn to watch their mind and express their thoughts spontaneously in order to tap the spring of creativity that produced Ginsberg's greatest work. I have been sharing these slogans with the writers I've worked with over the years in different publishing houses, and for many authors, they have acted as catalysts, breaking through anything from solving a structural conundrum to bringing a long case of writer's block to an end. When we started the books page, I contacted Ginsberg's literary estate to see if we could post the slogans, and happily, the answer was "yes." We'd love to hear what you think of these, and if you find them useful. Two decades' experiences teaching poetics at Naropa Institute, half decade at Brooklyn College, and occasional workshops at Zen Center & Shambhala/Dharmadhatu weekends have been boiled down to brief mottoes from many sources found useful to guide myself and others in the experience of "writing the mind." --Allen Ginsberg
ALLEN GINSBERG'S MIND WRITING SLOGANS
"First thought is best in Art, second in other matters." --William Blake
I. GROUND (Situation, or Primary Perception) 1. "First Thought, Best Thought" --Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche 2. "Take a friendly attitude toward your thoughts." --Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche 3. "The Mind must be loose." --John Adams 4. "One perception must immediately and directly lead to a further perception." --Charles Olson, "Projective Verse" 5. "My writing is a picture of the mind moving." --Philip Whalen 6. Surprise Mind --Allen Ginsberg 7. "The old pond, a frog jumps in, Kerplunk!" --Basho 8. "Magic is the total delight (appreciation) of chance" --Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche 9. "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, (I am large. I contain multitudes.)" --Walt Whitman 10. "...What quality went to form a man of achievement, especially in literature? ...Negative capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason." --John Keats 11. "Form is never more than an extension of content." --Robert Creeley to Charles Olson 12. "Form follows function." --Frank Lloyd Wright 13. Ordinary Mind includes eternal perceptions. --A.G. 14. "Nothing is better for being Eternal/Nor so white as the white that dies of a day." --Louis Zukofsky 15. Notice what you notice. --A.G. 16. Catch yourself thinking. --A.G. 17. Observe what's vivid. --A.G. 18. Vividness is self-selecting. --A.G. 19. "Spots of Time" --William Wordsworth 20. If we don't show anyone we're free to write anything. --A.G. 21. "My mind is open to itself." --Gelek Rinpoche 22. "Each on his bed spoke to himself alone, making no sound." --Charles Reznikoff
II. PATH (Method or Recognition) 23. "No ideas but in things." "...No ideas but in the Facts." --William Carlos Williams 24. "Close to the nose." --W.C.Williams 25. "Sight is where the eye hits." --Louis Zukofsky 26. "Clamp the mind down on objects." --W.C.Williams 27. "Direct treatment of the thing..." (or object.)" --E.Pound, 1912 28. "Presentation, not reference..." --Ezra Pound 29. "Give me a for instance." --Vernacular 30. "Show not tell." --Vernacular 31. "The natural object is always the adequate symbol." --Ezra Pound 32. "Things are symbols of themselves." --Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche 33. "Labor well the minute particulars, take care of the little ones/He who would do good for another must do it in minute particulars/General Good is the plea of the Scoundrel Hypocrite and Flatterer For Art & Science cannot exist but in minutely organized particulars" --William Blake 34. "And being old she put a skin/On everything she said." --W.B.Yeats 35. "Don't think of words when you stop but to see the picture better." --Jack Kerouac 36. "Details are the Life of Prose." --Jack Kerouac 37. Intense fragments of spoken idiom, best. --A.G. 38. "Economy of Words" --Ezra Pound 39. "Tailoring" --Gregory Corso 40. Maximum information, minimum number of syllables. --A.G. 41. Syntax condensed, sound is solid. --A.G. 42. Savor vowels, appreciate consonants. --A.G. 43. "Compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in sequence of a metronome." --Ezra Pound 44. "...awareness...of the tone leading of the vowels." --Ezra Pound 45. "...an attempt to approximate classical quantitative meters..." --Ezra Pound 46. "Lower limit speech, upper limit song" --Louis Zukofsky 47. "Phanopoeia, Melopoeia, Logopoeia." --Ezra Pound 48. "Sight, Sound & Intellect." --Louis Zukofsky 49. "Only emotion objectified endures." -- Louis Zukofsky
III. FRUITION (Result or Appreciation) 50. Spiritus = Breathing = Inspiration = Unobstructed Breath 51. "Alone with the Alone" --Plotinus 52. Sunyata (Skt.) = Ku (Japanese) = Emptiness 53. "What's the sound of one hand clapping?" --Zen Koan 54. "What's the face you had before you were born?" --Zen Koan 55. Vipassana (Skt.) = Clear Seeing 56. "Stop the world" --Carlos Casteneda 57. "The purpose of art is to stop time." --Bob Dylan 58. "The unspeakable visions of the individual." --J.K. 59. "I'm going to try speaking some reckless words, and I want you to try to listen recklessly." --Chuang Tzu, (Tr. Burton Watson) 60. "Candor" --Whitman 61. "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." --Shakespeare 62. "Contact" --A Magazine, Nathaniel West --W.C. Williams, Eds. 63. "God Appears & God is Light/To those poor Souls who dwell in Night/But does a Human Form Display/To those who Dwell in Realms of day." --W. Blake 64. Subject is known by what she sees. --A.G. 65. Others can measure their visions by what we see. --A.G. 66. Candor ends paranoia. --A.G. 67. "Willingness to be Fool." --Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche 68. "day & night/you're all right" --Corso 69. Tyger: Humility is Beatness." --Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche & A.G. 70. Lion: "Surprise Mind" --Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche & A.G. 71. Garuda: "Crazy Wisdom Outrageousness" --Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche 72. Dragon: "Unborn Inscrutability" --Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche 73. "To be men not destroyers" --Ezra Pound 74. "Speech synchronizes mind & body." --Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche 75. "The Emperor unites Heaven & Earth." --Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche 76. "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world." --Shelley 77. "Make it new" --Ezra Pound 78. "When the mode of music changes, the walls of the city shake" --Plato 79. "Every third thought shall be my grave" --W. Shakespeare, "The Tempest" 80. "That in black ink my love may still shine bright" --W. Shakespeare, Sonnets 81. "Only emotion endures" --Ezra Pound 82. "Well while I'm here I'll do the work--and what's the Work?To ease the pain of living. Everything else, drunken dumbshow." --A.G. 83. "..."...Kindness, sweetest/ of the small note/ in the world's ache,/ most modest & gentle/ of the elements/ entered man before history/ and became his daily/ connection, let no man/ tell you otherwise." --Carl Rakosi
Distant Voices: StAnza Virtual Festival- a one-day Virtual Poetry Festival
- Saturday 14 November 2009
- live at:
The Byre Theatre,
Abbey Street, St Andrews
Fife KY16 9LA
Tel 01334 475000
- and webcast free online
On 14 November StAnza will stage a brand-new poetry event, a one-day virtual poetry festival, using the latest digital technology to link up poets from around the world. Poets from as far apart as Mumbai and Sacramento and many points in-between reading at live events in their own countries will be linked by satellite to the audience in St Andrews, and broadcast worldwide via an online webcast.
The event in The Byre Theatre will be free and unticketed, and people are encouraged to drop in. However if you plan to travel any distance to St Andrews for this, do contact us in advance on email@example.com and we shall do what we can to reserve a place for you.
We hope that this initiative will attract not only poetry enthusiasts but anyone who is interested in the arts engaging with new technology. For the audience in St Andrews, StAnza will provide a day of innovative and exciting poetry. For press enquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
During the live event, tune in to the webcast here. If demand is high, we would ask you please to be patient and try again later.
Jacob Scheier is a Toronto born poet and journalist, currently living in New York City. His debut poetry collection, More to Keep us Warm (ECW Press), won the 2008 Governor General's Award. Scheier's poems have also appeared in several literary journals, including Descant and Rampike. He is the former head editor of Existere, York University's literary journal, and he is currently a regular contributor to the Toronto alternatively weekly, Now, and to the NYC progressive newspaper, The Indypendent.
JOHN B. LEE
Wed. Nov. 25, 2009
In 2005 John B. Lee was inducted as Poet Laureate of Brantford. He has also been named Honourary Life Member of The Canadian Poetry Association. A recipient of over sixty prestigious international awards for his writing, he is the only two-time recipient of the People’s Poetry Award, the 2006 winner of the inaugural Souwesto Orison Writing Award (University of Windsor), and the 2007 winner of the Winston Collins Award for Best Canadian Poem. He has well-over fifty books published to date and is the editor of seven anthologies, including two best-selling works: That Sign of Perfection: poems and stories on the game of hockey (Black Moss, 1995); and Smaller Than God: words of spiritual longing (Black Moss, 2001). His work has appeared internationally in over 500 publications, and he has read his work in nations all over the world including South Africa, France, Korea, and Cuba. He lives in Port Dover, Ontario, where he works as a full-time author.
This is a reminder of "Like Light Off Water," a free reading/performance by Daphne Marlatt, Robert Minden and Carla Hallett on Thursday, October 29th at 8 pm in University College 224 (Conron Hall), University of Western Ontario. Reception follows.
All are welcome!
Open to youth, 14-18 years of age as of Jan. 1, 2010
Entry Fee: Free for members, $5 non-members
Prizes: 1st - $100, 2nd - $50, 3rd - $25
THE RICHARDS PRIZE - $500
For a collection of short stories, a short novel, or a substantial portion of a longer novel (not to exceed 30,000 words). Work must be unpublished although some individual stories may have been previously published.
Manuscript Entry Fee: $35
THE ALFRED G. BAILEY PRIZE - $500
For poetry manuscripts not previously published, in whole or in part, in book/chapbook form (individual poems published or accepted for publication in periodicals may be included).
Length - at least 48 pages. Manuscript Entry Fee: $35
“Just give me one more day,”
he says. “I will eat a tiny piece of bread,
maybe stare out the window.
Yeah, I will lie in this unmade bed,
this one more day. It’s not
like I have big plans.
“I’ll rub my chin, won’t shave.
Look how thin my fingers
have become. Just one more day
to think of her, the way
she turned to look at that heron
swooping over the water.
And then cram me into the earth.
“The way she turned
and what she wore,
and the thing she said. I don’t
remember the thing she said.”
It is Thursday.
He gazes at the ceiling,
feels the mattress against
his limbs. This is what it is like
to feel the mattress against his limbs.
He sees the crack in the ceiling
he’d meant to caulk. He sees
a crow fly by his window,
hears a car horn below.
“Just Friday,” he says.
Calling all students! Arc is searching for the brightest and most insightful poet minds in the country. Send us your “How Poems Work” essays and win a subscription to Arc, publication online, and mentorship with our Poet-in-Residence. The judging will be done by Arc's own 'How Poems Work' Editor, Chris Jennings
What You Do:
Check out the How Poems Work webzine
If you have a chance, pick up the Arc Poetry Annual 2009, which contains the Best of How Poems Work 2003-2008
Choose a Canadian Poem about which you would like to write a How Poems Work essay
Write a maximum 500-word essay deconstructing a published poem by a Canadian poet, including publication information regarding the poem (in case we need to seek reprint permission later)
In order to be eligible for consideration submissions cannot be published or be under consideration for publication.
Submit your entry on-line through our submission manager (please do not email your submission)
THERE IS NO ENTRY FEE REQUIRED FOR THIS CONTEST
What We Do:
Judge the entries and select a winning essay from each province.
Publish each provincial winner in the How Poems Work webzine.
Give each provincial winner a free, one-year subscription to Arc.
Select a national winner to contribute two new How Poems Work essays for publication in Arc’s print magazine (for which you will be paid) and also the opportunity to participate in an online mentorship with Arc’s Poet in Residence for 2009-2010, Elise Patridge.
Jan Horner was born in Galt, now Cambridge, Ontario, and moved to Winnipeg in 1963. Mama Dada: Songs of the Baroness’s Dog is her 3rd book of poetry. She won the McNally Robinson Manitoba Book of the YearAward in 1989 for Recent Mistakes (Turnstone Press),and was a finalist for same award in 1999 for her second book Elizabeth Went West (also Turnstone Press).
She has a B.A. Hon (English) and M.A. (English) from the U. of Manitoba, where she wrote a thesis was on Ursula K. LeGuin. She works as a librarian at the U. of Manitoba where she is presently Acting Associate Director, Collections, and has an M.L.S. (Master of Library Science) from the U. of Toronto. She was a member of the editorial collective of CV2 magazine (with Di Brandt, Pamela Banting & Jane Casey) from 1984-1990. She has served on the boards of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and the League of Canadian Poets. She was writer-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario in 2001/2002 (jointly sponsored by the University of Western Ontario & the Canada Council) during which time she worked on Mama Dada.
Workshop & Reading Sponsored by Poetry London
Wednesday October 21, 2009
All Events at Fred Landon Branch Library
London Public Library
167 Wortley Road
Wed. Oct. 21, 2009
George McWhirter is Vancouver’s first Poet Laureate. McWhirter’s Catalan Poems (Oberon, 1971) won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, and Ovid in Saskatchewan, the 1998 League of Canadian Poets’ Chapbook Competition. He was editor and principal translator of José Emilio Pacheco: Selected Poems (New Directions), which won the 1987 F.R. Scott Translation Prize. His latest poetry books are The Incorrection (Oolichan Books, 2007) and The Anachronicles (Ronsdale Press, 2008), as well as a book of translation, Los poemas solares/The Solar Poems by Homero Aridjis, coming out from City Lights in San Francisco in 2009. A Professor Emeritus of the University of British Columbia, he was awarded the Killam Prize for Teaching, 1998; the first UBC Killam Award for Mentoring, 2004; and the Sam Black Award for Service to Creative and Performing Arts in 2005.
Wed. Oct. 21, 2009
Sue Sinclair has published four books of poems, the latest of which is Breaker (Brick Books, 2008). Her first poetry collection, Secrets of Weather & Hope (Brick Books, 2001) was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award, and her second, Mortal Arguments (Brick Books, 2003), was a finalist for the Atlantic Poetry Prize. The Drunken Lovely Bird (Goose Lane, 2005) was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and winner of the American Independent Publishers Association Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in The Fiddlehead, Canadian Literature, Grain, The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, and in anthologies such as Coastlines and Breathing Fire II. Sue is currently pursuing a PhD in philosophy at the University of Toronto.
Poetry Is Dead Magazine is looking for submissions for its premier issue. We are looking for Canadian poets with a style for the current, relevant, topical, political, smart, hilarious and brilliant. Exactly in that order. Please submit by following the guidelines on the "About" page.
London poet, performer and playwright Penn Kemp presents her eclectic literary show of readings, interviews and writing practices, Gathering Voices. Penn is the James A. and Marjorie Spenceley / Canada Council Writer-in-Residence at Western for 2009-10. If you're in the London area, come visit with your writing. For more information, contact the Secretary of the English Department at 519-661-3403, email@example.com.
See also the Writer-in-Residence website