James Tate, Pulitzer Prize winning poet and long time University of Massachusetts professor, died at 71. He wrote over twenty poetry collections, including The Ghost Soldiers and The Oblivion Ha-Ha.
You ... [ read more ]
British poet and journalist James Fenton has won the Pen Pinter Prize, established in honour of playwright Harold Pinter.
Previous winners of the Pinter Prize include Tom Stoppard, Carol Ann ... [ read more ]
Stanley Plumly Appointed Poet Laureate of Maryland
Stanley Plumly was appointed the 9th Poet Laureate of Maryland in a presentation by Governor Martin O'Malley and Alice McDermott at The State House in Annapolis, Maryland. Photos by Smartish Pace editors Clare Banks and Stephen Reichert, copyright 2009. Music by Christopher Dunn.
Traci O’Dea (Associate Editor, Smartish Pace): How has translating Sappho affected your own poetry?
Aaron Poochigian: I had always wanted each line of my poetry to be songlike and ravishing. Now, after having lived with Sappho for about two years, I have a better sense of what that means. But I should be more specific about her influence. Many of Sappho’s poems give the reader the impression that he or she is eavesdropping on a private conversation, as in the following fragment:As you are dear to me go find a youngerBed as your due.I can’t stand being the old one any longer,Living with you.I now readily slip into the conversational mode in my own work. Sappho, in fact, is credited with pioneering the “personal” in poetry, partly because she gives the reader this window into the intimate. She also makes frequent use of what I call “choral” expression—that is, the speaker as a first person plural “we” representing a group of people. I now often write poems in “group voices.” Perhaps the poem “The Marriage of Peleus and Thetis” is the best evidence of her influence on my work. The Marriage ... [ read more ]
Poems about Washington, D.C. Edited by Kim Roberts Plan B Press in conjunction with Beltway Poetry Quarterly One would not have to be out of touch to have a disdain for Washington, D.C. these days: whatever your political stripe, your issue du jour, your favorite target of disdain. But the city and the political capital of the country don’t often meet--they aren't in the same place, particularly for the ... [ read more ]