Franz Wright, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, died at 62 from lung cancer. He won the Pulitzer in 2004 for his collection of poetry called “Walking to Martha’s Vineyard.”
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Alice Notely, the author of over 25 books of poetry, has been awarded the $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. The prize, first established in 1986, is one of the most ... [ read more ]
Deborah H. Doolittle
Deborah H. Doolittle reading for the Smartish Pace Issue 19 Party at the Copy Cat building in Baltimore on April 13, 2013. Music, in the video and live at the party, by The Great American Canyon Band. Intro by Stephen Reichert.
February 16, 2012Interview conducted in August 2011
Beyond Katrina blends personal and collective memories of an event that is not too long gone from the public eye, and is still current for those living on the Gulf Coast. What are the challenges of writing about something topical, even if it has personal resonance for you the writer?Natasha Trethewey: I think the biggest challenge that I faced with writing Beyond Katrina and that particular topic was that, as you said, it is in many ways ongoing for the people who are there, and it is also a thing of contested memory. Contested memory is the hardest part of it, because I found that I was dealing with people who wanted not only to be remembered, but people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast who felt like their story was being forgotten or being subjugated beneath the other story of New Orleans and the levee break. But I was also dealing with narratives from folks who wanted to remember the aftermath in different ways, I think, for political purposes. And so there was often a narrative of Mississippi as ... [ read more ]
“Men at forty,” as Donald Justice wrote, learn to turn their backs, or close doors—“softly”— on youth and long-passed opportunities as part of their accommodation to a life of mortgages, the body’s increasing betrayals, and other failures of middle age. Perhaps the most painful of these stem from love and marriage, as well as the domestic life that sometimes confines men as inescapably as it does women, though the emotional content of poems that are ... [ read more ]