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 ]
Smartish Pace Cover Art Party
On March 26, 2011 artist friends of Smartish Pace gathered in Baltimore and made one-of-a-kind covers for Smartish Pace Issues 17 and 18. In addition to the regular versions of these issues, the individual art cover editions can be purchased at www.smartishpace.com. Artists: Claudia, Clare Banks, Susan Campbell, Joel Feinberg, Jared Fischer, Natalie Kahla, Jeff Lewandowski, Maeve Reichert, Stephen Reichert, Terence Winch & Baynard Woods.
Loss has a constant presence in your new book, Give Over, Graymalkin. For you, where does the act of writing poetry fit into the process of losing, accepting, rebuilding, and regaining?That’s a significant question and a slippery one. The poems about my dog Jasper were ones in particular that I swore to myself I wouldn’t write—too private—and then ultimately wrote anyway. His death—slow and then sudden—was hard on us. I finally realized it would be those poems or nothing for a long while, and so I suppose in some ironic way the intimate nature of the subject that I was so wary of was also what finally compelled me to tackle it. I hoped through the personal to strike a resonant chord about loss. From responses I’ve received, maybe I got lucky, although it was damned costly luck. I’ve been writing poems for a long time, and that process obviously has important correlations to how I approach my life and what I am and believe. It’s not therapy, though, and it’s not a journal. The poems are intended for an audience to read and perhaps be moved or amused or appalled by. To recover from loss takes time, ... [ read more ]
William Wright’s other recent release, Bledsoe, is an extended narrative focused on a single family, while Night Field Anecdote exists in a wider breadth of place and experience. The latter collection does contain “Bledsoe,” the original version of the poem that was expanded into the other full book, but Night Field Anecdote stretches beyond the fringes of Appalachia. Wright’s lexicon begins in tactile touches of the pastoral, yet ends in a nightmarish collage of animal ... [ read more ]