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 ]
Juan Felipe Herrera, author of numerous poetry collections and short stories, is named U.S. poet laureate (21st). He will be the first-ever Chicano/Latino poet laureate, writing and speaking in both ... [ read more ]
Anne-Marie Thompson, Smartish Pace Reading
Anne-Marie Thompson reading for Smartish Pace at Creative Alliance, Baltimore, on January 1, 2010. Introduction by Stephen Reichert, Editor, Smartish Pace.
Magdelyn Hammond: When did you start writing poetry? Have you always considered yourself a poet, or are there parts of yourself that were always a poet even before you started to write seriously? Shara McCallum: I started writing poetry seriously about the same time I came to Maryland. I was almost 22 then. I had always written poetry, as far back as I can remember, but I think of that period as marking my beginnings as a writer because it was when I began to consider the craft of a poem consciously and deliberately. I don't know when I began to think of myself as a poet -- that's not a word I use very often in relation to myself. I say I write poetry but rarely say I am a poet. I'm not afraid of the word per se but the phrase "I am a poet" seems somewhat static and stilted. Writing poetry is something I see as active whereas being a poet makes me think of someone sitting around waiting for inspiration or someone posing in some fashion as a "poet." As to the other ways I was becoming a "poet" before really being serious about ... [ read more ]
The poetry in Marilyn Nelson's 1997 National Book Award Finalist collection of new and selected poems, The Fields of Praise, varies richly in both subject matter and technique. In section I, "Mama and Daddy," Nelson recounts, in conversational poems, poignant, engaging stories of her parents and what they gave her. Her father "was a navigator on B-52s. His crew was a lot like the crew of the bomber in Dr. Strangelove (1964) in which James ... [ read more ]