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.
STEPHEN REICHERT: First off, thank you for agreeing to do this interview despite the busyness of your semester. I'd like to begin with your origins and influences. What was it about your upbringing that led to your life as a poet? STEPHEN CUSHMAN: I can think of two ways to answer this question. The first would be to reel off some autobiographical facts that might account for a love of language and literature. My father was a professor of American literature, my mother a librarian, so I grew up in a verbal household, one in which both talking and reading (or at first being read to) occupied a large share of my time. But these autobiographical facts only help to explain literacy; they don't explain why someone who grew up in such a household would choose writing in addition to reading, and they don't explain why such a person would choose to write verse rather than prose. To account for those developments is much harder. I know that I began to write poems in high school, and I suspect that I wrote them for much the same reason other people in high ... [ read more ]
Q: What is American about American Poetry? A: Some years ago Donald Hall coined a memorable term for school-based, formulaic American poetry: the McPoem. I thought about it recently as I pulled off US 1 to grab breakfast at McDonalds. Has our poetry joined the mass-culture melting pot? The menu on the billboard reads: "Egg McMuffin, Breakfast Fajitas, French Fries, Hash Brown." Typical American gruel to be sure, but showing the mix of ... [ read more ]