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 ]
Reginald Shepherd (1963-2008)
A tribute to poet Reginald Shepherd who died on September 10, 2008. Mr. Shepherd's new work is in Smartish Pace, Issue 15 (2008).
Rachel Stark: First off, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. I'd like to start by talking about your subject matter. Your most recent collection, The Highwayman's Wife, draws much of its energy from the way you revitalize mythology. At the same time, you take on the English countryside with both the folklore of the highwayman and your numerous quotations from John Clare's The Shepherd's Calendar. What is it about these things that are important to you?Lynnell Edwards: Some sort of unrelated things converged in the spring of 2004 that I think prompted the Highwayman series, the first of which was "Sonnet for the Highwayman." I was tramping around in a very old cemetery in rural Kentucky where some of my Scottish ancestors (the McBrayers) from the 18th century were buried and I was talking with an elderly relative about that, and then an issue of Gourmet magazine arrived which had a feature on the Scottish Highlands, with several spectacular photos. The photos were gorgeous; I can make only a modest case for Scottish cuisine, however. After that first poem, I started exploring – in other words, I "Googled" – information about English ballads to see ... [ read more ]
Robert Bly's latest collection of poetry, The Night Abraham Called to the Stars, is the work of an experienced poet, author of over 20 books: poetry, essays, translations. This new book, which has moments of real illumination, is generally darkened by disjointedness and the writer's self-absorption.The poems are more about love of Self than love of the Other. For example, Bly seems intent to justify his own infidelities: in "What Kept Horace Alive," ... [ read more ]