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 ]
Elizabeth Spires, Smartish Pace Reading
Elizabeth Spires reading for Smartish Pace at The Walters Art Musuem in Baltimore, MD on September 19, 2009. Intro by Stephen Reichert of Smartish Pace.
Laura Klebanow: It seems you came to write poetry first, and prose poetry and essays next. Is this correct, or has your work in each genre developed less compartmentally? For example, do you ever start a poem and watch it become a prose poem or essay, or vice versa?Lia Purpura: The issue of how one discernible genre grows from another is utterly mysterious to me. I’m certain that I’m writing prose, though my essays are called “lyric essays.” In fact, I’ve just written an essay titled “What is a Lyric Essay?” for Seneca Review. In it, I’m making a plea for allowing the form to remain as mysterious as possible. I do mean “mysterious” though in the best way – challenging and magical and able to work on a reader and knit up above the page. I don’t mean at all “unclear” or “sloppy”. The language ought to be as precise as possible in order to affect the most unlikely moves. When I’m writing, an impulse makes itself known as a prose itch or poem-itch. Some failed poems have extended out into prose and found their musculature that way. I don’t think a derailed essay has ever turned ... [ read more ]
Much madness is divinest sense, or so we are told. Sure, there are a few cliquish strains of methodical madness in contemporary poetry that seem to abnegate all claims on sense. But there are still the very rare outsiders, the visionary books that can astound and surprise even the blasé, well-versed contemporary cognoscenti. Reading more and more, we find less and less of that overwhelming, slightly terrifying thrill that comes from being in the same ... [ read more ]