poetry

On Jazz, Poetry, and Hayden Carruth: Talking Shop about the Human Condition

by Phillip Witteveen September 26, 2014

WPFW, 89.3 FM, is a station that gets into the “mix of jazz, Third World music, news and public affairs.” It is the sound alternative programming makes in the metro D.C. area, “challenging the norm, and passionately serving the under-served of our community.” Coming to us in .mp3: a filmy, dulcet jazz bottoms out into the introduction of a very small, very niche radio show, with a very specific mandate: “This, is your station for jazz and justice.” The show, as it would be revealed, is called “On the Margin.” “And my name,” says the speaker, “is Giovanni Russonello.” “Today” (says […]

Read more

Aldama Announced as Milwaukee Film Festival Keynote Speaker

by Phillip Witteveen September 11, 2014

Frederick Luis Aldama will give the keynote speech at the Milwaukee Film Festival, which runs September 25 – October 9. The festival spotlights a different country each year as part of its “Passport” program, and this year will feature eight films set in Mexico, including seven by Mexican filmmakers. Aldama has written extensively on Latino pop culture, reviewing its influences—not only in film, but also from Latinos in comic books, poetry, and NFL football. Aldama is co-author of !Muy Pop! (with Ilan Stavans); and most recently, author of Mex-Ciné. “The prodigious Aldama has done it again,” writes Richard Gordon in response […]

Read more

Natasha Sajé, “In Praise of Dispraise”

by Meredith Kahn August 7, 2014
Cover of Natasha Saje's Windows and Doors

Natasha Sajé, author of Windows and Doors: A Poet Reads Literary Theory, was recently featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s blog The Conversation on the importance of critique: When creative writers are offered only praise, including the default praise of publication, they aren’t pushed to improve. By contrast, at a toastmasters’ meeting, the audience gives feedback on both argument and delivery. Similarly, a scholar’s argument and its assumptions would be rigorously questioned by more than one person due to the critical response built into both scholarly-conference presentations and peer-reviewed publication. Sajé’s nine essays in Windows and Doors cover foundational topics for creative […]

Read more

Allen Grossman, 1932-2014

by Phillip Witteveen June 30, 2014

Allen Grossman, cherished poet and teacher of poets, died this past Friday at age 82 due to “complications from Alzheimer’s.” He was held in high regard by those few who were privileged to know him: his students and community of fellow poets. Authoring (or anthologized in) over 20 publications, Grossman’s poetry had many tributaries, taking from Stevens, Lowell, Blake, Auden, Descartes, and others—but his voice was distinctly his own, and of course, distinctly American. His writing was not only included in the company of great artists before him, but also recognized by those alongside, distinguished as he was as the winner of a Pushcart Prize, a […]

Read more

Charles Wright named Poet Laureate

by Shaun Manning June 12, 2014

Charles Wright, author of nearly two dozen books of poetry as well as two volumes in the University of Michigan Press’s Poets on Poetry series, has been named America’s Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress, as reported by the New York Times. Wright’s books of criticism with the Press include Quarter Notes: Improvisation and Interviews and Halflife: Improvisations and Interviews, 1977-87. “I’m very honored and flattered to be picked, but also somewhat confused,” Wright told the Times. “I really don’t know what I’m supposed to do. But as soon as I find out, I’ll do it.” Two years ago, the Poet […]

Read more