Friday, April 24, 2015

i.m. M.H. Abrams

Here, speaking at Cornell, Abrams offers excellent detailed analysis of poems by Auden, Dickinson, Wordsworth, Dowson, and Ammons.

See also:

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Angelou with the Angels

Letting her go is going to be hard for many people, and certainly reading I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings was enlightening for the twenty-something year old that I once was. Angelou was a relatively early literary acquaintance that I only visited occasionally, but each time drew something that spurred reflexion and learning. Her pithy statements published by the Guardian  in memoriam (May 29, 2014) are no exception, with these quotes standing out:

"Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option."
"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."
"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."

It seems fitting to draw up a collection of some of the better tributes here.

Lyn Innes, "Maya Angelou obituary," Guardian (May 28, 2014).
"Maya Angelou - obituary," Telegraph (May 28, 2014).
Lynn Neary, "Maya Angelou, Poet, Activist and Singular Storyteller, Dies at 86," NPR (May 28, 2014).
Lev Grossman, "Maya Angelou: A Hymn to Human Endurance," Time (May 28, 2014).
Emma Brown, "Maya Angelou, writer and poet, dies at 86," Washington Post (May 28, 2014).

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"Take Dylan to the People"

Looking forward to touching around 4000 young people before Easter, the Carmarthenshire local council has made a replica of the shed that Dylan Thomas wrote in, above the Boathouse in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire. For the centenary of Dylan Thomas, the shed is making the rounds on wheels with a poet in residence. See it at the Hay Festival in May, the Royal Welsh Show in July, and later in London. The photo below is from the Dylan Thomas Boathouse & Tea Room Facebook Page.

"Dylan Thomas's replica shed goes on UK tour" (BBC February 14, 2014).
"Dylan Thomas replica shed goes on tour for centenary" (BBC January 9, 2014).

Dylan Thomas Boathouse & Tea Room (Facebook Page).

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dickinson Update

It's been a Dickinson Autumn.  First the lecture by Cristiane Miller in October. Then finding the Dickinson envelopes in an Amsterdam bookshop. Now, a friend's kind FB hints.  See the relevant links below.

Emily Dickinson Archives (
Cristiane Miller (October 22, 2013).
Craig Morgan Teicher, "Dickinson's Envelope Writings," NPR (November 30, 2013).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Homage for Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney was a speaker at the opening of the 25th EPIC, the Ezra Pound International Conference, held in Dublin this past July. His remarks on Pound were enlightening, and the applause that followed his talk was warm and prolonged.

Following news of his death, many have written moving homages, a few of which are collected here.

The Editors, London Review of Books

Peter McDonald, "Seamus Heaney 1939-2013"

Marché de la Poésie

Massimo Bacigalupo

Andrew O'Hagan

BBC (August 30, 2013)

Liz Bury, The Guardian (August 30, 2013)

New York Times (August 30, 2013)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Representative Poetry Online

One of Canada's great gifts to the world is Canadian Poetry (see Canadian Poetry Online from University of Toronto), and another is the Representative Poetry Online page, where poetic texts can be freely consulted and browsed. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Beat Poets, not beat poets"

Robert Hass went to University of California Berkeley campus to observe police action to end the Occupy Movement there, and was beaten with billy clubs.  This is a must-read:

Robert Hass, "Poet-Bashing Police," New York Times (November 19, 2011).

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 17th - Philip Levine

Philip Levine will give an Inaugural Reading as U.S. Poet Laureate, Monday, October 17th, at 7p.m. in Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Library of Congress News Page (

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October 6th - W.S. Merwin

W.S. Merwin will read on Poetry Day, October 6th, at 6 p.m. at Harold Washington Library, 400 South State Street, Chicago.

Poetry Foundation (

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Poetry in Action

Javier Sicilia, Mexican poet, stopped writing after his son and six of his friends were tortured and assassinated by a drug cartel.  In May, he made a public declaration, "Estamos Hasta la Madre!" asking for people to resist so that the violence could be stopped.

In June, he organized a tour for peace (June 4-11), ranging from Cuernavaca to Ciudad Juarez.  This resulted in a national dialogue for peace (June 23, 2011).


Frédéric Saliba, "Les Indignés du Mexique," Le Monde Magazine (June 25, 2011), pp.26-31.
Jo Tuckman, "Mexican peace caravan led by poet Javier Sicilia nears its final stop," Guardian (June 9, 2011).
Olivia Stransky, "Letter from Poet Javier Sicilia to Mexican Government and Cartels," Sampsonain Way (May 17, 2011).
Randal C. Archibold, "Violence Suffocated a Father's Poetry, but Not His Voice," New York Times (May 13, 2011).
Harriet Staff, "Poet Javier Sicilia leads 150,000 in march against Mexican drug violence," Poetry Foundation/Harriet Blog (May 9, 2011).
Jason Beaubien, "After Son's Death, Poet Fights Mexican Drug Violence," NPR (May 6, 2011).
Gilles Biassette, "Marche contre la violence au Mexique," La Croix (May 5, 2011).
Julian Miglierini, "Mexico poet Javier Scilia leads anger at drug violence," BBC Mobile (April 22, 2011).
Ioan Grillo, "Should Mexico Call for A Cease-Fire with Drug Cartels," Time (April 7, 2011).
"Javier Sicilia's Open Letter to Mexico's Politicians and Criminals," Narco News Bulletin (April 4, 2011).

Interview with Javier Sicilia, by Ricardo Venegas, in Agulha, Revista de Cultura (October 2003).

To follow these actions via Twitter:  @mxhastalamadre  and on Facebook:  Todos somas Juan Francisco Sicilia.