American Poets magazine has a Walt Whitman essay by Mark Doty and in their annual report, they discuss a poetry reading they hosted recently called Poetry and the Creative Mind which they say tracks the influence of poetry on readers from other disciplines. I hope we get a report on that someday. I think it melds well with the Poetry on Mars project here on BBP, to get poetry into the hands of researchers in order to provide practical subject-based backup, a kind of laser-like focus on a topic, or further testimonial evidence to a study.
I went to Red River a few weeks ago and left all my books at home. I was forced to visit the bookstore of a mega-chain in order to find some reading material for the weekend. If you’ve been in a Target you know that they have at least 2 aisles of books. Let me just say Walmart has a lousy book section. There was less than a quarter of an aisle of reading material in there! But then I guess plebs aren’t getting under paid to read.
The April issue of O Magazine features National Poetry Month. The article is called "Why Poetry Matters." Former us poet laureate Natasha Trethewey opens up the discussion with this content: “In an era of sensory overload, there is stillness and clarity to be found in verse.” She goes on to elaborate how in poetry she found a “place to place grief.” Poetry, she says, also provides us with community, it shows us to ourselves, it acts as refuge, and serves to continue a cultural legacy.
Laura Kasischke, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award says poetry can be “understood in parts of our brain that appreciate sounds, or smell.” This section also included prompts from The Poet Tarot Deck (from two sylvias press). What Oprah magazine article would be complete without product promo? I’m snide but you know I’m going to buy this as soon as I can scrape up fifty dollars.
There are also six short book reviews and reviews of two poet memoirs.
A friend of mine recently purchased for me a gift subscription to the tabloid magazine The Star. Inside there’s that good ole National Amateur Poetry Competition advertisement. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this sucker.
By the way, here is a handy list of writing contests to avoid: https://winningwriters.com/the-best-free-literary-contests/contests-to-avoid (their own site’s contests might be best avoided as well).
News and articles
From my colleges
Here is a CNM article on slam poet champion, writer, TEDx presenter, teacher, dedicated activist, mother, CNM tutor, and now Albuquerque’s newest poet laureate, Jessica Helen Lopez.
A University of Missouri-St. Louis blog post: Bilingual poet’s second collection shifts to second language
National Poetry Month
Poet booths in subways: Bespoke Poetry Hits The Subways With Peanuts-Inspired "The Poet Is In" (The Gothamist)
Gary Snyder (NPR)
James Merrill (Bend Bulletin)
Patti Smith Punk Poet Laureate (The Guardian)
Video poetry: Red Riding Hood Revisisted: https://vimeo.com/3514904