Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Muse Asks Did You Know

Today's post is another in an occasional series offering something about poets and poetry, or writing more generally, that you might not know.

Did You Know. . . 

✦ The late poet Maxine Kumin (1925-2014) was one of the first two women hired by the Department of English at Tufts University, where she was an instructor and, later, lecturer in English. State poet of New Hampshire from 1989 to 1994 and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1981 to 1982, Kumin also resigned from the Academy of American Poets' Board of Chancellors, pointing out that there were too few women and minorities in positions of leadership. Of her Radcliffe writing instructor Wallace Stegner, Kumin admitted being "turned off" to poetry after Stegner said to her, "Say it with flowers but for God's sake don't write poems about it." (2002 Atlantic Interview) She added that she forgave Stegner his blunder.

Maxine Kumin Profiles at Modern American PoetryPoetry Foundation

The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody Publishing, 2013) took 10 years to produce, according to its editor Daniel Nester, and is the world's first all-sestina anthology. (I have a copy of the anthology and recommend it. Just don't try to read it straight-through.)

Nora Brooks, "A Dream of a Common Poetry: Daniel Nester with David Lehman at The New School Poetry Forum", Best American Poetry Blog, February 11, 2014

✦ John Reed has used rather uncommon readers of his sonnets: pornstars, Webcam models, and, most recently, avatars. You'll find videos of the avatar readers at the link below.

John Reed, "3 Sonnets from the 22nd Century", Electric Literature Blog, February 11, 2014

✦ Ball State University is offering in its creative writing program a course titled Literary Citizenship. (My thanks to NewPages blog for the link.)

Literary Citizenship on Twitter

✦ Moleskin knows not every poet sticks to old-school pen and paper or hard-cover pocket notebooks. For the digital poets among us,  the company offers both a smartphone cover and a tablet/iPad-compatible cover that combine with blank notebook pages. Write on!

✦ The volume titled Best Poems of Stevie Smith (New Directions) was published in December 2013. The English poet and novelist (1902-1971) has been described as a "cartoon-drawing, school-girl-dress-wearing, near doggeral-spouting" poet who "ranks among the silliest...." No need to say more.

David Orr, "How Far Can You Press a Poet?", Believer Magazine, April 2005

Hear Stevie Smith reciting her poem "Not Waving (But Drowning)" in this video.

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