Sunday, August 12, 2018

Thought for the Day


To watch a heart being emptied
of trust and desire is to see something
elemental: not a worm's turning
but a tide's. [. . .]
~ Sam Willetts
_________________________

Quoted from Sam Willetts, "You and St. Kevin and the Birds" in New Light for the Old Dark (Cape Poetry, 2010), page 48 (The collection, Willetts's first, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize, the Costa Prize, and the T.S. Eliot Prize.)

Sam Willetts, English Poet

Sam Willetts Profiles at Next Generation Poets 2014 (Poetry Book Society) and Poetry Foundation

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Saturday Short


Film Poster

Inspired by Andrew Solomon's excellent book Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity (Scribner, reprint 2013), the documentary of the same name currently is making rounds in theatres across the country. An IFC Films production directed by Rachel Dretzin, the documentary offers an insightful look at "exceptional" children and the challenges they present to their "ordinary" families.

Here's the official trailer:


IFC Films on FaceBook

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Book Spine Poems


Following are 18 collections of poetry, some published this year, whose titles are revealed in book spine poems. The author of each collection is noted, line by line. (Links are to the books available on Amazon or through the publishers.)

1

A Spell to Bless the Silence
Long Love
Esperanza and Hope

Line 1 John Montague
Line 2 Judith Barrington
Line 3 Esperanza Snyder

2

If You Have to Go
Box
A Memory of the Future

Line 1 Katie Ford
Line 2 Sue D. Burton
Line 3 Elizabeth Spires

3

A Quarter of an Hour
Of Marriage
Beyond All Bearing

Line 1 Leanne O'Sullivan
Line 2 Nicole Cooley
Line 3 Susan Delaney Spear

4

Pulling Down the Heavens
Strong-Armed Angels
Secure Your Own Mask

Line 1 Barbara Bloom
Line 2 David Allen Sullivan
Line 3 Shaindel Beers

5

bury it
Anything on Earth
Invented by the Night

Line 1 Sam Sax
Line 2 Ken Weisner
Line 3 Len Anderson

6

Forgive the Body This Failure
Someone is Breathing
During the Music

Line 1 Blas Falconer
Line 2 J. Morris
Line 3 R. Soos

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Thought for the Day

The past is set in daylight, and it can become a torch we can carry 
into the night that is the future.
~ Rebecca Solnit
____________________________

Quoted from Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities (Haymarket Books, 3rd Ed., 2016), page xxvi

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Thought for the Day


Loss is the self emptying back into silence.
~ David Wevill
________________________

Quoted from David Wevill, "In the Jardin des Plantes" in A Christ of the Ice-Floes (Macmillan, 1966; Tavern Books, 2016), page 83 (Wevill is a marvelous poet but, I would hazard, largely unfamiliar to many readers of poetry. The Tavern Books reprint offers an excellent first-experience of his work. Also see the reprints of Wevill's Where the Arrow Falls and Collected Translations, both part of Tavern's The Living Library; see, in addition, To Build My Shadow a Fire: The Poetry and Translations of David Wevill (Truman State University Press, 2010), edited by Michael McGrieff.

David Wevill, Award-Winning Poet, Translator, Editor, Retired Teacher (University of Texas at Austin)


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Thought for the Day

. . . community builds when a kindness is given
and a voice is heard, and when something is built 
together that can't be built alone.
~ Mark Nepo
_____________________________

Quoted from Mark Nepo Interview, "A Conversation with Mark Nepo About His New Book, More Together Than Alone: Discovering the Power and Spirit of Community In Our Lives and in the World" (Atria Books, July 17, 2018) 

Mark Nepo, Poet, Spiritual Writer and Guide

Mark Nepo on FaceBook

Thursday, July 19, 2018

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life



Mark R. Pugh, Boy at the Edge of the World, 2018
Oil on Panel
30" x 48"

© Mark R. Pugh

PLEASE DO NOT COPY IMAGE


I'm delighted to introduce in today's Artist Watch column at Escape Into Life the award-winning painter Mark R. Pugh.

Born in Utah, Mark, who holds a bachelor's degree in psychology, works full-time as an artist. Instructed in art at the Bridge Academy in Provo, Mark has developed a style that, in his words, draws from both realism and surrealism to create a dreamlike aesthetic. His work continues to betray his early interests in, indeed a passion for, fantasy and illustration.

In addition to showcasing nine images of Mark's strong work, today's Artist Watch includes Mark's Artist Statement and a brief biography. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Thought for the Day


. . . When you build a wall between yourself and others,
you are basically saying that you have stopped listening
and seeing. You have cut off contact. And how can there
be understanding without contact?
~ Helon Habila
__________________________________

Quoted from Helon Habila, "The Separation Wall" in Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation (Harper-Perennial, 2017), Edited by Michael Chabon an Ayelet Waldman (This is an excellent, eye-opening series of essays.)

Helon Habila, Award-Winning Novelist, Editor, and Publisher (Cordite Books) of African Crime and Detective Stories

Helon Habila's books include Oil on Water, Measuring Time, Waiting for an Angel, and, most recently, The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday Short

Today's Saturday Short is a video of poet Dana Gioia reciting his poem "The Stars Now Rearrange Themselves", from Daily Horoscope, Gioia's first poetry collection, which was published in 1986. (Additional poems from that collection and other books can be read in the Poems section of Gioia's Website.)


The video was made by Blank Verse Films, which produces a new poetry video weekly.

Dana Gioia on FaceBook and Twitter

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Dateline: Syria (Poem)


Dateline: Syria, June 25, 2018

how to explain
with unwilling lips

how to un-see
the flies still harvesting

the boy being raised
from the indelicate balancing

of body meeting metal


first there is the turning away
the fire on soft skin spreading

and the quickening cold
of two small hands

insufficient protection
against what rains

from the war zone's drones


amid this indecent violence
comes love of the father

for his only son


the child who one last time
returns home

wrapped in a blanket
strapped to the handlebars

too wide to hug close
what remains

behind stone-black motorcycle exhaust

© 2018 Maureen E. Doallas

This poem is my response to a deeply moving photograph out of Syria of a father attempting to maneuver his motorcycle while trying to balance on the handlebars the body of his preschool-age son. During a bombing by Assad's military forces, the boy sustained injuries so great he could not be helped by medics in the area, who lacked any of the necessary supplies to even attempt to save his life.