Tuesday, June 14, 2016

This and That in Poetry

Below are a number of items related to poets and poetry.

✦ Former North Carolina Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti is spearheading the Appalachian Veterans Arts and Humanities Collective, an extension of his long involvement in literary projects for veterans. The collective comprises a working group of Appalachian State University employees (Bathanti is a professor there) and students; in partnership with other veterans groups and departments across ASU's campus, it fosters ongoing arts and humanities workshops, events, and programs for veterans and their families in surrounding counties and state-wide.

Helping to launch the collective this month is former U.S. Army captain Matt Gallagher, author of the novel Youngblood (Atria/Simon & Schuster, February 2016), the Iraq memoir Kaboom (Da Capo Press, reprint 2011), and Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War (Da Capo Press, 2013). Gallagher participated in yesterday's writers workshop for student and community veterans and is giving a public reading tonight on campus. The 7:30 p.m. reading, free and open to the public, includes a reception and book-signing. See "In Residence: Matt Gallagher, Iraq War Veteran and Author", for more information.

✦ The Cambridge Poetry Teaching project is undertaking interdisciplinary research on the effects of poetry memorization and recitation and how poetry might best be "embedded within pedagogy". The Leverhulme Foundation is funding the research. Begun in 2014, the project will conclude in 2017. See Poetry and Memory Project to learn more.

Poetry and Memory Project Blog

✦ The wonderful Motionpoems has released the videopoem Once, a Meghan O'Rourke poem. (The text of the poem is at the video link.)

Read an interview with the filmmakers Angela & Ithlye of Los Angeles: "Imagination Triggered by Reading".

✦ If you're trying to get published, take heart. Vermont resident Jean L. Connor published her first collection of poetry (A Cartography of Peace) at age 86, her second (A Hinge of Joy; Six over Sixty Series) at age 90. Connor, who credits William Stafford as an influence, works with Passager Books, which was founded in 2006 and makes its mark as a publisher of writers over age 50. Listen to a conversation with Connor at Vermont Public Radio. 

✦ The nonprofit Sun Dog Poetry Center, Jeffersonville, Vermont, offers a series of "Conversations with Vermont Poets", from February through September. This year's lineup includes Chard deNiord, Jean Connor, Geof Hewitt, Tina Escaja, Verandah Porche, Cleopatra Mathis, Jody Gladding, an Sydney Lea. The center also publishes work by Vermont poets; its titles to date are Water Journeys in Art and Poetry, Vermont Exit Ramps II, Tapping the Center of Things, and Nothing Saved Us: Poems of the Korean War.

✦ Read Virginia Poet Laureate Ron Smith's poem "What a Rush", dedicated to the late Claudia Emerson (1957-2014).

✦ The deadline for Narrative's 8th Annual Poetry Contest is July 20. See the guidelines, which indicate that Narrative is "always looking for new voices". Monetary awards are offered for first, second, and third place winners, as well as up to 10 finalists.

✦ The Poetry Center at the University of Arizona is presenting an exhibition, "Under the Influence of Wallace Berman: From Semina to Siglio", from July 5 through August 5. Semina was Berman's hand-made journal. The exhibition is free. (Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle, a reprint of the 2005 volume, was published in 2015.)

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