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Choriamb: Poetry News and Reviews
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April 20th, 2007 
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"Deadly prose: How should creative writing teachers handle students who turn in gruesome stories?" Sarah Elizabeth Richards, Salon

..."Creative writing teachers...have to rely on their own imprecise judgment, especially in classes where students may be encouraged to write with intense emotion. What may be one student's cause for concern may be another's catharsis, says [Michelle]Carter. 'Sometimes working through rage in that way can be healthy,' she says. 'If students start worrying that every time they write something violent or aggressive or express anger or rage -- or they fear they'll be sent to an administrator or a therapist or their parents will be called -- you can't teach art classes with that hanging over them. Part of teaching in the arts is to push people to places of disturbance. It's a really funny dance.'"
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An open letter to Oprah Winfrey 4/18/7: From Saul Wiliams
Found at ThugLifeArmy.

Among other things, Williams answers the question “Are all rappers poets?” and says that "Name calling, racist generalizations, sexist perceptions, are all rooted in something much deeper than an uncensored music."
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American Life in Poetry: Column 108


Houdini never gets far from the news. There's always a movie coming out, or a book, and every other magician has to face comparison to the legendary master. Here the California poet, Kay Ryan, encapsulates the man and says something wise about celebrity.


Each escape
involved some art,
some hokum, and
at least a brief
exchange between
the man and metal
during which the
chains were not
so much broken
as he and they
blended. At the
end of each such
mix he had to
extract himself. It
was the hardest
part to get right
routinely: breaking
back into the
same Houdini.

Poem copyright © 2004 by Kay Ryan, whose most recent book of poetry is "The
Niagara River,"
Grove Press, 2005. Reprinted from "Poetry," November, 2004, with permission of the author. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.
snidely whiplash
"'There are Plathites out there that are very sensitive about Sylvia being made fun of in any way,' [John] Farmanesh-Bocca said, stressing that the play does not make light of her or of suicide.

"Nonetheless, the kink in the works is the fact that the Esther Greenwood character is hallucinating due to the gas, which allows them to 'show the surreal and ridiculous sides of this personality.'"

"Trip to the edge: A new commissioned work takes a humorous look at Sylvia Plath's alter-ego in the final seconds of her life"
By KATHRYN PETRUCCELLI Monterey Herald 4/19/07
bunny ears
"Contemporary poetry's shit-talking tension—when it isn't raging between the New Yorker's Harvard grads and the Poetry Foundation's Stegner Fellows—boils over most quickly, and most enjoyably, when 'stage' poets find themselves in the same room with 'page' poets."

"Are You Talking to Me?: Seattle Poetry Festival Steps Up" -Travis Nichols The Stranger 4/17/07
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Image from From the Fishouse

BRIAN TURNER for Here, Bullet, Alice James Books (2005)


MARK DOTY, School of the Arts, HarperCollins

KAY RYAN, The Niagara River, Grove Press

The Poets’ Prize of $3,000 is awarded annually to the best book of verse published by
an American during the preceding year. The prize is administered by the West Chester
University Poetry Center and is funded by the members of the Poets’ Prize committee:
Betty Adcock, Dick Allen, Lynn Emanuel, B.H. Fairchild, Richard Foerster, R.S. Gwynn,
Andrew Hudgins, Colette Inez, Margaret Lally, Sydney Lea, Shirley Geok-lin Lim,
Peter Makuck, Charles Martin, David Mason, Linda Pastan, Robert Phillips, Marie Ponsot, Louis Simpson, Timothy Steele, Leon Stokesbury, Natasha Trethewey, Michael Waters. Founders: Robert McDowell, Frederick Morgan, and Louis Simpson

“We believe there is no greater honor than to be awarded a prize by a jury of one’s peers.”
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Jane Mead Collects Bones.

“I Have an Entire Cat Skeleton:” Third in a series of interviews with poets who collect things. Richard Siken, Poetry Foundation

Alleged Speculation
Jane Mead

I do not think that love will reach the dead—
and, the seven weeks of Mormonism pending,
I do not think they should have much regret:
the marginalia and mania survive them
and that was all they might have taken.

Read rest of poem @ the Electronic Poetry Review.
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Images from: FunForever, where more odd and interesting book art by Georgia Russell can be found.

Thanks, Chris Z!
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