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Dara Wier
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We spent yesterday driving from the Connecticut River Valley to Lowell, Massachusetts. Glorious day, clouds drawn by addled cloud chasers, plenty of leaf peeping colors still flying around, good company, good conversation, a quick survey of which reveals: what constitutes emotional extortion in poetry....when is one officially reclusive, nominally misanthropic, selfish, solitary, self-protective, gregarious, unguarded....by what means does one choose between what is made public, what is kept private......in poetry can one tell when what's of interest to you (form & subject, form in subject, subject in form), might also be of interest to someone else.....and when it's not....and when... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2009 at The Best American Poetry
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Corwin Ericson's broken bottles, Wendell, Massachusetts The City of New Orleans is a train. Like all well-behaved American trains it zips by backyards, left-over warehouses and parking lots, drainage ditchbanks and assorted boarded-up buildings. You're sometimes frightened you might see a dead body half-hidden among the debris there. When it snows enough on some of these places, or there's a fog just thick enough to make seeing through it not so easy, these places are transformed into passing landscapes of veiled beauty. What's more beautiful than veiled beauty? Throw a mantilla over anyone's head and right away what's inside every... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2009 at The Best American Poetry
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Indicative of a caution to do a little thinking before writing? Maybe. Indicating low grade institutional paranoia. Definitely. (who put these there? who knows) Evidence of unsettling canine adoration. Possibly. Further evidence. Evidence of poetry's whereabouts. Handsome. We arrived at Poets House (10 River Terrace, Battery Park City, New York, www.poetshouse.org) pretty early one morning. Kurt Brown, a member of Poets House Board of Directors, kindly offered to show me around. Such a cool place. Spacious, not cavernous, welcoming, not demanding, with what looks to be excellently appointed spaces for reading, writing, and for public performances and exhibits. And as... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2009 at The Best American Poetry
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These, I suppose, two Candadians, have been watching me for many years. They're in a painting James Tate and I found on a trans-Canadian road trip. We don't know who they are, or why they're sitting in a field in their business outfits or what the painting might commemorate or what the hat's are about; nor do we know who painted the picture. But these two men have served many purposes over the years. At first they constituted an exciting discovery, up on a barn's interior wall that served as a repository for an antique dealer's stash. When we learned... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2009 at The Best American Poetry