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Amy McDaniel
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It is time for everybody to read M.F.K. Fisher. As Stacey Harwood reminded me--when I said that food editors always go on about loving Fisher but then don't seem to want to print good prose--"Yeah, but they've never actually read her. Everybody always uses the same quote." Fair point. So when she asked me to guest blog this week, it seemed only right that I should pay tribute to Fisher beyond the one usual quote (for the record, it's the one where she answers the question "Why do I write about food?" She says, "It seems to me that our... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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One feels that one is supposed to look out of windows, not into them. At my 9th-floor office at my family's small HR consulting firm, where I now work, my desk faces the window. When I look out, which I do a healthy bit of (it's a better quick break than Facebook, I think), I see only stacked rows of other windows, fourteen columns wide, framed in white panels, squares and rectangles . The windows belong to the Westin Hotel across the street. Besides a thin sliver of blue sky on either side, hotel windows and white panels are all... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Ovid claimed that the cause of his exile to Tomis was carmen et error -- a poem and a mistake. Recently, I've been thinking a lot about mistakes and errors. In everyday usage, these can be interchangeable, but for our purposes, they do refer to two distinct ways to get something wrong. Let's let Aristotle explain: Within the art of poetry itself there are two kinds of faults—those which touch its essence, and those which are accidental. If a poet has chosen to imitate something, [but has imitated it incorrectly] through want of capacity, the error is inherent in the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Last year, I taught poetry to first-year college students from five countries in Asia. It was hard and wonderful. One of the hard things was to convince my students to revise. Many of them felt that the original power and sentiment would be lost in the dryness and technicality of revision. On the other hand, one of the wonderful things was their interest and appreciation in one another's work. I put the latter in service of the former by asking them to "translate" a peer's poem into their own poetic language. Through this task, they saw that revision was a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
In the past week, I have clicked on two links that led me to items related to poetry (or writing more generally) and publicity. In both cases, I found the links via social media. The first link, a T Magazine article about "24-year-old M.F.A. dropout" Steve Roggenbuck, was embedded in a tweet by the poet Alex Estes, to whose tweets I subscribe. The intro to the link reads, "Oh, you haven't heard, twitter and tumblr are going to save poetry. We can all relax." Click on the link, and you'll see Roggenbuck pictured wearing "Ethletic Fair Trade, Ethically Produced shoes,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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The Rest of the Poem by Kunwar Narain Translated from the Hindi by Lucy Rosenstein Water falling on leaves means one thing Leaves falling on water another. Between gaining life fully and giving it away fully stands a full death-mark. The rest of the poem is written not with words – Drawing the whole of existence, like a full stop, it is complete at any point ... My poetry class in Bangladesh has taken root: water falling on leaves. I did not know what to expect, or maybe it's more accurate to say I did not know what I was... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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The Rest of the Poem by Kunwar Narain Translated from the Hindi by Lucy Rosenstein Water falling on leaves means one thing Leaves falling on water another. Between gaining life fully and giving it away fully stands a full death-mark. The rest of the poem is written not with words – Drawing the whole of existence, like a full stop, it is complete at any point ... My poetry class in Bangladesh has taken root: water falling on leaves. I did not know what to expect, or maybe it's more accurate to say I did not know what I was... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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First, an explanation: My name is Amy McDaniel, and it has been a month since Stacey graciously introduced me (scroll down to "In other news") as a new guest blogger. As she mentions, I will be writing from time to time from Bangladesh, where I have just begun teaching a poetry workshop and a food & fiction class at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong. I've spent the intervening month recovering from some kind of tropical stomach virus and filling out maintenance request forms to secure a working kitchen drain and reliable electricity. But during my first week here,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Aug 14, 2011