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Allison Campbell
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Denise Duhamel, Barbara Hamby, David Kirby, and David Lehman are hilarious and beautiful. This happens to be my favorite combination for poetry and people, so last night's reading for the 2014 Moorman Symposium was like going to a town where "candy canes grow on trees," "the streets are paved in pastries," and "there are no clocks," somewhere a lot like Gnürsk (a city in Poland you can visit in David Kirby's poetry). I want everyone to experience Gnürsk. It would be a shame for anyone to miss out. But if you haven't had the pleasure of hearing these poets read,... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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The second day of the Moorman Symposium began with an informal Q & A with poet Angela Ball and visiting poets Billy Collins, Denise Duhamel, Barbara Hamby, David Kirby, and David Lehman. Lehman started things off by asking everyone about their favorite writing assignments. Here are summaries of their advice on how to get to good writing: Angela Ball: Give obstructions. Which may or may not include writing the poem in Cuba (an exercise in writing based off the Danish film The Five Obstructions) Denise Duhamel: Haiku hurricanes. Make it rain, good lines of poetry. (Students write lines of 5... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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Before his reading, Billy Collins explains the mechanics of butterfly wings to fellow poets David Kirby, Angela Ball, and David Lehman. Denise Duhamel and Stacey Harwood talk about Girls, the show, the pros, the cons. And how miniature, chocolate-covered cake is so self-contained and perfectly balanced. Every head-shadow, and accompanying body, was enthralled when feature- poet Billy Collins took the stage and read from Aimless Love. Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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Day 1: Moorman Symposium, Hattiesburg, MS Graduate students from the Center for Writers took visiting poets out to lunch before the Q & A. The restaurant, whose giant tomato nobody mentioned, wanted us to fill up on conversation, so they delayed the food for as long as possible, just waiting for silence. It never happened, so eventually they brought the food anyway. David Kirby got a chicken salad but could not find the chicken. "Where's the chicken?" he asked. "It's chopped up and mixed in," said the waitress. David was skeptical but determined to get to the bottom of things.... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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The Moorman Symposium starts tomorrow. To prepare for the panel discussion on New York School poetry, I thought it would be good to sit our visiting poets -- Billy Collins, Denise Duhamel, David Lehman, David Kirby and Barbara Hamby -- down with New York School poets -- John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, and James Schuyler -- for an informal Q & A. In this mock-panel, questions found in New York School poets' work are answered with lines from contemporary poets. This conversation is so seamless you wouldn't know that decades, wars, and multiple presidents all existed between the questions... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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This Friday and Saturday, the University of Southern Mississippi will welcome poets Billy Collins, Denise Duhamel, David Lehman, David Kirby, and Barbara Hamby for the 2014 Moorman Symposium. I am glad! My professor, Angela Ball, the university’s 2013-2015 Moorman Distinguished Professor of English, is the funny and erudite force behind this symposium that will celebrate poetry and poets from the 1950s and 1960s. Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler were named “Poets of the New York School” in analogy with their friends and sometime collaborators, the New York School of Painters. Several years ago, Angela began to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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Apr 25, 2014