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Catherine Woodard
http://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/
poet
Recent Activity
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Marie Ponsot held us in her spell, reading with radiant authority and a deep pleasure in the power and play of language at the University Club, NYC, where friends and family gathered Nov. 19 to celebrate her legacy as poet, teacher, and benefactor to The Writer’s Foundry at St. Joseph’s College. It came as no surprise that Ponsot, class of 1940 and this year’s recipient of the prestigious Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize (among her many other honors), asked the audience to hold applause when it broke out after she read a second poem. Quiet observation and imaginative attention to the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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When I am lucky enough to travel, I always think about communities, about how each of us is defined by layers of communities. I grew up in Kenly, N.C., a town of 1,400 people in rural North Carolina, and have now lived more than half of my life in NYC where I’ve always known a writing community, first in journalism, now in poetry. The most innovative model I know for non-profits who want to make a difference in their community, literary and otherwise, is in Spartanburg, S.C. Meet Betsy Teter, executive director and editor of the Hub City Writers Project,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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The birth of a book is a blessed day. The day I interviewed Sudeep Sen in January at his apartment in New Delhi about editing The Harper Collins Book of English Poetry, his latest poetry book Fractals: New & Selected Poems | Translations 1978-2013 arrived in boxes from Gallerie Publishers. Shelves and shelves of poetry books share top billing with an eclectic collection of visual art, including Sen’s photographs. He took the photo on the cover of the anthology. Behind his desk is a framed draft of a poem by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the prolific Indian writer and later-in-life... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
Sen reads his poem "A Blank Letter" on BAP Friday.
Sen reads one of his poems in the post tomorrow. I will add it in print too. Good idea. 646 251-8500 www.catherinewoodard.com 907 Fifth Avenue NYC 10021
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When I am lucky enough to travel, I always think about communities, about how each of us is defined by layers of communities. I grew up in Kenly, N.C., a town of 1,400 people in rural North Carolina, and have now lived more than half of my life in NYC... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2013 at Catherine Woodard
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The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry is a testament to the power of think global, write local. All 85 contemporary poets selected by the editor, Sudeep Sen, are Indians who write in English. They live in India and across the world, and write about everything under the sun in a variety of traditional forms and free verse. Sen, a poet with serious anthology credentials, took the bold step of selecting mostly new work; more than 90 percent of the poems are unpublished. So it’s a terrific snapshot of the vibrancy of English poets in India and the diaspora. Other features... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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Walking Delhi with Himanshu Verma, an emerging arts curator, follows a trail where poets share top billing with rulers and religious leaders. Poets get prominent positions in India’s history – literally – with their shrines and tombs near those of emperors and saints across Delhi. The place to be buried in Delhi from the 14th to 19th C was Nizamuddin, a village named after the exalted Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. Not far away is a vast World Heritage site, the tomb of Humayun, the second of six powerful Muslim Mughals who controlled Northern India from 1527-1707. Eternity in the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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BRINK The meaning of quiet – those corridors Knew it well. Softly girls. This building is old, Mother C lisped up stairs, her wimple Flaring like a halo. At table, tennis, we twirled spins like neat habits. A single smash could dismantle our world. Outside school, a man with a cleft lip spiced slices of raw mango. Red chilli burst into our mouth like explosions of sea water. The heat moved us to shower. We limp-toed into womanhood in spotless socks, a generation afraid of bringing things down. A backyard of bramble and weed was where we found noise. It... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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If the recent protests in India prove to be a tipping point for a safer place in society for women, language may need as much reform as police or judicial procedures. As the mother of two daughters in college, I chose to start 2013 at the New Delhi protests over the brutal gang rape and subsequent death of a female paramedical student. I was in India to meet my eldest daughter who’d been traveling with a classmate born in Nepal. As a poet and former journalist, I also dove into the language of the event, spending my nights surfing the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
Catherine Woodard is now following The Best American Poetry
Feb 16, 2013
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Catherine Woodard worked to return Poetry in Motion to the NYC subways and is a board member of the Poetry Society of America. Her poems have appeared in RHINO, Painted Bride Quarterly, Poet Lore, Southern Poetry Review and other journals. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2013 at Catherine Woodard
Love these names. CW
Likely Anthony and the Knicks still will need that poem next year. So let's stick with your vision of Steve Nash schooling the young Lin and Shumpert. CW
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NBA coach Phil Jackson won 11 championships, six with the Chicago Bulls and five with the Los Angeles Lakers. He also was a player for two titles with the Knicks in the 1970s. A Jackson literary tactic was to select books for his players on long road trips. In that spirit, I asked BAP readers to pair poems with NBA and WNBA players. Thanks for the entries. My winners of the Poet Poke. NBA CHAMPS Mary Karr, award-winning poet and best-selling memoirist, offers Losing Steps by Stephen Dunn for the San Antonio Spurs from her native Texas. Despite a 20-game... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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A presidential poll on the web asks: Could Obama beat you in basketball? Yes (46%,1,237 Votes) No (39%,1,048 Votes) Maybe (15%, 418 Votes) Baller-in-Chief.com is the name of the website collecting the votes and all things Obama and Basketball. Editor Claude Johnson also researches pre-NBA history of African Americans in basketball as president of Black Fives, Inc. Johnson launched the website in 2008 to promote the first president who plays more basketball than golf. “No matter how trivial, if it happens and it involves Obama and the word basketball, Baller-in-Chief is there.” according to a review by the Things Insular... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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“Kill your darlings” is a common command in creative writing classes. William Faulkner (1897-1962) usually gets the credit; sometimes Mark Twain (1835-1919) is mentioned. Regardless who said it first, it’s a savvy way to fine tune writing, particularly poetry. Darlings are those lines that tingle all the way from the brain to the fingers translating that brain. Reread a darling, and you smile again, and again. The basketball equivalent is a stunning scorer, someone whose sheer athleticism is an addictive thrill. But it’s an altogether different decision to decide if the phrase or the scorer helps or harms the poem... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Loss must linger on the minds of the 28 NBA teams not on the court last night when the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Miami Heat in the first game of the championship series. LeBron James of the Heat and Kevin Durant of the Thunder are in their 20s, certain to dazzle for years to come on their way to the Basketball Hall of Fame. But neither superstar is likely to usurp Michael Jordan as the greatest NBA player ever. So why did Quincy Troupe, poet and former professional basketball player, write a villanelle for the winning shot Jordan sank... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Basketball poems bugged Quincy Troupe for a long time, particularly his own. No poem he’d ever read­ – or written – captured the speed of basketball, until he wrote an ode to Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. in 1985. “They were all just too damn slow,” said Troupe, a former pro basketball player and the first Poet Laureate of California. “Basketball is quick, quick, quick.” After 20 drafts – the rewriting continued even after A Poem for Magic was published – Troupe finally (maybe) is finished with the poem. Troupe compared versions at a craft talk this spring at Poets House... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Basketball poems bugged Quincy Troupe for a long time, particularly his own. No poem he’d ever read­ – or written – ­captured the speed of basketball, until he wrote an ode to Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. in 1985. “They were all just too damn slow,” said Troupe, a former pro... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2012 at Catherine Woodard
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In the New York Botanical Garden in November, Marie Ponsot paused in front of a towering tree. She recalled as a little girl she delighted her mother with the observation that trees are just like big bunches of flowers. That power of pause, of reflection transformed with language, often with a jolt of joy (or pain), makes Marie Ponsot, 91, an inaugural NYC Literary Legend. She is a poet who sees and seizes the lyric moment in her work and in her life. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the 2012 Literary Honors Thursday. Joining Ponsot, were Walter Dean Myers for children’s... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Catherine Woodard is now following The Best American Poetry
Apr 26, 2012
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The drinks at the 2nd Poetry & Cocktail Slam at Back Forty were designed to have a bite, to sneak up on partakers – like the seven paired poems, like any good poem. Drink in hand, Bob Holman of the Bowery Poetry Club read each poem in front of the NYC bar or restaurant alchemist who invented the cocktail. Poet and performer, Holman read with his own magic: softly, slowly for “Somewhere I Never Traveled” by E. E. Cummings or booming for “Crossing the Bar” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The benefit for the Academy of American Poets was hosted by... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
John Wooden, who coached UCLA to a surely unsurpassable record of 10 NCAA basketball championships, considered poetry one of his most effective coaching tools. Poetry was not for game days, but for the locker room, bus rides, hotel lobbies and especially during practice, where Wooden believed “the real work is done, the real improvement made.” He wrote about how poetry shaped his legendary career in a prose piece for Poetry magazine and in his many books. This 2012 Final Four weekend, it’s hard to imagine Wooden reciting poetry in the tattooed turnstile men’s college basketball has become, where the best... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Poetry rides the rails again in New York City. After a four-year hiatus, Poetry in Motion is back in NYC subways, reinstated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in collaboration with the Poetry Society of America (PSA). Re-imagined in NYC under the aegis of the MTA Arts for Transit, the poems are now partnered with art in the subway posters and also printed on the backs of three million MetroCards each season. That means 12 million poems in pockets annually. Which makes Arts for Transit by far the largest publisher of poems in the world. Graduation, a poem by Dorothea... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2012 at The Best American Poetry