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Rebecca Lindenberg
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On Thursday night, Timothy O’Keefe (author of The Goodbye Town, winner of the 2010 FIELD Poetry Prize) and his girlfriend, novelist Xhenet Aliu, got into town. They brought with them Luella, their part-border-collie-part-dobermann puppy, shiny as a shoe, who spent most of the weekend running in circles around our piglet-esque, pennycolored pitbull, Ezzie. Tim and I read together for Utah State University’s “Helicon West” reading series at the Citrus & Sage Café (a cute little house that serves the local artisan-roasted coffee along with very tasty sweet or savory crepes – the best of which is served with just honey-butter,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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I love reading about food. Cookbooks, blogs, essays, you name it. And since everybody eats and therefore thinks about food, you can find writing about food from novelists and poets, housewives and scientists, the affluent and the grossly underpaid. Young writers, old men, women who don’t necessarily think of themselves as writers, and some women – like the brilliant essayist M.F.K. Fisher – who changed the way Americans not just write but also eat and think about food. M.F.K. Fisher It’s hard to overstate the importance of M.F.K. Fisher’s contribution to American culture, especially to American letters. The poet W.H.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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This past Christmas, my parents came out here to Utah for the holidays, and the four of us (myself, Joseph, and my mom and dad) went out to Bountiful, Utah for a dinner with Joseph’s folks at his grandmother’s house. Joseph’s grandmother ran a couple of restaurants in Salt Lake City for awhile – one of them, called Brad’s Café, served home cooking to a big lunch crowd of workers. A popular menu item was “Hot Hamburgers,” which Joseph remembers as “one bun and two patties, served as two open-faced burgers, smothered in brown gravy.” Brown gravy, by the way,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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In the beginning of the film Napoleon Dynamite, the credits come up as a collage of weird culinary Americana – ketchup and tater tots, mustard and corn dogs, peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches, cheeseburgers and mayonnaise, nachos studded with black olives. Plate after plate appears on a background of maroon shag rug, then baby-blue carpeting, then avocado green linoleum, and so forth. Blast from the past, bomb shelter fare, served in rooms decorated in a similar idiom. Set in Preston, Idaho, where writer-director Jared Hess grew up, Napoleon Dynamite comes right out of the Mormon Corridor, the so-called “Jell-O Belt,” that spans... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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It’s an absolute delight to be guest-blogging again here at Best American Poetry. I’ve just returned from a marvelous residency and a series of readings from the new book, and since I’ve been traveling I have found myself talking quite often – and often at my interlocutor’s behest – about Utah. Specifically, why do I live there (no, I’m not Mormon – I moved here for grad school in 2003), why don’t I leave (the mountains, the boyfriend, the good life, the job market), and what is it really like. We sometimes joke that Utah’s unofficial Chamber of Commerce slogan... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Many thanks again to Stacey Harwood and the Best American Poetry Blog for having me as a guest this past week. It’s been really exciting and wonderful for me to have this occasion to muse about poetry and related subjects, and to have this community to muse it to. There were so many things I wanted to write about and couldn't possibly have gotten around to in the days and space of a week’s blogging, so rather than try to cram in one more, I thought I’d just propose a few of the questions and notions I’ve been kicking around,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Thanks for always commenting, Jessie. (I know at least you and my mom are reading this!) :-) And thanks again for helping to make this opportunity for me. You are *wonderfulness*.
Japan As I hope we all know by know, a couple of weeks ago an earthquake of Richter scale magnitude 8.9 shattered Japan and bumped the sudden black flood of a tsunami out of the ocean’s depths, sent it pouring over the country, an archipelago which all-told has about the same land-mass as the state of California. Over 11,000 people died in this series of events, in whose aftermath a broken nuclear reactor in Fukushima is burning like a blaze in tree roots, threatening to erupt into a firestorm at any moment. Radiation is seeping into water and evaporating into... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
She would indeed, I am a great admirer of Danielle's work! Thanks for mentioning her here!
Maledizione is a pun. Male means "bad" and "edizione" means "editions" or "issues", so the name of the press translates as "bad editions". But the word Maledizione itself means curse or hex, an act of utterance designed to bring about a magical result, like a dark spell. I thought it was a pretty clever name for a publisher!
For today, some poems by just a tiny few of the contemporary lady poets whose work I really enjoy and by whom I feel both influenced and bettered. Interview by Kathryn Cowles, from Eleanor, Eleanor, Not Your Real Name Interviewer: I'm going to ask you a question. There is a right answer, and I'm very serious, and I want you to answer seriously. Seriously, but also honestly. Here is my question: What do you do if you find a dead cat? Eleanor: Name it. Interviewer: Wrong. What do you do if you find a dead cat? Eleanor: Mouth to mouth,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Languages are difficult. When we first moved to Rome I couldn’t speak a word of Italian, but I took classes and learned to talk for both of us. Once weekend we were wandering around this art installation at a villa outside of town. Someone introduced us to an Italian publisher from a press called Maledizione, I laughed at the name. He smiled. So you speak some Italian, he said. Not really, I said, but I’m learning. Me too, he grinned. I hear it’s a beautiful language. Wild onions grew in the yard, and wherever people stepped, the smell of crushed... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Oh, thanks so much, Jim, for the exceedingly nice comment. I'm happy you found things to like!
America’s Next Top Poet So, I’ve been watching America’s Next Top Poet. If you haven’t seen it yet, there are things I don’t want to spoil for you, so I’ll just give you the basic premise. You can catch up on Hulu if you want – there are only two rounds left this season but each one’s gonna be a doozy. Basically, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, this is a spin-off of Tyra Banks’ wildly successful show, America’s Next Top Model. Alas, our version is a little less picturesque. First of all, a model is lucky if her career lasts... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Bex, not hex. Stoopid spellcheck.
I sort of think any of us are only as smart as the people we can convince to talk and argue with us. So, in this case, that would be you. Also, I totally could have 8 Miled that shite and I didn't. :). Baby cat says hi. Throw that slimy blue thing fr spoo and tell him his auntie hex loves him.
Jessie, You are so *totally* the person, and you deserve fullest credit because I can't stop thinking about our talk - I just didn't want to presume to represent you! I didn't want to get you wrong, which is also why I didn't try to put your words and arguments in - but do it here, in the comments! Do it! I'm not trying to be the only voice here, I'm just not sure I can represent anybody else's but my own. And say hi to Arthur. He's a charmer, math and all. I love you. Thanks for being such a good hostess and such a good friend. xo, Bex
Poetry Matters Thank you, Best American Poetry and Stacey Harwood, for inviting me to blog and muse here for the week. I’m really excited, and since this first post turned out rather long I want to promise that my intention is to post wildly various things all week. Tomorrow, thanks to a suggestion from Nicky Beer, I’ll be musing about what kind of reality TV show “America’s Next Top Poet” would look like. For now, since this is a conversation that came up this weekend (and I’ve been thinking on it ever since), below are some thoughts on why poets... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Mar 25, 2011