June 28, 2008

A Poets Online For Kids

Recently, I reconnected with Laura Shovan who had been teaching and writing poetry in New Jersey and was an early contributor to Poets Online.

She moved to Maryland some years ago and we only seemed to connect every other year at the Dodge Poetry Festival. She still checks in on the the site and was coincidentally working on a series of poems in response to the Stafford poems in “The Darkness Around Us is Deep.” Hopefully, one of those will fit this month's prompt and find its way onto Poets Online.

Laura has made poetry her vocation these days with workshops and readings. She read last weekend with Lucille Clifton as part of the Columbia Festival of the Arts along with a group of contributors to a local literary magazine called the “Little Patuxent Review.”

Her new project is creating her Mrs. Poems site which is still under construction, but will have a poetry prompt for kids with the ability to submit poems. Laura says that it is, "Modeled after your site, of course! Let me know what you think – I’d love your comments and suggestions."

Poets Online has always had an audience with teachers and contributions from students, though many of the prompts are not really appropriate to kids, so I find a site that offers prompts and a chance to publish online for kids to be really exciting. Give Laura's project a look, and let her know your thoughts about poetry prompts and children's poetry.

June 24, 2008

Poetry at the Library of Congress

Most people probably think of the Library of Congress as, well, a library. Fans of poetry may also think of the Library of Congress as the home of our Poet Laureate.

Connected to that is a good number of other poetry-related events and resources that you can browse at Poetry at the Library of Congress.

One of those resources is the "Poet and the Poem" webcasts. This is an ongoing series of live poetry interviews (they run just under an hour in length) at the Library of Congress with distinguished artists that are available as webcasts online. The poets talk with host Grace Cavalieri about their craft and sources of inspiration.

Some of the poets featured include:
Another program is "Poet Vision" that features poets reading and talking about their work in video that was originally filmed and broadcast in Philadelphia from 1988-90. The 12 episodes capture for posterity insights from and about Lucille Clifton, Rita Dove, Allen Ginsberg, Louise Gl├╝ck, Sam Hamill, Michael Harper, Stanley Kunitz, Denise Levertov, and Robert Penn Warren. The original tapes were donated to the Library of Congress in 2000 by producers Rohm and Haas and are kept in the Library’s Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. View all webcasts in the Poet Vision series

June 21, 2008

The Last Thursday Poetry Readings

Hopefully, this series will be of special interest to New Jersey area poetry fans and longtime readers of Poets Online. The Last Thursday Poetry Readings series runs on the last Thursday of each month. They are held at the Middletown Township Public Library in central New Jersey.

Generally, the poets are from NJ and there are some names you will recognize from Poets Online both as featured poets and as contributors. (Disclaimer: I will be reading in August.)

This month's reading is June 26 at 7 PM and features Svea Barrett, Laura Boss, Jessica de Koninck and Jim Gwyn.

July 31 at 7 PM will feature Mark Brunetti, Laine Sutton Johnson, Linda Radice and Bob Rosenbloom.

To end the summer, at 7 PM on August 28 the series featured poets wil be Emari DiGiorgio, Alissa Pecora, Ken Ronkowitz and Susan Rothbard.

There is usually an open reading after the featured poets and it's a welcoming audience for new poets.

Get directions to the location via Google Maps

June 14, 2008

Parenting: Dark and Warm


After our May prompt mixing the mundane and erotic in a prose poem scared the poetry world into silence, we decided to normalize for June.

With Mother's Day and Father's Day past, the William Stafford poem "With Kit, Age 7, At The Beach" set us thinking about parenting.

That's a big topic and there are so many poems that could go into that anthology. From the poetic children we have poems that are as dark as "Daddy" by Sylvia Plath. There are also the poetic parents writing about their own parenting in poems as warm as "After Making Love We Hear Footsteps" by Galway Kinnell.

We also recommend William Stafford's poems and his many books on writing like Writing the Australian Crawl and You Must Revise Your Life.