July 8, 2010

Ange Mlinko

Ange Mlinko [USA]
1969

Ange Mlinko was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. She earned her under-graduate degree in Philosophy and Math-ematics at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Brown University.

In 1996 Lift Books published a chapbook, Immediate Orgy and Audit. It attracted the attention of the Boston-based publisher Roland Pease, whose Zoland Books brought out her first full-length book Matinees in 1999. It received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was named one of its Best Books at the end of that year.

Her second volume, Starred Wire, was selected for the 2004 National Poetry Series by Bob Holman for Coffee House Books . It was also a finalist for the James Laughlin Award, and garnered mentions in national publications.

Mlinko's poetry is often linked to the influence of Frank O'Hara and John Ashbery, with its love of language and urban contemporary life, but she thinks of herself as reverse-engineering the New York School back to Marianne Moore, Stevens, Williams, and Crane and then bringing it all back to the very brink of the present.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Immediate Orgy and Audit (Boston: Lift Books, 1996); Matinees (Boston: Zoland Books, 1999); Starred Wire (Minneapolis: Coffee House Books, 2004)



Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006



Everything’s Carousing


Even the baroque gets lost in it.
Grass vests the dirt lest wind, twanging the skyscrapers

that merely sleeve the elevators, as we go sleeveless
except for the atmosphere, file it under Oceans.

Recalling the equations derived for ballistics —
aiming cannonballs is not like squaring lintels,

and skyscrapers are all lintel.
There isn’t a straight line amidst all these that never meet;

I will write away for it. A sound that breaks
“the record and the tie with the most singles in a season.”

Sparrows petulantly, like petals, adding subtracting
to crumbstrewn cafe tables, then boarding the ferries.


____
Reprinted from Jacket, no. 28 (October 2005). Copyright ©2005 by Ange Mlinko.

Connie Deanovich


Connie Deanovich [USA]
1960

Born in 1960, Connie M. Deanovich received her B.A. in English at Columbia College in Chicago in 1983 and her M.A. at DePaul University in Chicago in 1990. From 1983 to 1988 she worked as a publicity coordinator at The Poetry Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Upon receiving her M.A., she became a full-time instructor at Kishwaukee College in Malta, Illinois and, from 1992-1993, an adjunct instruction at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois.

In 1997 she was awarded the Whiting Writer’s Award. She had previously received a General Electric Foundation Award for Younger Writers in 1990. In 2000 her work was anthologized in American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon Universit Press).

In 1996, she published her first collection of poetry, Watusi Titanic and in 1999 Zoland Books published her Zombie Jet. She currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Watusi Titanic (New York: Timken Publishers, 1996); Zombie Jet (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Zoland Books, 1999)

Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006


Though We Wanted It to Stay

the building’s audition
was its demolition
lit from beneath by cop cars
an industrial octopus squeezed it to pieces
the orphans clustered by the pay phone
except for the one was smoking
he and his hat sat bow-legged
on the steps

just try breathing normal here

the time is always twilight
the assassins cold as a coin
with a foreign hole in the middle

just try

we may fling out our arms
“this is our world!”
but the world ignores such distractions
its machines go on fluently
like gorgeous quick-footed doctors
and we observe the operation

soon behind a turquoise curtain
we’ll need more food
something simple on a disposable plate
a glass of cold milk to wash it down with
a glance at the sunflowers out back
57 yellow heads
their seeds not yet vanished inside crows

just try making slow go fast go slow

air changes when it wants to
passing from one symphony to another
like a string of sailor’s whistles on a ship departing
massively at first
across the ocean that envelopes it

___
Reprinted from New American Writing, no. 23 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Connie M. Deanovich.




July 7, 2010

Ethan Paquin


Ethan Paquin [USA]
1975

Ethan Paquin was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, and raised in Londonderry in the same state.

He graduated from Plymouth (NH) State University and the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he studied with Dara Wier, James Tate, and Tomaz Salamun. In 1999 he founded the influential online literary journal Slope (www.slope.org), and in 2001 co-founded the nonprofit poetry press Slope Editions with Christopher Janke.

Paquin is the author of four books of poems, including The Violence (Ahsahta Press, 2005), which was runner-up for the Poetry Society of America William Carlos Williams Award. A fifth book, tentatively titled Cloud vs. Cloud, is forthcoming from Ahsahta Press.

His poetry has been anthologized in Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande Books, 2005); Isn't It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets (Wave Books, 2002); French Connections: A Gathering of Franco-American Poets (Louisiana Literature Press, 2006); and Joyful Noise: An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry (Autumn House Press, 2007). His chapbooks are Deafening Leafening (Pilot, 2009), a series of collaborative sonnets written with Matt Hart; and Nineains (Hand Held Editions, 2008).

After teaching and residing for a time in Buffalo, NY, Paquin moved back to New Hampshire, where he currently instructs at Plymouth State University and Rivier College. An avid hiker, he is currently pursuing several New England peakbagging lists, a pastime around which an ongoing creative nonfiction project revolves. He lives with his wife and children in Nashua.

BOOKS OF POETRY

The Makeshift (Devon, England: Stride Publications, 2002); Accumulus (Cambridge, England: Salt Publishing, 2003); The Violence (Bosie, Idaho: Ahshta Press 2005); My Thieves (Cambridge: Salt Publishing, 2007); Nineains (South Bend, Indiana and Brooklyn, New York: Hand Held Editions, 2008); Deafening Leafening [with Matt Hart] (Florence, Massachusetts: Pilot, 2009)

Federico García Lorca


Federico García Lorca [Spain]
1898-1936

Raised in the Moorish city of Granada, Federico García Lorca grew up enchanted by puppets, toy theaters, and theater in general. He attended the University of Granada, where he earned a law degree in 1923. But it was an interruption to his university studies, when he traveled to Madrid where he haunted the Residencia de Estudiantes, that he discovered his true talents. There he met the poets Pedro Salina, Jorge Guillén, and Juan Ramón Jiménez and the painter Salvador Dalí, creating lasting friendships.

It was also during this period that he published his first book of poetry, Libro de poemas (Book of Poems) in 1921. Canciones followed in 1927, much of it written during this same period. In 1929-1930, García Lorca left Spain to live in New York (on the campus of Columbia University), and it was there he wrote the important collection, Poeta en Nueva York (Poet in New York), published after his death. After a short visit to Cuba, he returned to Spain, becoming the head of the theatrical company, La Barraca, an experimental student group set up by the Unión Federal de Estudiantes Hispanos, with subvention by the Republican government.

The company performed a classical repertoire, and further involved him in theater writing. In early 1920, his first play, El maleficio de la mariposa (The Butterfly's Evil Spell) was performed. Although that play was unsuccessful, he followed it with several others in the the late 1920s up until the time of his death. His most notable works include Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding), first performed in 1933; Yerma (performed in 1934); and La casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba), performed after his death.

In February 1936, the new Spanish elections brought to power the Popular Front, an alliance of liberal and leftist parties. An increasing polarization between the right and left was the immediate result, and when a coup d'état failed, civil war began. García Lorca had already made his leftist political positions quite apparent the years just prior to this. In early July, he decided to leave Madrid for a visit to his family in Granada. He arrived in Granada on July 14th; the Spanish military uprising in Africa took place just three days later, and on the 20th the Granada garrison declared their support of Franco and together with the rebel generals took control of the city. A political purge followed, resulting in hundreds of "official" executions, which took place on the city cemetery. On August 16th, after taking up supposedly safe haven in the house of his poet-friend Luis Rosales, Lorca was arrested. As a leftist, a homosexual, and a man of the arts, there was little question in the minds of the Franco supporters that he was a threat. The date of his death by execution is uncertain. But on August 18th or 19th, at the age of 38, he was murdered.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Libro de poemas (Madrid: Maroto, 1921); Canciones (Málaga, Spain: Litoral/Imprenta Sur, 1927); Primer romancero gitano (Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 1928); Poema del cante jondo (Madrid: Ulises/Iberoamericana, 1931); Oda a Walt Whitman (Mexico City: Alcancía, 1933); Llanto por Igacio Sánchez Mejías (Madrid: Cruz & Raya/Arbol, 1935); Seis poemas galegos (Santiago de Compostela, Spain: Nós, 1935); Primeras canciones (Madrid: Héroe, 1936); Obras completas, 8 volumes, edited by Guillermo de Torre (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1938-1946); Poeta en Nueva York (Mexico City: Séneca, 1940); Poemas póstumos (Mexico City: Mexicanas, 1945); Diván del Tamarit (Barcelona: A.D.L., 1948); Siete poemas y dos dibujos inéditos, edited by Luis Rosales (Madrid: Cultura Hispánica, 1949); Suites, edited by André Belamich (Barcelona: Ariel, 1983).

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS

Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter (London: Heinemann, 1937; New York: Oxford University Press, 1937); Poems, trans. by Stephen Spender and J. L. Gili (London: Dolphin/New York: Oxford, 1939); The Poet in New York and Other Poems of Federico García Lorca, trans. by Rolfe Humphries (New York: Norton, 1940); Gypsy Ballads, translated by Langston Hughes (Beloit, Wisconsin: Beloit College, 1951); The Selected Poems of Federico García Lorca (New York: New Directions, 1955); Poem of the Gypsy Seguidilla (Providence, R.I.: Burning Deck, 1967); Diván and Other Writings, trans. by Edwin Honig (Providence, R.I.: Bonewhistle, 1974); Songs, edited by Daniel Eisenberg (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1976); Poem of the Deep Song (San Francisco: City Lights, 1988); Ode to Walt Whitman and Other Poems, trans. by Carlos Bauer (San Francisco: City Lights, 1988); Four Lorca Suites, trans. by Jerome Rothenberg (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1989); Sonnets of Love Forbidden, trans. by David K. Loughran (Missoula, Montana: Windsong, 1989); Federico García Lorca: Selected Verse, edited by Christopher Maurer (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1994); Suites, trans. by Jerome Rothenberg (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2001)

July 5, 2010

Carter Ratcliff

Carter Ratcliff [USA]
1941

Born in Seattle, Washington, Carter Ratcliff grew up in Michigan and Ohio. In 1963, he earned a B.A. in English from the University of Chicago. By 1967, he had settled in New York and found his way into the milieu of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project. His poems first appeared in The World, the Poetry Project magazine. Early in the 1970s, he conducted one of the Project’s poetry workshops.

With the publication of his gallery reviews in Artnews, in 1969, Ratcliff joined the ranks of those New York poets who pursue a second career as art critics. Since then his art writing has appeared in major art journals in the United States and abroad, and in catalogues published by major American and European museums.

His books on art include John Singer Sargent (Abbeville Press, 1982); Robert Longo (Rizzoli, 1985); The Fate of a Gesture: Jackson Pollock and Postwar American Art (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1996); Out of the Box: The Reinvention of Art, 1965-1975 (Allworth Press, 2001); and Andy Warhol: Portraits (Phaidon Press, 2007).

Ratcliff has received a Poets Foundation grant, 1969; an Art Critics grant, NEA, 1972 and 1976; a Guggenheim Fellowship, 1976; and the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism, College Art Association, 1987. His editorial positions include Editorial Associate, Artnews, 1969-1972; Advisory Editor, Art International, 1970-1975; Contributing Editor, Art in America, 1976 to the present; Contributing Editor, Saturday Review, 1980-1982; Editorial board, Sculpture Magazine, 1992 to the present; and Contributing Editor, Art on Paper, 2001 to present.

Though Ratcliff has said, “My poems are all love poems,” his poetry ranges over many themes and subjects, among them landscape and, in particular, the American sense of space; the interplay of poetry and painting; politics, with an emphasis on questions of individual agency; the nature of narrative, as exemplified by such genres as the detective story and the political thriller; figures of ancient myth and tragedy; and the characters of the commedia dell’arte. “A quality of language brings with it an intuition of character,” says Ratcliff. “When I put my sense of another’s voice into play I am brought by a roundabout path to the full range of my own interests. This is anything but mysterious. The dramatic monologue is about as transparent as a fiction can be. To elaborate it—to speak in a variety of obviously made-up voices—is to stay alive to something we all know, that meaning is not only a work in progress but a perennial collaboration between oneself and all the others who inhabit one’s landscape.”


BOOKS OF POETRY

Fever Coast ( New York: Kulchur Press, 1973); Give Me Tomorrow [with art by Alex Katz] (New York: Vehicle Editions, 1983); Arrivederci, Modernismo (New York: Libellum Press, 2007)


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006



The Raven Was Right

The earth circles the sun,
not the sun the earth. I suspected as much,

though I can’t imagine what circles the raven
or what the raven circles, and, oh, I forgot,

your ex-boyfriend called,
he wants you back.
He wants to be your shadow.

Love is hard,
and harder still to classify. Is it an object, a theory, a form
like a sonnet or form like a villa or a palindrome? Who knows,

and why not? Are we all too hopelessly eroded
by whatever the measure of charisma we still possess?
Is everything the fault of the motion picture camera?

sigh the powers that were
and would like to regain their old preeminence, the glamor
and the glory of the one that flings the many into shadow, and, oh, I forgot

your ex-girl friend called, she wants to be your many shadows
and I guess you must know, by now, your old place is for rent again,
and all that is fair in love is still too stubborn to give war a chance, still refuses
to give even name, rank and serial number.

Is that because love is so rare,
so unlike other things, or is it, au contraire,
too like all those other things?

Leaving the arcade and turning south,
the personage stumbled but never fell, never
came anywhere near falling, in song or story, despite the moral disaster

the world underwent just then, more by coincidence
than for any reason that need engage a mind as dreamy as yours,
my darling, my pretext for opening my eyes
in the morning, in the evening, whenever I want, because why not?
I leave it to the moth who circles my head like a flame

to remind me that you left me
years ago, before time began and reminders
were ever necessary, and I can’t imagine who reminds the moth of her task,
what infinitely versatile thing takes the trouble to do so, to be the world

that invites us to love the truce that we have made with it.

____
Reprinted from Vanitas, No.1 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Carter Ratcliff.

David Barnett

David Barnett [England/lives Wales]
1929

Born in England in 1929, David Barnett was educated at a boys’ grammar school and, after National Service in Germany, at Oxford University, where he read Modern History. He took a variety of odd jobs before sailing to Malaysia and Thailand, where he spent six months with mostly remote tribal people.

After a spell in advertising, he traveled around the world for several years, with long stays in India, Australia, Tahiti and Mexico. He later taught in the inner London schools of ten years before moving to Wales to run a community whole foods shop.

Barnett describes himself as a vegan who eats mostly raw food. He runs a marathon and walks prodigiously through the beautiful Welsh countryside, dancing frequently and celebrating with his friends. He lives in a remote farmhouse on a moor.

Barnett has been writing poems for more than 30 years, and has published several books, including Bent in Water and All the Year Round. He is currently preparing a new collection of poems for publication. He has had more than a hundred poems in magazines and has won several literary prizes.

His poems, he observes, “are about many things—the natural world, dance, tribal people, the land of Wales and its amazing past, other creatures, the Holocaust, love and death. The genesis of each poem comes from elsewhere. Important to me are the sound of words and the rhythm of a poem which should approach to the condition of music. I’m taken, too, with symbols. A true poem suggests as well as says. Its inner truth must be teased out.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Bent in Water (Spectrum, 1985); Fretwork (Passenger Pigeon Press, 1990); All the Year Round (Envoi Publications, 1993)


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006

from Dance your Dance

(xi)

On this isle, yam-friendly,
dancing—palm with palm—
leavens. Hips hula, drum-
cued. Soles tamp
the land that slews,

spreads its jasmine breath to ruck
the bark-cloth of those
who, paddle-stopped, pirogued here
to squat a tropic. Week
a braid a hut,

months for the dance, pliant
as the dove’s, tide-
floss across a lagoon-cleft,
a kelp-tassels, sucklings’
gums. Parties

are bound to dance in the whorl
of their fortune, lavish
like click-beetles, folklore,
fish-spring, dusk’s
colours. Further

birth for the ageless hours
when a fit galliard
makes love, crams gatherings
with the conch-songs
in the glaze

on a reef’s scales. Blest
settlers, hoped, matched
with their porpoise swell. Till frigates—
iron-prowed—jib.
Their freight death.

____
Reprinted from Poetry Wales, XVI, no. 2 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by David Barnett.



For another poet by Barnett, go here: http://barnettpoems.wordpress.com/



July 2, 2010

Campbell McGrath

Campbell McGrath [USA]
1962

Campbell McGrath was born in Chicago in 1962, grew up in Washington, D.C., and has lived mostly in Chicago, Manhattan, and Miami, where he cur-rently resides with his wife and two sons. He was educated at the University of Chicago and Columbia University, from which he received his M.F.A. in 1988. He has taught at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and, since 1993, in the M.F.A program at Florida International University, where he is the Philip and Patricia Frost Professor of Creative Writing.

His first book, Capitalism, was a Wesleyan New Poets selection in 1990, and his subsequent books have been published by The Ecco Press. Following the publication of his third book, Spring Comes to Chicago, in 1996, McGrath received a number of honors, including the Kingsley Tufts Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations. Three more Ecco Press books have followed, as well as Heart of Anthracite: Collected Prose Poems, from Stride books in England.

His writing often focuses on American history, culture, and landscape because it’s what he knows and cares about most deeply, and because the explanations America owes the world might best be delivered by its poets. He often casts his poems in prose, and does not believe the perceived distinction between “prose” and “verse” is particularly meaningful or consequential. He admires the flexibility of omnivorousness of poetry as a medium for exploring and documenting the world. His heroes include Woody Guthrie, Vincent Van Gogh, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, and his future projects include a three-volume poetic investigation of Elvis Presley’s afterlife in purgatory.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Capitalism (Hanover, New Hampshire: Wesleyan University Press, 1990); American Noise (Hopewell, New Jersey: The Ecco Press, 1993); Spring Comes to Chicago (Hopewell, New Jersey: The Ecco Press, 1996); Road Atlas (Hopewell, New Jersey: The Ecco Press, 1999); Florida Poems (New York: Ecco Press/HarperCollins, 2002); Pax Atomica (New York: Ecco Press/HarperCollins, 2004); Heart of Anthracite: Prose Poems, 1980-2005 (Exeter, England: Stride Press, 2005)

Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006


The Glann Road

Artichoke and thistle: two purples.
Artichoke, thistle, salsify, clover, lavender, loosestrife.
Blue is another country, another realm or province,

blue is a fiefdom unknown to the bees who gang the beds of heather, heads bowed and beaded in [fealty to the Land of Nod.

Clouds are another story altogether,
clouds in their pilgrimage across that starry
demesne, another lifetime, future and past
erased like the rib-blue slate that
floors the lake in sheets as terse as syllables.

Gaillimh: curragh, longboat, hooker. A white horse in the meadow.

Hydrangea the color of melon rind; of indigo, oyster shell, guelder rose.
Hydrangea in the meadow the color of mist, of the piebald mule seeking shelter

beneath the giant oak
islanded in an ocean of black wasps drunk on clover flower.
Joy of the nectar-sated, the smoke-holy,
Kevin in the sanctity of his cold-water tribulation
long before whomever it was
left these ruins of monastic simplicity
marooned amid the heath and ancient yews,
nave, bier, cist,
oracle or temple, scatter of fieldstone, crusheen like a transmitter
pulsing devotion, whatever energy that is, radiant as faith,
quasar or saturnic ring, the stolid earth, its moon,
rocks in a high and lonely place,
six round cobbles from the waters of Lough Corrib,
stones in their orphanhood, their antigravitational hegira,
their lithic ascension
toward fields of hagiographic light.

To locate the self without compass on a lake of many islands,
teal against alum, topaz on shale.
To defend the ancient tower from the piracy of the other, floribunda the color of sea-salt, fist of [the artichoke cloaked in thistle.
To relent. To surrender to the hydrangea. To give oneself over to the blossoming
tendrils of the sweat pea vine,
their vellum prolixity
trellised against a hayrick of rain and a rainbow gone
underground. And the green snake,

vivid as myth, dreaming the spiral of a pre-Celtic divinity,

wild swans in a cove of reeds, a prayer to Saint Francis
Xavier, cerulean offerings to Elatha or Cernunnos,
yesterday's cuttings to propitiate a blue goddess:

zinnia, witches' thimble, chicory, forget-me-not.

____
Reprinted from Electronic Poetry Review, no. 7 (June 2005). Copyright 2005 by Campbell McGrath.

H. L. Hix


H. L. Hix [USA]
1960

H. L. Hix was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and grew up in small towns in the south. He earned his B.A. in English and philosophy from Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee, whose campus—with its “sward” and “towers”—was once the home of the girls’ finishing school memorialized in John Crowe Ransom’s “Blue Girls.” He took his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Texas in Austin.

Hix taught philosophy and literature for fifteen years at the Kansas City Art Institute, then held an administrative role at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and is now Professor of English and director of the creative writing M.F.A. at the University of Wyoming. Recognitions afforded his poetry include the Grolier Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize, and an NEA fellowship.

Hix’s dozen books include works on contemporary continental philosophy (e.g. Spirits Hovering Over the Ashes: Legacies of Postmodern Theory), works of practical criticism (e.g. Understanding William H. Gass), and poetics (e.g. As Easy Lying: Essays on Poetry). His book about poetry, God Bless: A Political/Poetic Discourse, was published in 2007.

He reports an inability to decide whether he is trying to write poetry that is sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic, his claims for poetry having included three of these.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Perfect Hell (Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 1996); Rational Numbers (Kirksville, Missouri: Truman State University Press, 2000); Surely As Birds Fly (Kirksville, Missouri: Truman State University Press, 2002); Shadows of Houses (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2005); Chromatic (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2006); Legible Heavens (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2008); First Fire, Then Birds: Obsessionals 1985-2010 (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2010)


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006

Winter
from “The God of Window Screens and Honeysuckle”

Stubble rows, four matte, four shiny in morning sun,
show the combine’s direction. What can be preserved
must be preserved as some self other than its own.
Bent cattails mimic stubble in the frozen pond.
Suet nearly gone, chickadees cling upside down
to the feeder. Above it, a hedgeapple wedged
between branches since fall. Past that, changing direction
at once, fast as mackerel, a thousand blackbirds.
Skaters on a pond, we fall into what we know,
drown in disorienting light before we freeze.
In angled afternoon sun, the fence’s shadow
caresses the snow’s contours like tight-fitting clothes.
Even when grass greens to re-enact spring, the snow
will linger, longest in the shadows of houses.


_____
Reprinted from Shadows of Houses (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2005). Copyright ©2005 by H. L. Hix.