It’s amazing to us that a decade has passed since the Poetry Society of America launched our annual PSA Chapbook Fellowship Program in 2003. The PSA has been honored and fortunate to have worked with and such an impressive roster of now 40 chapbook winners and the 40 acclaimed judges who selected their work for publication. Read new work from the winners.
SITE VISITS: Interviews with the editors at online journals. First up are Octopus, Paperbag, and H_NGM_N: http://bit.ly/13kFLh1
On this date in 1958, a US Federal Court decides that Ezra Pound is incurably, permanently insane. Treason charges are dropped. “How did it go in the madhouse? Rather badly. But what other place could one live in America?”
In other poetry news, on this date in 1839, Charles Baudelaire was expelled from college.
ALSO: Happy Birthday James Franco. (Is it a coincidence that this man was born smack dab in the middle of National Poetry Month?)
And Don’t Forget: Happy Poem In Your Pocket Day!
“Please don’t tell me to carry a map,” Federico García Lorca wrote his parents from New York, while studying English at Columbia University and writing Poet in New York. “The map never helps me at all, it’s useless. When it comes to maps, I have no sense of direction. When I trust my own instinct I reach my destination, but a map only leads me astray.”
For the rest of us, here is a nifty interactive map of Lorca in NYC.
The retrievals that Donald Allen made of Frank O’Hara’s poems began in 1968 with his sorting through the manuscripts of poetry and prose in cartons and files that Kenneth Koch took away for safekeeping in two suitcases from Frank’s loft at 791 Broadway the night in July, 1966, after Frank died––the nearly 700 items that first Kenneth and I and then Frank’s sister Maureen and her husband at the time Walter Granville-Smith subsequently photocopied a few weeks later. Together with the versions already published in books, magazines and anthologies, these manuscripts formed the textual basis for what Donald Allen––Don, as I came to know him as a neighbor in Bolinas in the 1970s––would call, when it first appeared, in 1971, “the splendid palace known asThe Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara.” A pared-down volumeThe Selected Poems of Frank O’Hara, also edited by Don, came out in 1974, followed the next year by the book of uncollected prose, Standing Still and Walking in New York. It was in the latter book that Don first used the term “retrieved.”
—an excerpt from the Introduction by Bill Berkson to Poems Retrieved, Frank O’Hara.
The Runners / IRVING FELDMAN
bobbing in place at street corners, then
lifting their knees suddenly and leaping
into the densest, loudest traffic
(of briefest trajectories, of shortest views),
in transit yet at ease, breathing, loping,
like bearers of distance and pure direction,
darting half naked out of nowhere and
where, where in the world are they running to?
swift and solitary, silent beings
who, should you now step into the path,
have dodged away, or, if you raise a hand
to stay them to speak, immediately
are gone: who are these runners who create
in their gliding such fine, singular spaces
among the street’s vociferous jargons?
—as if each one were a still, wordless message
or question one would answer if one could grasp it,
this one, that one, sliding past, going away,
while you stand there, your hand raised to no purpose,
your hidden heart rejoicing that the quick heel
won’t soon, won’t ever, be overtaken,
although you, as you have longed to, suddenly
disburden yourself and follow follow.
Hope you can join us for KEEPING TIME tomorrow! Some incredible poets and musicians will celebrate Grand Central’s centennial in Vanderbilt Hall Wednesday April 10 at 7PM. Poets Billy Collins, Aracelis Girmay, Jeffery Yang, Eduardo Corral, Bob Holman, and Marie Howe will join musicians Yaz Band, Mariachi Flor de Toloache, Salieu Suso and The Hot Sardines from MUNY for a night of music and poetry. KEEPING TIME, presented by Arts for Transit and The Poetry Society of America, will celebrate the grand historic place- its architecture, crowds, iconography, and poetics- by keeping time with its grand narrative. Free and open to the public. Limited seating. Hope to see you there!
“There, there’s only order, beauty: abundant, calm, voluptuous.”
-Charles Baudelaire (born today in 1821) from Invitation to the Voyage, trans. Keith Waldrop.