Poetry Foundation announces its winter and spring line-up of events and exhibitions

The January 2020 issue of POETRYmagazine, which is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. It is published by Poetry Foundation

First issue cover, October 1912

The magazine was founded in 1912 by Harriet Monroe, an author who was then working as an art critic for the Chicago Tribune. She wrote at that time:

“The Open Door will be the policy of this magazine—may the great poet we are looking for never find it shut, or half-shut, against his ample genius! To this end the editors hope to keep free from entangling alliances with any single class or school. They desire to print the best English verse which is being written today, regardless of where, by whom, or under what theory of art it is written. Nor will the magazine promise to limit its editorial comments to one set of opinions.”

In a circular she sent to poets, Monroe said the magazine offered:

“First, a chance to be heard in their own place, without the limitations imposed by the popular magazine. In other words, while the ordinary magazines must minister to a large public little interested in poetry, this magazine will appeal to, and it may be hoped, will develop, a public primarily interested in poetry as an art, as the highest, most complete expression of truth and beauty.”

The magazine first established its online presence in 1998 at poetrymagazine.org and, after a 2003 grant from Ruth Lilly, moved to poetryfoundation.org in 2005.

Publication in Poetry is highly selective and consists of three increasingly critical editorial rounds. With a publication rate of submissions at about 1%, the magazine is “one of the most difficult to get [published in]”.



The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetrymagazine and the home for poetry in Chicago, announces its winter and spring events and exhibitions.

The events began on January 9 with the opening of the new exhibition A.R. Ammons: Watercolors, and are scheduled to run through May. The season includes readings with two former US poets laureate, a peek at a punk musical, and celebrations of collaborative creation.

“We are excited to begin the New Year with programming that celebrates the range of ways people experience and create poetry, ” said Henry Bienen, Poetry Foundation president. “We hope you’ll join us, and make poetry an active part of your plans for 2020.”

THREE NEW EXHIBITIONS

A.R. Ammons (1988) copyright by Robert Barker, 1998 / Fair Use

This season features three exhibitions that span several decades and artistic media, two in the Poetry Foundation Gallery and one in partnership with Newberry Library. First in the Poetry Foundation Gallery is A.R. Ammon: Watercolors, featuring the abstract watercolors of one of the 20th century’s most gifted and prolific poets; visitors can learn about the relationship between Ammons’s work in both art forms at the January 9 opening event with scholar Elizabeth Mills; the exhibition runs until April 30.



Jun Fujita cabin at Voyageurs National Park, listed in the National Register of Historic Place / Public Domain

Jun Fujita (1888 – 1963) was a first-generation Japanese-American photojournalist, photographer, silent film actor, and published poet in the United States. He was the first Japanese-American photojournalist. As an American, Fujita lived in Chicago, Illinois and worked for the now defunct newspapers: the Chicago Evening Post, published from 1886 to 1932, and Chicago Daily News, which was published 1876 to 1978. Fujita was the only photographer to document the aftermath of the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. Following his death in 1963, most of his work was donated to the Chicago Historical Society, which later became the Chicago History Museum.



A few blocks away, Jun Fujita: American Visionary is open January 24–March 31 at the Newberry and focuses on the extraordinary accomplishments of poet and photojournalist Jun Fujita. An expanded version of Jun Fujita: Oblivion, first mounted at the Poetry Foundation in 2017, Jun Fujita: American Visionary introduces new materials such as pieces about Chicago’s literary and publishing scene and the era of organized crime, including an Al Capone portrait and letter. Fujita, who regularly published in Poetry, is the photographer behind some of the most iconic images from Chicago history, including photographs of the Eastland disaster, the 1919 race riots, and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Poetry by Winterhouse explores the 12-year collaboration between the Poetry Foundation and the Winterhouse design studio, cofounded by William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand. The exhibition covers April 2005–June 2017, illustrating Winterhouse’s illumination of Poetry’s rich history, the expansion and evolution of the magazine’s visual style, and the progression toward the Foundation’s current Pentagram designs. This spring, design luminaries Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand visit for a discussion in response to the exhibition, in honor of the late William Drenttel.

MULTIDISIPLINARY CONNECTIONS

Source: Ms. Bradfield’s Amazon page

The connections between poetry and other artistic media extends throughout the season’s events. In January, poet Elizabeth Bradfield and artist Antonia Contro discuss their collaborative work Theorem, published by Chicago’s own Candor Arts. On February 4, the city continues to take center stage with a sneak peek at Verböten, The House Theatre of Chicago’s new musical about a punk band getting ready for a show in 1983, based on the exploits and including the music of Jason Narducy.

There is no shortage of music for all tastes, as later in February Poetry in Russian Music comes to the Poetry Foundation with a performance of work by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, and others who were inspired by Russian poets. Always Already, a composition for voice, fixed electronics, keyboards, and vibraphones by Ben Vida, premieres in March in a performance presented with Lampo. In April, pianist Stephen Alltop and soprano Josefien Stoppelenburg return for a program of poetry by Heinrich Heine, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and e.e. cummings in evocative musical settings.

POETRY FOR ALL

Poets with varied approaches and interests share their work on the Poetry Foundation stage. Patricia Lockwood, author of the highly acclaimed memoir Priestdaddy and two collections of poetry, reads on February 13. On March 13, poet Matthew Zapruder reads and discusses his work as a writer, translator, and editor.

Later in the season, two former US poets laureate read at the Poetry Foundation: Robert Hass, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Time and Materials, on March 26, and Billy Collins, winner of the Poetry Foundation’s inaugural Mark Twain Poetry Award, on April 16.

Young People’s Poetry Day, the annual celebration for the youngest poetry fans and their families, kicks off National Poetry Month on April 4 with a reading by Carson Ellis, poetry writing activities, crafts, and a poetry scavenger hunt. Teenagers can experience a reading by former National Youth Poet Laureate Patricia Frazier at the teens-only ChiTeen Lit Fest.

Celebrate the poets of tomorrow with two readings by student poets in May, sharing work they’ve written as part of the Chicago Poetry Center programs.

HOURS AND EVENT DETAILS

These are only a selection of the varied events that the Poetry Foundation offers this season. For all event listings, details, and advance registration visit poetryfoundation.org/events.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis at the Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street, Chicago, IL.

In addition, the Poetry Foundation Library, home to a collection of more than 30,000 books of poetry, is open to the public weekdays and select Saturdays, including January 18, February 8, March 21, April 18, and May 16, from 11:00 AM–4:00 PM, as well as select evenings, including January 21, February 18, March 17, April 21, May 19, from 4:00 PM–7:00 PM.

This post is complied courtesy of Poetry Foundation, Wikipedia, and Amazon.

About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook, Twitter @PoetryFound and @Poetrymagazine, and Instagram @PoetryFoundation.


Poetry Rocks the World!

Jamie DedesAbout /Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium Ko-fi

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FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Webby Award to The Poetry Foundation, Resource for Poets and Poetry Lovers

May 2019 issue of Poetry

“The oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world.”



The Poetry Foundation, poetry website host and publisher of publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture, The Foundation was named the Best Charitable Organizations/Non-Profit Website in the 23rd Annual Webby Awards.  The Foundation was honored at a ceremony on Monday evening, May 13, in New York City. Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet.



The first Poetry issue, October 1912 / public domain

The Poetry Foundation Website, Resource for Poets and Poetry Lovers

The Poetry Foundation website reaches a global audience of poem enthusiasts, students and educators, and the culturally curious. The website features the most robust online poem archive available, more than 4,000 poet biographies, six podcasts, and multiple newsletters. In 2018, poetryfoundation.org added 300 new poet biographies, 900 new poems to the archive, 35 feature articles, and averaged 3.9 million monthly visitors.



“Our goal is to reach and engage a broad audience with poetry,” said Harlan Wallach, Poetry Foundation chief technology officer and director of digital programs. “We’re humbled to recognize the countless contributors, poets, writers, artists, illustrators, and editors who bring new poetry content to the Internet every day.”

If you are viewing this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view this video to senior editor James Sitar delivering the five-word (customary at the Webbly’s) acceptance speech:

IADAS, which nominates and selects the Webby Award winners, is comprised of digital industry experts, including Instagram’s head of fashion partnerships Eva Chen, director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society Susan P. Crawford, actor and activist Jesse Williams, GE CMO Linda Boff, Pod Save the People host and activist DeRay Mckesson, Google’s head of conversation design Cathy Pearl, Fortnite designer Eric Williamson, HBO digital chief Diane Tryneski, Los Angeles Laker Isaiah Thomas, and DDB Worldwide CEO Wendy Clark.

A full list of both The Webby Awards and Webby People’s Voice winners can be found at webbyawards.com/winners.

About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook at facebook.com/poetryfoundation,  Twitter @PoetryFound and @Poetrymagazine, and Instagram @PoetryFoundation.

About The Webby Awards
Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, Video, Advertising, Media & PR, Apps, Mobile, and Voice, Social, Podcasts, and Games. Established in 1996, this year’s Webby Awards received nearly 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: Instagram, WP Engine, EY, YouGov, Vitamin T, YouTube, WNYC Studios, Fast Company, ESA, Product Hunt, and Social Media Week.

Find The Webby Awards Online:
Website: www.webbyawards.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/TheWebbyAwards
Snapchat: TheWebbyAwards
Twitter: @TheWebbyAwards
YouTube: www.youtube.com/webby

This post is courtesy of The Poetry Foundation, Poetry Magazine, and the Webbly Awards.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poems in “I Am Not a Silent Poet”
* Remembering Mom in HerStry
* Three poems in Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Martín Espada, the first Latino to be awarded the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize

Reading at Fall for the Book 2014, Puerto Rican -American Poet, Martin Espada (b. 1957) – photo courtesy of Slowking4 under GFDL 1.2



“Even the post political poem is an act of faith.” Martin Espada

The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize is presented annually to a living US poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant singular recognition. It is one of the most prestigious awards given to American poets and, with a prize of $100,000, one of the nation’s largest literary prizes. The award is sponsored and administered by the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, and will be presented to Espada at a ceremony at the Poetry Foundation on Monday, June 11.

“Martín Espada’s work and life tell the real and lived story of America, in which the importance of poems and legal rights go hand in hand,” said Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine. “A tenants’ rights attorney before he became a celebrated and cherished poet, Espada’s passions are as compelling and apt as his precisions—both now more timely than ever.”

Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1957. He earned a BA in history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a JD from Northeastern University. As an attorney, he served as supervisor of Su Clínica Legal, a legal services program for low-income, Spanish-speaking tenants in Chelsea, Massachusetts, outside Boston. As a poet, an essayist, an editor, and a translator, he has dedicated himself to the pursuit of social justice, fighting for the rights of Latino/a communities and reclaiming the historical record from oblivion. His greatest influence is his father, Frank Espada, a community organizer, civil rights activist, and documentary photographer who created the Puerto Rican Diaspora Documentary Project and founded East New York action in the ’60s.

“To receive a lifetime achievement award in the form of the Ruth Lilly Prize is a great honor that causes me to reflect: on my father, as artist and activist, who died four years ago; on Jack Agüeros, the first poet I ever met; on the days I sat outside the courtroom, scribbling poems on legal pads; on the people in the poems I write, Whitman’s ‘numberless unknown heroes equal to the greatest heroes known.’”

Espada’s latest collection of poems from Norton is Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), Alabanza (2003), A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (2000), Imagine the Angels of Bread (1996), and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (1990).

He has received a Shelley Memorial Award, a Robert Creeley Award, a National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, a PEN/Revson Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of his collection Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. Collections of Espada’s poems have been published in Puerto Rico, Spain, Chile, France, Germany, England, and Turkey. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of a Mexican American studies program outlawed by the state of Arizona and has been issued in a new edition by Northwestern University Press. Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Martin Espada’s website is HERE. His Amazon page is HERE. Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine on Facebook at facebook.com/poetryfoundation or on Twitter @PoetryFound.


ABOUT

Second Light Network of Women Poets: Celebrating Anthologies of Women’s Poetry

They thought death was worth it, but I Have a self to recover, a queen. Is she dead, is she sleeping? Where has she been, With her lion-red body, her wings of glass?

They thought death was worth it, but I
Have a self to recover, a queen
Is she dead, is she sleeping?
Where has she been,
With her lion-red body, her wings of glass?
excerpt from “Stings” by Sylvia Plath

*** ANTHOLOGY “HER WINGS OF GLASS” ***
 
“I’m completely wowed … the most important anthology for decades,” John Killick
 
“tremendously inspiring,” Moniza Alvi  

“an amazing anthology,” Pauline Stainer
 
“It’s a magnificent anthology (and I’m not just saying this because my mother’s face peers at me from the cover!),” Adam Horovitz
 
“I’m impressed,” Anne Stevenson

Second Light Network of Women Poets (SLN) does many wonderful things for women poets of a certain age, but among the loveliest is the production of poetry anthologies. SLN’s latest anthology is Her Wings of Glass, the title taken from Sylvia Plath’s poem Stings in which she uses the life in the hive as metaphor for her own life and feelings.

When we consider all the elements of an apiary with its oddly flipped sexual structure, the momentary life of the parthenogenic queen juxtaposed against the leisurely life of drifting drones, we appreciate the brilliance of Plath’s using the apiary as an allegory for her relationship with her husband and her conflicted feelings about domesticity and motherhood.  The bee community makes for an apt illustration of Plath’s poetic self (queen), her domestic self (drudge), her distaste for other women willing to be drudges, to sacrifice themselves.  The poem is intensely personal, has elements of tenderness but ends fiercely. (FYI: You can view photographs of Plath’s worksheets HERE.)

It’s easy to appreciate just why the women of the ’60s were so enamored of Sylvia Plath, why she is still appreciated for both her observations and her craft.  It’s also easy to understand why a reference to Plath’s work would make such a good title for a collection of poetry by contemporary women poets. The anthology, like the poets, poetry and the work in ARTEMISpoetry (biannual magazine) represent a cross-section of A-list poets and a range of themes, subjects and styles.

ARTEMISpoetry, Issue 14

Issue 14

There’s a good piece by Anne Stewart on Her Wings of Glass in the May 2015 issue of ARTEMISpoetry, which focuses on anthologies. Due to the very nature of SLN, many are the poets and poems that might be overlooked by other press as not in line with mainstream literary standard. I deem this an advantage indeed and wish more publishers would take note.

Petronella Gives a Reading c Kate Folley

Petronella Gives a Reading (c) Kate Foley

In addition to celebrating poetry anthologies, the current issue also featured Alison Brackenbury, the award-winning author of eight collections, and Jemma Borg in an interesting piece by Kay Syrad: The Illuminated World, A Dialogue Between Science and Poetry.   Jemma studied evolutionary genetics and worked as a tech editor among other jobs. She stands at the intersection of science and poetry.

“I tend now to think of science and poetry in some kind opposition because they are such different systems of thought in terms of the philosophical roots and development, but essentially it is this love of what is unknown that is common to both and which forms my motivation as an individual: how can we, and indeed is it possible to, understand this world we are embedded in.”

Susan Wicks selected the poetry shared  in this issue, which included these two:

Gift from my Daughter

A pink bag with lime-green flowers
in silk floated
like a lotus as she carried it
down the ward.

We fizzed with giggles over
the contents,
cream laced with sandalwood
and lavender,
lip-salve with lemon,
little bottles steeped in mint
and nutmeg,
a Morpheus spray
to enchant the pillow with sleep.

Outside, the weather slashed its tail
of water-scales
and hail,
and we unpacked the orient,
distilled these gardens from the east.

Isobel Thrilling

Where lies the blame?

Things in their quiet think no harm,
light probes, passes, leaves unmoved
knife, whip, Kalashnikov.

Stone voices grate, shingle shifts,
things in unquiet hands drip blood
the birds no longer sing.

Shadows touch, move on, abandon
farmhouse, barn and empty field
the bees have gone.

Jenna Plewes

The homage to Anne Cluysenaar in this issue was warm and appreciative and the thoughts of several poets who knew her were included. I find this sort of acknowledgement and loyalty touching and asked for permission to include Alison Mace’s poem in this blog post. Alison said that we need to read Anne’s Diary Poems to fully appreciate her poem, but I took it at face value and warmed to it, though I haven’t read Touching Distances: Diary Poems.  I like Alison’s poem for the gentle way it shows how one poet and her work and life were valued.

from LIVES OF THE POETS
ANNE CLUYSENAAR 1936-2014

Alison Mace writes: Since Anne Cluysenaar’s appalling and untimely death, I have meant to write about her, a poem if possible. Anne came, when she could, to our monthly NaCOT poetry-writing group at William and Juliet Ayot’s house near Chepstow. We were so lucky to have her. Her contributions were memorable and heart-warming, both of her own work – several of the Diary Poems that became Touching Distances – and in the help she gave the rest of us with our own poems.

.
Anne

‘Wise’ comes first to mind,
then ‘kind’,
and then so many more.
Heartsore,
we count the ways she was:
capable, nurturing,
loving her cob, her cat,
at home with hens and hay,
Mozart and Henry Vaughan;
happy to teach, to learn –
learned indeed – at ease
combining earth with wit,
abstruse with everyday –
and ours: muse, mentor, friend,
bringing her poetry
for us, wanting our own:
probing, encouraging –
all with her gentle smile.

And so it shatters sense
that such a life should end
with terror, suddenness
and wanton violence –
a bleak atrocity.
The distance we would touch
that our intensest thoughts
might wing to her
has widened beyond reach,
leaving us at a loss,
empty, and blank, and still
heartsore.

– Alison Mace

So, another altogether enjoyable read. Another issue to return to with pleasure.

All things SLN may be found HERE including gatherings and classes, remote – or as we in the U.S. would say “distance” – classes, coaching, contests, books, magazine, samplings of poetry and introductions to poets.  Much appreciation to SLN Founder Dilys Wood and to Myra Schneider and Anne Stewart and all the other women for their work, their poetry, and their commitment to women and poetry. Second Light Network of Women Poets is based in London and most of the members are in the UK, but membership is not geographically restricted. Of note: Anne Stewart has a site – poetry p f – which makes it easy to pay membership fees and to order books, ARTEMISpoetry, poem cards and other goodies.

Congratulations to Myra Schneider: Goulash from her collection Circling the Core (Enitharmon Press, 2008) was recently featured on Anthony Wilson‘s Famous Lifesaving Poems. We’ve featured it in The BeZine and are all fans.  Bravo, Myra! Here it is on the Lifesaving Poems site. Contact Myra for Circling the Core and other books.

Poems, cartoon, cover art are published here with permission of the publishers and authors.

© 2015, article, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; cover art, Second Light Live; poems and cartoon as indicated above.