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January 19, 1992 | JOSEPH BRODSKY
It is a truly remarkable phenomenon, American poetry. Many years ago I showed Anna Akhmatova, a great Russian poet, several poems by Robert Frost, from his "North of Boston." A few days later I returned and asked her what she thought. "What kind of poet is this?" she asked, in mock indignation. "He talks all the time about what people sell and buy! About getting insurance and all that!" (I suppose she was referring to his "Star Splitter.") After a pause, she added, "What a terrifying poet."
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April 9, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
I've got mixed feelings about National Poetry Month - not because I don't love poetry but because I do. If you ask me, every month should be poetry month, and the idea of setting one apart feels a bit like cultural condescension, as if we were paying lip service to an art that we all know ought to be important, even though, deep down, we fear it's not. And yet, poetry is important, as a form of expression that does (or can) stand outside narrative, that makes meaning through language, that connects us through the music of words.
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BOOKS
July 20, 2003 | Ronald Johnson
across dark stream of shooting stars supplicant cast fly another year alive belief, belief brief zero at white core From "The Best American Poetry 2002," edited by Robert Creeley (Scribner Poetry: 232 pp., $30)
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January 10, 2013 | By Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times
President Obama's choice of the relatively unknown Cuban American poet Richard Blanco to read at his inauguration later this month caught many people in poetry circles by surprise. Blanco, 44, will be the first Latino poet, and the first openly gay man given the honor of reading at a presidential inauguration. And his choice is a reflection of the great shifts in American poetry circles and U.S. culture at large. "I think it's an inspired choice," said David St. John, a poet and professor at USC. Though Blanco is well-known in poetry circles for his award-winning first collection of poetry and recently published his third book, "Looking for the Gulf Motel," he's "not an establishment poet," as former California poet laureate Carol Muske-Dukes put it. "It's a choice that's not only important for the gay and lesbian and Latino communities," St. John said, "but also for poets who work to give voice to people outside the mainstream of popular culture.
BOOKS
March 25, 1990 | Ian Gregson, Gregson is a British poet, winner of the Gregory Award, and has published essays on contemporary British and American poetry. He teaches English at the University of Wales at Bangor. and
In 1988, Donald Hall published "The One Day," which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. As the guest editor of the second volume of the annual "Best American Poetry," he's done much better than John Ashbery did as guest editor of the first. Reading the two annuals together, though, suggests some problems in their basic conception. A year is too short a period in which to sample a nation's poetry because the most important poetic achievement is perceived cumulatively.
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November 12, 2012 | By John Penner, Los Angeles Times
BERKELEY - In a spacious, humane skilled-nursing home, a man sits with his elderly neighbors arrayed in their wheelchairs as Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald sing. Several guests arrive to see the man, and after the last note of "Cheek to Cheek," one of them takes up a microphone and reads a poem. The reader, startled by a resident's pained moans of distress, stumbles over a word or two of "Looking at Pittsburgh From Paris. " He finishes, and the man brightens in his chair and points at his heart, mouthing to a visitor holding his arm, "Me?"
BOOKS
January 1, 1995 | Peter Filkins, Peter Filkins has translated Ingeborg Bachmann's collected poems, "Songs in Flight" (Marsilio Publishers). He teaches at Simon's Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, Mass
Paul Mariani's "Lost Puritan: A Life of Robert Lowell," is a just and readable portrait of the man he views as "the poet-historian of our time," if not the last of our "influential public poets, poets in the tradition of Emerson, Frost, and Eliot." Grand statements, to be sure, but Robert Lowell's life and career were nothing less than grand, for long before his death in 1977, his stature as American poetry's most visible link to the "great tradition" of the past made him seem Olympian.
BOOKS
February 11, 2001
All day I've listened to the industry of a single woodpecker, worrying the catalpa tree just outside my window. Hard at his task, his body is a hinge, a door knocker to the cluttered house of memory in which I can almost see my mother's face. She is there, again, beyond the tree, its slender pods and heart-shaped leaves, hanging wet sheets on the line--each one a thin white screen between us.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2010 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
George Hitchcock, a poet, painter and UC Santa Cruz emeritus professor whose iconoclastic vision as publisher of the literary magazine "kayak" helped free American poetry from mid-20th century orthodoxies and provided an early forum for such distinguished writers as Robert Bly, Raymond Carver and Philip Levine, died Friday at his home in Eugene, Ore. He was 96. His death came after a long illness, said poet Robert McDowell, a former student and...
BOOKS
May 11, 1986
I appreciated Richard Eder's take (Ex Libris, Book Review, March 9) on the U.S. poet laureateship. We deserve to be apologetic about it. Like the obscenity of "Poet's Corner" at St. John's the Divine, this is simply a further sanitizing of American poetry--yet another Establishment seal of approval. For years now, Robert Penn Warren, far past his poetic prime, has been stuccoed o'er with all the seals, medals and bay leaves it is possible for a nation hostile and indifferent to poetry to bestow on its safest writers.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 17, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Poet Jake Adam York, 40, died unexpectedly Sunday. The news was reported by colleagues at a number of venues that had published his work, including the New England Review, the blog of Best American Poetry and the Kenyon Review. They did not report the cause of death. York , an associate professor at the University of Colorado, Denver, was the author of three collections of poetry and a book of literary history. He had recently been named a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in poetry for 2013.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 14, 2012 | John Penner
Jack Gilbert, a poet who eschewed conventions of career and writing style to develop a singular voice that combined intellectual heft with a spare specificity of language that made him among the major figures of American poetry over the last half-century, has died. He was 87. Gilbert, who was in the advanced stages of dementia, died Tuesday at a nursing home in Berkeley after developing pneumonia, said Bill Mayer, a poet and longtime friend. Calling Gilbert "America's greatest living poet," Mayer said his friend "was unique in that he was not a part of any [literary]
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 2012 | By John Penner
The poet Jack Gilbert, who had been battling dementia for many years, died Tuesday in Berkeley. He was 87. Gilbert -- who was featured in Monday's L.A. Times -- had been in frail condition at a nursing home for several years before he developed pneumonia over the last couple of days, and he succumbed early this morning, said Bill Mayer, a poet and longtime friend. Mayer was among a group who kept a vigil at Gilbert's side during his final hours. Fellow Bay Area poets Larry Felson and Steven Rood were among the group, as was Louise Gregg, the sister of the poet Linda Gregg, who was closest to Gilbert and knew him almost from the beginning of his 50-year writing career.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 2012 | By John Penner, Los Angeles Times
BERKELEY - In a spacious, humane skilled-nursing home, a man sits with his elderly neighbors arrayed in their wheelchairs as Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald sing. Several guests arrive to see the man, and after the last note of "Cheek to Cheek," one of them takes up a microphone and reads a poem. The reader, startled by a resident's pained moans of distress, stumbles over a word or two of "Looking at Pittsburgh From Paris. " He finishes, and the man brightens in his chair and points at his heart, mouthing to a visitor holding his arm, "Me?"
ENTERTAINMENT
May 22, 2011 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry An Anthology Edited by Ilan Stavans Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 729 pp., $50 Here's the answer to a hypothetical "Jeopardy" query: "Who are Pablo Neruda and, um…?" And now, the question: "Which modern Latin American poets could an average U.S. reader likely name without using Google?" No fair if you're counting Ricky Martin, by the way. Until fairly recently, that would've been my own blushing response. For five years I lived in Mexico City and worked in an office near a beautiful, leafy street named for Rubén Darío, the great Nicaraguan journalist, cultural diplomat and poet.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2010 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
George Hitchcock, a poet, painter and UC Santa Cruz emeritus professor whose iconoclastic vision as publisher of the literary magazine "kayak" helped free American poetry from mid-20th century orthodoxies and provided an early forum for such distinguished writers as Robert Bly, Raymond Carver and Philip Levine, died Friday at his home in Eugene, Ore. He was 96. His death came after a long illness, said poet Robert McDowell, a former student and...
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 2012 | By John Penner
The poet Jack Gilbert, who had been battling dementia for many years, died Tuesday in Berkeley. He was 87. Gilbert -- who was featured in Monday's L.A. Times -- had been in frail condition at a nursing home for several years before he developed pneumonia over the last couple of days, and he succumbed early this morning, said Bill Mayer, a poet and longtime friend. Mayer was among a group who kept a vigil at Gilbert's side during his final hours. Fellow Bay Area poets Larry Felson and Steven Rood were among the group, as was Louise Gregg, the sister of the poet Linda Gregg, who was closest to Gilbert and knew him almost from the beginning of his 50-year writing career.
BOOKS
February 12, 1995
I'm sensitive to what the traffic will allow to this convergence. If the wrong way's wended we'll end it off an off ramp slack cul-de-sac. And see I've got bends beyond that belief; I mean to jam it up to paralysis, clip full seconds the take of a curve and finagle a pass on the right just past the last possible exit out the respectable avenue. Needn't wonder feckless, mapless; wander reckless through a permanent, concrete attachment.
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July 5, 2009 | David L. Ulin
"I have always believed," David St. John writes in his introduction to "American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry" (W.W. Norton: 530 pp., $25.95 paper), "that the great strength of American poetry resides, at its source, in its plurality of voices, its multitude of poetic styles, and its consistent resistance to the coercion of what emerges -- in each generation -- as a catalog of prevailing literary trends." St.
NEWS
March 1, 2007 | Scott Timberg, Times Staff Writer
AT 6 foot 7, Charles Olson (1910-70) was literally and figuratively a behemoth of American poetry. Although he was deeply rooted in the land and sea around Gloucester, Mass., his work went on to influence writers all over the country, most obviously the Beats, the avant-garde poets of North Carolina's Black Mountain College, the aesthetes of the New York School and the Language poets of 1970s San Francisco.
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