September 22, 2013 |
Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor, one of Africa's most distinguished literary figures, was among the scores of people killed by Al Qaeda-aligned terrorists who attacked a busy shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, over the weekend. Awoonor, 78, was killed Saturday when members of Al Shabab, a Somali-based militia, seized the Westgate Shopping Mall in a hail of bullets in Kenya's worst terrorist attack in years. "I am shocked to hear the death of professor Kofi Awoonor in the Nairobi mall terrorist attack.
September 2, 2013 |
Thirty years ago, I became a graduate teaching fellow in a popular undergraduate course at Harvard University called Modern Anglo-Irish Poetry. What made it popular? The subject matter was certainly rich. But the professor, Seamus Heaney, was the special attraction. He was already a major figure in the poetic landscape; we watched him artfully mapping its peculiar geography. Heaney, who died Friday in Dublin at age 74, was powerful and widely read, receiving countless honors, including the Nobel Prize.
August 30, 2013 |
Seamus Heaney, the poet and essayist from Ireland who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1995, has died . He was 74. An Irish Catholic who was growing up in Ulster when the Troubles began and who later moved to Dublin, Heaney engaged with the violence in Northern Ireland, sometimes through history and myth, exploring the conflicting emotions it raised. "We lived deep in a land of optative moods, / under high, banked clouds of resignation," he wrote in "From the canton of expectation.
August 18, 2013 |
LA JOLLA - SummerFest, one of the country's most significant chamber music festivals, devoted its annual program of new work Friday night at Sherwood Auditorium in the Museum of Contemporary Art here to three American masters. The composers - Steven Stucky, David Del Tredici and John Harbison - are major figures and had never before appeared together on a program. Their works had something to say. But the one thing the evening wasn't happened to be what it was called: "Musical Crossroads.
July 12, 2013 |
As busy as Roberto Bolaño's afterlife has been - he's published 19 books in English since his death in 2003 - his time on Earth was even busier. Bolaño, who died at age 50, had a life that was rooted in three continents. He was born in Chile, the son of a boxer; he came of age in Mexico City and became a poet there; and he later moved to Barcelona, where he wrote the works that would make him a celebrated novelist. Best known to U.S. readers for two novels - "The Savage Detectives," first published in Spanish in 1998, and the posthumous "2666" - in the years since his death Bolaño has earned a global following as a prose stylist with rampant narrative ambition.
July 8, 2013 |
On the back cover of Rebecca Gayle Howell 's debut book of poetry “Render: An Apocalypse” (Cleveland State University Poetry Center: unpaged, $15.95 paper), there's a definition I've never seen. In it, we learn that “apocalypse” can mean “a literary genre informed by hallucination, grief, and a long view of history (primary concerns: the past, the present, and consequence).” Is this for real? A quick look at Webster's leaves me with my doubts. And yet, either way, it manages to encapsulate all that's vivid and moving about Howell's remarkable collection, winner of the 2012 Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize , which uses the filaments of farm life (growing, tending, slaughtering)