Noteworthy occurrences in the wide world of poetry- for the week ending January 7th, 2012.
Well, I skipped a week. Hell, it was the holidays. Now it’s a new year. Apocalyptic!
So let’s get to it:
1. Poet Eleanor Ross Taylor dies-
The woman who Randall Jarrell called the “Protestant Flannery O’Connor” recently passed away at the age of 91. Eleanor Ross Taylor was the recipient of the 2010 Ruth Lily Prize for Poetry (awarded by Poetry Magazine for lifetime achievement). She was also the widow of Pulitzer-winning novelist Peter Taylor.
2. Race and its reflection in poetry-
That was the topic of a quick discussion with Elizabeth Alexander (who read her poem “Praise Song for the Day” at President Obama’s inauguration) on KUOW.org. Check out the interview HERE.
3. A dangerous hashtag-
Dangerous for those of us with day-jobs, at least! #todayspoem is a new hashtag where Twitter users can share with one another a favorite poem, poet, or quote. But watch out– it’s like crack: smoke it off-hours.
4. Happy Birthday POETRY-
Founded by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry Magazine has been going 100 years strong. I’m about halfway through the centennial issue myself; it’s got some great new poems by A.E. Stallings, Stephen Dunn, and more. Don Share (senior editor of the magazine) wrote this interesting essay both looking back over those 100 years and pointing forwards.
5. Sir Geoffrey Hill-
The “greatest living poet writing in the English language” (who says these things!?) has been whacked on the shoulders with a sword for his contribution. The Oxford professor of poetry has received a knighthood. Check out this review of Geoffrey Hill’s latest collection entitled Clavics.
6. Famous Seamus Takes a Drive-
In an “essentially patriotic” act, Seamus Heaney packed his papers into cardboard boxes and drove them (himself) to the National Library of Ireland, where they shall remain. Check out the full details HERE.
While most people’s “papers” get presented to the trash collector towards the end of their life, Heaney’s trove of workbooks, scratchings, scribblings, drafts, thoughts, and essays is an invaluable endowment to a nation that was (I imagine) better able to understand itself and heal because of his words.
Did I miss anything big? Let me know in the comments section below.