We're coming to the end of National Poetry Month, but the Poetry Foundation has come up with a way to celebrate Chicago's poetic history year round with an impressive multimedia tour.
The online tour includes maps and landmarks and readings of poetry written by Chicago poets past and present, including Carl Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks, Li-Young Lee, Ana Castillo, Stuart Dybek and many more.
You can also download the tour on your mp3 player and take a guided walking tour through downtown and/or visit any of the other stops on the tour, such as the Green Mill, Newberry Library, Graceland Cemetery, Maxwell Street and more.
Former U.S. poet laureate Louise Gluck has been awarded the Wallace Stevens Award, a $100,000 prize for ''outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry." Gluck, who served as poet laureate in 2003-04, is known for such books as Averno, The Seven Ages and Vita Nova. Previous winners of the Stevens award include Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery and Richard Wilbur. AP
Grove Press has announced it will publish New and Selected Poems by the newly appointed poet laureate Kay Ryan.
"We are proud to already have three of Kay's collections in print and thrilled to make this addition to our list," said Joan Bingham, Ryan's editor and vice president/executive editor at Grove Altantic. "Her appointment is especially exciting for us because Kay's Elephant Rocks was the inaugural book in the Grove Poetry Series begun in 1996."
Along with Elephant Rocks, Ryan is the author of two other books available under the Grove Press imprint: Say Uncle (2000) and The Niagara River (2005).
The Poetry Center of Chicago announces the winners of the 14th Annual Poetry Center of Chicago Juried Reading at a ceremony here in town last weekend. Poet and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller was the judge. Winners include:
First place: Sara Parrell of Madison, Wis.
Second Place: Stacey Lynn Brown, Edwardsville, Ill.
Third Place: Susan Elbe, Madison, Wis.
Other finalists, chosen from a field of more than 250 submissions, were: T. Zachary Cotler, Iowa City, Iowa; Brett Foster, Wheaton, Ill.; Elizabeth Hoover, Bloomington, Ind.; Jennifer Perrine, Des Moines, Iowa, and Amanda Rachelle Warren, Kalamazoo, Mich.
It was 1961, and Allen Ginsberg was in search of life’s meaning.
His quest would lead him to the gurus and ashrams of India, to its streets and heady opium dens. It is a journey that Deborah Baker tells through journals, letters, memoirs and other documents collected for A Blue Hand: The Beats in India (Penguin, 243 pages, $25.95).
Ginsberg’s friends in New York insist that he travel to the East and explore the subcontinent with them, but he does not need much encouragement. Ginsberg had already heard the ancient voice of William Blake reciting poetry inside his Harlem apartment. He had looked outside the window and noticed how everything was created by a ‘‘living hand,’’ how the sky itself was ‘‘the living blue hand.’’
‘‘From that moment, Irwin Allen Ginsberg became a divining rod in the headlong and holy pursuit of God,’’ Baker writes.
To honor the art form during National Poetry Month, HBO has teamed up with The Poetry Foundation on "Classical Baby (I'm Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show," which will feature kids and celebrities alike reading classic poems. Some will be read by the poets themselves. Featured poems include:
* "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost; read by Susan Sarandon. * "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear; read by John Lithgow. * Sonnet XVIII by William Shakespeare; read by Jeffrey Wright. * "How Do I Love Thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning; read by Gwyneth Paltrow.
Other poets covered are Robert Louis Stevenson, Woody Guthrie, William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Federico Garcia Lorca and more. Between each segment, children ages 4-9 will offer commentary.
The show premieres at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow on HBO, with the DVD available April 17.
Who among us hasn't composed a few lines of poetry at one time or another? And who among us hasn't uttered a rhyming couplet and then laughed it off, saying, "I'm a poet and I didn't even know it"?
British author, comedian and actor Stephen Fry not only admits to writing poetry in The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within (Gotham, 352 pages, $15), now out in paperback, but also believes ...