A Lazarus Beside Me by Avies Platt [London Review of Books]
“‘Are you, by any chance, going to Norman Haire’s party?’ I inquired. ‘I rather think that is where I’m supposed to be going,’ he replied. A little strange, that, I thought. But I said, ‘That’s where I’m going, so perhaps I may give you a lift?’ ‘Thank you,’ he said. ‘That’s very kind of you.’ And we got into the car and drove off. At first neither of us spoke. I was concerned with joining the stream of traffic in Lower Regent Street. Then he asked abruptly: ‘Are you connected with the arts?’ ‘I don’t know about connected,’ I replied guardedly. ‘I’m interested.’ ‘And may I ask the name of my kind chauffeur?’ he continued. ‘Platt,’ I said. ‘Avies Platt. And may I ask yours?’ ‘Yeats,’ he said! ‘W.B. Yeats.’ And added: ‘I’m a poet.’.”
Juan Felipe Herrera, From Farm Fields to Poet Laureate [New York Times]
The Library of Congress announced on Wednesday that Juan Felipe Herrera, a son of migrant farmworkers whose writing fuses wide-ranging experimentalism with reflections on Mexican-American identity, will be the next poet laureate. The appointment of Mr. Herrera, who will succeed Charles Wright, comes as the country is debating immigration, a recurring subject of his work, which has been collected in books like “Border-Crosser With a Lamborghini Dream” and “187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border.”[more inside]
Günter Grass, German Novelist and Social Critic, Dies at 87 [New York Times]
Günter Grass, the German novelist, social critic and Nobel Prize winner whom many called his country’s moral conscience but who stunned Europe when he revealed in 2006 that he had been a member of the Waffen-SS during World War II, died on Monday. He was 87.Previously. [more inside]
STREET OF THE IRON PO(E)T, A Paris Diary by Henri Cole: "Today I visited the cenotaph to Baudelaire..." Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6.
Pablo Neruda's Body Will Be Exhumed For Autopsy [bbc.co.uk] "A judge in Chile has ordered the exhumation of the remains of the poet Pablo Neruda, as part of an inquest into his death in 1973."
What is this tyranny of head that stifles / The eyes, the senses, / All play on the strings of the heart.
Did you know the recently elected president of Ireland is actually a noted poet? [The Guardian] Here is another of his works. The Guardian's own Carol Rumens is not a fan.
"FAME is a fickle food / Upon a shifting plate, / Whose table once a Guest, but not / The second time, is set."
A Coconut Cake From Emily Dickinson: Reclusive Poet, Passionate Baker. [NPR.org] Poet Emily Dickinson withdrew from society for most of her adult life. And yet, she was known to lower a basket full of cakes from the window of the home she rarely left to crowds of expectant children on the street below. The Poet's House in New York City put on exhibit an original manuscript of a Dickinson cake recipe that contained coconut. That recipe calls for the following ingredients. 1 cup coconut, 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar.
The Xenotext Experiment is Christian Bök's [Previously],"nine-year long attempt to create an example of “living poetry.” I have been striving to write a short verse about language and genetics, whereupon I use a “chemical alphabet” to translate this poem into a sequence of DNA for subsequent implantation into the genome of a bacterium (in this case, a microbe called Deinococcus radiodurans—an extremophile, capable of surviving, without mutation, in even the most hostile milieus, including the vacuum of outer space)." [Via] [more inside]
Poet Publishes 10,000-Page Poem. David Morice wrote one 100-page poem every day for 100 days–producing a 10,000-page poem. How the book was bound and printed. Opening lines of the epic poem: "Today the sky above Iowa City / is cloudy with tiny droplets / gently blowing in the wind / and tapping my laptop with dots. / In front of the University/ Main Library, Gordon sits / on a marble wall, camera / posed to video the beginning / of this poetry marathon." Image of the massive book.