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Pomo News, The ‘voice’ of Iran speaks through poetry

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Neda Agha-Soltan photo credit: iranian.com

Neda Agha-Soltan‘s legacy (whose name in Persian means, ‘voice’), is honored by Persian poets, Sholeh Wolpé and Simin Behbahani, Iran’s National poet.  Ms. Behbahani’s travel was blocked last March when she tried to leave Iran.  Listen to an  interview with the ‘Lioness of Iran’ on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Posted by Sue Zalokar


Written by lickmypoetry

July 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Pomo News, Poet Treats

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Pascale Petit photo credit: Dafna Kaplan

Poet Paula Claire, and-until recently- the only female contender for the Oxford Professor of Poetry contest, steps down, alleges favoritism.

Pascale Petit  explores the way trauma hurts an artist into creation through the eyes of Frida Kahlo in her new collection of poetry:  ‘What the Water Gave Me – Poems After Frida Kahlo.’  Listen to the title poem,   What the Water Gave Me.

Frances McCue, founding director of Richard Hugo House, the Seattle center for writers and writing, is now a writer-in-residence at the University of Washington’s honors college and revisits the poems (and small Northwest towns that inspired the poems) of Richard Hugo.

Fans wrote verse for Vulture’s Erykah Badu Haiku Contest.  The winner, SASSLKCJNEIGHBR, submitted this haiku about Badu’s recent public disrobing:

View from window seat,
It’s Badu badonkadonk!
Dallas can’t handle.

View a poetry reading (recorded by Indigo Girl Amy Ray) by Salish poets Victor and April Charlo. April accompanied her Dad by reading a translation of the poems in their native language.

Posted by Sue Zalokar

Written by lickmypoetry

June 15, 2010 at 9:51 am

PoMo News, Politika Poetika

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Poets for Living Waters, a poetry action in response to the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, demonstrates how everything is connected.

Poet Saw Wei was released from Burmeese prison after a three year stay for “inducing crime against public tranquility” with his poem, ‘February the Fourteenth.”

Gary Sullivan is a proponent for flarf (or rubbish verse).

Peter Orlovsky, poet and partner of Allen Ginsberg died May 30th.  The two were lovers for nearly three decades.  Watch them preform here in 1984 (Orlovsky is the one meditating in a suit):

Posted by Sue Zalokar

Written by lickmypoetry

June 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm

At least 20 gallons per second

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Kaia Sand, who has been featured on PoMo before, read one of the more powerful pieces of poetry I’ve ever heard read aloud this week.

Like many around the world, I have been on the edge of my seat watching the latest developments on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Sand’s reading of her poem, “at least 20 gallons per second,” made the entire crowd stop, and pause for a reflective moment on something that is completely out of our collective control, at least for the time being. Her rendition of the poem gave me goosebumps and literally, made me sick to my stomach.

at least 20 gallons per second

In the time it takes me to say this, at least 160 gallons of oil will have gushed out of the Deepwater Horizon site.And now 200.
And now 240.
And now 280.
And now 320 gallons of oil.
In the time since this poem began, gushing out of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil drilling site, I count 600 gallons of oil mixing into the Gulf of Mexico saltwater.
And now 640.
And now 680
And now 720
And now 760
And now 800 gallons

In the time since this poem began, rushing beyond the failed concrete seal poured by Halliburton, I count at least 1000 gallons of oil

By this time tomorrow, at least 1.7 million more gallons of oil will have leaked in to the Gulf of Mexico seawater.

This as we gather in a park in a city near the Pacific, far from Gulf Coast, and near it, too. This, as I go on, burning oil BP drills for me each day, despite myself, oiled ease. This, as each second, more than 20 gallons of oil defy barriers and become the difficult ecology of now.

Sand read the poem along with several esteemed published poets and authors, including Lawson Inada an emeritus Oregon Poet Laureate and professor of writing at Southern Oregon University in Ashland.

The reading titled Poetic Excursions was the kick-off to a summer long project called “Writing Places,” a series of one-day writing “excursions” in changing locations, led by local writers, including Sand, David Abel, Joesph Bradshaw and the newly transplanted poet Alison Cobb. (Cobb’s reading also rocked.)

The night turned out to have another exciting development when two individuals, Inada a Japanese American who was held captive in internment camps for the duration of World War II, and Leo Rhodes, a Pima Indian raised on a reservation where an internment camp was stationed were brought together for the first time and read poetry about the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona.  You can read more about this very cool story over at the Street Roots blog.

To get involved with “Writing Places,” the one-day writing excursions this summer download the information here: POETRYCLASSES.

Posted by Israel Bayer

Written by lickmypoetry

June 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

PoMo News: Poetry emotion

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Christian Swenson preforms at the Fine Arts Center in Port Angeles, WA

In Port Angeles, Washington last weekend the  Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts celebrated its 17th year.  Christian Swenson entertained crowds with his improvisation of body and voice.  He read the poetry of his good friend, Lance M. Loder in between his own art:  a cross-cultural synthesis of theater, dance and music and its willingness to unbridle the imagination.

The Traveling Poet AKA Apollo Poetry hit the scene in 2007 claiming many awards and appearances on MTV and the Billboard Awards.  In 2009, he moved into his van and began the YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL campaign. Last month, his film short, ‘The Lost Poem’ took prizes for best director and audience choice award at filmfest21.

Posted by Sue Zalokar

Written by lickmypoetry

June 3, 2010 at 7:07 am

PoMo News: remembering Dickinson, Hopper

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Emily Dickinson gets a flowering tribute at the New York Botanical Garden, where the gardener meets the poet. Wimbledon gets a poem a day. The Defense Center of Excellence publishes a thought provoking poem titled “Murder, So Foul,” about a soldier’s experience during World War II.

Actor, rebel-rouser and poet Dennis Hopper passed away this weekend. Watch him perform the poem “If,” on the Johny Cash Show in 1970.

Posted by Israel Bayer

Written by lickmypoetry

May 30, 2010 at 12:24 pm

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PoMo News, Read All About It

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Posted by Sue Zalokar

On June 8th, Sugar Hill Records will release a  musical tribute to poet, storyteller,  song writer, cartoonist and musician Shel Silverstein.   The poet, who died in 1999, will be memorialized in the album,  Twistable, Turnable Man:  A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein.  You can preview the album here, on the Sugar Hill Records site.

Kris Kristofferson, Nanci Griffith, Todd Snider, and John Prine are some of the musicians who have come together to honor Silverstein’s work on this project.

Silverstein wrote many songs as well, including the entire second album from Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, “Sloppy Seconds.”   The single, “The Cover of the Rolling Stone” ironically put the band on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

Silverstein was an icon, worthy of every nice (and twisted) word that is spoken about him.  He was, like the Giving Tree he created, a gift that keeps on giving even now, 11 years after his passing.

Written by lickmypoetry

May 10, 2010 at 7:23 am

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