The Sunday Poem 2017-06-24T02:42:50+00:00

The Sunday Poem

The Sunday Poem: Michel Butor Translated by Jeffrey Gross

  “Every word written is a victory against death," says French writer Michel Butor (Photo via aucoindelaruedelenfer.com)   According to The New York Review of Books, only 3 to 5 percent of books published in the U.S. are translations. Whether this is the result of American isolationism, or commercial practicalities is a subject for debate, but it's hard not to wonder what literary gems we're missing in this country. Gwarlingo has featured a [...]

By | 09.15.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem: Beth Copeland’s Transcendental Telemarketer

Writer Beth Copeland (Photo courtesy of Beth Copeland)   The poems in Beth Copeland's Transcendental Telemarketer evoke a range of emotions and places. They're colorful and playful, but also rich in meaning. Copeland writes about the Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki, Hokusai's "great wave," and Japanese typhoons, but also Buddhist scrolls, Christian morals, and Afghanistan. Her poem "Russian Dolls" is cleverly shaped just like Russian nesting dolls, with long sentences stacked upon short ones, and [...]

By | 09.07.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: Beth Copeland’s Transcendental Telemarketer

At a Time When Poetry Was Forbidden, Seamus Heaney Was a Lifeline

Seamus Heaney in 1970. Heaney, Ireland's foremost poet who won the Nobel literature prize in 1995, has died after a half-century exploring the wild beauty and political torment of Ireland. He was 74. Heaney's family and publisher, Faber & Faber, say in a statement that Heaney died Friday in a Dublin hospital. (AP Photo / PA file) We lost one of our greatest poets this week---Irish writer Seamus Heaney. The news of the [...]

By | 09.01.13|News, The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem: Jim Harrison’s Songs of Unreason

Jim Harrison in his Livingston Montana writing cabin (Photo by Kurt Markus via outsideonline.com)   What a pleasure to have writer Jim Harrison re-launching Gwarlingo's Sunday Poem series this weekend. Harrison's poetry, fiction, and essays pack a visceral punch. His writing is steeped in the senses, in nature, and the American landscape's violent history of bloodshed. (If you haven't read his 87-page masterpiece, Legends of the Fall, put it on your reading list). [...]

By | 08.25.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|10 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Diane Gilliam Explores the Mine Wars of West Virginia

  Writer Diane Gilliam is the 2013 winner of the $50,000 Gift of Freedom Award from A Room of Her Own Foundation (Photo by Bob Weinberg) It's rare for a book of poetry to have the same narrative tension and sense of place as a novel. But it's a testament to Diane Gilliam's poetic imagination that she is able to capture the 1920-1921 mine wars of West Virginia with a power, depth, and [...]

By | 07.13.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : Diane Gilliam Explores the Mine Wars of West Virginia

A 2nd Chance to Own Christine Shan Shan Hou & Audra Wolowiec’s Concrete Sound

Concrete Sound (Photos courtesy Audra Wolowiec) There is no new Sunday Poem post today because of the holiday weekend, but I do have Sunday Poem news to share.... Back in April, I featured the one-of-a-kind artist and poetry book Concrete Sound---a collaboration between interdisciplinary artist Audra Wolowiec and poet, critic, and artist Christine Shan Shan Hou. In conjunction with her one-person exhibition, Concrete Sound, at Norte Maar Gallery (shown below), Wolowiec worked with Hou to create a publication that [...]

By | 07.06.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem : Geoffrey Nutter

  Writer Geoffrey Nutter under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis (Photo by Maria Diaz)   The epigraph that opens Geoffrey Nutter's new collection, The Rose of January, (Wave Books, 2013), is from Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Lettuce, apple, or melon, in season---so long as it is good....When their hour is past do not try to move the hand back on the dial & do them again but try that undone something which is in season [...]

By | 06.29.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem : Patricia Smith

  Patricia Smith (Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths)   What was your least favorite age? For many of us, 13 stands out as a particularly hellacious year. Today's Sunday Poem "13 Ways of Looking at 13" by writer and performer Patricia Smith takes us back to those early, tormented growing pains. Patricia Smith has been called “a testament to the power of words to change lives.” Not only is she is the author of [...]

By | 06.22.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem : Nancy Simpson

  For 15 years poet Nancy Simpson was Resident Writer at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina   Note: This introduction is a guest post by Kathryn Stripling Byer, a writer who has also been featured as a Gwarlingo Sunday Poet. Kathryn's essay appears in Nancy Simpson's Living Above the Frost Line: New and Selected Poems from Carolina Wren Press (2010).   Nancy Simpson has enriched the literary community [...]

By | 06.15.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|12 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Gregory Orr’s River Inside the River

Poet Gregory Orr reading at the 2012 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival (Photo by Michelle Aldredge)   With his new book, River Inside the River: Poems, Gregory Orr set a high bar for himself. His intention: to write three lengthy pieces that combine the intensity of lyric poetry with the thematic scope of narrative and myth. Fortunately, Orr's literary talent and personal experience make him the ideal poet to realize such an ambitious [...]

The Sunday Poem : Hyesim Translated by Ian Haight & T’ae-yong Ho

      Chin’gak Kuksa Hyesim was the first Zen Master dedicated to poetry in Korea. As translator Ian Haight explains in his introduction to Magnolia and Lotus: Selected Poems of Hyesim (White Pine Press, 2012), the tradition of Zen Buddhist poetry begins with his writing. Translating poetry by a revered monk of Korean antiquity has its challenges. Very little is known about Hyesim’s life as a recluse. We do know that he opted to study [...]

By | 06.01.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem : Diane Lockward

  Poet Diane Lockward of West Caldwell, New Jersey, discusses her work at Chatham High School (Photo by Stephen Briggs)   Diane Lockward's latest collection of poetry, Temptation by Water, is a book of dualities. These closely observed poems, which are largely free verse, are both witty and fierce and explore themes like domesticity and sensuality, grief and humor, aging and reawakening. As Marjorie Tesser writes in the Harvard Review, "the theme of [...]

By | 05.11.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|6 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Kate Kingston

  Writer Kate Kingston lives in Trinidad, Colorado (Photo by Ron Thompson)   I knew I was going to like the poet Kate Kingston the minute she shared this story during our first dinner together at Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming: "When my youngest son was a teenager, he told me me, 'No one over thirty can snowboard.' I said, 'Do you want to make a bet?' We did. I won. I was [...]

By | 05.04.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem : Christine Shan Shan Hou & Audra Wolowiec’s Concrete Sound

  Concrete Sound (Photos courtesy Audra Wolowiec) Last year Gwarlingo readers responded enthusiastically to Mary Ruefle and Jen Bervin's erasure poems. Today's Sunday Poem features another unique project that defies categorization---a collaboration between interdisciplinary artist Audra Wolowiec and poet, critic, and artist Christine Shan Shan Hou. In conjunction with her one-person exhibition, Concrete Sound, at Norte Maar Gallery (shown below), Wolowiec worked with Hou to create a publication that is an extension of her installation. The limited-edition artist book, [...]

By | 04.21.13|Images, The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : Christine Shan Shan Hou & Audra Wolowiec’s Concrete Sound

The Sunday Poem : Mari L’Esperance

  Mari L'Esperance (Photo by Martin Takigawa)   "My hope is that my readers approach a poem – any poem – in order to be transformed in some way," says Sunday Poet Mari L'Esperance. "Not dramatically, but to feel by the end of the poem as though something has shifted for them internally so that they then perceive themselves and the world a bit differently. That’s what I want as a reader: to [...]

By | 04.13.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem : Marina Tsvetaeva – A Reading by Ilya Kaminsky & Jean Valentine

  Russian writer Marina Tsvetaeva in 1914   “I am happy living simply/ like a clock, or a calendar,” Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva wrote in 1919. Tsvetaeva's life was anything but simple, for she had the misfortune of living through some of the most turbulent years in Russian history. She married Sergei Efron in 1912, but was soon separated from him during the Civil War. She had a brief love affair with writer Osip [...]

By | 04.06.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : Marina Tsvetaeva – A Reading by Ilya Kaminsky & Jean Valentine

The Sunday Poem : Michelle Bitting

  Writer Michelle Bitting (Photo by Alexis Fancher) Today's Sunday Poet was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Michelle Bitting was a dancer and chef before devoting herself to poetry. Her collection, Good Friday Kiss, was chosen by Thomas Lux as the winner of the 2007 DeNovo Prize for 1st Book of Poetry. Michelle lists Dylan Thomas, Sharon Olds, Tony Hoagland, Anne Sexton and Kevin Young as some of the writers who [...]

By | 03.23.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem: Terrance Hayes

  Writer Terrance Hayes (Photo by Becky Thurner Braddock)   "Language is just music without the full instrumentation," says Terrance Hayes. Music is a constant touchstone in Hayes's poetry. "I’m chasing a kind of language that can be unburdened by people’s expectations. I think music is the primary model—how close can you get this language to be like music and communicate feeling at the base level in the same way a composition with [...]

By | 03.16.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|2 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Kathryn Stripling Byer

  Writer Kathryn Stripling Byer (Photo by Chris English)   As a fellow Georgia native, Kathryn Stripling Byer's poem about a young girl enduring Sunday church service in "a girdle and hose" and singing the hymn "Just As I Am" brought back memories. Byer's latest collection, Descent, is brimming with scrub pines, chicken and biscuits, and drunk drivers playing "Dixie." One minute dirt yards are parched by drought, and the next, the Flint [...]

By | 03.09.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|6 Comments

The Sunday Poem : D. Nurkse’s “A Night in Brooklyn”

  Poet D. Nurkse   D. Nurkse's latest collection, A Night in Brooklyn, captures a Brooklyn of both the past and present in lyrical poems that are both intimate and political. Here is Nurkse discussing his book with Andy Kuhn of the Katonah Poetry Series: My family came here from Europe as the Nazis were coming to power, and we moved back to Europe briefly in the early sixties. My family members got [...]

By | 03.02.13|The Sunday Poem, Words|2 Comments
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