Friday, May 4, 2007

Full disclosure

I complain all the time (all the time) about receiving rejections when I submit my work, so I thought I'd mention that I did get an acceptance from when it rains from the ground up. The next issue will be launched at Hugo House on June 7th (see the link in my brand-new little Reading & events list).


And then again...

Today on her web log First draft: Leonardo likes gulls, K.R.A. posed the question "I kind of like poetry, but I don't know anything about contemporary poetry. Who should I read?"
and then listed 12 poets, with the following rules:

No blog friends
No real-life friends
No real-life mentors
Alive as of this writing

Her 13th? "Someone I haven't read yet"

I thought, "What a great idea! Which poets would I recommend?"

I started my list and immediately bumped up against the not-a-friend/mentor and alive-now parameters (good-bye to my good friends, whose poems I admire; good-bye to Frank O'Hara).

After the cross-outs for the previously mentioned reasons, I had a start:

Louise Gluck
Linda Bierds
Olena Kalytiak Davis
James Galvin

Henri Cole
Naomi Shihab Nye
(and I really want to add Lynda Hull because, she would have been alive if she hadn't died early)


I stopped. I realized that my list was mostly women, probably all white, and probably all or mostly living in or from the United States. I added Rita Dove—a very strong poet to include on the list, and I need to read more of her work.

If a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, it can also be a very helpful thing.

I see that I have some reading to do—not just casual poem-of-the-day reading, but some real deep dives: more contemporary African American poets, more African poets, more Central and South American poets, more European, Asian, and Middle Eastern poets. Remember: to meet the criteria of the list, they need to be living right now.

I see another trip to Open Books in my near future.

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