• Photo by John Sarsgard/Coffee House Press
    March 17, 2014   BY artsdesk 

    Ron Padgett is an American poet, essayist, fiction writer, translator and member of the New York School. His latest book “Collected Poems” is a compilation of his works from 1960-2004 including 11 previous publications and dozens of uncollected poems. Padgett is the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship from the America Academy of Arts and Letters, the Shelley Memorial Award from the National Endowment for the Arts and was a 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry. His work has been translated into 18 different languages. Continue reading

  • Pongo student reads poem
    March 13, 2014   BY Mary Jo Brooks 

    That poem, written by 18-year-old Jada, has become his mantra, of sorts. He began writing poetry five years ago, when he was a patient at a state psychiatric hospital in Lakewood, Wash. There he participated in the Pongo Writing Project, a poetry program that has been working with troubled teens for nearly two decades. Jada, a pen name, says writing has helped him cope with life. “I was in foster care for ten years, group homes, institutions, so when I wrote, it gave me a release to get everything out. It wasn’t that I was trying to be an artist or be creative. It was more like: this needs to get out before something happens.” Continue reading

  • natasha1
    March 13, 2014   BY Natasha Trethewey 

    Visiting the King County Juvenile Detention Facility I couldn’t help thinking of the words of poet Robert Frost. In my own life I believe it was an early education in poetical metaphor that helped me to grapple with and make sense of all the difficult and traumatic things that were to come. That’s why it was heartening to see the kids in the facility writing poetry and making use of metaphor to grapple with the difficult knowledge brought on by their experience. Continue reading

  • Photo by Katherine Branch
    March 10, 2014   BY artsdesk 

    Michael Collier was the Poet Laureate of Maryland from 2001-2004. He has published several collections of poetry, including “The Ledge,” which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the national Book Critics Circle Award. “An Individual History,” published July 2012, is his latest collection of poems. Collier is a professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and is the director of the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. Continue reading

  • Rachel Zucker Pedestrians
    March 3, 2014   BY Victoria Fleischer 

    Rachel Zucker was once told that poets either write out of noise or out of silence and she has no doubt which category she falls into. Zucker just published a new collection of poems called “The Pedestrians.” A native of … Continue reading

  • Will Hartfield recites "This is Home." Courtesy Off/Page
    February 24, 2014   BY Victoria Fleischer 

    For Deandre Evans, Will Hartfield and Donte Clark writing poetry isn’t solely about expressing themselves, it’s also about reporting on a story that’s affecting their community. Through the Off/Page Project, a collaboration between Youth Speaks and The Center for Investigative Reporting, the three poets joined CIR’s Amy Harris in the field while she was conducting research on the housing crisis in Richmond, Calif. Continue reading

  • Photo by Michael Falco
    February 24, 2014   BY Victoria Fleischer 

    Susan Cheever’s new biography of the poet is called “E. E. Cummings: A Life.” She has also written biographies about Louisa May Alcott, Bill Wilson and her father John Cheever, in addition to 12 other published fiction and nonfiction books. She is a professor in the MFA programs at Bennington College and The New School. Continue reading

  • Photo by MPI/Getty Images
    February 21, 2014   BY Victoria Fleischer 

    Cummings was one of the most popular poets of his time. His work is linked to the movements of Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, and Ezra Pound. The group of modernists from the 1930s and ‘40s covered all artistic mediums. “You’ve got the whole idea in painting that the painting should not represent the form and you’ve got the whole idea in writing that words should not just mean something, but that the sound of the word was also tremendously important,” said Cheever. Continue reading

  • "Beauty Mark" by Suzanne Cleary
    February 17, 2014   BY Victoria Fleischer 

    Suzanne Cleary loves the sound of Italian. When she picked up a copy of “Italian Made Simple,” she was determined to teach herself the language before a trip to Italy. Instead Clearly came away fascinated by the characters in the book and wrote a poem that tells the story of Mario and Marina. Continue reading

  • Photo by Vicky Lantz
    February 10, 2014   BY Victoria Fleischer 

    If you pick up Nick Lantz’s new poetry collection, “How to Dance as the Roof Caves in,” you’ll recognize the “self-help” theme running through the titles. To name a few: “How to Travel Alone,” “How to Forgive a Promise Breaker,” “How to Dance When You Do Not Know How to Dance” and even “How to Appreciate Inorganic Matter.” When he first started composing poems for this book, he found a website with a bunch of “how-to” articles. Always on the lookout for a new project, Lantz was inspired. Continue reading