Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Erie poet Chuck Joy writes, "No Feature Feature. That's right, Friday, 6:30, Poetry Scene, Erie Book Store, 137 E 13. The No Feature Feature. To be part of the No Feature Feature, simply be there. It isn't even necessary to bring a poem, certainly not a poem inspired by the subject line for an email or a gathering of poets at a Starbucks, nope. Don't even need to bring a favorite cover. Who knows? The No Feature Feature."

Conor McPherson, who wrote "Dublin Carol" (a play which contains one of my all time favorite lines, spoken by an end of the line alcoholic undertaker, "Boredom. Loneliness. A feeling of basically being out of step with everybody else. Fear. Anxiety. Tension. And of course a disposition to generally liking the whole thing of drinking until you pass out.")which received its NWPA premiere last October at Franklin's Theatre in the little theatre and whose play, "The Weir" will be this year's October show (the 28th at 8 pm - mark your calendars), is now clean and sober and has a new play, "Port Authority" out, according to the NY Times.
"The definition of an alcoholic in Ireland is a person who doesn't drink, because you are the exception," Mr. McPherson said. "If you're in a bar and you're drinking a glass of water, then you're asked about it. Are you going to drink? Why don't you drink? It's quite a difficult culture to not drink in."

Stanley Kunitz, who was one of the most acclaimed and durable American poets of the last century and who, at age 95, was named poet laureate of the United States, died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 100 and also had a home in Provincetown, Mass.
Ironically, I just picked up one of his books at the Franklin Public Library used book sale, which runs through this weekend.
You can hear him read his poem, "The Portrait", here.
But, personally, I enjoy his translation of Anna Akhmatova's "Lot's Wife" much more:

And the just man trailed God's shining agent,
over a black mountain, in his giant track,
while a restless voice kept harrying his woman:
"It's not too late, you can still look back

at the red towers of your native Sodom,
the square where once you sang, the spinning-shed,
at the empty windows set in the tall house
where sons and daughters blessed your marriage-bed."

A single glance: a sudden dart of pain
stitching her eyes before she made a sound . . .
Her body flaked into transparent salt,
and her swift legs rooted to the ground.

Who will grieve for this woman? Does she not seem
too insignificant for our concern?
Yet in my heart I never will deny her,
who suffered death because she chose to turn.

Chicago's The Beatnik Turtles has released the Indie Band Survival Guide
The members of Beatnik Turtle have split the guide into about a dozen chapters, looking at everything from major-label contracts (they're against them) to file sharing (they're for it) and physical distribution (their expectations are low). Perhaps what's most notable about the guide, however, is that it strives to offer practical advice based on the experiences of an everyday band -- most members of the eight-person group have a day job and a family.

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