Commentaries - March 2009

This morning I’m having a discussion with two Facebook friends, Dave and Peter (they don’t know each other). It started when I posted a Facebook “note” with a photo of Nazi film-maker Leni Riefenstahl and a link to the New York Times obituary of her published after her death at 101 in 2003. Dave started us off by likening the Obama inauguration to the Nuremburg rally. To view the thread of Facebook comments, click on the image at right.

During Joan Didion’s visit to the Kelly Writers House as a Writers House Fellow, two of the sessions will be available as a live streaming video, and you are more than welcome to tune in. These sessions are:

1) A reading beginning at 6:30 pm ET on Monday, March 30; and

2) An interview/discussion moderated by me beginning at 10:30 am ET on Tuesday, March 31.

To connect to the KWH-TV video stream, just go here:

— and at the time of the program clicked on “view live video.”

Kelly Writers House Fellows since 1999 are made possible by a generous ongoing grant from Paul Kelly. Among our previous Fellows: Grace Paley, John Wideman, Robert Creeley, Susan Sontag, June Jordan, Tony Kushner, Art Spiegelman, John McPhee, Jamaica Kincaid, Cynthia Ozick, Roger Angell, Adrienne Rich, Lyn Hejinian, E.L. Doctorow, John Ashbery, Michael Cunningham, Laurie Anderson, Russell Banks, James Alan McPherson, Gay Talese. For more:

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In ’99, as I prepared to teach my modern and contemporary American poetry course all online, I made some audio and video recordings of mini-lectures on various poems and topics. All very basic stuff. We’ve been converting these from RealAudio to mp3. The most recent mini-lecture converted is a short audio on William Carlos Williams’s poem “Lines,” which I love. Shawn Walker joined me for this discussion.

From the Daily Pennsylvanian, March 20, 2009. Click on the image above for a larger view. Oh, yes, and I’m also the quote of the day. Back in July ’07 I wrote a little bit about how I got to West Philly in ’98 and provided a link to a Philadelphia Business News article about it.