Commentaries - April 2009
As of April 30, 2009, poet Craig Arnold is missing on a small volcanic island in Japan. He went for a solo hike to explore an active volcano on the island and never returned to the inn where he was staying. The authorities are currently on the final day of the search mission. If he is not found by today, the search will be called off.
The Poetry Foundation is following the situation closely.
Proudly, I pass along part of a note we received from Sandy Van Doren, a member of the Board of the West Chester University Poetry Center:
ALL FOUR IRIS SPENCER UNDERGRADUATE POETRY AWARDS, sponsored by the West Chester University Poetry Center, were won by University of Pennsylvania students! Congratulations, and wow! The biggest award is for the Iris Spencer formal poem, with a prize of $500.00. That is going to Molly O'Neill. The second award for a formal poem is being given to Frances Wright, with a prize of $250.00. The two haiku winners are David Doyle, for $300.00, and Victoria Lee. As you may remember all four students will be honoured at the international West Chester Poetry Conference on Wednesday, June 10, with a panel discussion at West Chester University's Sykes Union Theater from 3:00-4:00 and then are invited to attend the reception and banquet that follow. The keynote speaker that evening after the banquet will be poet, Donald Hall.
From an interview conducted with Katia Grubisic* for the Afterword:
What's the most exciting thing happening in poetry these days?
Poetry is not like capri pants, or hybrid cars. What’s exciting now in poetry is the same as what always has been—the spaces between words, the truthy concision, the astonishing leaps; listening to, and articulating, what Wallace Stevens called “the cry of the occasion.”
Well...another chance to quote Stevens. And this phrase is perhaps the one most often quoted, but she got it wrong: "The poem is the cry of its occasion."
What's more: capris and hybrids are the cries of their occasion!
*Katia Grubisic is a writer, editor and translator whose work has appeared in various Canadian and international publications.