Victor Howes, 1923-2018

With great sadness and a heavy heart, we say goodbye to Victor Howes. Victor passed away on January 1, 2018, at the age of 94. All who knew Victor remember his kindness and generosity, his good humor and his erudition.  He served many years on the Board of the New England Poetry Club welcoming new members and facilitating writing workshops. He regaled us with stories about the Club’s founders, Robert Frost and Amy Lowell, and members Ann Sexton and Robert Lowell, among others—he was the dear memory keeper for Club. Victor will be sorely missed.

 

RELIC

by Victor Howes, from Thoughts after Spenser: Collected Light Verse, 2017

 

I found a faded King, a King of Hearts,

Between the pages of a borrowed book,

A frayed, worn King, a played-out playing card,

Lost in the shuffle, hardly worth a look.

And with a flip, I flipped him on the face,

This player King, who by convention took

A player Queen, but fell to player Ace.

What glory now, without the servile pack,

The Jacks who followed suit, the cardboard crew

Who honored him? What hand had he been dealt

to live, outlive those other kings who knew

His rank, however keenly they had felt

His rivalry? They left before he came

To this sad pass. They knew it was a game.

Nov. 7, 2017: GENERAL MEETING/ELECTION and AWARD WINNERS’ READING, Part Two; followed by OPEN MIC

@Yenching Library

7:00 Meeting and Election (members only)

7:30 Reading (open to the public)

Paula Bonnell, honorable mention, Rosalie Boyle/Norma Farber Award

Rhina Espaillat, Der Hovanessian Prize

Len Krisak, honorable mention, Der Hovanessian Prize

Alfred Nicol, co-winner, Rosalie Boyle/Norma Farber Award

Jean L. Kreiling, co-winner, Rosalie Boyle/Norma Farber Award

Suellen Wedmore, winner of the Erika Mumford Prize

Followed by OPEN MIC

NEPC Member News, week of 10/16/17

1. Alfred Nicol will be reading at the following upcoming events:
  • Thursday, October 19, 2017, 7 PM. The Custom House, 25 Water Street, Newburyport. A Melopoeia with Rhina Espaillat, Alfred Nicol, and John Tavano.
  • Friday, April 6, 2018. Boston National Poetry Month Festival, The Boston Public Library: A Melopoeia with Rhina Espaillat, Alfred Nicol, and John Tavano.

    2. Ellin Sarot will be one of the contributors reading from the new anthology, “Black Lives Have Always Mattered,” on Tuesday, October 24th @ 7pm at Porter Square Books. 

    3. Anna M. Warrock has a new chapbook, “From the Other Room,” out from Slate Roof Press. Her book is available for purchase at Porter Square Books (also see order card below for mail ordering).From Nina MacLaughlin’s literary column in The Boston Globe:
 “From the Other Room wades into the waters of grief … Though suffused with sorrow, Warrock’s lines aren’t leaden. They move with the simplicity of haiku. At the center, the poems suggests how it is possible to become at home with loss.”

    4. Atar Hadari has a new book, “Lives of the Dead,” out from Arc Publications.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1908376643Atar Hadari was born in Israel, raised in England, trained as an actor and writer at the University of East Anglia before winning a scholarship to study poetry and playwrighting with Derek Walcott at Boston University. His plays have won awards from the BBC, Arts Council of England, National Foundation of Jewish Culture (New York), European Association of Jewish Culture (Brussels) and the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he was Young Writer in Residence. Plays have been staged at the Finborough Theatre, Wimbledon Studio Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum (where he was a Mentor Playwright), Nat Horne Studio Theatre (New York) and Valdez, Alaska. His “Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of H. N. Bialik” (Syracuse University Press) was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award and his poems have won the Daniel Varoujan award from New England Poetry Club, the Petra Kenney award, a Paumanok poetry award and many other prizes.  His nineteen-page translation of Hanoch Levin’s “Lives of the Dead” filled a third of Poetry magazine in 2009.

    5. Jonas Zdanys has published four new books in 2017:

  • Preliudai po lietaus / Preludes After Rain. (Macau, China and Markwell, Australia: Flying Island Books, ASM, and Cerberus Press 2017. Pocket Poets Series).
Selected poems in English and Lithuanian. I write and publish poetry in two languages and this book illustrates that bilingual work. Some of the poems in this volume were originally written in English and some were originally written in Lithuanian, with versions of those poems in both languages appearing on facing pages.  
 
  • St. Brigid’s Well. (Chicago: Purple Flag Press 2017). 
A lyrical-narrative poem, in sections. The poem’s focus on the Dingle Peninsula, past and present, the vistas along the Ring of Kerry, and the literal as well as metaphorical pilgrimage eastward to St. Brigid’s Well in Kildare is linked to the figure of Brigid, who serves as a touchstone in that exploration both as Christian saint and as pagan goddess.
 
  • Two Voices/Du Balsai.  Jonas Zdanys and Kornelijus Platelis.  Poems and translations.  (Chicago: Purple Flag Press 2017).
Two Voices/Du Balsai is a literary celebration of a thirty year friendship between poets and translators Jonas Zdanys and Kornelijus Platelis. In this bilingual volume, published in English and Lithuanian, Zdanys and Platelis engage with one another as poets and as translators. Each presents himself as well as the other, through original poems and through their respective translations on the facing pages in the other language. The poems include the most recent published texts by each poet as well as some yet unpublished work, and the respective translations are new and made especially for these pages.
 
  • Three White Horses.  Poems by Jonas Zdanys, Paintings by Sou Vai Keng.  (Beaumont: Lamar University Literary Press 2017).
Three White Horses is a collection of 70 poems that constitute a lyrical-narrative sequence. In many ways, this book is a natural outgrowth of my last two books: in it, I combine the impulse toward the epiphanic moments of Red Stones and the explorations of internal and external geographies of St. Brigid’s Well. The poems tell a story while relying on the various techniques and commitments of lyric poetry. The Chinese painter Sou Vai Keng has made 26 inkbrush paintings for the book. Her paintings do not illustrate the poems but instead are parallel explorations of some of the ideas considered in the poems. Vai Keng uses brushstrokes and lines of ink to capture the impulses and implications of the kinds of lyrical moments and insights the texts present.

The Role of Poetry in Contemporary America: Dean Rader and Steph Burt in Conversation

Please join us on October 18th for an event hosted by the New England Poetry Club and the Grolier Poetry Book Shop!

The Role of Poetry in Contemporary America: Dean Rader and Steph Burt in Conversation, moderated by Ifeanyi Menkiti

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017
7:00 pm, free & open to the public

Cambridge Public Library
Community Room (basement)
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA

Dean Rader is a professor of English at the University of San Francisco. His newest collection, Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry, was published in January 2017 by Copper Canyon Press. Works & Days, his debut collection, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize and the Writer’s League of Texas Book Award. Landscape Portrait Figure Form (Omnidawn, 2014) was named one of the best books of poetry of the year by the Barnes & Noble review. He writes frequently about literature, culture, and politics for The San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post.

Stephen Burt (who also goes by Steph and Stephanie) is Professor of English at Harvard and the author of several previous books of poetry and literary criticism, among them Belmont and Close Calls with Nonsense, both from Graywolf Press, as well as The Poem Is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them (Harvard University Press). Her new collection, Advice from the Lights (Graywolf Press), goes on sale October 3.

Oct. 3, 2017: AWARD WINNERS’ READING, Part One 7:00 Yenching Library

Oct. 3, 2017: AWARD WINNERS’ READING, Part One

7:00 Yenching Library (open to the public

 

)

Anna Rabinowitz, Sheila Margaret Motton Book Award

Lynn Pedersen, honorable mention, Sheila Margaret Motton Book Award

Krysten Hill, Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize

Vivian Shipley, honorable mention, Barbara Bradley Award

D.G. Geis, Firman Houghton Award

Hilde Weisert, Gretchen Warren Award

 

Unlocking the Word, an Anthology of Found Poetry edited by Jonas Zdanys

Lamar University Literary Press is pleased to announce Unlocking the Word, the first major anthology of found poetry, and invites all poets who are currently exploring the form or who may be interested in doing so to submit their work for consideration.

“Found poetry” is a literary form that uses words not meant to be a poem (as they originally appeared) and turning those words into a poem. A found poem works because the poet who discovers it is able to find poetry in ordinary language and discover or understand the aesthetic possibilities of all words no matter where they originally appear. Found poetry therefore involves an appreciative sense of the innate aesthetic possibilities of all language. The goal is to use poetic sensibilities to find the right text and to ensure its thematic and narrative integrity even while restructuring its form through spacing and line breaks. The original words therefore should not be changed, and the original text should not be edited or revised.

Sources can be any published text, including textbooks, newspaper and magazine articles, letters, emails, advertisements, speeches, and other “non-creative” publications. The anthology will not include found poems discovered in any literary text (poetry, fiction, or drama).

Unlocking the Word will focus on the joy of the discovery of the transformative aesthetic elements in everyday language and the poetry that resides all around us. Jonas Zdanys is an award-winning bilingual poet and literary translator.

How to Submit:

  • Submissions should be emailed, as a Word document attachment only, to Jonas Zdanys: 26marketstreet@comcast.net
  • Submit up to 5 found poems, on or before December 1, 2017. Include your name and email address on each poem. Previously published poems should be acknowledged.
  • For each found poem, indicate the exact source of the original text.
  • Include a short biography and a listing of books published, if any.
    Poets will be notified in early 2018 if their works have been selected for inclusion in Unlocking the Word.

Other anthologies from Lamar University Literary Press include:

  • The Great American Wise Ass Poetry Anthology, Jerry Bradley and Ulf Kirchdorfer, editors
  • Pushing the Envelope: Epistolary Poems, Jonas Zdanys, editor
  • A Shared Voice, Tom Mack and Andrew Geyer, editors
  • The Beatest State in The Union, Chris Carmona, Rob Johnson, and Chuck Taylor, editors
  • Texas Weather: An Anthology of Poetry, Short Fiction, and Nonfiction, Terry Dalrymple and Laurence
  • Musgrove, editors