April 12, 2016 |
Braving the cold, five poets (and one dog) huddled outside the Green Line Cafe in West Philadelphia late Friday night to kick off Philly Poetry Day. At their urging, Leonard Gontarek, the event's founder and organizer, broke the ice with the night's first reading. Next up was William Burrison, a local playwright, who had written a poem for the chilly occasion. He tilted his paper toward the dim light and started reading: It's cold on the corner / Will the next trolley that comes bring spring with it?
April 6, 2016 |
One day, as National Poetry Month came slouching toward Philadelphia, Larry Robin and the folks at Moonstone Arts Center had a bunch of bright ideas: Count all the places in Philadelphia that do poetry. It's a big poetry town, but how big exactly? Publish a Philly poetry newspaper listing them and all the great stuff happening for Poetry Month in this poetry town. Throw a big poetry weekend with a huge number of events, so you go from one to another and have a wonderful time.
April 8, 2015 |
This city gets it. Poetry suits our personality: forthright, outspoken, political. We get to the meat of things. So does poetry. At least, Kathleen Volk Miller, the editor of Painted Bride Quarterly, thinks so. Philadelphia's love of poetry is so strong, she says, that "people are out of their houses, out of their sweatpants, out in the cold, all to hear some random strangers read, and they don't even know if it's going to be good. " Perhaps that's what makes National Poetry Month - also known as April - a repeated success in this city.
April 24, 2013 |
Steve Burns is a part-time waiter. He does carpentry, too. But his real job is poetry. The Sicklerville resident, 23, volunteers for Apiary, a print and online literary magazine as energetic and eclectic as the Philly poetry scene it nurtures. From the current issue, available free in the literature room at the Parkway branch of the Free Library: I lost my Philly accent somewhere in the outback returned with a tan and an easy disposition "Apiary is a medley of everything," says Burns, who reviews readings, tours independent bookstores, and conducts interviews for his "Captain Steve" column.
April 9, 2013 |
The topics ranged from love and sex to history and time, but it was all poetry in motion Sunday at the Arts Bank in Center City. Among the recitals was a graphic short poem by Lamont B. Steptoe, "New Orleans," that described having nonviolent, sexual fun with women in the Big Easy. "Most people can't pull that off," Sean Lynch, 20, said. "It's so hard to pull off being vulgar in poetry. " Lynch, a student at Rutgers University's Camden campus, said he had been writing poetry for a decade but performed for the first time in a public forum during Sunday's 17th annual Poetry Ink. Lynch said Steptoe inspired him to go public.
April 17, 2012 |
‘That was the stupidest poem ever. " Imogene, a ninth-grade English student, was critiquing my favorite poem, "Year's End," by Richard Wilbur. Such moments in teaching give me second thoughts about whether I should have gone into law, or plastics. I actually enjoy answering the question: "Why do we have to read this poem?" But more and more, the question has become: "Why do we have to read poetry?" This was essentially Imogene's lament, and it made me feel like a defender of the faith — a solitary English teacher facing the forces of darkness, chaos, and MTV. The resonant literary image, the ordered experience and cadence of the sentence, the counterpoint of the paragraph, and the music of the muse needs preservation — though we may be bloodied in the attempt!
April 8, 2012 |
'Poetry is dead. Long live poetry!" That's my rejoinder to National Poetry Month's seasonal hue and cry - febrile lament of poetry's demise coupled with celebration of its monarchal reign as highest of arts. For poetry lovers this renders April "the cruelest month," as T.S. Eliot observed. Like most poets writing today, I grew up with the notion that poetry is knock, knock, knocking on heaven's door. My teachers, my peers, and many literary journals reminded me that I am merely bloodying my knuckles.
April 28, 2011
By Todd R. Nelson In a school, poetry abounds as spontaneous expression. One of my favorite poems echoing around school recently was not something the kids learned in class, the school play, or hip-hop songs (though we do hear plenty of those). It was a poem about math and counting, in a cadence just right for jumping rope: Cinderella, dressed in yella Went downstairs to kiss a fella. By mistake, she kissed a snake! How many doctors did it take?
April 4, 2010 |
Philadelphia. Poetrydelphia, more like. April is National Poetry Month - so declared in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets - but any month, any week of the year, there's a simmer of poetic endeavor in and around this town to rival anywhere in the United States. World, more like. It's a convergence. The Internet has ushered in a golden age for poets and poetry. Want to read Chinese poetry? Or the poems of Langston Hughes or Victoria Chang? At the stroke of a key, you can. What the heck is trochaic tetrameter?
April 1, 2005 |
Constance Garcia-Barrio is an associate professor at West Chester University Poetry, some say, is for highbrows. John Fox, president of the National Association for Poetry Therapy (www.poetrytherapy.org), disagrees. "Come to the table," he says. "You're missing out. " During April, National Poetry Month, you'll hear a great deal about the beauty and emotional impact of poetry. Bill Moyers emphasizes poetry's universal reach in his book The Language of Life: A Festival of Poets: "Poetry is the news of the mind," he writes, "the news of the heart.