First of all, this lovely and astonishing chapbook by Marni Ludwig, picked by Susan Howe for the 2011 Poetry Society of America chapbook fellowship:
One of the best things about being in an MFA program is that you get to know actual poets who are actually amazing who actually go on to publish things in beautiful ways. I was in workshop with Marni last year and completely in awe of her. You can read the title poem at Jerry Magazine and purchase a copy of the chapbook here.
Also look out for her first book, Pinwheel, picked by Jean Valentine for the 2012 New Issues Poetry Prize.
Other poetry I picked up in April:
This is the 1974 New Directions edition of Helen in Egypt, which was first publised by Grove Press in 1962. I am in the midst of reading it and it is spectacular. It begins:
We all know the story of Helen of Troy but few of us have followed her to Egypt. How did she get there? Stesichorus of Sicily in his Pallinode, was the first to tell us. Some centuries later, Euripides repeats the story. Stesichorus was said to have been struck blind because of his invective against Helen, but later was restored to sight, when he reinstated her in his Pallinode. Euripedes, notably in The Trojan Women, reviles her, but he also is “restored to sight.” The later, little understood Helen in Egypt, is again a Pallinode, a defence, explanation or apology.
According to the Pallinode, Helen was never in Troy. She has been transposed or translated from Greece into Egypt. Helen of Troy was a phantom, substituted for the real Helen, by jealous deities. The Greeks and the Trojans alike fought for an illusion.
I’ve read this before; just got a copy for myself.
Matthea Harvey will be visiting Washington University in the Fall; exciting!
I have a special attraction to books published in 1963 and also 1988, the year of my birth. Not that that’s why this book is lovely.
I think I might teach this book in the fall. You can read the title poem here.
I’d read some poems by Conchitina Cruz, a Filipina poet, in a journal and then tried looking for her books, but this one is most easily available straight from the Philippines. So my friend Allan who lives in Manila sent this book to me via another friend. I just read a few of the poems and they’re incredible.
This is a review copy, which I’m already enjoying:
Bought for a quarter at the library, someone I’ve always wanted to read:
The first book of Tanizaki‘s work I ever read, not knowing who he was when I found him in a library; I fell instantly in love:
Nonfiction, also by Tanizaki:
Some personal news:
I have graduated from my MFA program in poetry and am officially a Master. I also got a third-year fellowship, so I will be staying in St Louis for another year, teaching a class each in the fall and spring semesters.