Monday, February 28, 2011

Blogging Along

The TIMES reported the other day that blogs are losing out to social network sites like Facebook & Twitter, largely because Internet users prefer the brevity of the latter. Why write or read a blog post when you can tweet in a max of 140 characters—a limit I’ve probably already exceeded here.

Regardless, I’d like to say that I attended the pro-union rally at City Hall Park on Saturday, Feb. 26, along with about 2,000 others who looked familiar from the anti-war rallies of the past decade. These folks, mostly middle class, are in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, and we have all benefited from belonging to a union. We are fed up with the union-bashing led by current state governors and with the transfer of wealth upward led by some of the richest Americans and their running dogs in political office. So we vented on Saturday along with thousands of others across the country, and it felt good even though we realize that we are likely fighting a losing battle in these conservative times.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Satire

I have a new satire up at CLOCKWISE CAT: It's about the renaming of a popular market magazine for writers & poets. Please check it out.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Poetry Reading Cancelled

The reading with Claudia Serea that I posted word of here on Feb. 14 has been cancelled because the venue, Bengal Curry,  will close this Friday. Like many other small businesses in gentrifying areas of the city, Bengal Curry can't afford the increased rent for its space. But Mike Graves, founding host of the peripatetic Phoenix reading series, will no doubt find a new place for poets to read.

Speaking of poets, in an interview with Galway Kinnell (The American Poetry Review, Jan/Feb 2011, p. 7), Chard deNiord asks why he’s reluctant to call himself a poet. Kinnell replies, “A poet should not call himself a poet . . . it’s better all around if someone else declares it” ). Kinnell, who turned 84 on Feb. 1st, represents an old tradition of modesty in self-appellation that has for the most part been abandoned by younger poets. For instance, how many poets do you know who identify themselves foremost as “poet,” though they might have important day jobs? Many have even incorporated “poet” in their email addresses and business cards.

To give him his due, Kinnell, a Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur “Genius” Award winner, explains his modesty by saying that “being a poet is so marvelous an achievement” that to call oneself a poet is “boasting.” But there are so many more poets per capita than when Kinnell began writing, in the 1940’s, and the various social networks afford such ample ways to advertise oneself as a “poet,” that poet has become a vocation that multitudes, unwilling to wait for someone else to declare it, claim for themselves.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Poetry Reading on Sunday, Feb. 27th

George Held & Claudia Serea read on Sunday, February 27, 2011,

@ Bengal Curry, 65 West Broadway, New York, NY 10007-2292 / 212.571.1122,
between Murray and Warren, 1 1⁄2 blocks below Chambers St. Take the 1, 2, 3,
A, C or E train to
Chambers Street

Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. Her poems and translations have appeared in Meridian, Mudfish,
Main Street
Rag, Harpur Palate, Exquisite Corpse, The Fourth River, The Red Wheelbarrow, among others. She is the author of two poetry collections: Eternity’s Orthography (Finishing Line Press, 2007) and To Part Is to Die a Little, forthcoming from Červená Barva Press. She also writes creative nonfiction, published by The Rambler and The Writers’ Workshop Review. Claudia lives in New Jersey and works in New York
for a major publishing company.for a major publishing company.