London's Southbank Centre is planning a huge "Poetry Parnassus" to coincide with next year's Olympics.
Members of the public are invited to nominate up to 3 poets from any of the 205 Olympic competing nations. The organizers will select one from each country who will be provided with airfare, accommodation and visa so they can attend the event to be held in London in late June/early July 2012.
A few weeks ago I asked our Facebook followers to share the name of their favorite poem. As you'll see below, the responses were both enthusiastic and eclectic!
Do you see any of your favorites here? Whether that's a yes or no, do take a moment to click on the comments option at the bottom and tell us about your favorite or favorites!
Phyllis SB got in first, within a few seconds of me posting, with her recommendation of "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service, which was seconded by Dana VB.
You may already know of Taylor Mali, if so, there's no need for an introduction, just scroll down to be reminded of two of his best known poems, starting with "The The Impotence of Proofreading".
It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
of what is found there.
- from Asphodel, That Greeny Flower by William Carlos Williams
They're often short enough to accompany your morning coffee, and light enough to carry around in your pocket. They can be funny, powerful, sad, wistful, sexy, angry, or silly. With to-the-quick immediacy and just a handful of words, a poem can strike a place in the reader that most tomes could only aspire to. The first step to reading poetry is finding a poem you love, and I think collections are the best place to start, mostly because you increase your odds with so many poets between the covers.
The following are my favorite collections because they're curated with personality and passion, not obligation to the canon. So wrestle poetry away from the grasp of your stuffy high-school English teacher, forget all the rules, and add a poem to your daily news.
4045 votes were cast by BookBrowse subscribers to decide the 2010 BookBrowse Award winners. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote!
The winners are ...
I just came across this early interview with J.K. Rowling (probably from late 1998 or early 1999). She's sitting in the now famous Edinburgh House cafe in Edinburgh where she wrote the early Harry Potter books. She looks, frankly, exhausted, but hugely excited to have sold 30,000 copies of her first two books - especially as her agent told her, "there's not much money in children's books." She goes on to say that she's always wanted to write but "my realistic side had not allowed me to dream about half of what has happened to me," - this in reference to her agent selling the first two Harry Potter books to eight countries so, as she says with huge excitement, "it will be translated in France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy and Finland ... I love the idea of saying I'm big in Finland!"