14 February 2007

S.E. Hint-Hint

For the past few weeks, I've been immersed in a couple of editing jobs: a book on the history of stag films for ECW; the selected David McFadden for Insomniac.

But I've been thinking lots about the poetry workshop that starts tomorrow, Get Your Hands on My Poem! (what a dumb title, huh?). This morning I had a great talk about the workshop with Michael Dennis, whose input was excellent. I think Michael should be leading a workshop in Ottawa; I bug him to.

Also been reading some great essays on poetry, by Alice Notley, Mark Strand, Charles North. Ted Berrigan's On the Level Everyday, a collection of his talks, is always inspiring. Getting a kick, too, out of Jonathan Lethem's essay in the new issue of Harper's, "The Ecstasy of Influence," which Sandra recently enthused about on her blog.

My anxiety over this workshop has transformed to excitement. I'm confident I can avoid the major pitfall of the critiquing workshop: an atmosphere that creates a factory for poetry by committee.

Still a few spaces left (hint, hint), but already the group looks great: a solid mixture of poets published and, I think, unpublished.

Odd thing: I was just looking at my glorious bookshelves of poetry again and realized that all of my books are by contemporary poets, except for a selected Walt Whitman and a collected Stephen Crane, and whatever I might have by old guys in anthologies. Where the hell is my John Donne collection? Do I really not have Shakespeare's sonnets? I'm convinced this stuff must all be in a box somewhere. Time to do some archaeological digging through my stored heaps.

Over and out.

P.S. — Happy Valentine's Day, Dana


At February 14, 2007 7:06 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

what? no epic of gilgamesh? no homer? no ramayana no mahabarata? no chaucer? no basho no sappho? no pope no poe? no lao tsu? no ed de vere? no byron no keats no donne? no dickenson? no shelly no wordsworth no bernard no snoop dog? oops, i mean no epic of gesar? damn, i understand. none for me either. although i share your wish to be well versed and stock your shelves with all your stock. love to see the collection someday. i've heard a rookie (without an expert guide like you) could get lost in there for years.


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