“You simply could make no better choice than Rhina P. Espaillat, and you will be ever grateful that you have brought her work into your world.”
My thanks to the gracious editors of Marginalia / LA Review of Books for sharing our enthusiastic endorsement of Rhina P. Espaillat as Inaugural Poet.
My review of Maryann Corbett’s In Code appears in The University Bookman, October 25, 2020.
On Rosh HaShanah–Yom Teurah or the “Day of Shouting”–we raise a loud noise by blowing the shofar. Inspired by the late David Davis, author of The Joy Poems, poets Michael Cantor, Robert Crawford, Midge Goldberg, Alfred Nicol, Kyle Potvin, and Deborah Warren will explore the idea of finding joy in the world around them, including in loud cars and mud puddles. All the poets have published books–Cantor’s Furusato, Crawford’s The Empty Chair, Goldberg’s Snowman’s Code, Nicol’s Winter Light, Potvin’s Loosen, and Warren’s Dream with Flowers and Bowl of Fruit. The reading will be followed by an open mike.
Adult Continuing Education Department of Etz Hayim Synagogue, 1 ½ Hood Road, Derry, NH 03038 has developed and sponsored these programs. For more information about them, please contact: Stephen Soreff, MD, at email@example.com 603-895-6120
To access zoom. Topic: Poetry Reading
Time: Oct 15, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 996 7432 8101 Passcode: 073507
Fourteen years ago I edited, typeset and designed the first Powow River Anthology, released by Ocean Publishing with an introduction by X. J. Kennedy. There has been a lot of water under the bridge since then! Paulette Turco, one of our newest members, took up the challenge of editing a second anthology, enlisting the aid of Rhina Espaillat, Jean Kreiling and myself, but shouldering the greater part of the workload herself. She and Alex Pepple of Able Muse Press teamed up to issue an exquisitely designed and edited showcase of the immense poetic talent that has been gathering once a month in the town of Newburyport to share poems and lively discussion of the art and craft of poetry.
Place your order here: https://preview.mailerlite.com/g6s8s8/1513520248504977672/m1e7/
Rhina P. Espaillat is the perfect person to talk about an earlier “trailblazing woman,” Emily Dickinson, in this delightful program from PBS television.
I first met Syd when I took his creative writing class at Dartmouth College. He was my professor, though he did everything in his power to level that hierarchical relationship. Though he was not drinking himself, he’d bring a big jug of wine and set it down in the middle of the table where we would-be poets sat. He told us right up front, in our first class, that we’d learn more from one another than we would ever learn from him. Basically, his role would be to welcome us into a conversation with other writers and trust that our common interests would lead us… somewhere.
I don’t mean to imply that he was abdicating his responsibilities. I think he was showing us the truest thing he knew about poetry and about “Literature” in general: that it’s all one big conversation, a conversation that goes on for centuries, and when you pick up your pen and try to say something from the heart, you’re joining that conversation, trying to make your voice heard. But you’d better be saying something from the heart, or no one’s going to listen.
Thought, no matter how lofty, seems duller than lead,
Without heart to match, just as faith without works is dead.
Here is a video of Syd talking about his most recent collection of poetry, Here.