Here is a video of The Diminished Prophets performing a new melopoeia, titled “The Gallery.” Recorded in October 2023 at BevCam in Beverly, MA, it features the poems of Rhina P. Espaillat, Alfred Nicol and others read to the accompaniment of John Tavano on guitar and Roger Kimball on bass and cello.
Reflecting on One Hundred Visions of War
My conversation with Gayle Heney about translating Julien Vocance’s One Hundred Visions of War, written in the trenches of France in 1916, was recorded at the HC Media Studio in Haverhill on January 23, 2023.
Gayle has been producing her award-winning program Write Now for over ten years. Previous guests include Andre Dubus, Rhina P. Espaillat, Paul Harding, and Meg Kearney.
Reading at G.A.R. Memorial Library, West Newbury, MA
Reading by Local Poet Alfred Nicol
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22 6:30—7:30 PM G.A.R. Memorial Library, 490 Main Street, West Newbury, MA, 01985
In honor of the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, local poet, Alfred Nicol will read from his most recent publication, One Hundred Visions of War, a translation of Cent Visions de Guerre by Julien Vocance. These poems, written in 1916 in the trenches of WWI, are among the first haiku written in the west.
Dana Gioia, who served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts for six years, writes in his preface to the book, “One Hundred Visions of War is a major poetic testament of the Great War. Few works of such audacious originality are so accessible and emotionally engaging. More than a century after its publication, Vocance’s sequence has lost neither its shock value nor its strange tenderness. Alfred Nicol… has restored a lost masterpiece to English-language memory.”
Alfred Nicol’s poems have appeared in Poetry, the New England Review, Dark Horse, Commonweal, The Formalist, The Hopkins Review, Best American Poetry 2018, and many other literary journals and anthologies. Nicol lives in West Newbury, Massachusetts, with his wife, Gina DiGiovanni.
Registration is required for this event. To register, please scroll down the library’s event page here.
“Write Now” — Alfred Nicol, January 2023 TV Schedule
My conversation with Gayle Heney about translating Julien Vocance’s One Hundred Visions of War, written in the trenches of France in 1916, will air for the month of February in Haverhill, MA on Comcast channel 22 on Tuesdays @ 7:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. and Wed. @ 3:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
The program will air in 5 additional markets beginning the week of Feb. 6 – March 11, 2023. They are:
North Andover, MA: Mondays @ 5 pm; Tuesdays @ 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Fridays @ 11 a.m. and Sat. @ 8 p.m. on Comcast channel 22 and Verizon channel 24
Methuen, MA: Tuesdays @ 8:30 p.m. and Wed. @ 9:30 a.m. on Comcast channel 22 and Verizon channel 33
Andover, MA: Mondays @ 8 pm and Tuesdays @ 7 a.m. and Thursdays @ 12 noon on Comcast channel 8 and Verizon channel 47
Lawrence, MA: Wed. @ 7 p.m.; Thurs. @ 11a.m. and 8 p.m. and Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on Verizon channel 40 and Comcast channel 99
Boxford Cable Access TV: (Boxford, MA) Comcast channel 8 and Verizon channel 45. This station changes its programming weekly, so viewers should check out its link for exact dates/times.
Gayle has been producing Write Now for over ten years. Previous guests include Andre Dubus, Rhina P. Espaillat, Paul Harding, and Meg Kearney.
The Doomsday Glacier: why it deserves to be called that.
I always introduce Marissa Grunes as the daughter of my first poet friend at college. I like that connection, but it has become irrelevant with regard to her work. She’s become a go-to writer for me. Anything she writes, whether it pertains to literature or science, demands to be read. Here is her most recent publication. There’s not a word of alarmist rhetoric in it, but it sure does send out an alarm.
How We Came to Know and Fear the Doomsday Glacier
Anthem of the 52nd Eucharistic Congress, Budapest, 2021
Working closely with Hungarian musician and composer Peter Pejtsik, I wrote an English version of Béla Bangha’s lyrics for the hymn “Győzelemről énekeljen,” which served as the anthem for the 52nd Eucharistic Congress of the Catholic Church, held in Budapest Sept. 5 to Sept 12, 2021. Recently, I found this Youtube video of the anthem performed by a full choir, with Pejtsik conducting.
Makoto Fujimura on Art and Faith
A deeply thoughtful, creative and beautiful man talks about his art and his faith with Samuel Loncar.
Oliver Sacks on Looking at People Looking at their Cellphones
My Reading for Able Muse
Thanks to Alex Pepple, Carina Fernandes, and the Able Muse team for giving me this opportunity to read with acclaimed poets Carol Light and Barbara Sorensen, and thanks to our warm and welcoming host J C Todd.
2022 Newburyport Literary Festival Poetry Events
Saturday, April 30 – Poetry Readings via Zoom
8:30–10:00 AM Breakfast with the Poets. Yet another year without coffee! But we’ve got strong poetry to get you up and going. Seven Powow River Poets, Midge Goldberg, Don Kimball, Jean Kreiling, Zara Raab, Andrew Szilvasy, Paulette Turco, and Deborah Warren, will read from books they’ve published since last year’s festival.
10:15-11:15 The Poetry of Richard Wollman and Kirun Kapur. How much of the world is gathered in the work of these two poets from Amesbury, just across the river! In their cadences we hear echoes of the Psalms and the Ramayana. They bring us news from Steubenville, Basra, Surat; from Ashkelon and the defiled Jewish cemetery in Carpentras. But they also bring our attention to what’s happening in the sky above the Merrimac river and in the waiting room of the hospital, for theirs are intensely personal poems. Richard Wollman’s newly published work is a love poem which reads like a whispered prayer to “the twin gods of want and need.” Kirun Kapur’s new book makes expressive use of silence and dares to utter in compassion what emerges from silence, words left unsaid for generations.
11:30-12:30 The Poetry of Taylor Byas and Greg Williamson. Two bright stars in the firmament of formalist poetry, Greg Williamson and Taylor Byas extend tradition by inventing their own forms and by adapting inherited forms to meet new challenges. At a time when our understanding of reality has been radically transformed, Williamson brings the language of thermodynamics and quantum physics into the sonnet sequence. Byas uses the six recurring words of the sestina to send a message about the new reality of social media; she addresses the cyclical violence of racism in the repeated lines of the pantoum. If one can speak of the cutting edge of tradition, this is it.
12:45-1:45 The Poetry of Caitlin Doyle and Jeffrey Harrison. The ancient connection between poetry and memory is everywhere apparent in the work of Caitlin Doyle and Jeffrey Harrison. The first-generation Irish-American poet Doyle, who first encountered the sound of rhyme and cadenced language in anthologies found on her parents’ bookshelves, creates memorable lyric poems of her own. In long meditative lines of verse, Harrison recalls and relives the arc of his own journey through a life replete with love and loss. As Stanley Plumly notes, his “writing has that quality of being at one with the experience.”
2:00-3:00 The Poetry of Danielle Legros Georges & Geoffrey Brock. As Danielle Georges reaches back into “the waters of history” in Haiti and to the island’s French legacy, she finds a gorgeous, resilient voice that echoes Baudelaire, and operates by vivid juxtaposing of images. She advises, “do not turn . . . //Against a neighbor. . . // Your human // Self, keep it alive. A type/ Of flame.” If Georges’ influences are French, Goeffrey Brock’s are Italian, for it was through his translations that he acquired a formal aplomb. “Everything wants to dream itself into something. . .” writes Brock—and write he does with eloquence, whether it’s an ode to Ovid with stanzas in three meters and perfect rhyme, or variations on the theme of Orpheus, who knew “I couldn’t bring her back, / Because it wasn’t her / But grief that I love. . .”
3:15-4:15 The Poetry of Regie Gibson & Marilyn Hacker. These astute, urban poets eschew the garret; they’d rather work with other poets, dead (through translation) or alive, Marilyn Hacker most recently in a book-length renga, a collaboration with the French-Indian poet Karthika Naïr, and Regie Gibson in the classroom, hip-hopping with teenagers, “We gotta do a Mic Check, an Everything-all-right Check,” translating “The Cat from Strat” (Shakespeare) into 21st C. dialect and calling, like Hacker, for greater social responsibility: The one life I have, Hacker knows, “will be “same” unless I make it “other.” Being American isn’t always easy. “Once, it was lucky,” says Hacker, whose grandparents immigrated to the U.S. before the Holocaust, while Gibson calls on us to rewrite our dark “isms” with new ones—”the right to remain black and not shot-ism,” for example.