Wednesday June 12, 2013
Wednesday June 12, 2013
Mid-June and the planet is turning toward the summer solstice—longest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere, some people call it Midsummer and others say it marks the official calendar beginning of the summer season. To mark the solstice’s approach, we’ve selected a few more classics and several new poems (chosen from those submitted to us by poets around the world) to add to our collection of summer poems:
We’re still reviewing new poems to add to the anthology, and you, dear readers, are invited to submit your own summer poems
. (Please remember, the text box on our submission page
doesn’t convey line breaks when you type a poem into it, so you need to use slashes (“/”) to indicate line breaks and double slashes (“//”) to indicate stanzas.)
Our readers in the Southern hemisphere might prefer to spend some time wandering in our Winter Poems collection and submitting poems for that anthology right about now, as they have just been through the opposite solstice, the shortest day of the year. We aim to satisfy the poetic interests of all our readers, worldwide!
Thursday June 6, 2013
Gwendolyn Brooks was a National Treasure whose rewards during her lifetime never matched her deserts. She was the first African American to win the Pulitzer, the first black woman to be Library of Congress Consultant Poet (which is what we called our American laureates before we actually named them Poet Laureate)... But her influence is the reward, carrying on long after her living days in the lives she changed, the spirit she passed on, the poetry that she lived. She spun important threads in the fabric of American culture and passed the shuttle into the hands of the next generation of poets, many of whom will be on hand in her home town Chicago this Friday for the first annual Brooksday, a marathon reading of her works on her birthday. A collaborative effort sponsored by the Guild Literary Complex, Third World Press and The American Writers Museum, the idea is that this first Brooksday will be the kernel from which a full-grown festival develops between now and Brooks’ 100th birthday on June 7, 2017.
Tuesday June 4, 2013
June brings with it summer, and the heart of the baseball season. Baseball is summer’s game; its players are called “the boys of summer.” It’s also the most literary of sports, and the baseball diamond is fertile ground for poems. Most Americans have heard the classic baseball poem, “Casey at the Bat”—and I know a performance poet who did a hilarious cutup combining that poem with Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” called “Kubla at the Bat.”
We’ve collected our favorite poems inspired by the great American game, serious and funny, classic and new, for reading between the innings. We’re always looking to add new poems to the collection—share your favorites with our readers, please. And if you’re looking for more baseball poems, here are a few likely places to find them:
- The Baseball Almanac has amassed an anthology of baseball poems and songs that includes “Casey at the Bat” with a gathering of tribute and response poems, other classic baseball pieces (some of them anonymous), several poems by the famous sportswriter Grantland Rice, and many other baseball poems and songs.
- Bardball, whose subtitle is “Reviving the Art of Baseball Doggerel,” is a populist baseball anthology from Chicago writers James Finn Garner and Stuart Shea. It’s been on the Internet since for a few years now, working “to resurrect the connection between baseball and poetry, between the love of the game and love of language” by collecting poems from fans all over the country.
- Spitball Magazine, which calls itself “the literary baseball magazine,” has published a huge number of baseball poems and intermittently since December 2009 they’ve selected a Baseball Poem of the Month for posting online.
Play ball! (and play with your words, too!)