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September 2010

From Elmira to Brooklyn, New York Is Mark Twain Country -

“Well, I was out of work in St. Louis, and didn’t fancy loafing in such a dry place, where there is no pleasure to be seen without paying well for it, and so I thought I might as well go to New York. I packed up my duds and left for this village, where I arrived, all right, this morning.”


Since Huck Finn is on our list & we're in NYC, this article is quite timely!

Poetic Amusement - Just published!

Poetic_amusement_cvr I am pleased, make that thrilled, to announce the publication of Poetic Amusement by Ray Hammond. Now you no longer have to be afraid to ask "Where do poems come from?" I've been referring to Ray's work in this book for years. Now you can read the complete argument for yourself. Here is the book description:

Originally written in 2000 as his Master’s thesis, Raymond P. Hammond’s Poetic Amusement has been passed around underground as a digital file for ten years among those associated with The New York Quarterly. As provocative today as it was when it was written, what began as Hammond’s observations of the influence of “po’ biz” and writing programs on contemporary American poetry became a timeless treatise on poetry itself. Using his experience with NYQ and devouring many literary critics across the ages from the ancient Greeks to contemporary critics, Hammond examines at once both our current literary environment and the essence of poetry. In seeking to answer the questions “What is poetry?” and “Where does poetry come from?” for himself, he encourages readers to ask those questions for and of themselves as well. Relevant and accessible to readers and writers of poetry and to those who think they don’t know or want to know what poetry is, Poetic Amusement will anger, elevate and inspire all those who read it.

Available at Amazon and Barnes&Noble now!

Overrated (?)

Despite being wary of negatively critical articles, this recent post by Anis Shivani at the Huffington Post is written in a thought-provoking manner. Whether you agree or disagree with his assessments, it prompts the willing reader to consider or reconsider criteria for "greatness". Take a look and decide:

The 15 Most Overrated Contemporary American Writers

Thanks to Amanda Bradley for bringing this to my attention on Facebook.