April 20, 2011

Kay Ryan, 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Kay Ryan (San Jose, CA, 1945), former U.S. poet laureate, recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and author of several collections of poetry, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, published by Grove Press.

The Pulitzer citation calls the book "a body of work spanning 45 years, witty, rebellious and yet tender, a treasure trove of an iconoclastic and joyful mind."

Finalists in the poetry category also included The Common Man, by Maurice Manning (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Break the Glass, by Jean Valentine (Copper Canyon Press).

Further reading:

The 2011 Pulitzer Prize Winners. Poetry (Pulitzer.org)

Kay Ryan, The Art of Poetry No. 94 (The Paris Review)

Kay Ryan, Outsider With Sly Style, Named Poet Laureate (The New York Times)

Stealthy Insights Amid Short Phrases (The New York Times)

Poet Kay Ryan On Words, Writing (NPR)

Poems that turn ordinary things grand (SFGate)

Catching Up with Kay Ryan, Poet Laureate, at the National Book Festival (The Washington Post)

Kay Ryan at the Poetry Foundation, Poets.org, The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Library of Congress

April 14, 2011

young poests wanted

YAP welcomes submissions by poets born on or after july 20, 1972, from all 50 states, the district of columbia, puerto rico and all territories of the united states of america. send two to six unpublished poems written in English, bound in the e-mail body or as an attached document. our reading period for 2011 extends through december 15.

read our guidelines here!

Young American Poets
A blog and online journal devoted to
New American Poetry by America's New Poets

April 12, 2011

on the historical accuracy of your biopic

As much as you try to forget me
Burning letters, pictures,
Turning the common ground of our memories
Into scorched earth

You just can't erase me from your past
Have no doubt, princess
I'll be the stain you can't get rid of
Researchers, historians -- they will find me

I may not become a paragraph
Maybe not even a line
But at the very least
I'll be a footnote in your biography

Then it will be a question of time

Just let some lame script writer
In need of flesh, drama
For your otherwise uneventful biopic
And there you have me, handsome as ever

Haunting you on the screen
Seducing you
Being the most good-looking
And biggest mistake you ever made

jonathan rothko (St. Louis, MO, 1975)

April 11, 2011


Here is John, right after sushi class
The second in a series of three lessons
For beginners

He is walking down the street, happy as ever,
Carrying a plastic plate filled with sushi rolls he has just fixed himself
It's 9:36 PM

Here is John, happy as ever, carelessly crossing the almost empty street
His eyes fixed in the fresh sushi, wondering
How to tell apart the vegetarian rolls he specially made for his girlfriend
Not noticing the speeding car about to thrust him and the plastic plate
High in the air

He is gracefully elevated from the ground
He is bruised, bitten and pushed by the cold metal
Maki rolls fly without loosing a grain of rice
Which is of course a clear sign of John's fast acquired ability

He hits the ground

The car is gone, the street is again silent
One of John's sushi rolls lands gently on the lap
Of a homeless man sitting on a bench nearby
Reading an old newspaper
He looks at the well-crafted salmon piece with suspicion
And tries it, chewing slowly
His face turns into a big eeewww
He spits all over the place, cursing God in colorful manner

Meanwhile, John is laying on the street
Still figuring out how to tell apart the vegetarian rolls
He specially made for his girlfriend, and he smiles
He has two, three convulsions
And dies

cindy ortemann (New York, NY, 1979)

April 9, 2011

Boston Review's Annual Poetry Contest

The Fourteenth Annual Poetry Contest organized by the Boston Review is now accepting online and mail submissions through June 1, 2011, of up to five unpublished poems and no more than ten pages total. Any poet writing in English is eligible, except current and former students, relatives, or close personal friends of the judge, Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun. The winner will be announced no later than November 1, 2011, on the Boston Review web site. Read the full competition rules here.

Postmark deadline: June 1, 2011

Entry fee: $20.00

Prize: $1,500, work published in the November/December 2011 issue of Boston Review

Further reading:

Poetry at the Boston Review

April 8, 2011


A navel veil,

             A grave Nile,

A vile vale unveils.




Leaving gangs rave.

              Engrave alive

A gun avails.

Evils lie,

               Giving leave






Level silver,

           Leaving leas,

Salvia vessels revel

           Grieving selves.

max brodsky (Denver, CO, 1989)

April 7, 2011

nos saves the world

obsessed with Frank Black
passing around his Hellraiser
puzzle box
neglecting to tell us
he's superglued it

mercyrain (Mystic, CT, 1975)

April 6, 2011


Be here, listen to me now:
Joe slept in, Joe's locked out; moss
Rocks gather it whether rolling or not
Don't need to be a goddamn Dane prince
To know something smells like shit in here

Weekend escapades for the few chosen ones
Bargains for a weakened, glossy heart
Lawyers and accountants on RVs filled
With champagne, pills, 16-year-olds
Playing the GFE, fighting the gag reflex
Cruising cross country, they analyze
Pros and cons of the self-sufficient holiday
In Lake SOB, Fucker Valley and a thousand destinations
For the enthusiastic policy maker who enjoys some time off
Out in the wild, having fun in the rip-opened ass of America

So yeah, let's have our very own TED Talk
Let's discuss double penetrations
Strap-on gang bangs
Tranny orgies, gay bukkakes
What are you waiting for?

Let's discuss asphyxia, double standards
Stained moral values and a million dollars in twenties
Because a CEO position at an NGO does pay, My Deareast
And all of us should have listened to mom
(All of us should have listened to mom, or have we?)

Don't just take every word they say for reals
'Bout the Wall Street crooks who ruined this country
You may experiment, throughout this process
And while effects last
Awkward feelings of happiness, euphoria

Real is what is not
Then, you shovel us for good
Make do without a name
Make do without a home
Be content and calm
Resting assure there will be no such thing as a revolution
Resting assure there will be no end
No pure forgiveness
No hugs

Never, ever forget
The lost triumphs
And gorgeous wounds

The ghostly memories
And the vicious road ahead

erik ivan clayton (Oklahoma City, OK, 1976)

April 4, 2011

heart in a foxhole

there are times when I can't
feel my heart beating inside my chest.
it seems that the blood in my veins
backs up like a city-wide traffic jam
filled with blaring horns and red-faced
motorists in a rush to get

I listen, but there is no sound of the
constant thump thump.
it's one thing to lose your keys.
not even a reason to panic when you
lose your mind.
you can go on perfectly content being crazy.
but this dead feeling between my ribs
sends me searching.
I pull myself apart like a Cronenberg
scene spilling a cluttered mess of me
to the floor.

I have a lot more guts than I thought.
but where the hell is that fickle,
bastard heart of mine?
maybe it is my mind I've lost.
I start rummaging through the inside of
my whiskey-coated shell until finally,
tucked away between the aching
bones of my spine, I find that
barely beating mass of muscle.
hiding like a chicken-shit from the
battlefields of

but it's about time it started pulling
its weight around here.
my liver has handled sorrow for too long
and my dick is tired of dealing with love.
so I pull its cowardly, beating ass from
the foxhole of my spine and
throw him to the front-line.
face the blitzkrieg.
take a few bullets and
shards of shrapnel.
collect scars.
lose fights.
lose it all and
die bleeding with a smile on
your face knowing you lived.

dale wilsey jr. (Tunkhannock, PA, 1984)

April 3, 2011

all poets are failed poets

"As a young editor, Robert Giroux once asked T. S. Eliot whether all editors were not failed poets. "All poets are failed poets," said Eliot. And he was Eliot. To have your work published is nice, of course, but in my experience it takes more than a story or poem to make a nobody feel like a somebody. The world is full of published writers who suspect they're amateur clowns."

lorin stein (Washington, DC, 1973), excerpt from 'The Murakami Landscape; Your Inner Clown', published in Ask The Paris Review, the Paris Review Daily blog, April 1, 2011

Further reading:

Lorin Stein, the Paris Review’s New Party Boy (The New York Times)

349 Minutes With Lorin Stein (New York Magazine)

The Q&A: Lorin Stein, editor (The Economist's More Intelligent Life)

April 1, 2011

not the sunday family movie night

See the red trampoline tongue
Shaggy DA
How many comedies
are made
out of unexpected
when there is a pink
thong on a teen boy
who knows he is a girl
who just has too much of
Too absent of...
He/she twirls knowing
they will be a lawyer:
Special Victims Unit
or a Vet
for little cats
homely dogs
The unclear sex
of the un-prodded rabbit

jessie carty (Portsmouth, VA, 1975)