Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Gazebo in Exile & Bay Area Poets Laureate

Recent and major software problems have sent The Gazebo into exile. You can find its temporary home at:

Gazebo in Exile

We'll be back up with our full site soon, but for the time being you can post poetry, announcements, calls, chat and much of the usual fare at the Exile site.

Some of us are taking advantage of this slower activity to polish up our manuscripts and get in training for National Poetry Month's poem-a-day exercise.

The Bay Area Poets Laureate reading and reception, organized by the indefatigable Livermore Laureate Connie Post, will be held tomorrow at the Livermore Library from 1-4 pm. Quick -- how many Poets Laureate does the Bay Area boast? Respondents with the winning number will receive a free copy of my chapbook Another Circle of Delight. (And yes, I will have to look up the answer before making the award -- but I know it's way more than more areas have.) (And if you said, "Where's Livermore?" you don't live in the Bay Area and you're ineligible to play.)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Poetry - does anybody read it?

I'm rereading Camille Paglia's brilliant Break, Blow, Burn and admiring her explications, or close readings, of 43 of the best poems in English. Her essays are fun to read because they approach the poems as an integral part of the poet's life and times, viewed from ours. She's big on what she calls "context" in reading poetry, and criticizes the trend of "orphaning the text" from its surroundings and the life of the poet who wrote it. Whatever your view of poetry criticism, it's a great read. I have to just love the fact that she includes as a great poem Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" lyric, and also that she's so heavy on the Metaphysical Poets. Three poems each by John Donne and George Herbert in the top 43.

You may have been wondering what happened to this blog lately. Fundraising is what happened. I've been swamped with requests, not surprising, considering the state of our economy and the thin margin most nonprofits operate one. I'm happy to write grant proposals instead of poems if it can help us dig out of the gigantic hole. Nonprofit people are among the most admirable I ever meet, right up there with poets!

If you have time, volunteer somewhere. They can use all the help they can get.