Wednesday, 28 January 2009

I'm on Amazon!

Or, rather, The Tethers is on, available for pre-order with a release date of 15 June. Thanks to my friend Andrew King for letting me know and for making what I assume is the first order!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book wins Newbery Medal

I've been enchanted by this book since I heard Gaiman read from and talk about it prior to its publication, at the first annual Bath Festival of Children's Literature. Now it's won the US's most prestigious prize for older children's literature (the Caldecott medal is for the most distinguished children's picture book and is given to both the author and the illustrator). Learn more about The Graveyard Book and The House in the Night in this New York Times' article.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Obama's good work 2: Reversing Bush policies on emissions controls

Here's the Guardian article.

Me and Obama on restaurants

I was in Chicago last July to give a reading, and on my way to the venue (I rather underestimated the distance between it and the Metro) I stumbled across the Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop. Now I find that back in 2001 Obama recommended it on a local TV show--we even had the same entree, The Southern Sampler--gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Happy 25th, Macintosh!

Happily I write this from a new MacBook, my first Mac since my first-ever computer, another Mac, I bought in West L.A. in the early 90s. Here's the introductory commercial.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Obama's good work: lifting the ban on abortion funds to foreign family planning agencies

This has long troubled me, that because of US restrictions on the use of the aid women in developing countries could neither receive information about the full range of their options nor pursue an abortion--the latter the more a problem because in some societies carrying the child to full term and giving it up would not be an option. Read more about it in the BBC article.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Painter Andrew Wyeth dies, age 91

I've long loved Wyeth's images of America and had hoped to use "Christina's World" as the cover for The Tethers, but, predictably I suppose, it turned out to be too expensive. The New York Times' obituary is here.

"Outside of Town" on Poetry Radio, WGLT

On the 15th my old poem, "Outside of Town," aired on the Poetry Radio programme of WGLT at Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois. Clicking on the title of the poem will take you directly to the mp3 of my reading of the poem, on Poetry Radio to the details of the programme as a whole.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Poet and TLS Poetry Editor Mick Imlah Dies at 52

I can't tell you how saddened I am by this and by the fact that I never met him, after all he's done for my poetry. When I wrote to him in early October 2007 to tell him my book had been accepted for publication, and thanked him for all his support, he generously replied, "As for support, I think it's been you helping me/us. Keep them coming!"

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Turkey Restores Nazim Hikmet's Citizenship

I wouldn't have thought this so important, but this sentence from the BBC article made me reconsider: "Even as recently as 2005, authorities detained and questioned a teenager who read one of his poems at school for suspected activities against the state." So maybe Turkey does need to accept Hikmet officially for his work to receive the attention it deserves.

Get Your Weekly Poem

Oxford Brookes has set up a email service delivering subscribers a poem once a week. The interesting thing about this venture, to me, is that so far it is supported wholly by smallish presses--Faber, Picador, and Cape aren't among them.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Advice for poets

Read Brandi Homan's whimsical poem of advice for poets here, in the current issue of Anti-. I'd be glad to know which piece of advice you find most useful or humourous. My favourite line is probably "James Wright has already seen horses in a field".