Congratulations to Natasha Trethewey, newly named as Poet Laureate of the United States. She has been a frequent contributor to NER since 1999, including work in issues 20.2, 22.4, 23.4, 25.4, 27.2, 30.4, and 32.3. Her poems “Genus Narcissus” and “Elegy” are available in full on our website.
At The New York Times, Patrick Healey describes how Greg Pierce (“Later That Night,” NER 32.2) is working with Broadway legend John Kander:
With a schoolboy’s enthusiasm — indeed, looking a bit like Harry Potter all grown up — the writer Greg Pierce flipped through the three-ring binder on his lap, his forehead crinkling as he searched for the morning’s to-do list. He was sitting in the Upper West Side studio of John Kander, the Tony Award-winning composer of “Cabaret,” “Chicago” and more than 15 other musicals…
From the Fishouse, a site for audio recordings of poetry, features recordings of several poems originally published in NER, including Monica Ferrell’s “The Fire of Despair” (23.3), Patrick Phillips’s “What Happens” (27.3), and Robin Ekiss’s “Contemplating Quiet” (NER 29.2):
[“Contemplating Quiet” audio] [“The Fire of Despair” audio] [“What Happens” audio]
To contemplate quiet,
start with the first marriage
of sound and image:
seventeen seconds of film
in which two men are dancing
to the wheedling strains of a violin.
In her artist’s statement, Karen Rigby (NER 24.2) explains the title of her new book of poetry, Chinoiserie, winner of the 2011 Sawtooth Poetry Prize from Ahsahta Press:
Most of the time, chinoiserie is read in terms of 17th-century decorative arts, especially European attempts to draw from Chinese influences in household goods or furnishings. The book does not take a literal route, though there is certainly a bric-a-brac sensibility to the topics.
Instead, chinoiserie is interpreted loosely—as an elaboration, something imagined miles from its origins to become its own translation of landscape, texture, and pattern. The word evokes the fanciful as well as a darker potentiality, disrupting boundaries between tribute and theft, reinvention and repetition. What is “borrowed” from another art or culture (in this case, paintings, films, poetry itself . . . ) comes with expectation, but also complication. Even danger.