March 30, 2011

Bella Akhmadulina

“She was one of the great poets of the 20th century,” said Sonia I. Ketchian, the author of“The Poetic Craft of Bella Akhmadulina” (1993). “There’s Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Mandelstam and Pasternak — and she’s the fifth.”

“When a young person comes to ask me, ‘Should I, should I not, write poetry?’ I say, ‘If there’s a choice, don’t.’ ” - B. A. 

Akhmadulina passed away last November. I kept meaning to read this little piece about her. She seems someone I should have read before now. So now I will, just in time for poetry month.

March 1, 2011

Looking Forward

Julie Choffel's Figures In A Surplus is sure to be a beautiful read. Here is what the editors of Antioch Press, who published Choffel's chapbook, had to say about her work:

In this new collection, Choffel’s sparse poems present images and actions not as extant material, but as nebulous plans and ideas. She wields the subjunctive mood with aplomb, creating branching futures whose possible outcomes wait, just off the page, for cues that will likely never come. In twenty-three poems, some of them no longer than a single line, Choffel encompasses salt, other planets, and the amoebae, zoologists, and skyscrapers that lie in between – a world far too intricate and dense to hold any room for certainty.